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Phil's Newsletter

Fabulous Friday – Counting our Blessings in the Market Collapse

Wheeeeeee – isn't this fun?  

We're certainly having a good time and, if you've been following our posts and getting our trade ideas – you probably are too as yesterday's DXD trade idea, for example, made 100% in a day for the 2nd time this week!  

Now let's say you put just 2% of your portfolio into a hedge like that against a worry that we'd have a 5% drop.  Well, on Tuesday we collected 100% of that 2% on a 2.5% drop and yesterday we collected another 100% of 2% on another 2.5% drop – there's 4% back and we never even fell 5%.  This is how you hedge and hedging is what we teach you to do at PSW (sorry, Memberships now full, try the wait list for next month).  

Of course, if you find yourself on the wrong side of the market, the Futures also make excellent hedges and it just so happens that we teach that as well!  We did a Futures Webinar just this Wednesday and you can watch us make money live on the replay.

 Those are the hedging strategies that led us to call for shorts yesterday (right in the morning post) at 1,100 on /TF (Russell Futures), 4,040 on /NQ (Nasdaq Futures), 1,965 on /ES (S&P Futures) and 16,900 on /YM (Dow Futures).  Aside from the Alert we sent to our Members, we also Tweeted out and Facebooked? the trade ideas – THAT'S HOW SURE WE WERE!  If you followed those, we closed the day at:

  • Dow (/YM) 16,550: down 350 points at $5 per point – Gain of $1,750 per contract 
  • S&P (/ES) 1,918: down 47 ponts at $50 per point – Gain of $2,350 per contract 
  • Nasdaq (/NQ) 3,950: down 90 points at $20 per point – Gain of $1,800 per contract 
  • Russell (/TF) 1,060: down 40 points at $100 per point – Gain of $4,000 per contract 

The margin requirements for the Futures trades are roughly $4,000 per contract so we're talking net gains of roughly 50-100% IN A SINGLE DAY on our hedges.  It's a very simple process – we
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Flip Floppin’ Thurday – Draghi and Williams Top Us Off

SPY DAILY

Flip, flop & fly
I don't care if I die
Flip, flop & fly
I don't care if I die
Don't ever leave me, don't ever say goodbye – Joe Turner

It's deja vu all over again!  

Please see Tuesday's "1,975 or BUST!" post and you will be all caught up on our battle plan for Thursday.  Remember – I can only tell you what is going to happen and how to make money trading it – the rest it up to you…  

Those DXD calls we disussed in Tuesday's post were cashed out ahead of the Fed with 100% gains in just two days.  Today, we're right back to the extact $24.52 DXD was at Tuesday morning, and the calls are back to our 0.60 entry after topping out at $1.27 yesterday (up 111%).   

We made the call to get out right at the beginning of our 1pm Live Trading Webinar (sorry, Members Only) but, FOR FREE – in yesterday's morning post – we also called a very wise exit to our TZA spread (up 190%) and flipped long on the /TF futures at 1,070 and those finished the day well past our 1,080 goal – all the way back to 1,100 for a $3,000 per contract gain.  That's in a single day folks!  

This morning, in our Live Member Chat Room (and you can join us here before the prices go up next week), we took short positions on the indexes with me saying to our Members in a 6:41 Alert that was sent out via Email as well and, for good measure, it was tweeted out (follow us here) and posted on our Facebook page (follow here):

Clearly we can short /TF at 1,100 with a stop above or /NQ 4,040 or /ES 1,965 or /YM 16,900 simply stopping out if any two of those go higher.  On the other side, Oil can be played long at $87.25 (again) and gasoline at $2.30 since it's Thursday.  

As you can
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Which Way Wednesday – Fed Minutes at 2pm!

Wheeeee – what a ride!  

It's been so long since we had even a minor correction that people are acting like this little pullback is the end of the World.  If you'll notice, on our Multi-Chart, only the Russell has crossed their -5% line and, globally, only the Hang Seng has even tested it's 10% line – and they've already weak bounced 2%.  When did we forget that markets do not go straight up forever?  Has the constant Fed meddling left us with nothing but skittish investors, who cut and run at the first inkling of pain?  

Warren Buffet has owned KO for 40 years – including the crash of 2009, when it went down $7Bn, for him along with the rest of the market.  When the stocks got lower – he bought more – because he KNOWS what the stocks are worth, even when the Retail and even "Professional" investors did not.  

WFC is 22% of Berkshire's stock holdings but it was only 14% when the stock dropped from $35 in 2008 to $9 in 2009, wiping out $9.1Bn on Berkshire's balance sheet on 350M shares.  What did Buffett do?  He bought 175M more shares for $10 and those 525M shares are now worth $26Bn at $51.  Buffett didn't panic because he KNEW what WFC was worth and he also knows that investors are, for the most part, fairly irrational people.  

I have been complaining all year about how irrational prices were and we essentially sat out the top of the rally and stayed mainly in CASH!!! in our Member Portfolio HOPING for a correction (a bigger on than this, frankly) that would give us some nice entry set-ups for 2015.  We don't think the market will collapse, but it would be nice to come back down to our 200 dmas to test the bottoms on some real volume.  

As we're down about 5% (average) in our indexes and as we have the Fed Minutes this afternoon, I'm looking for a weak bounce, acccording to our 5% Rule™, of 1% – anything less than that today will be a very bearish sign!  We're very interested in the -5%
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Testy Tuesday – 1,975 or BUST!

SPY 5 MINUTEI told you it was going to be a wild week!

Not that you can draw any conclusions from yesterday's low-volume action.  The Fed doves have their say for the next two days and then we go into a hawkish nosedive on Thursday and Friday, so this little drama is just getting started.  All went according to plan yesterday – per our set-up in the morning post:

As a hedge, for our Member Portfolios, we're favoring SQQQ (now $36.55) and DXD (now $24.52) to protect us from another slide but the real tilt to hawkish doesn't start until Thursday, after the Fed minutes, so we can assume they will be spun bearish from there into the weekend and we'll look to take nice, short positions against any run-up that comes from doveish Fed statements early in the week.  

As you can see from yesterday's action, that was the perfect way to play it and our short positions on the Futures gave us several quick victories as it was all downhill from the open until 1pm.  Even our oil short gave us a nice $600 win – the one that was right there in the morning post at $89.60 and oil was below $89 by 10:45, less than 3 hours for that trade idea to play out!  

That's good because we REALLY needed the money because GTAT, one of our good-sized positions in two of our portfolios, declared a surprise bankruptcy yesterday.  Bankruptcies are not supposed to be surprising but this one was and GTAT dropped 90%, essentially wiping out a $25,000 position and costing us 1/4 of our year's profits in the Long-Term Portfolio.  

There's an excellent article in Bloomberg and another one from Seeking Alpha outlining what happened and where it stands so I'll spare you the gory details other than to say that this is why we stress diversification and portion control in investing.  Even so, GTAT happened to be a stock that got weak and, because management promised a turn-around, we added to our losing position on the initial dip and maxed our allocation and…
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Market Mayhem – 12 Fed Speeches in 5 Days Causes Chaos

Get ready for a wild week. 

FOMC minutes are released on Wednesday at 2pm and there are a record 12 Fed speeches in the days that surround them.  Expect the market to gyrate wildly with each tweetable quote and it all kicks off this afternoon with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, followed by KC's Hawkish Esther George at 8:30.  

Tuesday we have Kocherlakota (hawk) and Dudley (dove), Wednesday is Evans (dove) and the minutes.  Thursday we have Bullard (hawk), Tarullo (dove), Lacker (uber hawk) and Williams (dove) ahead of the realease of the Fed's shocking balance sheet and a look at the ever-expanding US Money Supply.

Friday ends with a bang as we hear from Plosser (uber hawk), George again, Fisher (uber hawk) and then Lacker again – so the hawks very much have the last word into the weekend.  It's not much of a data week (next week is a doozy, though) and, to summarize it's hawk, hawk, dove, dove, hawk, dove, HAWK, dove, HAWK, hawkHAWK, HAWK - do you think, perhaps, the Fed is trying to tell us something?

The next Fed meeting is October 28th and we'll hear their decision on the 29th.  If they don't begin to tighten at this meeting, there is no way they'll do it right before Christmas at their last meeting on the 16th.  It seems to me, they are going to be setting expectations for some hawkish action this week and the reaction will give them time to contemplate it going into the next meeting. 

Embedded image permalinkWhat's keeping us from getting too hawkish (bearish) is this chart from Macrobond, which points out that, the last 3 times 10-year rates have been this low, the Fed has begun major rounds of EASING, not tightening policies.  QE increases the money supply and that forces note rates up to compensate and Jack Lew is the guy who has to borrow the money at those rates – so you can see how this week will all tie together once the dust settles

As a hedge, for our Member Portfolios, we're favoring SQQQ (now $36.55) and DXD (now…
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Non-Farm Friday – Will Jobs Report Restore Market Confidence?

Ouch, that really stings!  

They say you can't keep a good market down but it remains to be seen whether or not we have a good market with almost all of August and September's BS gains (see any of my posts for warnings and hedge ideaserased just 3 days into October.  

As you can see from our Big Chart, the Russell, in particular, completed it's 10% drop yesterday and, as I said to our Members in yesterday's live Chat Room as we neared the bottom:

/TF/Jasu – Just a bit oversold and, as noted yesterday (and above) it's completing a 10% drop from 1,200 at 1,080, so that's a very firm line for a bounce and that's 20% of a 120-point drop, so we're looking for 25-point bounces to 1,105 (weak) and 1,130 (strong) now.  Anything less than 1,105 today is a failure and, if not tomorrow, then expect more downside next week.  

SPY DAILY/TF is the Futures on the Russell 2000 index and already this morning we're back to 1,097, which is up $1,700 per contract (see how easy this is?) from our 1,080 entry and just a little shy of our expected weak bounce.  

We do expect resistance at 1,100 so this is a good time to take profits off the table and we can go long again over that line or flip to the S&P Futures (/ES) over 1,950 or Nasdaq (/NQ) over 4,000 or the Dow (/YM) over 16,800.  As long as they are all performing, we can be confident on the long side. 

As we discussed with our Members earlier this morning, there's no particular reason to get bullish – this is just a technical bounce we expect off our 5% lines per our 5% Rule™ and, if they trun out to be weak bounces, then we can expect another 2.5-5% of downside next week.  That means we can use those same index lines to go short if they fail as we would to go long if they succeed this morning – that will be all up to the Non-Farm Payroll Report at
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Thrilling Thursday – Can Super Mario Save the Markets?

SPY 5 MINUTEWheeeeeee - What a ride!

As with skiing, a nice drop can be lots of fun – if you are ready for it.  If not, things can get broken…  Supports were broken yesterday as we lost the 200-Day Moving Average on the NYSE (10,600) and the 50 dma on the Dow (16,930), Nasdaq (4,500) and the S&P (1,975).  

We lost the Russell ages ago, when we made our Death Cross so "told you so" on that one.  As I said at the time (9/16):

Of course, we've been telling you for weeks now that the markets were toppy but at least now it's getting obvious.  The Fed may still pull a rabbit out of its ass and goose the markets once again but I very much doubt anything is going to stop the eventual correction now.  Delay, maybe – stop, no.

Our trade idea that day in our morning post that day was:

If, however, you buy just $2,500 worth of the of the TZA Oct $13/16 bull call spread at $1 (25 contracts), they will pay you back $7,500 if TZA goes up about 15% (just a 5% move up in the RUT) AND they don't lose all their money until TZA is down 10% (a 3% move up in the RUT).  

That trade is already 110% in the money and on it's way for a $5,000 per unit gain (200%) – a very nice way to hedge what is, so far, less than a 10% pullback in our indexes.  What we do, once these hedges go in the money (if we're still bearish) is add another layer of hedges at higher strikes and we put a stop on our original hedges to lock in those gains.  That's where we are now as we begain playing for a bounce yesterday in our Live Member Chat Room (you can join us HERE).  

This morning, we're waiting on Draghi to wave his magic stimulus wand and stop the market slide but I'm not sure he can
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Weakening Wednesday – Market Picture Begins to Look Grim

This is not pretty.

As you can see on our Big Chart, we've failed the 50 dma on the S&P, Nasdaq, NYSE and Russell and the Russell failed its 200 dma long ago.  We're still waiting for the Dow to cross below 16,940 and confirm the carnage but we made those bets long ago with our DXD Oct $24 calls, which are now 0.70 (up 55%) from our 0.45 entry back on 9/18.

In fact, we already took 1/2 of those calls off the table at 0.85 last week so, essentially, the remainder is a free put option on the Dow for the next three weeks – with DXD at $24.45, so we gain every penny from here on up as the Dow falls.  

That's what hedges are supposed to do, of course.  We discussed that in yesterday's Live Trading Webinar, where we also demonstrated a live Futures trade on the Russell (/TF Futures) that made $500 on the 2:30 bounce.  That bounce was very easy to predict because THE MARKET IS MANIPULATED and all we had to do was wait for the same fake spike that we get at the end of every quarter, courtesy of the Fed and their fellow Banksters:

SPY  5  MINUTEWhat's scary about yesterday's flood of money ($230Bn in two days) wasn't just the size of the pump job, but the ineffectiveness of it.  The volume was still anemic and declining shares outpaced advancing shares by almost 2:1 in yesterday's "mixed" trading.  

In reality, it wasn't mixed at all as big traders took advantage of every penny that moved into the market as they told their brokers to sell, SELL!!!

Still, it's not the end of the World just yet – only close to it, and we can still turn this puppy around by holding the line on the Dow as well as Russell 1,100 and Nasdaq 4,500.  This market has been amazingly resiliant in 2014 so we're not going to be complacently bearish the same way we (thank goodness) did not let ourselves get complacently bullish this summer.  


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Testy Tuesday – Dressing the Windows at our Bounce Lines

First, the big news:

EBAY has finally agreed to spin off PayPal and that's going to give us a nice boost in our Income Portfolio (which we fortunately just adjusted more aggressive yesterday) and EBAY has been on our Buy List (Members Only) since 5/20, when they were testing $50 and, as I said to our Members when I predicted an earnings beat in July:

Paypal, Paypal and Paypal.  They should beat the .68 expectations (.63 last year) and all of last year they traded in the $50s, so why should they be below it now when they are making $3 a year (p/e 16.7)?  Compared to the rest of the market, this thing is a real bargain!  

They beat by a penny and, as you can see from the chart, that was enough to kick them up 10% and we recently got a nice re-entry at $50, when we took advantage of the spike down to sell more 2016 $50 puts for $5.50 which were up 15% at $4.80 at yesterday's close – not bad for a month's work and they should be up 30% by the end of today!  

Today we will see an all-out effort to keep the markets afloat so the books on Q3 can be spun positive by the Banksters, who have Trillions of Dollars riding on the outcome.  

Of course, we KNOW that no Bankster would ever attempt to manipulate the Market, or LIBOR, or Currencies, or Ratings…  Well, not if they knew for a fact they would get caught AND the punishment was more than a slap on the wrist, anyway.  Thank goodness, that never happens.

As you can see from our Big Chart, the S&P came to a rest right on the 50 dma at 1,977 so that's the do or die line for the day while it's 4,495 on the Nasdaq.  On the Dow we want to see 17,100 taken back and the NYSE needs to hold 10,750 while the poor, beleagured Russell just needs to hold that 1,110 line.  Officially, our bounce lines remain:

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Monday’s Mixed Signals – Time to Dress the Windows?

SPY DAILYWheeee, what a ride!  

We're up, we're down and over and out – but That's Life in the markets, right?  Life is being good to our Short-Term Portfolio, now up 59.2% for the year as we caught the bearish move very nicely.  Because our STP was up, we have, so far, been able to ride out our long-term positions but we're certainly concerned about a major breakdown possibly in the works.  

As noted by Dave Fry in his SPY chart, that 50 dma is a big point of contention now and of course we're going to get a bounce off a line like that.  In fact, the new lows we hit at the end of the week led us to recalculate our bounce lines for this week and now we are looking for:

  • Dow - 17,000 (weak) and 17,100 (strong) 
  • S&P  1,975 (weak) and 1,985 (strong)
  • Nasdaq 4,475 (weak) and 4,500 (strong)
  • NYSE  10,760 (weak) and 10,820 (strong)
  • Russell 1,125 (weak) and 1,140 (strong)

SPY 5 MINUTEWe weren't too convinced by Friday's low-volume rally and we aren't going to be convinced by anything that happens on the last two days of the month (window dressing) but clearly any failure of those weak bounce lines is going to have us racing back to some bearish bets into the start of October (and earnings season).  

Speaking of earnings - the CEO of Macy's, Terry Lundren is not too enthusiastic about Q4.  After…
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Zero Hedge

The US-Saudi Relationship (Summed Up In 1 Cartoon)

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

With President Obama shunning Bibi and cutting short his India trip (along with Michelle) to meet new Saudi Arabian King Salman (dementia and all), we thought this cartoon summed up the relationship between America and its oil-exporting ally...

h/t ForexLive

...

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Phil's Favorites

US Special Forces in Mariupol?

Courtesy of Mish.

The rebel attack on Mariupol, Ukraine is underway as noted earlier today in Attack on Mariupol Begins; 7,000-8,000 Ukrainian Forces Nearly Encircled in Northern Cauldron; US Sends Army Trainers.

Disinformation regarding the attack is running rampant, even bordering on the outright ridiculous.

For example, a reader sent me a link to Ukraine@War, a UK website that made these claims regarding Mariupol:

  1. "This is done by RUSSIAN rocket launchers, with RUSSIAN rockets, by soldiers speaking RUSSIAN, running RUSSIAN flags on their vehicles and with RUSSIAN emblems on their sleeves..."
  2. Russian Major-General Vyaznikov is relocating his HQ...



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Chart School

World Markets Update: The Surge Accelerates

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Seven of eight indexes on my world market watch list posted weekly gains, with the three European indexes topping the list, thanks to the ECB's QE. France's CAC 40 was up 5.96%, Germany's DAX rose 4.74% and the UK's FTSE 100 gained 4.31%. But the list of big winners extended beyond Europe. The three Asia-Pacific Indexes posted gains ranging from 3.10% to 4.11%. The S&P 500 was the poorest performer of the weekly winners, but its 1.60% gain snapped a three-week losing streak. China's Shanghai Composite posted the only weekly loss, down a modest -0.73%.

Here is a overlay of the eight for a sense of their comparative performance so far in 2015.

Here is a table of the 2015 data performance, sorted from high to low, along with the interim highs for the eight indexes. Seven of the eight indexes in the green at this ea...



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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

Sector Detector: New Year kicks off with new fears to keep investors on edge

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

As widely expected, the New Year has begun with plenty of volatility on high trading volume, as investors fear more than just a mild correction to start out the year. Despite the strong fundamentals here in the U.S., there are plenty of dangers around the rest of the world, and many fear that our cozy comfort at home simply cannot remain insulated for much longer.

In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, review our weekly fundamentals-based SectorCast rankings of the ten U.S. business sectors, and then offer up some actionable trading ideas, including a sector rotation strategy using ETFs and an enhanced version using top-ranked stocks from the top-ranked sectors.

Market overview:

I...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of January 19th, 2015

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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Market Shadows

Are You Trading or Gambling?

ARE YOU TRADING OR GAMBLING?

An interview with John Ehlers of Stock Spotter and Mesa Software

By Ilene

Ilene: John, in our last discussion about trading systems in general and yours in particular (Can trading be reduced to cycles, stresses and vibrations?) you mentioned Monte Carlo simulations and their use in measuring performance. Can you explain more about how you measure the performance of a trading system?

John: Let's start with comparing trading with gambling. The two have several things in common.  In both ...



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Digital Currencies

Jitters After Bitcoin Exchange Suspends Services

So as I was saying yesterday (Bitcoin: The Biggest Clown Show In History?), Bitcoin has several obstacles on the path to potential success as an alternative currency. But I forgot to mention hacking and theft at Bitcoin exchanges and other technical problems. This is related to the lack of government backing and the fact that the value of Bitcoins is based entirely on confidence.  

Jitters After Bitcoin Exchange Suspends Services 

By 



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Pharmboy

2015 - Biotech Fever

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

PSW Members - well, what a year for biotechs!   The Biotech Index (IBB) is up a whopping 40%, beating the S&P hands down!  The healthcare sector has had a number of high flying IPOs, and beat the Tech Sector in total nubmer of IPOs in the past 12 months.  What could go wrong?

Phil has given his Secret Santa Inflation Hedges for 2015, and since I have been trying to keep my head above water between work, PSW, and baseball with my boys...it is time that something is put together for PSW on biotechs in 2015.

Cancer and fibrosis remain two of the hottest areas for VC backed biotechs to invest their monies.  A number of companies have gone IPO which have drugs/technologies that fight cancer, includin...



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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 user name and password. 

 

...

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Option Review

SPX Call Spread Eyes Fresh Record Highs By Year End

Stocks got off to a rocky start on the first trading day in December, with the S&P 500 Index slipping just below 2050 on Monday. Based on one large bullish SPX options trade executed on Wednesday, however, such price action is not likely to break the trend of strong gains observed in the benchmark index since mid-October. It looks like one options market participant purchased 25,000 of the 31Dec’14 2105/2115 call spreads at a net premium of $2.70 each. The trade cost $6.75mm to put on, and represents the maximum potential loss on the position should the 2105 calls expire worthless at the end of December. The call spread could reap profits of as much as $7.30 per spread, or $18.25mm, in the event that the SPX ends the year above 2115. The index would need to rally 2.0% over the current level...



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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 jennifersurovy@yahoo.com 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.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-get-shadowfax-out-from-the-darkness-of-medical-bills-/126743

Thank you for you time!




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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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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.

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