Phil's Newsletter

Tricky Tuesday – China, Apple and the Fed!

shanghai stocks jan 26 Shanghai fell 6.4% last night.

The worst part was the way they sold off into the close DESPITE ANOTHER $70 BILLION that China has pumped into the market through reverse-repo operations this week.  The Shanghai is now down 900 points since Dec 22nd and that's just a touch shy of 25%, which is drastic by any account and now lower than the Aug 26th low of 2,927 (20% off) by a wide margin (5%) but still very much in-line with what our 5% Rule™ predicted for China's 2nd downturn.  If we (and I think Wi is the Finance Minister) can turn China back around this week, back over 2,927 – all shall be, surprisingly, well.

All is well(ish) according to Siemens CEO, Joe Keaser, who told CNBC this morning that: "The real economy in China is a lot better than people are talking about right now. There is obviously some weakness in terms of real estate and the finance sector but as far as our business is concerned, we do see some decent growth in healthcare, which was very, very strong with double-digit growth in China."

We'll get a nice peek into the Chinese consumer market with Apple (AAPL) earnings this evening and we're playing AAPL to beat, but not too aggressively as we'll be much happier to get a discount if they disappoint.  The big disappointment out of China this morning that sent their stocks plummeting was the realization that their Trade Data is fake, Fake, FAKE!!! and heavily exaggerated.  

While this may shock retail investors – this is a story we've been covering at PSW since 2013 (and, more recently, see: October's "Monday Mandarin Meltdown – China’s Fake GDP Still Sucks!") so, we're not selling on this "news" just because the rest of the World is clueless as to what's really going on.  Tuesday’s data from Hong Kong tallied imports in the territory from the mainland at HK$183.7 billion ($23.7 billion) in December while, on Jan 13th, the Beijing-based Customs General Administration announced December trade data showing shipments to Hong Kong had surged 10.8% to $46 billion – a 100% "exaggeration."  

What people don't understand, as they finally realize China is much smaller, economically,…
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Meaningless Monday – Waiting on the Fed (again)


Nothing really matters
Anyone can see
Nothing really matters

nothing really matters to me – Queen 

Is this the real life?

Is this just fantasy?  Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality?  

Yes, that's about the tone of the markets this week as we wait on the Central Banksters at the Federal Reserve to once again steer the markets off a cliff or into the stratosphere or whatever the opposite of their stated intentions – as seems to be too often the case.  We finished last week right where we began on the S&P, back just over the 1,900 line – but it's nothing to be proud of as we're still down from 2,050 (7.3%) from Jan 1st and 9.5% off our 2,100 high, last visited on the morning of Dec 2nd, when I said:

This is getting tedious

The S&P gets to 2,100 and we short ES Futures at 2,100 (with tight stops above the line) and Russell (TF) Futures below the 1,200 line and Nikkei (NKD) Futures below the 20,000 line and then, tomorrow or Friday, I'll tell you how much money we made shorting and you'll say "why do I never catch these great trade ideas" and I'll say it's because you're not patient enough to wait for the pattern to reset itself and just make the obvious play.  

Also in that 12/2 post (and you can get them by Email every morning for just $2 per day!), we noted our Short-Term Portfolio (STP) was up 213.2% and we were loaded for a bear market with our positions and, as of Friday's close, our STP was up 309.8% – a gain of $996,000 in 7 weeks – which is very good protection against a 10% market drop, even if you don't know how to play the Futures.  In fact, we even gave away an options play so our non Futures-playing readers could hedge against the downturn:

  • Sell 20 SDS March $19 puts for $1.25 ($2,500 credit) 
  • Buy 20 SDS Jan $18 calls for $1.20

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Fabulous Friday – Everything is Awesome Again

Everything is AWESOME!  

Europe's markets are up 2.5-3% and our Futures are already up over 1.5% because…  well just because so LET'S PARTY like it's 1999 – or that part of 2008 when we thought a small bounce was a sign to jump right back in about 50% from the actual bottom – AWESOME!!!   

Just check out the awesome move the S&P is making, right back to test the 1,890 line.  Unfortunately, 1,890 just so happens to be the line we predicted we'd bottom at 2 WEEKS AGO (see 1/11's "Meaningless Monday Market Movement") along with 16,200 on the Dow, 9,350 on the NYSE and 1,000 on the Russell.  In fact, we're still DOOMED if the Russell can't get back over 1,050 next week.  I didn't have a Nasdaq target but we said AAPL would bottom at $96 and it tested $96 yesterday but finished at $96.30 – so I'm going to count that one! 

I already sent out a Morning Alert to our Members discussing all the charts and levels and news and stuff, so I won't get back into it here.  I also tweeted it out so you can read it for free and get a glimpse into the kind of nonsense we get paid for.  In that note, you'll see the following trade idea for our Members:

Still a chance to play copper (HG) on  cross over the $2 line.   

Someone Is Trying To Corner The Copper Market. One company whose identity is unknown, is "hoarding as much as half the copper available in warehouses tracked by the London Metal Exchange."

We had two chances to make money on copper so far
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Thursday Fervor – Draghi Catches the Markets as they Fall

SPX DAILY"Help me now I'm calling you

Catch me now I'm falling

I'm in your hands, it's up to you

Catch me now I'm falling
." – Kinks   

We told you we would be DOOMED!!! back on the 11th if the Russell were to fail 1,050.  That was 5% ago and we expected the S&P to follow to 1,890 (10% off 2,100) and we've overshot that to the downside, all the way to our major support line at 1,850 on the S&P 500, which lines up with:

  • 15,840 on the Dow (-10%)
  • 4,000 on the Nasdaq (Must Hold)
  • 9,350 on the NYSE (-15%)
  • 960 on the Russell (-20%)
  • 15,750 on the Nikkei (-25%)
  • 9,350 on the DAX (-15%)

So the Nasdaq and the S&P are the only major indexes not to have gone negative (so far) but both are on the edge and, if they fail to hold their Must Hold lines – there's no reason to think they aren't going to join their brother indexes in stock market Hell.  So, let's not cry about it but rather come up with some hedges that will pay BIG MONEY IFF that happens.

The S&P's ultra ETF (SDS) moves up twice as fast as the index moves down and is currently sitting at $24.  If we assume just another 5% drop in the S&P, that's a 10% pop in SDS to $26.50 and our worry window is short, so a trade we can protect ourselves with is:

  • Buy 50 SDS March $24 calls for $1.70 ($8,500) 
  • Sell 50 SDS March $27 calls for $1 ($5,000) 
  • Sell 3 AAPL 2018 $80 puts for $10 ($3,000) 

That net's just $500 in cash on $15,000 worth of spreads and you do have an obligation to buy 300 shares of Apple (AAPL) at $80 ($24,000) if it drops another 17% so you need to REALLY want to own AAPL if the market tanks but, of course, you'd also have your $14,500 gain on the…
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China’s Monetary Meltdown – CASH!!! Remains King

Have I mentioned how much I like CASH!!! lately? 

Apparently, so do the traders in China, so much so that the Nation's foreign-exchange reserves dropped by record amounts despite the PBOC injecting over $80Bn back into the system through their medium-term lending facility (MLF).  That has chased the 14-day repurchase rate, a gauge of funding availability in the financial system, up 3.3% in Shanghai and has pressed the overnight repo rate 2.13%, the highest since April 2015.

“The rising overnight repo rate will force highly-leveraged investors to unwind their positions, leading to a further decline in bonds,” said China Guangfa’s Yan Yan.  “The market is still tight, despite the injections. “All the seasonal factors, plus the capital outflows and currency market-related liquidity drain, are tightening interbank liquidity.”

What this means, in plain English, is that the Chinese are printing money so fast that they are draining their reserves at an alarming rate while, at the same time, the pace of new reserves coming in (from their positive trade balance) is dwindling during a manufacturing Recession:

In short, China's ability to act is dwindling at the same time as their monetary actions themselves are losing their effectiveness because the problem is getting bigger – so it takes more and more money to fix.  We knew China was going to collapse, that was never in doubt. In fact, in our June Trade Review, my comment to our Members was:

I don't want to be overly dramatic about this stuff (and we are short on both China and Japan through FXI ($51.85) and EWJ ($13.26) as well as short the US markets as full disclosure) but I'm not going to let my people go through what people went through in 2008 if I can help it. If you remember, it was a very slow roll to collapse while the markets made record highs in 2007/8 as well.

As you can see on the chart, FXI has fallen all the way to $30 (down 42%) but Japan hasn't caught China's cold yet and
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Turnaround Tuesday? Checking Those Bounce Lines

Well, it's been a rotten month.

All of our sectors are down, other than Utilites, and they are still down 3.4% over the last 6 months so that's only a strong bounce (40% of the drop) in that sector anyway.  Still, it's the only ray of sunshine we have so far though now, in the pre-market, at least, we are having weak bounces (20% of the drops) in all of our indexes.  I went over our bounce lines in the Morning Alert to our Members, so I won't waste space here – it was also tweeted out for the masses.  As I summarized there:  

Still plenty of stuff to worry about but, in general, it's the same stuff we've been happily ignoring for two years and that's why I flipped bullish on Thursday – there's no new news here – just people finally taking the negatives into account, which moved the S&P (and the rest) back to a line (1,850) I consider a fair value.  I don't think this is way too cheap and I'm not expecting a big recovery – I think 10% +/- 1,850 (1,665 to 2,035) is a fair range for the S&P BUT, since we know how to buy stocks for a 20% discount – there's no reason for us to fear the bottom of the range from here.  

The World's movers and shakers are over at Davos this week (see our weekend notes) and the people who matter will determine your fate – so nothing for you to worry about. 8)  Most likely, they will come up with a plan to boost their fortunes, which means saving the markets by robbing the people through the Central Banks yet again and, hopefully, transferring another $1,000,000,000,000 ($1Tn) from the poorest 3.5Bn people on this planet ($300 each) to the richest 100 – which is exactly what happened between 2010 and 2015.

That's right, in order for the World's richest 100 people to double their wealth in the last 5 years, the World's poorest 3,500,000,000 people had to lose half their total net worth.  Now they only have $500 left to give and the wheels are still grinding them into what Oxfam calls a…
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Happy Martin Luther King Day!

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

It's a good day to read his "I Have a Dream" speech – 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

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Flip-Flop and Friday – Markets Yo-Yo Lower

China is really falling apart!

The Shanghai Stock Exchange dropped another 3.5% today to finish well-below 3,000 at 2,900 – ending at the low of the day.  That puts the index officially in bear market terrory (again), now 20.5% off it's December 22nd high of 3,651.  The latest fall in China’s stock market followed a state-run media report that some Chinese banks were no longer accepting stocks as collateral for loans. At the same time, official data also showed weak demand for bank loans.  

It doesn't matter if it's true or not – what matters is people are in the mood to panic – so it doesn't take very much to start a stampede – as we saw yesterday when our own markets stampeded up for the same no reasone they stampeded down the day before and now our Futures are down 1.5% on a combination of China concerns and now the 5% drop in oil we're seeing as that sector panics over Monday's release of Iranian oil – which will add about 500,000 barrels a day of unneeded oil to the already saturated markets.  

We extensively discussed oil and other commodies in Tuesday's Live Webinar for our Members (replay available here) and I explained why it was not done going down at the time, so I won't re-hash it here but we are finally getting to the point where we might take a long poke on the Ultra-Bullish Oil ETF (UCO), which is now under $8, not much below USO, which is now under $9.  We'll keep an eye on that in our Live Member Chat Room next week.  

Speaking of keeping an eye on things – you are very welcome for yesterday's call to go long the Russell at the 1,000 line (and yes, we did it again this morning).  One of the huge benefits to having cash on the sidelines is we have plenty of margin left over to play the Futures and make these quick in and out trades – without having to risk the overnights.  

And thank goodness we didn't risk the overnights because the Russell has round-tripped all the way back to 1,000 this morning and, since we're not too proud to double-dip…
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Fearful Thursday – Are the Markets DOOMED? Breaking Down the Dow

I told you we would be DOOMED!!!  

That's right, in Monday morning's post I said:  

Unfortunately, it's too late for the Russell, which already blew through that line and is back at 1,050, where it MUST HOLD or we are DOOMED!!! 

That's right, DOOMED!!!, and I'm not afraid to say it.  Panic is in the air and the VIX hit 27 on Friday, just shy of the August high and that means people are FREAKING OUT and the markets can be very dangerous when that happens.  

RUT WEEKLYNow we will be watching the 1,000 line on the Russell and, if that fails – we could be looking at another 5% drop for the S&P – all the way to about 1,760 before the next time we'll want to play for a bounce.  As I pointed out in my Morning Alert to our Members, none of this is a surprise to us as we called for cashing out when the S&P was at 2,085 back on August 13th (see: Thoughtful Thursday – Contemplating the S&P 500) and, I've repeated it every time the S&P hit 2,100 since.  

Why?  Because the VALUATIONS of the actual S&P 500 components did not support 2,100 for the index, that's why!  This isn't rocket science folks – over time, value does tend to win out over price – and certainly over Technicals…  At the time (8/13), I had concluded:

Over the last year, those overseas revenues have been in rapid decline and we're not picking up the slack at home so there is NOTHING here that justifies the S&P trading at an all-time high – especially when it's 10% higher than last year's trading range with a negative overall growth rate (mostly energy/commodities dragging it down).

So, upon further examination, there is no change to our stance of being short the markets at these levels which, on the Futures this morning, are 17,400

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Weak Bounce Wednesday

Not too exciting so far.

As we predicted on Monday, the 5% Rule™ is in play and we have, so far, held the line at the bottom but now we need to see if our bounces are weak (+1%) or strong (+2%) into Friday's options expirations.  It's entirely possible, since it benefits the most Fund Managers, that we pop 2.5% and end up even for the month – right back where we started when they sold all those option contracts on Dec 18th.  

NYMO  DAILYYes, that's right, the markets are a manipulated joke but, as long as you understand and accept that – you can play along with the manipulators and make some good money.  Clearly the markets are a bit oversold here and, oddly enough, it's the overwhelming level of doom and gloom coming from the MSM that makes us want to go long now.  

After all, what are they telling you to worry about?  China, the Fed, Oil, Commodities, Terrorism, North Korea, Junk Bonds, Brazil, Puerto Rico…  These are all things we've been talking about all year when we went SHORT at S&P 2,100.  Now that we're back to 1,900 (down 10%), I'm a lot more comfortable that the market is now taking into account these risk factors.  None of these problems are new folks – the media simply stopped ignoring them this month.  

As I mentioned yesterday in our Live Webinar, we KNOW the energy sector's earnings are going to be a disaster – that's a given.  How much of that will spill over to bad debt for the banks is something we'll find out this week as JPM, BLK, C, PNC, FRC and RF all give their earnings reports (Thursday night and Friday morning).  If they manage to be relatively unscathed by the collapse in commodities and the collapse in China – then the main reason to panic will quickly fade into the background.

MW 3 toasterFor those who watched the Obama's final State of the Union Address last night (and here's the 2 min version) it was starkly apparent that the American people have been hammered with negativity about our economy from a dozen
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Phil's Favorites

Fiscal Policy Has Failed the US Economy

Time to embrace a larger budget deficit, or should we continue to do more of the same that doesn't work? 

Fiscal Policy Has Failed the US Economy

Courtesy of Cullen Roche of Pragmatic Capitalism

The story of the post-crisis economic period is simple:

  • The housing boom left the household sector mired in a deep debt hole.
  • This was further exacerbated by the leverage Wall Street added on top of the household sector’s debt.
  • This left the banks and household sector needing a great deal of support.
  • Since 2008 we’ve seen huge amounts of stimulus from the Federal Reserve and global Central Banks, but we’ve had t...

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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

Deutsche Bank Said in Early Stages of Mulling Bond Buyback (Bloomberg)

Deutsche Bank AG is considering buying back some of its bonds, potentially countering this month’s selloff over concern that Germany’s biggest bank will struggle to make payments on its riskiest debt.

World's Negative-Yielding Bond Pile Tops $7 Trillion: Chart (Bloomberg)

More than $7 trillion of government bonds offered yields below zero globally as of Monday, making up about 29 percent of the Bloomberg Global Developed Sovereign Bond...

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Zero Hedge

Is The American Dream Dead?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Tom Chatham via,

The American dream is not a thing in physical terms but an idea that lives or dies with certain beliefs in society. Can it die? Yes it can if those beliefs are purged from the conscience of society. This is what Jefferson meant by watering the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots from time to time.

Many people bemoan the loss of the high paying jobs and the mansions and swimming pools we all want to have. They look around them and see their dreams of easy living collapsing and the debt piling up about to drown them. They see life becoming harder every day an...

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Chart School

Honors Even

Courtesy of Declan.

The gap down had set up for a big bearish move lower, but the collapse never appeared. Instead, lows held as support. On the flip side, an attempt at a rally couldn't get off the ground, but markets were able to do enough to register a close above the open.

The S&P closed with a spinning top below support. Watch for a strong 'sell' signal in the MACD as other technicals remain bearish.  The only positive is the strong relative performance against the Russell 2000.

The Nasdaq experienced a big gap down yesterday, and today offered a brief move to test the gap. Bulls need a gap higher to leave what could be a very good bullish ...

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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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Kimble Charting Solutions

Nasdaq to follow Silver and decline 30%+?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.


When assets reach prior highs, its time to pay attention from a Risk On & Risk Off basis.

The chart on the left is Silver, going back to the mid 1970’s. As you can see it reached $50 in the early 1980’s and then quickly reversed, losing over 90% of its value in the next 14-years. Then it embarked on a rally, starting in the early 1990’s. This rally took Silver back to the $50 level in 2011, which ended up being a “Double Top” nearly 30-years later. After hitting the $50 level again, buyers disappeared and sellers stepped forward....

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Swing trading portfolio - week of February 8th, 2016

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


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

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

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

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

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Why Most Investors Fail in the Stock Market


Why Most Investors Fail in the Stock Market

Courtesy of ValueWalk, by  

Throughout the past 30 days of wild volatility, here’s what I didn’t do.

Panic. Worry. Sell.

In fact, the best I did was add to a couple of positions yesterday. The world was already in an uncertain state for the past 3+ years. It’s just that with the market rising, we pushed the issue to the back of our  mind and ignored it.

If you read Howard Marks latest memo, ...

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Digital Currencies

2016 Theme #3: The Rise Of Independent (Non-State) Crypto-Currencies

Courtesy of Charles Hugh-Smith at Of Two Minds

A number of systemic, structural forces are intersecting in 2016. One is the rise of non-state, non-central-bank-issued crypto-currencies.

We all know money is created and distributed by governments and central banks. The reason is simple: control the money and you control everything.

The invention of the blockchain and crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin have opened the door to non-state, non-central-bank currencies--money that is global and independent of any state or central bank, or indeed, any bank, as crypto-currencies are structurally peer-to-peer, meaning they don't require a bank to function: people can exchange crypto-currencies to pay for goods and services without a bank acting as a clearinghouse for all these transactions.

This doesn't just open t...

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Sector Detector: New Year brings new hope after bulls lose traction to close 2015

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

Chart via Finviz

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Last year, the S&P 500 large caps closed 2015 essentially flat on a total return basis, while the NASDAQ 100 showed a little better performance at +8.3% and the Russell 2000 small caps fell -5.9%. Overall, stocks disappointed even in the face of modest expectations, especially the small caps as market leadership was mostly limited to a handful of large and mega-cap darlings.

Notably, the full year chart for the S&P 500 looks very much like 2011. It got off to a good start, drifted sideways for...

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PSW is more than just stock talk!


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

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

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

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Baxter's Spinoff

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

Baxter Int. (BAX) is splitting off its BioSciences division into a new company called Baxalta. Shares of Baxalta will be given as a tax-free dividend, in the ratio of one to one, to BAX holders on record on June 17, 2015. That means, if you want to receive the Baxalta dividend, you need to buy the stock this week (on or before June 12).

The Baxalta Spinoff

By Ilene with Trevor of Lowenthal Capital Partners and Paul Price

In its recent filing with the SEC, Baxter provides:

“This information statement is being ...

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Mapping The Market

An update on oil proxies

Courtesy of Jean-Luc Saillard

Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself. 


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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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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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