Author Archive for Zero Hedge

Why Is The DOJ Downplaying Reports Of Proof Linking Obama And Clinton To Russian Corruption

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Following the release of the identity of the FBI informant, Justice Department officials in recent days said that informant William Campbell’s prior work won’t shed much light on the U.S. government’s controversial decision in 2010 to approve Russia’s purchase of the Uranium One mining company and its substantial U.S. assets.

However, The Hill's John Solomon has reviewed 1000s of new memos from an FBI informant that clearly show illegal activity surrounding a Russian plot to corner the American uranium market, ranging from corruption inside a U.S. nuclear transport company to Obama administration approvals that let Moscow buy and sell more atomic fuels.

FBI informant Campbell, acting as a consultant trying to help Rosatom overcome political opposition to the Uranium One deal, gathered evidence for six years, and, according to the more than 5,000 pages of documents from the counterintelligence investigation, there are a number of evidenciary links betweeen corrupt Russians, President Obama, and Hillary Clinton…

The Hill's John Solomon details that Campbell documented for his FBI handlers the first illegal activity by Russians nuclear industry officials in fall 2009, nearly a entire year before the Russian state-owned Rosatom nuclear firm won Obama administration approval for the Uranium One deal.

“The attached article is of interest as I believe it highlights the ongoing resolve in Russia to gradually and systematically acquire and control global energy resources,” Rod Fisk, an American contractor colleage working for the Russians, wrote in a June 24, 2010 email to Campbell.

Part of the goal was to make Americans more reliant on Russian uranium before a program that converted former Soviet warheads into U.S. nuclear fuel expired in 2013, according to documents and interviews. Russia's ambitions including building a uranium enrichment facility on U.S. soil, the documents show.

The FBI task force supervising Campbell since 2008 watched as the Obama administration made more than a half dozen decisions favorable to the Russian’s plan, which ranged from approving the sale of Uranium One to removing Rosatom from export restrictions and making it easier for Moscow to win billions in new commercial uranium sales contracts.  The favorable decisions occurred during a


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Bubble Dynamics and Market Crashes

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by James Rickards via The Daily Reckoning,

To paraphrase one of the great gems of Wall Street wisdom, “Nothing infuriates a man more than the sight of other people making money.”

That’s a pretty good description of what happens during the late stage of a stock market bubble.

The bubble participants are making money (at least on a mark-to-market basis) every day.

Meanwhile, the more patient, prudent investor is stuck on the sidelines – allocated to cash or low-risk investments while watching everyone else have fun. This is especially true today when the bubble is not confined to the stock market but includes exotic sideshows like crypto-currencies and Chinese real estate.

It gets even worse when investors are taunted by headlines like the one in a recent article, “Investors Can Either Buy Bubbles or Be Left Far Behind.” The article is a case study in the “Bubblicious Portfolio.” Infuriating indeed. Actually it should not be.

On a risk-adjusted basis, the prudent investor is not missing much.

When markets go up 10%, 20% or more in short periods, market participants think of their gains as money in the bank. Yet, that’s not true unless you sell and cash out of the market. Few do this because they’re afraid to “miss out” on continued gains.

The problem comes when the bubble bursts and losses of 30%, 40% or more pile up quickly. Investors tell themselves they’ll be smart enough to get out in time, but that’s not true either.

Typically investors don’t believe the tape. They “buy the dips,” (which keep dipping lower), then they refuse to sell until they “get back to even,” which can take ten years. These are predictable behaviors of real investors caught up in real bubbles.

It’s better just to diversity, build up a cash reserve, have some gold for catastrophe insurance, and then wait out the bubble crowd. When the crash comes, which it always does, you’ll be well positioned to shop for high-quality bargains amid the rubble. Then you’ll participate in the next long upswing without today’s risks of a sudden meltdown.

OK, so I just argued that


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Saudi Purge Claims It’s Latest Corporate Victim As Kingdom Holdings Sees $1.3 Billion Bank Deal Collapse

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

For the past couple of weeks we've written frequently about the sudden political turmoil in Saudi Arabia that resulted in two Saudi princes being killed in a span of just 24 hours and dozens others being detained on charges of corruption while having their bank accounts frozen.  Here are couple of our most recent background posts on the topic:

Now, per an exclusive report from Reuters, it appears as though the latest casualty of the Saudi shakeup is a financing deal sought by the $8 billion dollar Kingdom Holdings which is owned and run by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal…at least until he was recently arrested that is.

Kingdom Holding’s plan to borrow money to fund new investments has stalled because owner Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has been detained in Saudi Arabia’s anti-corruption crackdown, according to four banking sources familiar with the matter.

Kingdom 4280.SE had approached banks to obtain the loan, but the financing plan has been held up because the lenders are worried about potential repercussions if they lend to the prince’s company, the sources said.

One of the sources, who was approached for the loan, said it would have been worth roughly 5 billion riyals ($1.3 billion).

SA

For those who aren't familiar with the company, Kingdom Holdings is a leading Saudi investment firm with stakes in prime real estate including New York’s Plaza Hotel and London’s Savoy Hotel.

The busted bank deal apparently surfaced after Kingdom Holdings attempted to pledge an equity position it recently acquired in Banque Saudi Fransi as collateral for a new $1.3 billion loan but several banks balked until the charges levied against Prince Alwaleed bin Talal were resolved.

Kingdom completed the acquisition of a 16.2 percent stake in local lender Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF) 1050.SE in September, buying about half of France’s Credit Agricole stake in BSF for 5.76 billion riyals.

The company approached banks to obtain a loan that would have


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Saudi Purge Claims Its Latest Corporate Victim As Kingdom Holdings Sees $1.3 Billion Bank Deal Collapse

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

For the past couple of weeks we've written frequently about the sudden political turmoil in Saudi Arabia that resulted in two Saudi princes being killed in a span of just 24 hours and dozens others being detained on charges of corruption while having their bank accounts frozen.  Here are couple of our most recent background posts on the topic:

Now, per an exclusive report from Reuters, it appears as though the latest casualty of the Saudi shakeup is a financing deal sought by the $8 billion dollar Kingdom Holdings which is owned and run by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal…at least until he was recently arrested that is.

Kingdom Holding’s plan to borrow money to fund new investments has stalled because owner Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has been detained in Saudi Arabia’s anti-corruption crackdown, according to four banking sources familiar with the matter.

Kingdom 4280.SE had approached banks to obtain the loan, but the financing plan has been held up because the lenders are worried about potential repercussions if they lend to the prince’s company, the sources said.

One of the sources, who was approached for the loan, said it would have been worth roughly 5 billion riyals ($1.3 billion).

SA

For those who aren't familiar with the company, Kingdom Holdings is a leading Saudi investment firm with stakes in prime real estate including New York’s Plaza Hotel and London’s Savoy Hotel.

The busted bank deal apparently surfaced after Kingdom Holdings attempted to pledge an equity position it recently acquired in Banque Saudi Fransi as collateral for a new $1.3 billion loan but several banks balked until the charges levied against Prince Alwaleed bin Talal were resolved.

Kingdom completed the acquisition of a 16.2 percent stake in local lender Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF) 1050.SE in September, buying about half of France’s Credit Agricole stake in BSF for 5.76 billion riyals.

The company approached banks to obtain a loan that would have


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100 Billion Reasons To Have Non-Reportable Assets

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com,

In early March 1938 in a dusty corner of the Arabian desert, Max Steineke finally had the breakthrough he was hoping for.

Steineke was the chief geologist for the California Arabian Standard Oil Company (CASOC), a venture owned by what we know today as Chevron.

And he hadn’t had a lot of success despite years of effort.

Steinke was convinced that massive oil reserves were beneath the sands. He just couldn’t find any.

His prized oil well, what was called Dammam #7, had been riddled with mishaps, accidents, and delays, and it was costing the company a LOT of money.

Steinke was about to be shut down when, finally, on March 4, the well started gushing. And Saudi Arabia was never the same.

Today oil constitutes more than half of Saudi Arabia’s GDP and more than 90% of government revenue… and it is the reason why Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s richest nations as measured by per-capita GDP.

But all that success also comes with risk: what happens when the wells run dry? Or when the oil price falls?

That’s what they’re dealing with now.

Saudi Arabia has been in and out of recession over the past few years due to the steep decline in oil prices. And the government is desperate to raise revenue.

Last year the Saudi government announced “Vision 2030,” a long-term plan to diversify its economy and reduce dependence on oil revenue.

The plan includes developments like a new beach resort on the Red Sea where women will be allowed to wear bikinis. This is pretty forward thinking, folks.

The government also announced that it will sell a portion of the national oil company, Saudi Aramco, through an IPO on a major stock exchange– a move they believe will generate $100 billion for the government.

But none of these options fixes the short-term problem. Saudi Arabia needs cash. Now.

So over the past few weeks they’ve found their source: theft.

Under the guise of a ‘corruption crackdown’, the government of Saudi Arabia has


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Watch Live: AT&T, Time Warner Respond To DOJ Anti-Trust Lawsuit

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Update (5:40 pm ET): In a statement, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson vowed to fight the DOJ's lawsuit. He said AT&T's challenge is about preserving the rule of law against an overreaching DOJ anti-trust division. He also said that, while he doesn't know for sure if the opposition is political in nature, he's not surprised that the question of whether this is a political vendetta keep coming up.

He also vowed that AT&T wouldn't divest Turner Broadcasting and CNN, calling that "a nonstarter."

"When the government suddenly discards decades of legal precedent, businesses large and small are left with no legal guidepost."

"We have no intention of proposing a solution outside of the bounds of what the rule of law would require."

"There's been a lot of reporting and speculation whether this is all about CNN. But frankly I dont know. But nobody should be surprise that the question keeps coming up because we've witnessed such an abrupt change in the application of anti-trust law here."

"Any agreement that results in us forfeiting control of CNN, whether directly or indirectly, is a nonstarter. We have no intention of backing down from the government's lawsuit."

A lawyer for AT&T also noted that Trump has been "critical" of CNN. The president of course has repeatedly accused the network of being "fake news."

Watch the news conference live below:

* * *

Update (5:20 pm ET): According to Bloomberg, a Justice Dept official says the govt’s lawsuit to block AT&T’s planned $85.4b purchase of Time Warner wasn’t influenced by President Trump or anyone else in the White House.

Several media outlets, including Buzzfeed, have noted that some executives at the companies are viewing the stipulation as a political barb aimed directly at CNN, which President Donald Trump has frequently demonized as “fake news.”

“The pro-business, pro-commerce Republican administration objects to a vertical integration with 40 years of legal precedent,” said one executive familiar with the negotiations.

* * *

Update (4:50 pm ET): Court documents have confirmed that the DOJ is suing to block the AT&T-Time Warner deal,


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DOJ Sues AT&T To Block Time Warner Deal

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Update (4:50 pm ET): Court documents have confirmed that the DOJ is suing to block the AT&T-Time Warner deal, according to several US media organizations…

Looks like the AT&T antitrust lawsuit was just filed by DOJ, but the complaint isn't available yet. Story: https://t.co/jNp1mOytnf pic.twitter.com/5PgTK6LiMP

— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) November 20, 2017

The DOJ has released a brief statement: “This merger would greatly harm American consumers. It would mean higher monthly television bills and fewer of the new, emerging innovative options that consumers are beginning to enjoy,” said Makan Delrahim the head of the department’s antitrust division.

As Reuters pointed out, the legal challenge was expected after AT&T rejected a demand by the Justice Department earlier this month to divest its DirecTV unit or Turner Broadcasting.

AT&T and Time Warner are expected to make a joint statement around 5:30 pm ET…

* * *

Update (4:20 pm ET): David R. McAtee II, Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel at AT&T, has released a statement responding to reports DOJ plans to sue to block its purchase of Time Warner.

In the statement, McAtee says he's "confident" the courts will side with AT&T..

"Today's DOJ lawsuit is a radical and inexplicable departure from decades of antitrust precedent.  Vertical mergers like this one are routinely approved because they benefit consumers without removing any competitor from the market. We see no legitimate reason for our merger to be treated differently.  

"Our merger combines Time Warner's content and talent with AT&T's TV, wireless and broadband distribution platforms.  The result will help make television more affordable, innovative, interactive and mobile.  Fortunately, the Department of Justice doesn't have the final say in this matter.  Rather, it bears the burden of proving to the U.S. District Court that the transaction violates the law.  We are confident that the Court will reject the Government's claims and permit this merger under longstanding legal precedent."

The DOJ Is expected to make a "major statement" about an anti-trust action within the hour. It's been widely reported that the AT&T-Time Warner merger will be


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Russian Oligarch Docks World’s Largest Yacht Just Down The Road From Mar-A-Lago

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Last week, special counsel Robert Muller and his team subpoenaed the Trump campaign asking campaign officials to handover Russian-related documents. The subpoena was first reported by the WSJ on Thursday, which the source said, the campaign has already turned over 20,000 documents, and was not clear why the subpoena was issued. Mueller and his team of investigators are probing for any collusion between President Trump and ‘the Russians’ during the 2016 presidential election.

Then hours later, President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner was thrust back into the spotlight of the Mueller probe, with the Senate Judiciary Committee claiming that he did not hand over all of the relevant documents needed as part of the investigation.

All of which sets the background for what appears like yet another terrible 'optic' for the Trump administration.

In a hilarious development, just days before Trump is set to arrive at his Florida resort, dubbed the "winter White House," for the Thanksgiving holiday, Putin’s ally and friend, Roman Abramovich, net worth of $9.5 billion, arrived at the Palm Beach Port , in the world’s largest yacht.

Abramovich owns London’s Chelsea Football Club and is the largest shareholder of Russia's second largest steel company.

The Eclipse, a 162.5m (length) by 22.4m (beam) monster yacht is valued at $400 million to $500 million, comes equipped with a pool, helipad, submarine and room for a crew of 92, according to my Palm Beach Post.

Down the street from the moored Russian mega yacht is Trump’s Mar-a-Lago.

According to The Hill, the FAA issued the “VIP Movement Notification” stating on Nov. 21 until Nov 26 indicating that the likelihood of President Trump being at the ‘winter White House’ is of a high probability.

First daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, have met with Abramovich and his wife before.

Bloomberg reported that Kushner disclosed his past meetings with Abramovich on his security clearance paperwork. The two have met multiple times at social events, and Ivanka Trump has been friends with Abramovich's wife for a decade.

A source told the publication that Kushner and Abramovich have never met with each other one-on-one.


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German Government Crisis Sends Stocks Soaring, Gold Down Most In 4 Months

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Following Friday's best day in 6 months, gold tumbled most in 4 months today as the German Government crisis sent investors fleeing any source of safe haven!!??

Sell bonds, sell gold, sell protection…

Seriously…

Before we get to the farce in US equities, let's look at German stocks…

Which is odd because EURUSD actually dumped it all back (after its own machine-driven ramp back to unch)…

Oh, yeah and don't forget Chinese stocks' miraculous lift!?

As Bloomberg's Vince Cignarella noted, strong earnings and solid global growth prospects continue to lift stocks while falling Treasuries and higher yields drove dollar gains; investors ignoring the Trump administration’s plan for fresh sanctions on North Korea and the failure of Angela Merkel to put together a coalition government in Germany. U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday he will designate North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism, subjecting the regime to additional sanctions. The EUR fell as coalition talks in Germany ended; German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would prefer to go ahead with new federal elections rather than try to form a minority government. Gold and the VIX fell, punctuating the market’s disregard for global events.

Which brings us to US equity futures… (odd divergence between Dow and Nasdaq as cash markets opened)…

Small Caps were the day's best-performer… with a total meltup squeeze into the close…

This is the biggest 3-day short-squeeze since February…

NOTE what happened in the subsequent days the last time.

Once again we have The Bank of Japan and the algos to thank for this non-stop bid…

AT&T and TWX slid after anti-trust headlines…

HYG rallied very modestly today early on then sold into and beyond the EU close – notably underperforming stocks…

And credit risk worsened from the open while VIX was crushed…


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BofA’s Apocalyptic Forecast: Stocks Flash Crash, Bond Bubble Bursts In H1 2018, War May Follow

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Having predicted back in July that the "most dangerous moment for markets will come in 3 or 4 months", i.e., now, BofA's Michael Hartnett was – in retrospect – wrong (unless of course the S&P plunges in the next few days). However, having stuck to his underlying logic – which was as sound then as it is now – Hartnett has not given up on his "bad cop" forecast (not to be mistaken with the S&P target to be unveiled shortly by BofA's equity team and which will probably be around 2,800), and in a note released overnight, the Chief Investment Strategist not only once again dares to time his market peak forecast, which he now thinks will take place in the first half of 2017, but goes so far as to predict that there will be a flash crash "a la 1987/1994/1998" in just a few months.

Contrasting his preview of 2018 with the almost concluded 2017, Hartnett sets the sour tone early one, and says that he believes "2018 risk asset catalysts are much less bullish than in 2017" for the simple reason that the bearish positioning going into 2017 has been completely flipped: "positioning now long, not short; profit expectations high, not low; policy close to max stimulus; peak positioning, peak profits, peak policy stimulus means peak asset returns in 2018."  He also goes on to point out that the historical omens are poor:

  • Bull market in S&P500 would become the longest ever on August 22, 2018 (and the second biggest ever at 2863 on S&P500).
  • Equities have only outperformed bonds for seven consecutive years on three occasions in the past 220 years (the last time was 1928 – Chart 1).

Having read Hartnett for many years, we can sense an almost tangible undertone of anger and frustration at central banks for making his bearish forecasts for 2 years in a row go up in a puff of smoke. Which probably explains why one of BofA's best strategists has decided to double down, and raise the stakes beyond a simple market crash, and to a flash crash, if only for dramatic impact.

But before we get there, here is Hartnett's explanation why


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Zero Hedge

Why Is The DOJ Downplaying Reports Of Proof Linking Obama And Clinton To Russian Corruption

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Following the release of the identity of the FBI informant, Justice Department officials in recent days said that informant William Campbell’s prior work won’t shed much light on the U.S. government’s controversial decision in 2010 to approve Russia’s purchase of the Uranium One mining company and its substantial U.S. assets.

...



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Phil's Favorites

COP 23: three ways cities are leading the fight against climate change

 

COP 23: three ways cities are leading the fight against climate change

Courtesy of Barbara NormanUniversity of Warwick

Mettus / Shutterstock.com

The global population is predicted to rise to 10 billion by 2050, and the majority of those people will live in cities. Given that cities ...



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Digital Currencies

As Bitcoin Tops $8,200, Only 39% Of Survey Respondents Say It's A Bubble

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Having first surged above $8000 overnight amid Zimbabwe's chaos, it appears uncertainty in the core of Europe has driven further demand for cryptocurrencu protection, sending Bitcoin to a new record high of $8247 - up 50% from the 'Bitcoin Cash' crash weekend lows.

...



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Insider Scoop

Earnings Scheduled For November 20, 2017

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Companies Reporting Before The Bell
  • Bitauto Hldg Ltd (ADR) (NYSE: BITA) is expected to report quarterly earnings at $0.29 per share on revenue of $335.93 million.
  • Star Bulk Carriers Corp. (NASDAQ: SBLK) is estimated to report a quarterly loss at $0.04 per share on revenue of $66.32 million.
  • Northern Tech...


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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Nov 19, 2017

Courtesy of Blain.

Monday, Tuesday, and Friday saw the now usual “no volatility” days – while bears finally saw some action on Wednesday, bulls came right back Thursday with even bigger gains.  So while we have been cautious on the market for 3 weeks now all that has meant is consolidation in the market (granted the Russell 2000 has taken some hits).  For the week the S&P 500 fell 0.3% while the NASDAQ gained 0.5%. Economic news was light (we cover retail sales below), and earnings are coming to their tail end so we are in a bit of a news vacuum as negotiations about the tax reform bills will take the reigns.

Retail sales slowed in October, rising...



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Biotech

The two obstacles that are holding back Alzheimer's research

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

 

The two obstacles that are holding back Alzheimer's research

Courtesy of Todd GoldeUniversity of Florida

Family members often become primary caregivers for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease. tonkid/Shutterstock.com

Thirty years ago, scientists began to unlock the mysteries regarding the cause of Alzheimer’...



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ValueWalk

Robert Mugabe Under House Arrest, Military Takes Control Of Zimbabwe

By Andjela Radmilac. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Zimbabwe’s head of state, 93-year-old Robert Mugabe, has been placed under house arrest after what seems to be a military coup took place in the nation’s capital.

By U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jesse B. Awalt/Released [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsRobert Mugabe is safe

Following numerous reports on social media late Thursday night about the increased military presence in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, the country’s military took...



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Members' Corner

An Interview with David Brin

Our guest David Brin is an astrophysicist, technology consultant, and best-selling author who speaks, writes, and advises on a range of topics including national defense, creativity, and space exploration. He is also a well-known and influential futurist (one of four “World's Best Futurists,” according to The Urban Developer), and it is his ideas on the future, specifically the future of civilization, that I hope to learn about here.   

Ilene: David, you base many of your predictions of the future on a theory of historica...



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Mapping The Market

Puts things in perspective

Courtesy of Jean-Luc

Puts things in perspective:

The circles don't look to be to scale much!

...

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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 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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Promotions

NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!

 

We have a great guest at today's webinar!

Bill Olsen from NewsWare will be giving us a fun and lively demonstration of the advantages that real-time news provides. NewsWare is a market intelligence tool for news. In today's data driven markets, it is truly beneficial to have a tool that delivers access to the professional sources where you can obtain the facts in real time.

Join our webinar, free, it's open to all. 

Just click here at 1 pm est and join in!

[For more information on NewsWare, click here. For a list of prices: NewsWar...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Brazil; Waterfall in prices starting? Impact U.S.?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the Brazil ETF (EWZ) over the last decade. The rally over the past year has it facing a critical level, from a Power of the Pattern perspective.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

EWZ is facing dual resistance at (1), while in a 9-year down trend of lower highs and lower lows. The counter trend rally over the past 17-months has it testing key falling resistance. Did the counter trend reflation rally just end at dual resistance???

If EWZ b...



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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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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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