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Phil's Newsletter

Thursday Fake-Out – Weak Dollar Props up Weak Markets


They just don't appreciate that you get tired
They're so hard to satisfy, You can tranquilize your mind
So go running for the shelter of a mother's little helper
And four help you through the night, help to minimize your plight
Doctor please, some more of these
Outside the door, she took four more
What a drag it is getting old – Rolling Stones 

The rally is looking a little tired.  

Despite repeated doses of Central Bankster stimulus, we just can't seem to get a proper breakout over our key levels.  As you can see from Dave Fry's charts, yesterday's volume was so low we may as well have been closed yet despite all the "good" news (see this mornings News Flast for details and Futures trading notes) the S&P only made a half-assed attempt at 1,850 and barely held 1,840 in the end.  

INDU WEEKLYFar more significantly, the Dow fell through the bottom of its ever-rising channel and today is make or break technical action at 16,350 (below which we are short on /YM) despite the Nasdaq plowing along to new highs.  The NYSE fell just shy of our 10,400 line (see yesterday's post) and the Russell tested 1,080 but we just jumped in on the short side at 1,175 – but with very tight stops over that line.  

Oil jammed up to $97 (we're short /CL at that mark) on news that the Keystone Pipeline will drain 700,000 barrels a day (3.5M per week) out of Cushing, OK, which will allow us to export 3Mbd of petroleum products out of the country – which would make the US the World's 3rd largest exporter and the ONLY country in the world that imports oil and exports refined product in order to artificially increase prices paid by our own citizens.  

Prices that are, in fact, SO HIGH, that Valero Energy (VLO), our biggest refiner, says it expects to make $1.70 per share in Q4, that's 82% HIGHER than expectations thanks to the combination of a lower cost of
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Which Way Wednesday – Earnings Edition

SPY 5 MINUTEUp and down the market goes, where she stops – no one knows!  

As you can see from Dave Fry's SPY chart, we had a wild ride yesterday with volume on the sell side and then the bots taking us back up to finsh the day back where we started.  We were fortunate enough to be skeptical in the morning (see yesterday's post) and our Futures shorts (see early morning Tweet) were all massive winners.

We even had fun teaching Futures Trading Techniques in yesterday's Webcast but, as you can see from the chart, our 1-2:15 time-frame was nowhere near as exciting as the morning session had been!  

It's a wild market ride in a generally newsless week and earnings are sending us flying every which way.  As Dave notes in his morning post:


"There is a battle of pundits taking place as bulls and bears duke it out for headline honors of accuracy. Goldman Sach’s David Kostin maintains his bearish outlook for stocks saying: “The S&P 500 is overvalued by by almost any measure.”

Meanwhile Bank of America M/L’s Macneil Curry tells stock investors to “watch out” as seasonal turn much less construction once February rolls around. Like many others he judges complacency to be near the traditional levels that lead to corrections. In between was

Bloomberg’s Richard Yamarone warns, “It looks like this year’s economic horse will pull-up lame”, adding, “The Bloomberg Orange Book Sentiment Index has been running below 50 for 49 consecutive weeks which implies a stagnant growth rate in GDP in the 2-to-2.5% range.” This, he ventures, implies a lack of desirable growth in

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Tricky Tuesday – China Stimulus Saves Us Again


Gotta get used to waiting

You know how the ice is

It's thin where you're skating

(This is no social crisis)

Just another tricky day for you, fellah – The Who

I'm ready to give up.  

I WANT to give up, actually.  I want to bash my brains in with a BRIC and just mindlessly BUYBUYBUY so that, when I wake up to yet another Central Bank staving off yet another near-collapse by dumping money on the problem, I can go "Yay, they fixed it" instead of "OMG, we almost collapsed again!"  

It's so much more fun being an optimist.  An optimist can whistle right up to the edge of the cliff and whistle all the way down, right up until the inevitably SPLAT.  Of course the bad news in that case is very short-lived while we otherwise enjoy the entire ride – just like a sperm whale that spontaneously appears in the upper atmostphere (and yes, there's a relevant link for that!).  

The crisis du jour was China's overnight repo rate jumping 20%, from 5% to 6%, which prompted the PBOC to jam their finger into the dike in the form of $12.4Bn in reverse 7-day repurchase agreements AND $30Bn of 21-day revers repos overnight.  

Keep in mind that $42.4Bn is 0.5% of China's ENTIRE GDP – that would be like the Fed tossing $89Bn EXTRA QE on the fire in one day (a month's worth).  Would that make you more or less comfortable about the stability of our economy?  Ha ha – it's a trick question – everything should make you MORE comfortable about out economy.  In fact, investors have never been more comfortable than they are at the moment with…
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Happy Martin Luther King Day!

It's Martin Luther King day so the markets are closed.

I was just reading his "I Have a Dream" speech and it really is amazing when you think of the great social change in this nation that was set in motion by one man with a vision.  Here's a great video of the actual event.

It is a testament to the power and effectiveness of Dr. King's movement that, even to those of us who were alive at the time, it seems like it must have been another world where a man had to speak out against such injustice as if it wasn't obvious to the majority of people that segragation, whether by law or by practice, was an outrage.

Sadly, many of the lessons he taught us have already been forgotten, some great quotes:

  • Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.
  • Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.
  • It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it.
  • The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.
  • Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.   
  • Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.
  • We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
  • The past is prophetic in that it asserts loudly that wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.
  • A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.
  • A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.
  • One of the greatest casualties of the

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Friday Review – Our 5 Inflation Fighting Picks

It's options expiration day, so nothing the market does is real today.  

I sent out an early morning Alert to our Members that covered the important news and suggested some Futures plays and we reviewed our brand new, 2014 Long-Term and Short-Term Portfolio (we also sent out in Alert) yesterday afternoon (already up $4,400 in our first full month!) and we looked at our $25,000 Portfolio (just one trade so far) and we'll adjust our Butterfly Portfolio and Income Portfolio in Member Chat later today so, for now, let's take a look back at our "Five Inflation Fighters Set to Fly" (and Part 2) from last April and see who's on track and off in this "no inflation" environment.  

Read those posts for our "inevitable" inflation logic – so far, it's been evited just fine…  Still, hopefully we didn't get too far out of whack on our trades and, since Brazil has out of control inflation and India has out of control inflation and even Japan is starting to see inflation AND our TLT is back over 105 – I think this may be the perfect time to revisit some stocks that can give us some excellent returns in an inflationary environment.  

Notice that we made these trades fairly straightforward and diversified our sectors – hopefully that kept us out of trouble as our premise hasn't played out yet.  Some of the trades we liked well enough to play multiple ways.  Again, please take a moment to read the original April posts for full explanations of our strategy as well as margin requirements (most of these trades were selected with margin efficiency in mind).  Also, keep in mind these trades are "in progress" just 9 months into a 2-year cycle and, as I said at the time:

I'm not advocating you put your whole portfolio into trades like this, this is like our "5 Trade Ideas that Can Make 500% in an Up Market" – it's an upside hedge, especially if you are worried you are too bearish or simply not aggressive enough.  

  • 10 F 2015 $12 puts sold for $1.95 ($1,950), now

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Bye Bye Best Buy – Can the S&P Hold When Retail Folds?

Best Buy is down 30% on an earnings warning.

Holiday sales were down 0.9% with revenue down 2.6% to $11.45Bn, partially saved by a 23.5% rise in on-line sales.  We had picked BBY last November at our PSW Las Vegas Live Conference, as one of our top picks but we abandoned ship at $42, waiting for the next sale to buy shares again.  Is this, then, an opportunity to bargain hunt or should we wait for the ship to hit bottom.  There's a conference call at 8 am, so we'll have more information ahead of the bell.  

.NDX WEEKLYI already put out an early morning Alert to our Members to short the Futures at Russell 1,170 (/TF), Dow 16,400 (/YM) and, of course, Oil $94.50 (/CL) and we'll stop out if any two of the 3 get back over the line or the Nasdaq (/NQ) gets over 3,600 or the S&P (/ES) gets over 1,840 but these are just follow-on plays to yesterday's aggressive short option positions we sent out as an Alert yesterday afternoon at 12:33.  

As you can see from Dave Fry's Dow Chart, 16,500 (on the index, 16,400 in the Futures) has been a tough nut to crack and the REASON the Futures are 100 points below the actual index is BECAUSE sentiment for the FUTURE is lower.  Make sense?  

That's the real sentiment, from people who actually put their own money on the line to predict the future, not the sentiment of paid pumpers who shuttle from interview to interview so they can drill their talking points into the heads of retail investors, driving them into whatever positions the pumpers are paid to promote that day.  The entire financial network is itself just another propoganda machine for their advertisers, who are generally Investment Banksters who make their money churning retail investors in and out of positions.  It's a gigantic SCAM – don't take it seriously…

BE THE HOUSE – Not the Gambler!  That's our theme for 2014 and we are drilling this point home in our series of weekly Webcasts, as well as our live weekend conferences.  If you want to see our
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Balls to the Wall Wednesday – The Bull is Back!

SPY 5 MINUTEIgnition and BLAST OFF!  

Sure it's low volume (see Dave Fry's SPY chart), but who cares?  TSLA jumps 16% in a day, gaining $3Bn in market cap in 5 hours and they tack on another $1Bn overnight – just for good measure.  Yes they delivered 20% more cars than expected but that was for one quarter, not the whole year and Musk himself says the long-awaited cheaper Tesla is "about 3 years away" the same 3 years away it was 3 years ago!  

I'm not going to use the word "scam" because we shorted TSLA yesterday (Feb $140 puts for $5) and that wouldn't be fair.  I also won't say "pump and dump" or anything else derisive other than paying $20Bn for a company that has no earnings and projects, at best, $200M next year (for a p/e of 100) in a sector where the average p/e is in the teens – may be a little overpriced.  

We've played this game before with TSLA and we know not to stand in the way of a runaway train.  We'll stop out of our Feb puts with a small loss if we have to and then re-short for April and again for July if they keep going higher because that strategy, of followed last year, eventually hit the jackpot as they dove from $195 all the way back to $120 between Oct 1st and Thanksgiving.  

Just like a Futures trade (and see Tuesday's Webcast for a good example), the key to success is having tight stops when you are wrong so you have another chance to reload at the next stop.  We expect some resistance at $165 and a pullback to $150 but, if not, then we'll see how $180 goes ($24Bn!).  While TSLA was crowing about ramping up production to 600 cars a week, TM, who produce 600 cars AN HOUR announced their HYDROGEN fuel cell Prius should be ready next year.  

TM has already sold 6M hybrid Prisus', a number TSLA is on pace to hit about 100 years from now!  Yet TSLA is already at 1/6th of TM's
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Testy Tuesday – Letting off Steam or Sending a Warning?

SPY 5 MINUTEWheeeee – that was fun!  

It was fun because we were short-term bearish and we finally got a bit of a sell-off.  During yesterday's live Webcast, in fact, we had just shorted the Russell Futures at 1,060 in PSW Member Chat and, as I was demonstrating the Futures trade on /TF, we were already down to 1,052 and up $800 per contract.  We never got a strong bounce and the next leg took us down to 1,138, stopping out at 1,140 for a $2,000 per contract gain on the day – wheeeee! indeed.  

Our very bearish, very aggressive, Short-Term Portfolio positions popped from +18,000 on Friday to +$42,000 but we closed that one and we're going to stick to more conservative trading this year, rather than endure daily $24,000 swings, even when they are in our favor!  We already have a more conservatie virtual Short-Term Portfolio in our seminar series and, as planned, that STP popped 2.3% as it was the bearish offset to our Long-Term bullish portfolio, that fell back 0.3% to +0.2%.  

We'll be doing a full review in today's Webcast at 1pm, which you can sign up for here.

Meanwhile, the question is, how worried should we be by this little sell-off.  Looking at this Dow chart from Zero Hedge that compares the current Dow to the Dow movement just ahead of the great crash of 1929 - it does kind of look like we should be concerned, from a pattern-recognition standpoint at least.  Even a bounce today is expected, according to the historical chart, giving us false hopes before the big drop in a week or so.  

Last Tuesday we predicted how far the indexes would fall using our famous 5% Rule™, and they were the 1.25% and 2.5% drop lines at:

  • Dow 16,300 and 16,100

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Merger Monday – Suntory Buys Beam for 25% Premium ($16Bn)

Jim Beam Whiskey AdMergers are great market boosters.  

They make investors think everything is undervalued in a sector when one company gets bought for high cash premiums and BEAM (Jim Beam) is one of those companies many of us know and love but not, apparently, as much as the Japanese who will be taking over this 110 year-old American Icon.  BEAM did not rise 30% last year, making it "cheap" vs other S&P choices and, of couse, the only thing in the World more plentiful than Free Dollars is Free Yen – so why not gobble up some assets while the gobbling's good? 

The company’s combined portfolio of brands will include Beam’s Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark and Knob Creek bourbons; Courvoisier cognac and Sauza tequila; plus Suntory’s Japanese whiskies Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki and Kakubin; Bowmore Scotch whisky; and Midori liqueur and, if you went from "yeah, I know those" to "who?" while reading that list, then you can see why Suntory values Beam's distribution network and brand recognition as much as they do the product. 

Suntory is a 1 TRILLION Yen Company and a steady, 4% dividend payer in Japan.  A move like this is another bullish signal for the markets as this is the proverbial money coming off the sidelines, when foreign companies begin buying up US companies and Japan is a prime candidate as the Nikkei was up 45% last year – making the S&P look pretty cheap to them. 

If you want to find other companies that look cheap, I would suggest the S&P's 20 Most Concentrated Hedge Fund Holdings, where BEAM was number 7.  These are the companies most favored by hedge funds and it's not the usual suspects:

The Free Money is still out there, as long as you can service a 10-year loan at 3%, any of these companies can be yours and refinancing a decade from now is the next CEOs job – especially if you are a CEO already over 55 and looking to put your stamp on your company with a big move.  STZ, for example, is a $15Bn company at $80 a share (expect it to move higher on this news) and a
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Non-Farm Friday – To Work or Not to Work, That is the Economic Question

We're waiting on the Jobs Report.  

I don't think it's going to matter, whether or not we employed more or less than the expected 200,000 new people in December doesn't matter as much as what we had to pay them.  Hourly earnings are, so far, up 0.2% for the year and the average work-week for "employed" people is 34.5 hours and that's GOOD news for Corporation, who are spending 15% less per worker than they did in 2005.  

Now, you may wonder how the workers feel about that but, if you do, then you are some kind of LIBERAL and you have to leave right now because this is a stock newsletter and we should care no more about the feeling of labor as we do about the feelings of a barrel of oil – the second biggest cost for our beloved Corporate Masters.  

Of course, there are some Corporations that do own oil, and they do care about the price of each and every barrel they own, but there are no Corporations who own people (not legally, anyway) - so f*ck them, right?  

Our current trickle down economic policy guarantees us a steady supply of cheap labor.  Labor costs were, in fact, rising in 2007 but "accidentally" wrecking the economy wiped out over 9M jobs and, at an average of 100,000 jobs a month added since Obama took over in Jan, 2009, we've now added back 5M of them – leaving plenty of people still scrambling for work – so many, in fact, that Congress wisely decided that they are just lazy and cut off their unemployment benefits.  

And, the best part is, we've replaced all those nasty high-paying jobs with cool low-paying jobs – leading to record corporate proifts – Yay Capitalism!!!

8:30 Update:  And here's the number - just 74,000 jobs added, a 63% miss from what Economorons were estimating and the lowest positive figure since 1978.  Will that tank the market?  Hardly – because it means the Fed will have an excuse to give us MORE FREE MONEY!!!  Again, we're buying stocks, we're capitalists, we don't give a crap if 126,000 people…
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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!



Swing trading portfolio - week of July 28th, 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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Zero Hedge

Apocalypse Preview: Chinese River Turns Blood-Red

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Things in China are getting downright biblical.

First it was the floating animal apocalypse: who can forget the 16,000 floating pigs, followed by a thousand dead ducks, culminating with 5 dead black swans. But nothing quite beats the dram...

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Phil's Favorites

3 reasons Yellen's FOMC remains dovish

3 reasons Yellen's FOMC remains dovish

Courtesy of Sober Look

What makes Janet Yellen and a number of other FOMC members so dovish with respect to monetary policy and in particular the trajectory of rate normalization? A Credit Suisse report sites 3 key factors, which Yellen calls  “unusual  headwinds":

1. Tighter fiscal policy.

The combination of lower government spending and tax increases has created a drag on economic growth (see chart). This drag is now diminishing, but given the tepid recovery Yellen still views it as a headwind.


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Chart School

Daily Market Commentary: Bears Flash Intentions

Courtesy of Declan.

Bears made further inroads to the Semiconductor index, and Russell 2000, which delivered knock on results elsewhere.  The Semiconductor index had the worst of the action, slicing through its 50-day MA with a near 2% loss. If bulls wanted value a quick return above the 50-day MA would set up a 'bear trap' and may generate enough juice for a challenge of 650.

The Russell 2000 is playing for a swing low retest, although the 200-day MA may provide a long opportunity (stops on loss of 1,131). Technicals with the bears, but not oversold.


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Stock World Weekly

Stock World Weekly

Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW in the comments below each post. 

Our weekly newsletter Stock World Weekly is ready for your enjoyment.

Read about the week ahead, trade ideas from Phil, and more. Please click here and sign in with your PSW user name and password. Or take a free trial.

We appreciate your feedback--please let us know what you think in the comment section below.  


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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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Digital Currencies

BitLicense Part 1 - Can Poorly Thought Out Regulation Drive the US Economy Back into the Dark Ages?

Courtesy of Reggie Middleton.

An Op-Ed piece penned by Veritaseum Chief Contracts Officer, Matt Bogosian

This past weekend (despite American Airlines' best efforts), Reggie and I made it to the Second Annual North American Bitcoin Conference in Chicago. While there were some very creative (and very ambitious) ideas on how to try to realize the disruptive Bitcoin protocol, one of the predominant topics of discussion was New York Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky's proposed Bitcoin regulations (the BitLicense proposal) - percieved by many participants at the event as an apparent ...

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Option Review

Starbucks Options Volume Rises Ahead Of Earnings After The Bell

Volume in Starbucks options is running approximately three times the average daily level for the stock as of 1:15 p.m. ET ahead of the company’s third-quarter earnings report after the close. Shares in the name are up roughly 1.0% just before midday to stand at $79.95. Traders of SBUX options today are more active in calls than puts, with the call/put ratio hovering near 2.0 as of the time of this writing. Much of the volume is in 25Jul’14 expiry options contracts, most notably in the $80 and $83 strike calls which have traded roughly 3,350 and 2,550 times respectively and in excess of existing open interest levels in both strikes. A portion of the volume in the $80 and $83 calls appears to be part of a spread trade.


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Sector Detector: Bulls remain unfazed by borderline Black Swans

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Despite a highly eventful week in the news, not much has changed from a stock market perspective. No doubt, investors have grown immune to the daily reports of geopolitical turmoil, including Ukraine vs. Russia for control of the eastern regions, Japan’s dispute with China over territorial waters, Sunni vs. Shiite for control of Iraq, Christians being driven out by Islamists, and other religious conflicts in places like Nigeria and Central African Republic. But last Thursday’s news of the Malaysian airliner tragically getting shot down over Ukraine, coupled with Israel’s ground incursion into Gaza, had the makings of a potential Black Swan event, which in my view is the only thing that could derail the relentless bull march higher in stocks.

Nevertheless, when it became clear that the airline...

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Market Shadows

Danger: Falling Prices

Danger: Falling Prices

By Dr. Paul Price of Market Shadows


We tried holding up stock prices but couldn’t get the job done. Market Shadows’ Virtual Value Portfolio dipped by 2% during the week but still holds on to a market-beating 8.45% gain YTD. There was no escaping the downdraft after a major Portuguese bank failed. Of all the triggers for a large selloff, I’d guess the Portuguese bank failure was pretty far down most people's list of "things to worry about." 

All three major indices gave up some ground with the Nasdaq composite taking the hardest hi...

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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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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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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...

Learn more About Phil >>

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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 >>