Phil's Newsletter

Wednesday’s Worldwide Market Worries – A Quick Tour

So, what next?

Yesterday we had a bit of a dip, but nothing tragic and this morning Europe is down half a point (China closed all week and Japan is just silly) on TERRIBLE PMI reports across the board and the PMI for the EuroZone hit 20-month lows  indicating growth has slowed to its weakest levels since before the ECB unleashed its stimulus program in March of last year.

Now we know how long massive stimulus can prop up the markets – 20 months – then the clear failure resumes.  Once again it is obvious that the UK's Brexit was merely the first rat with the good sense to get off a sinking ship.    

We all know about Deutsche Bank's (DB) horrific troubles but Credit Suisse (CS) are down from $27.50 a share last summer to $13.39 at yesterday's close and while we may have some faith that Germany will ride in and save the day for DB, who is going to bail out CS if they run into trouble?  The entire GDP of Switzerland is $685Bn, not even enough to cover CS's derivative exposure – even if the Swiss were inclined to bail out what is essentially a European Bank that grew out of their small country (8M people). 

Europe is actually in a great deal of turmoil with Germany, France and Spain all with pending elections while Italy is voting on a constitutional referendum in December, which would radically alter their Government and pave their own path to exit the EU.  That's why we've seen the ECB capitulating a bit this week and saying perhaps it is time to "normalize" rates as EU savers, unlike US savers, are good at math and understand the damage that ZIRP is doing to their retirement accounts.  

Image result for spain government turmoilSpain doesn't even have a Government at the moment and hasn't had one all year, since the PM Rajoy miscalculated and called for an election, in which his party failed to gain a large enough majority to re-elect him.  After two grueling national elections in six months, and with a third vote possible in December, no party has won enough seats or forged the coalition needed to form a government.  But, after trudging
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Testy Tuesday – Waiting for those Shoes to Drop

Well, something is going to happen.

As you can see from Afraid to Trade's S&P 500 (SPY) chart, we're clearly forming a Triangle Squeezy +Thingy Patten on the index and that's bound to lead to something dramatic in the pretty near future.  How's that for technical analysis? 

As noted yesterday morning, when I was interviewed over at the Nasdaq, we're still a bit skeptical of these low-volume moves up and, Fundamentally, we just don't see a good reason to go long here.  In fact, just this morning, I put out an Alert to our Members saying:

On the indexes, the strong Dollar should knock us down a bat at 18,200 (/YM), 2,160 (/ES), 2,875 (/NQ) and 1,250 (/TF) so watch those lines and short the 4th if 3 go below with very tight stops if ANY go back over.  Can't use /NKD (16,800) because they love a strong Dollar. 

We're also loading up on Coffee (/KC) at $1.475 and Natural Gas (/NG) at $2.875 this morning – those are two longs we also have long-term plays on in the ETFs (JO), (UNG) in our Member Portfolios.  See last week's Live Trading Webinar for commentary on both of those trades. 

I also tweeted it out (you can follow me here) along with news and market comments so I'm not not going to repeat that stuff and we can move on and discuss some other things that matter, like this year's 20% melt-down in the British Pound which is now causing the FTSE to lead European markets higher which is, of course, ridiculous because the FTSE stocks are priced in Pounds so they are really only going higher because the currency is worth less (worthless?) than it was before.

Don't forget another Goldman Sachs (GS) stooge, Mark Carney, is running the Bank of England into the ground, which is extra interesting as he's Canadian.  So, if you are British and you saved all your life and last year you had 1,550,000 Million Pounds in the bank – you've gotten 0% interest and now your remaining…
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Monday Market Movement – Stormy Weather Ahead

Oil spiked this morning

Back to $48.87 (/CL) in part due to the supposed OPEC deal to make a deal in December and in part because Hurricane Matthew is flirting with category 5 and heading towards the Gulf of Mexico, where it threatens a lot of production and will disrupt imports heading that way.  At the moment – it's projected to turn north and graze Florida's East Coast, where it would instead become an insurance nightmare.  

We took the opportunity to double down on our oil Futures shorts (see last week's Live Trading Webinar) and we'll keep an eye on the Oil ETF (USO) for an opportunity to add more Nov $12 puts at $1 if we get a good spike up.  Nothing Fundamental has changed in the oil market – just a lot of sound and fury giving the bulls a bit of hope this morning.

We already took the money and ran on our other Futures Webinar play on Coffee (/KC), picking up $600 per contract on the quick spike higher and we're still long on the ETF (JO), which we picked last month at $20 (now $22.20) when I was on at the Nasdaq and I'll be back there this morning for another interview with another pick.

Friday's rally was, as we expected way back last Monday, driven by Fed Speak and UNSUBSTANTIATED rumors that Deutsche Bank (DB) was settling with the DOJ for "just" $5Bn but German law is such that, if there were actually a settlement, they would have had to report it in 24 hours and they didn't so we'll have to see how much of Friday's 14% rally will unwind as we drift back to uncertainty and then we have to wonder how much of the Financial ETF (XLF)'s 1.5% rally will be given back and then we have to wonder how much of the S&P (SPY)'s 1% rally will be given back.  

So that's on our plate for today and the Fed is still spinning plates this week with 9 speeches this week but 3 of them are super-hawk Jeff Lacker for some reason and he gets the first at-bat tomorrow (8am) and then 1pm and 5pm…
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Federally Faked Friday – Fed Helps Dress the Windows to End the Quarter

Image result for janet yellen money printingWhat a scam! 

As soon as the market drops, Yellen drops a bombshell, saying last night that:  "The Federal Reserve might be able to help the U.S. economy in a future downturn if it could buy stocks and corporate bonds.  It could be useful to be able to intervene directly in assets where the prices have a more direct link to spending decisions," she said, adding that buying equities and corporate bonds could have costs and benefits.  Currently, the Fed does not have the power to buy equities directly – but they want it!  

And if that wasn't enough Fed manipulation for one day, now Fed Gov Kaplan will be unleashed at 1pm and he was not scheduled when we looked on Monday.  Kaplan is from Dallas, which is still depressed, and he's a big dove AND he's a former Goldman Sachs (GS) executive, so guess what's going to happen at 1pm?  Kaplan is the guy who replaced the hawkish Fisher and had a lot to do with knocking back Fed rate expectations this year.  Fisher was was very against QE3 and also was the only guy on the Fed who saw the housing crisis coming.  He was "retired" last year at 64 and replaced by a Goldman stooge. 

Image result for trump top 1%And why shouldn't the Fed buy stocks?  The Bank of Japan is already the largest shareholder of 70% of the listed companies and look how well that's working for Japan.  After all, when your Central Bank buys stocks at ridiculous multiples near their all-time highs – how can they lose?  Even if the stock goes down, they write off the loss and it becomes part of the National Debt and the Bottom 99% pay it off – either way the Top 1% people and corporations get another massive transfer of wealth.  Go Top 1%.  

That chart, by the way, shows the MINIMUM amount you need to be in the club so, next time you are at an event, watch out for posers…  It turns out that most of the Top 10% THINK they are in the Top 1% and vote like they are in the Top 1% – even
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Thursday Thrust – OPEC Cuts Back and Yellen Doesn’t Raise

Well, we got through Wednesday.  

I love this chart which shows what the Fed has, in the past, SAID rates would be and what, in fact, they actually were for the past 3 years.  So it's not too surprising that, no matter what Yellen and Co. say about raising rates this year – no one is going to believe them.  If you bet against rates rising every single time (20) that the Fed said they would be raising rates in an upcoming meeting – you only would have been wrong once – last December.  

There are new traders who have been on the job for 7 years now and have never seen a Fed Fund Rate at 1%.  Money is essentially free if you want it – that's just a fact of life – why would you plan for anything else?  If you want to expand – borrow money, if you want to buy out a competitor – borrow money, if your stock price is too low – borrow money to buy it yourself.  

Image result for corporate debt 2016

Non-Financial Corporate Debt is up $3 TRILLION since 2008 – and that is just the S&P 500 – globally, 16Tn has been borrowed by Corporations at a rate of $2Tn per year, 3% of our Global GDP is borrowed!  It took 50 years for corporations to rack up their first $3Tn in debt but the next $3Tn came in just 8 years.  Yes, of course the first $3Tn in debt led to a complete meltdown of the Global markets as companies found themselves unable to service that debt but this time is different – because they borrowed twice as much…  

US-SP-Distress-ratio-2013-2015Less than 25% of that debt is considered "distressed" (yields that exceed Treasury yields by at least 10 percentage points), that's nothing to be alarmed about, is it?  Only 112 companies have been declared in default by S&P as of January of this year but, in 2008, it was 125 – so we still have room to improve on that front before panic sets in.  We have a long position on SJB ($25) in our Options Opportunity Portfolio, which makes money when junk bonds…
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Window Dressing Wednesday – Quarterly Crash Ahead?

We're just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Yellen testifies before Congress this morning (10) but while she's doing that, both Jay Powell and Jim Bullard will be speaking at a Conference of State Bank Supervisors and, in case that's not enough to whip the market up and down 100 points, we have Durable Goods at 8:30 and Oil Inventories at 10:30, a 7-Year Note Auction at 1pm and the Charlie Evans speaks at 1:30 followed by Loretta Mester at 4:30 and Esther George at 7:15.  I'm sure by then we'll have a very clear picture of what's going on {end sarcasm font}.  

Meanwhile, we were happy to hear yesterday that the Saxo Group has finally (9 months later) caught up to our Trade of the Year idea on Natural Gas (UNG), saying:

Natural gas is being supported by an eroding supply glut and a potential tightening in 2017. Our breakout model has given a buy signal in natural gas today on the continuation chart above $2.998/therm.

Isn't that nice?  I couldn't agree more, our target is $4 in Jan 2018 but, sadly, you missed the easy meal we made for you last December, when, after choosing /NG for our Members, I laid out our long case in the morning post on Dec 8th, while it was still below $2, saying:

Our UNG play is proprietary to our Options Opportunity players but I'm happy to help you play along with Carl and the way I would set up an LNG play is as follows:

  • Buy 10 2017 $30 calls for $14.60 ($14,600) 

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Testy Tuesday – Trump Slumps, OPEC Dumps

What a crazy morning already!

As you can see, the S&P rocketed 20 points higher as Hillary put those Trump fears to rest during the debate last night and the markets had a huge relief rally but then, at the European open (3am), Deutsche Bank (DB) continued the 10% slide that was saved by the bell at yesterday's close and the EU markets followed down about 1% (so far).  No, in addition to DB having issues, Germany's 2nd largest bank, Commerzbank, announced it would lay off 18% of it's workforce (9,000 employees) in a massive restructuring.  Sure folks – everything is just fine – don't panic….

Already the market is lower than we were ahead of the Fed on Wednesday and it turns out I was a few day's early with my market prediction but, honestly, it wasn't hard to call as they've tried FREE MONEY for 8 years now and it hasn't worked yet and it won't work now because they are giving the money to the wrong people. 

As Hillary said last night, "trickle down economics has not worked in the past and it will not work in the future" THOSE are the failed policies of the past we can't afford to repeat.  If we want to turn the global economy around, we need to engage in some massive infrastructure projects that consumer materials and put people to work building things that last and have long-term beneficial effects on society like roads, bridges, aqueducts, electrical grids, forest reclamation, carbon reduction…  These are not whimsical things – these are all things we NEED and have been putting off.  

Rather than give another $6Tn to the Banksters to buy another 8 years of stagnation – why not give $6Tn to the people and see what they can do with it?  Instead, we are dooming the Bottom 90% to years of ZERO return on their meager savings, giving them no chance whatsoever of retiring in sound financial shape.  Even that isn't far enough and, as you can see on this chart, $7 TRILLION Dollars worth of debt (and that was Q1) is "paying" a NEGATIVE yield – we are punishing people for saving money –
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Monday Market Manipulation – 12 Fed Speakers This Week!

A divided Fed speaks!  

Last Wednesday, the Fed released the most divisive statement in many years with 3 Governors (Geoge, Mester and Rosengren), all of whom have expressed the opinion that the Fed needs to tighten now and stop dithering around.  Sadly, other than Bullard, the hawks are vastly outnumbered this week and the last word goes to Grandma Dove, Yellen, who rides in at 5pm on Thursday to help dress those windows for the last day of the quarter.  

If you think that makes it all seem like a gigantic, manipulated scam – you are catching on!  Notice the only hawk allowed to speak during trading hours is Bullard and he speaks right ahead of a 7-year note auction – a time when the Fed WANTS to scare investors back to the bond market.  There's a very strong correlation between days our Government needs to borrow money (bond auctions) and days when the market falls – making it look unattractive by comparison – even against 2% 10-year notes.  

Image result for debt to gdp by country 2015How else do you think a country can go over 100% of it's GDP into debt and still borrow money at rates that don't even keep up with inflation?  There has to be FEAR somewhere, but you sure wouldn't know it from record-high stock indexes, would you?  Keep in mind that being in debt 100% of your GDP is like you being 100% of your gross salary in debt, before taxes.  

If you make $100,000 and lose $35,000 to taxes and have a $2,000 mortgage ($24,000) and $1,500 in monthly home expenses (taxes, insurance, utilities, groceries), that's $18,000 and maybe you have 2 cars for $1,000 month ($12,000) which leaves you with $11,000 in discretionary income and THAT is what you have to pay back your $110,000 of debt.

Then there's interest on the debt.  If it's just 1%, like the US debt, then you are paying $1,100 in interest but that's still 10% of your disposable income.  What happens if rates go up – what will you be sacrificing?  Also, how's that saving for college and retirement going?  No wonder 80% of American families have little or no retirement savings – this is the example for
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Friday Threat – China’s $2.1 Trillion Debt Bomb is Ticking Away

Image result for china non performing loans 2016Yes, China again.  

Don't blame me, blame Ambrose Pritchard, who decided today would be a good day to talk about China's continuing bad debt crisis, with non-performing loans now approaching 20% of all loans and that number would be much WORSE if it were not for the fact that overall loan growth jumped 25% this year, from $8Tn to over $10Tn.  That made the $2.1Tn in bad loans shrink back from 25% of $8Tn to "just" 20% of $10Tn – see, problem solved!  

The longer debt grows, the greater the risk of asset quality and liquidity shocks to the banking system,” said Fitch. "Capital shortfalls are currently 11% to 20% of GDP, but this threatens to hit 33% in a worst case scenario by the end of 2018.  Defaults in China could lead to mutual credit guarantees in the background pulling other firms into distress. A large increase in real defaults risks triggering a chain of bankruptcies that magnifies the potential for financial instability,” it said.

Image result for china loan crisisTo put that in perspective, the losses we endured in the 2008/9 crisis added up to 8% of the US and Europe's GDP and we're still recovering from that!  Overall public debt is now 55% of China's GDP and China's A+ debt rating may also be in danger.  An attempt to reform the system last year led to an over 40% collapse in the Chinese market last summer and it's been hands off ever since and the banks and corporations have gone hog wild at the debt trough.  

Overall credit in China is now 243% of their GDP, up 100% since 2008 so their 7% annual GDP growth over 7 years (49%) has been paid for by a 120% increase in debt.  Once could extrapolate then, that had China not gone MASSIVELY into debt, their economy would be contracting faster than Japan's and do you know who went MASSIVELY into debt to stave off a recession 20 years ago?  JAPAN!!!

If China were to dedicate 10% of their GDP to paying down their debt and their debt was completely interest-free, it would take
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Faulty Logic Thursday – Bill Gross and I are Verklempt

Verklempt:  so shocked and overwhelmed that we cannot speak

That's the reaction Bill Gross and I had to the FOMC statement yesterday (and you can hear our LIVE reporting at the time in our Webinar Replay).  CNBC says Steve Leasman was also verklempt as that Fed report was indeed shocking.  Yes, we knew they might not raise rates (but I was sure enough to make it yesterday's headline that they wouldn't) but we didn't think they would LOWER their rate forecast by 30% over the next 3 years – that was STUNNING! 

Note the red numbers highlighting the changes on the projected Federal Funds Rates – that was the shocker in yesterday's report and that was why I was wrong yesterday – because we were supposed to end the year at 0.9% average and that means we NEEDED to hike now because putting off the hike wouldn't give it time to get the average in line with the Fed's targets – it did not occur to Bill Gross or I that they would suddenly lower the targets.  

This is not just putting off one raise, this is putting of 1/3 of all potential raises for the next 36 months and, before you grab your pompoms to celebrate infinite free money – think about the reason they are taking this action.   Look at the top of that chart – long-term GDP projections are down 10%, from 2% to 1.8% – how is that a good thing?  Inflation is 2% so the only "growth" in our economy is inflationary growth – that's pathetic!  

us-pension-funds-corporate-funding-gapNot as pathetic as Japan (yet) where the new crime against savers by the Central Banksters is being called "Yield Curve Control" where the BoJ will target 0% yield for the 10-year Japanese Government Bond, which had been negative for months. So it’s trying to push up the 10-year yield a smidgen. Shorter maturities would still sport a negative yield. This would steepen the yield curve. In effect, the BoJ will control the yield curve.  By the end of next year, it might own 50% of all JGBs.  As noted by Wolf Richter:  

"Why even pretend there’s still a bond market?  Maybe it’s just for

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Zero Hedge

Trump Properties Around The Globe Just Became Priority Terror Targets, Experts Say

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Just this morning a "progressive" watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York alleging that President Trump is violating the constitution by owning business interests around the globe that are receiving payments from foreign governments (we covered it here:  "Ethics Group Will Sue Trump On Monday Over Foreign Government Payments"). 


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George Soros Donated $90 Million to Groups Behind DC Women's March

By insidesources. Originally published at ValueWalk.

On Saturday, crowds of women in knitted pink “pussy hats” crowded the streets of cities around the country to voice their dissatisfaction with newly-inaugurated Donald Trump. In Washington, D.C., the largest of the marches across the country was even bigger than the inauguration crowd the day prior. Like other recent left-leaning demonstrations, the Women’s March described itself as a grassroots effort coordinated by many local leaders. However, a look at its website shows that the march has numerous ties to groups receiving significant financial support from left-leaning philanthropist George Soros.

George Soros Photo by Norway UN (New York) ...

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Phil's Favorites

Another Australia Home Builder Goes Bust

Courtesy of Mish.

Since June, at lest six home builders in Australia have gone bust. Builton Group is the latest, with 80 Homes in Limbo.

Burswood-based builder Builton Group, which trades under the brands Platinum Homes and Aspireon Homes, seems poised to join the growing list of residential builders in Western Australia gone bust.

WAtoday understands around 80 homebuyers could be impacted, with approximately 50 homes under construction and around 20 to 30 at the pre-start stage.

Calls to its offices on Friday went unanswered – and WAtoday...

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Chart School

Russell 2000 Turns Net Bearish Technically

Courtesy of Declan.

It was another day of modest change with little real turn in bullish/bearish outlook.  The Russell 2000 was the only one index to mark a technical change with a net bearish switch in technicals (MACD, Slow Stochastics, On-Balance-Volume).

There wasn't much to add for other indices. The S&P finished with a narrow doji on its 20-day MA. Technicals were little changed.


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Phil's Stock World's Las Vegas Conference!


18 people have signed up, but it's not too late to join in!

Learn option strategies and how to be the house and not the gambler. That's especially apropos since we'll be in Vegas....

Join us for the Phil's Stock World's Conference in Las Vegas!

Date:  Sunday, Feb 12, 2017 and Monday Feb 13, 2017            

Beginning Time:  9:30 to 10:00 am Sunday morning

Location: Caesars Palace in Las Vegas


Caesars has tentatively offered us rooms for $189 on Saturday night and $129 for Sunday night. However, we have to sign the contract ASAP. We n...

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Digital Currencies

As China Slaps Fees On Bitcoin Trades, Japan Monthly Volumes Soar by 8,900%

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

There is one reason why bitcoin quickly became the darling of HFT and various high speed algo traders operating out of China and the rest of the world: domestic transactions were "frictionless", as there were no fees on buys or sells. Until last night, that is, because as China's three largest bitcoin exchanges, BTCC, Huobi and OkCoin, all said in separate statements on their websites late on Sunday, starting Tuesday they will charge traders a flat fee of 0.2% per transaction. This is only the latest fallout from the recent crackdown on Chinese bitcoin exchanges whose activities have drawn increased scrutiny from the centra...

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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

OPEC and Friends Agree on Way to Monitor Oil Cut to End Glut (Bloomberg)

OPEC and other oil producers agreed on a way to monitor their compliance with last month’s historic supply deal, putting global markets on track to re-balance after more than two years of oversupply.

Wall Street stocks set to slip as Trump keeps investors on the back foot (Market Watch)

U.S. stock futures tilted south on Monday as global markets grappled with uncertainty over the policies of U.S. President Dona...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of January 23rd, 2017

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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Kimble Charting Solutions

Post Christmas- Gold Miners & Metals the place to be!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Christmas is now nearly one month ago, how time flies. Ole Santa has been taking a rest and so far over the past month, the S&P 500 has done the same. Not so much for a few other high flying assets!


Since the first day of trading after the Christmas break, the broad market has been pretty quiet, up .23%. Bonds (TLT) and the Euro (FXE) have made a little bit more than the broad markets.

The Metals Sector has done pretty well since Christmas, as Gold ...

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Insider Scoop

Earnings: Last Call for Yahoo? Johnson & Johnson, Alibaba Also Release This Week

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Earnings season kicks into high gear this week with a number of big names reporting. Among the Monday releases, YYahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) will report what may be its last quarterly earnings numbers, as its pending acquisition by Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), announced in July 2016, moves toward completion.  

On Tuesday before the opening bell, pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and Chinese e-commerce heavyweight ... more from Insider

Members' Corner

How To Poop At Work?

Courtesy of Nattering Naybob.

Once again it's "in the Toilet Thursday" or "Thursday's in the Loo". 

In our last episode, How to Poop On A Date? we were graced with a delicate shituation: what ever to do when your finally back at her place, snuggling in for a little "brown chicken brown cow" and you get hit with "Love Potion #2".

This week in How to Poop At Work? ,what to do when your at a big fancy pants meeting, when out of nowhere, you need to download a brown load?


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Mapping The Market

If we try it enough, it will work.

Via Jean-Luc

Brownback wants Trump to emulate what he did in Kansas because it worked so well:

Sam Brownback Calls on Donald Trump to Mimic His Kansas Tax Plan


Sam Brownback, the Kansas governor whose tax cuts brought him political turmoil, recurring budget holes and sparse evidence of economic success, has a message for President-elect Donald Trump: Do what I did.

In 2013, Mr. Brownback set out to create a lean, business-friendly government in his state that other Republicans could replicate. He now faces a $350 million deficit when the Kansas legislature convenes in January and projections of a larger one in 2018. The state’s economy is flat and his party is fractured...


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The Medicines Company: Insider Buying

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

I'm seeing huge insider buying in the biotech company The Medicines Company (MDCO). The price has already moved up around 7%, but these buys are significant, in the millions of dollars range. ~ Ilene




Insider transaction table and buying vs. selling graphic above from

Chart below from


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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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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.

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