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Phil's Newsletter

Thanksgiving Top Trades Review – Using Options to Reduce Risk and Increase Profits

Happy Thanksgiving (almost)!  

We added a new feature last month called Top Trades™ (Members Only) so I thought it would be a good time to see how we're doing as well as give a few tricks and tips to our new subscribers.  Top Trade Alerts are sent out once or twice a week via EMail and Text Message from our Basic and Premium Live Member's Chat Room.  These trades are just a very small portion of what we discuss during chat each day, but hopefully a good representative sample.  Let's see how they performed so far:

We already reviewed our first Top Trade Alert™ in Thursday's post and our first 7 ideas are already up a combined 3.7% for the month but, officially, GSK was the actual Top Trade that day, and it's already up 6.1% for the month – a great way to get started!  Also on Thursday, we checked out out 2nd Top Trade Idea for CAT and, with Friday's 4.27% gain, the stock is already up 9% in a month but, of course, we don't just play boring old stocks at Philstockworld – our option trade Idea was:

As a new trade on CAT, I'd sell the 2017 $80 puts for $7.30 for a very nice $72.70 net entry.  That's more than the $5.60 dividend you'd make owning the stock for 2 years and a 26% discount if put to you.  That's great as a stand-alone play or it can be paired with the $100/115 bull call spread at $5.50 and you still have a net $1.80 credit (so net $78.20 entry – 20% off) but 100% of the upside over $100 for the next two years.  

As of yesterday's close, the $80 puts were $5.70 (up 21.9%) and the bull call spread is now $7.35 for net $1.65 plus the original $1.80 credit is $3.45, up 191% in a month on the option play.  Isn't that more fun than just making 9% on the stock?  

This is what we teach our Members at Philstockworld.  Rather than
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Free Money Friday – Draghi and the PBOC add Fuel to the Fire


Europe is up 2% with no signs of slowing at lunch as Mario Draghi kicks it up a notch, saying the ECB is ready to "step up the pressure" and expand its asset-purchase programs if inflation fails to show signs of quickly returning to the ECB’s target.  BAM!!!

“We will continue to meet our responsibility—we will do what we must to raise inflation and inflation expectations as fast as possible, as our price stability mandate requires of us.  If on its current trajectory our policy is not effective enough to achieve this, or further risks to the inflation outlook materialize, we would step up the pressure and broaden even more the channels through which we intervene, by altering accordingly the size, pace and composition of our purchases,” 

That was enough to send the Euro plunging 1% ($1.24) as the Dollar jumped over the 88 line for the first time since 2010, when the Global Economy was collapsing and we looked like the only game in town.  Well, China wasn't going to take that lying down so, of course, the PBOC, in the middle of the night on Friday in China, suddenly decided to cut their own rates by 0.4 to 5.6% and they lowered their deposit rate by 0.25, to 2.75% effective tomorrow.  

“All the targeted easing measures or the mini stimulus measures to cut the cost of financing are in fact ineffective,” said Chang Jian, chief China economist at Barclays Plc in Hong Kong, who correctly forecast one interest rate cut in the fourth quarter of this year. “So the only way to really reduce the cost of financing is through cutting the benchmark rate.”

Today’s move suggests a shift toward pro-growth policies that may fuel even more debt. An unprecedented lending spree from 2009 to 2013 led to a surge in debt on a scale that’s triggered banking crises in other economies, according to the International Monetary Fund.  China’s total
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Faltering Thursday – Trouble at the Top of the Range?

INDU WEEKLYThis low-volume rally is a joke.  

As I pointed out to our Members in yesterday's Live Chat Room, volume on the up side of that v-shaped recovery has been 1/2 of what the volume to the downside was (comparing the last 3 weeks to the 3 before it), which means this "rally" is nothing but hot air – with very little support underneath.  

And I know you get tired of hearing me say it and I get tired of saying it but, one thing I learned in 2008 is that you can't warn people often enough to be more cautious.  Yes we lose subscribers when we go to cash (not much to trade) but, when the markets do pull back – my subscribers still have money!  

And it's not like we can't make money with our cash.  Just yesterday, we posted 7 bullish trade ideas for our Members, 3 of which we added to our virtual portfolios and one of which, a long on /SI at $16, made $2,500 per contract in 30 minutes and another $1,500 per contract this morning – that's not a bad way to sit on the sidelines, is it?  

We don't ALWAYS have to be invested.  We still have many long-term positions, it's just that we also have a lot of cash in case those long-term positions get cheaper and we decide to buy more.  In fact, a few of yesterday's plays were just that – buying more of stocks that we've been liking all year as they go on sale.  

This morning our Futures are at 17,600 on /YM, 2,040 on /ES, 4,200 on /NQ and 1,155 on /TF and we can go long on the laggard when (and IF) two of them are over and get out when 3 are below as a bullish play for the normal morning pump – that's how we make a quick $500 for you at Philstockworld!  

Copper is bouncing off $3 again, that's also a good play, one that already made $1,250 per contract at $3.05 when I recommended it in Tuesday morning's post (which you can have delivered to you each morning by SUBSCRIBING HERE).  

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Will We Hold It Wednesday – S&P 2,050 Edition

S&P 2,050!  

Why not?  Why not 3,000?  3,500?  4,000?  Is there any number that will begin to sound ridiculous to top 1% traders, who are using the Fed's Free Money to make even more money for themselves?  It's like the $50M balloon dog at Christies – what's the difference to people who have, essentially, infinite amounts of money to spend?  

The Forbes 400, for example, made $1Tn MORE between 2009 and 2012 – an average of $300Bn a year.  Last year, they added on another $400Bn bringing their total INCOME up to an average of $1,000,000,000 PER YEAR per Billionaire.  Compared to the average household income of the average US Citizen of $52,000, that is, pretty much, INFINITELY more (19,230 times more, to be exact).  

Meanwhile, over the same period of rampant QE, the average income of the Median Household FELL 4%, from $54,000 to $52,000.

Of course, that should be obvious, as it takes $2,000 from 150M working people just to come up with $300Bn of the $400Bn the top 400 made last year.  That's how it works, folks – they take $2,000 from 150M people and the rich get richer and the poor (or the middle class) get poorer.  

Yes, there is also some economic expansion – there has to be or where did the other $100Bn come from?  No wonder record amounts of money (a mere $2Bn) were spent on the recent mid-term elections – in order to guarantee the top 1% that they'd get at least 2 more years of the same treatment.  

And what do the top 0.0001% do with their money?  Over $1Bn more pours in every day – they can't possibly spend it all on balloon dogs and $5,000 hamburgers – they HAVE to invest some of it!  

Real estate left a bad taste in people's mouth very recently and, as noted by the chart below, there's not enough homes in the US for all these Billionaires to buy.  Gold and silver have lost their shine, oil is a bust, bonds aren't paying any interest (also thanks to Fed meddling), so that makes equities the only…
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Trendless Tuesday – Drifting Along on NO Volume

What a crock!  

Though we were more or less flat yesterday, check out the huge discrepency in declining vs advancing stocks across the board.  It's a stealth sell-off, the kind we often have before a major market plunge.  This is what leads frustrated investors to wonder "How come the market is up but all my stocks are down?"  It's a trick run by the Fund managers, who prop up momentum stocks and key index stocks to hide the fact that they are dumping the rest of their portfolios.  This keeps retail traders complacent until it's far too late for them to get out safely.  

SPY  5  MINUTEWe're already trading at Holiday volume levels and, as you can see from Dave Fry's SPY chart, it's the same old TradeBot pattern day after day with volume selling followed by a low volume move up and more selling into the close – all stealthy ways the Banksters and Fund Managers use to get out of the markets.   As noted by Financial Sense:

Manipulation is an unfortunate fact of the financial market. Stocks and commodities have always been subject to manipulation, whether by individuals, pools, central banks or even governments. If you are unable to come to terms with this reality then it’s best to avoid participating in the market altogether. But if you’re able to come to grips with this then there is money to be made once you’re able to spot the tell-tale signs of manipulation, a skill which becomes better with experience.

INDU WEEKLYThat's what we teach our Members to do here at PSW, spot the manipulation and profit from it!  We don't care IF the game is rigged, as long as we are able to understand HOW the game is rigged and play along with the winning side.  

I balance my own moral books by pointing out the manipulation and calling for our regulators to put a stop to it and you would think that would risk our successful strategies but, in all these years, it never changes and, if anything, it gets worse, not better each year.  

Of course, we…
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Japan GDP Jolts Markets to Start the Week

We told you so!  

Last Wednesday, right in our morning post, I told you how you could benefit from SUBSCRIBING to our newsletter because we would give you great trade ideas like this one, which we featured for free in that morning's post:

I also mentioned shorting EWJ in the morning post but, for our Live Chat Members, I sent out a Top Trade Alert specifically on the Jan $12 puts at 0.52 to go along with our call to short /NKD (Nikkei Futures) at 17,500 at 8:22 am (also in the morning post) and by 11pm last night we were close enough, at 17,490 and, already this morning, we're back at 17,100 – for a $1,950 per contract gain – all overnight and all "according to plan".  

As you can see from the chart above, we had a fantastic chance to reload on the Nikkei futures (up over $2,500 per contract at the moment) as well as the EWJ puts, which should be up about 50% today – but we think we can do better than that as Japan's GDP was even worse than we thought it was going to be – declining 1.6% in Q3 and officially putting the economy back in Recession.

"None of the 18 economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a contraction; the median forecast was for a 2.25% expansion." – That's why we were able to make so much money betting on it – we're smarter than the WSJ's 18 economorons!  

Another trade idea we gave away FOR FREE in Wednesday morning's post was a TZA hedge, using the Jan $12/16 bull call spread at $1.20 and already on Friday, TZA closed at $13.46, putting the spread $1.46 in the money, which is up 21.6% in the money if TZA closes there – not bad for a 2-day hedge…  Of course the potential for the hedge, if the Russell keeps…
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Friday – Commodities Collapse On Weak Global Data

View image on TwitterTesting 2,040 on the S&P. 

That's what we're doing while oil is at $74.50, copper is $3, and gasoline is $2.  The Eurozone's GDP was out this morning and Germany's GDP is up 0.1%, avoiding Recession by a whopping 0.2% and France has pulled into the lead, up 0.3%, less than 1/10th of the US growth trend.  Forecasts going forward are for the whole Eurozone to grow 0.1% in Q4 – the smallest miss puts them back into Recession.  

The euro area’s fragile "recovery" has been in peril since economic malaise took hold of countries in the region’s core. With the revival stuttering and inflation close to the lowest level in five years, the European Central Bank has deployed unprecedented stimulus and urged governments to invest and deliver structural reforms to support growth.

Eurozone GDP, Q3 2014

Italian GDP fell 0.1% in the three months, marking the 13th consecutive quarter in which the Euro region’s 3rd-largest economy failed to grow. The Bank of Italy said yesterday that the country needs to avoid a “recessionary demand spiral” due to the “persistence of economic difficulties, which have been exceptional in terms of duration and depth.”

Meanwhile, the Euro is down 11% since May, now just $1.24 buys you one and you get 116 Yen for a Dollar, which is why our Dollar index is now popping 88 and putting massive pressure on commodities, which are also suffering from weak demand.  This, of course, is collapsing Russia's commodity-based economy (along with the sanctions), with the entire Russian Stock Market's value falling below that of just Apple, Inc.  

Tempting though it may be, we're not shorting the US markets while the rest of the World is swirling down the drain.  Shorting US equities has been a suicide play for the past 5 years.  Of course we have our bearish hedges but our main hedge is CASH!!! going into the holidays.  Let Santa have his rally – we're out!  

That's not to say we can't make a little cash with some side bets.  For instance, yesterday, in our Live Member…
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Thursday Thrust – More Fed Speak to Goose the Markets

SPY  5  MINUTEWhat is the Fed so afraid of?  

Yesterday, at about 1:45, as the market was dipping, Fed President Kocherlakota decided it would be a good time to say it would be a MISTAKE for the Fed to raise rates any time in 2015:  

“It would be inappropriate for the [Federal Open Market Committee] to raise the target range for the fed funds rate at any such meeting” occurring in 2015, Mr. Kocherlakota said.

As a voting member of the FOMC, Kocherlakota's words carry a lot of weight but he was already the dissenting opinion to the Fed's last vote, so this was not NEW information – but it was enough to re-energize the bulls, as there's nothing they love more than FREE MONEY!!!

Our Futures were dipping back down this morning until 3am, when it suddenly became urgent for NY Fed President Bill Dudley to say it was "still too early to raise rates."  Noting there could be a significant benefit from letting the economy run "slightly hot."  Speaking at the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi this morning, Dudley called for "patience" on an increase in the Fed funds rate as the risk of tightening prematurely is greater than the risk of tightening too late. 

It's amazing to look at the chart above and consider that Greenspan "took away the punch bowl" when rates were 5%.  THAT was a rate he considered far too accommodative but his VERY BRIEF attempts to raise rates to 7% were quickly reversed as the markets collapsed in 2000 and then, of course, 9/11 happened and rates were dropped to near zero to goose the economy – leading to our 2007 housing bubble that almost destroyed the Universe.  

This time, of course, is different because – well because it is, right?  Sure it could be argued that bubble #1 came during the dot com boom, when Clinton was in office and everyone had jobs and the deficit was low and the economy was booming and…
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Will We Hold It Wednesday – Dow 17,600 Edition

So close, and yet so far. 

Our 5% Rule™ dictates that we need to have two consecutive DAYS (not just closes) above one of our support levels before we consider it as a real sign and, yesterday, the Dow did FINALLY hold its critical "Must Hold" line at 17,600.  

Unfortunately, that lasted all of 2 hours and then the Futures re-opened 20-points lower and, since then, we've lost another 50 points.  So REJECTED so far on our first test of the middle for the Dow, which has long been the laggard in getting up to our expected trading range for 2015 (the Big Chart is always a year ahead).  

NDX WEEKLYThe Nasdaq, on the other hand, has long been our leader (thanks to our Stock of the Year, AAPL, gaining 46% and contributing 9% to the Nasdaq's 23% move).  Perhaps we should have realized that, if we were right about AAPL, we should have set more aggressive targets for the Nasdaq in the first place.  

As Dave Fry notes on his Nasdaq chart, it's hard to write anything meaningful about the movement of the last few weeks other than, as I pointed out yesterday – it's Bullshit.  The Nasdaq has popped 400 points (10%) in 4 weeks and is on pace to be up 130% by next December OR, if that doesn't seem likely to you, then maybe you see why it's our key short in our Short-Term Portfolio. 

SPY  5  MINUTEOur Short-Term Portfolio has, in fact, taken a beating this past month – as it's full of hedges that are getting slaughtered.  Now we're only up 70% for the year (down from over 100%) but the trade-off is, of course, that our bullish (and 5x larger) Long-Term Portfolio is now up 23.5% for the year.  That's pretty good as they aren't both supposed to be up at the same time anyway.  

We haven't changed our aggressively bearish short-term position, despite losing 30% of our gains on this rally, because the volume simply isn't confirming the breakout and that means that all these gains can be just a quickly reversed – and we sure don't want to…
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Tax-Free Tuesday – Japan Postpones Sales Tax, Nikkei up 2%


How many ways can they goose these markets?  Too many to count as Japan's QUADRILLION Yen debt soars to new highs as the Government backs away from using a sales tax to attempt to balance (as in slow the deficit slightly) the budget.  After all, once you pass the Quadrillion mark in debt, what's a few Trillion more in debt between friends?   

The BOJ's friendship is a wonderful thing for the Nikkei and the Japanese exporters that are part of the index.  It's not so wonderful for the Japanese people, who have seen 30% of their purchasing power disappear in the past two years and that allows Abe's Government to point to low inflation (because people can't afford to buy things) as an excuse to devalue the currency further – enriching the investor class at the expense of everyone else on the island:

It's a SCAM people, this is nothing more than an illusion of market prosperity – they are simply repricing the currency the stocks (and earnings) are measured in to give you the impression that things are getting better – BUT THEY ARE NOT – they are getting worse.  Infinite debt is no free lunch and it's really starting to concern me that US and European markets are following Japan higher when Japan's move is total BULLSHIT!

We're going to be shorting the Nikkei, of coures (17,370 on /NKD and $12 on EWJ), as it tests it's all-time high – hopefully at 17,500 but we're not going to let 17,350 fail without jumping on that bandwagon as this is complete and utter BS.  Did I mention this was BS?  I want to make sure that's clear.  BS.  Totally….  

We already took a short position with conviction on /TF (Russell Futures) as it tested 1,180 this morning in our Live Member Chat room as well as during yesterday's Live Trading Seminar in Las Vegas (my last day here crying).  I've been urging our Members to take the money and run into the holidays, taking advantage of this rally to get back to mainly cash and, as we pointed out in our…
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Zero Hedge

With A Hard-Landing Imminent, China Reminds Residents It Is Illegal To Jump Off Tops Of Buildings

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

In retrospect, when last Sunday we wrote that "China's Shadow Banking Grinds To A Halt As Bad Debt Surges Most In A Decade" in which we showed that not only had China's shadow banking credit creation stopped outright, but had - due to a decline in Banker Acceptances and Trust Loans - shifted in reverse for the past 4 months...

... it should have become clear that it was only a matter of time for the PBOC to step in and provide additional "...

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Market Shadows

Official Moves in the Market Shadows' Virtual Portfolio

By Ilene 

I officially bought 250 shares of EZCH at $18.76 and sold 300 shares of IGT at $17.09 in Market Shadows' Virtual Portfolio yesterday (Fri. 11-21).

Click here for Thursday's post where I was thinking about buying EZCH. After further reading, I decided to add it to the virtual portfolio and to sell IGT and several other stocks, which we'll be saying goodbye to next week.


1. th...

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Chart School

The Big Four Economic Indicators: Real Retail Sales

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Note from dshort: With yesterday's release of the Consumer Price Index for October, I've updated Real Retail Sales for October.

Official recession calls are the responsibility of the NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee, which is understandably vague about the specific indicators on which they base their decisions. This committee statement is about as close as they get to identifying their method.

There is, however, a general belief that there are four big indicators that the committee weighs heavily in their cycle identification process. They are:

  • Industrial Production
  • Real Personal Income (excluding Transfer Payments)
  • Nonfarm Employment
  • Real Retail Sales
  • ...

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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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    Swing trading portfolio - week of November 17th, 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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    Sector Detector: Investors make up new rules for their new market paradigm

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

    Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

    By Scott Martindale

    Investors in U.S. equities seem to have embraced a new market paradigm in which upside spikes come more swiftly than the downside selloffs. Remember when it used to be the other way around? When fear was stronger than greed? The market is consolidating its gains off the early-October V-bottom reversal, and no one seems to be in any hurry to unload shares this time around, with the holidays rapidly approaching and all. After all, there are bright blue skies directly overhead giving hope and respite from the early freeze blanketing the country.

    In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer...

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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.

    The newest Stock World Weekly is ready. Click here for the this weekend's reading and sign in with your PSW user name and password. 

    Picture credit: AnnaER at Pixabay. 


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    Digital Currencies

    Ukraine Central Bank Bans Bitcoin "To Protect Citizens" From Financing Terrorism

    If you would have supposed that Ukraine had enough problems to make banning bitcoins a backburner issue, you'd have been wrong. The rationale, "to protect consumers' rights" makes little to no sense... The other one, "to keep money in the country" makes more sense. 

    Ukraine Central Bank Bans Bitcoin "To Protect Citizens" From Financing Terrorism

    Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

    The Hryvnia has collapsed to new record lows near 15/USD this morning. The Central Bank and bankers "agreed to keep UAH at 15-16/USD" but are &qu...

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    Option Review

    Yamana Gold call options sink

    Yamana Gold call options sink

    By Andrew Wilkinson at Interactive Brokers

    A four-year low for the spot price of gold has had a devastating impact on Yamana Gold (Ticker: AUY), with shares in the name down at the lowest price in six years. Some option traders were especially keen to sell premium and appear to see few signs of a lasting rebound within the next five months. The price of gold suffered again Wednesday as the dollar strengthened and stock prices advanced. The post price of gold fell to $1145 adding further pain to share prices of gold miners. Shares in Yamana Gold tumbled to $3.62 and the lowest price since 2008 as call option sellers used the April expiration contract to write premium at the $5.00 strike. That strike is now 38% above the price of the stock. Premium writers took in around 16-cents per contract o...

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    Biotechs & Bubbles

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

    Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely.  From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so a small amount.

    First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices.  Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment.  Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer.  For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...

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    Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

    "Hello PSW Members –

    This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible.  Feel free to contact me directly at 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.

    Thank you for you time!

    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 >>