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Second Day of Quiet Action

Courtesy of Declan.

The S&P lost a little, the Nasdaq gained a little, but there was no change in the larger picture.  The S&P registered a distribution day, of sorts: volume climbed, but as the index finished with a doji it doesn’t really qualify as a heavy sell off day. The selling volume was enough to generate a ‘sell’ trigger in On-Balance-Volume too, but the whipsaw risk is high.


The Nasdaq did the opposite. It added nearly 0,5% on higher volume accumulation. It’s brushing the 10% envelope relative to the 200-day MA, which is not a particularly strong sell signal, but a warning sign for a possible slow down in the advance.

The Russell 2000 enjoyed a similar day as the Nasdaq. As a speculative index, its leadership is key going forward.

Lets see what tomorrow has in store. I don’t think there is much too much bears can do to really shake the boat, but time will tell.

You’ve now read my opinion, next read Douglas’ and Jani’s.





The "Real" Goods on the Latest Durable Goods Data

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Earlier today I posted an update on the February Advance Report on January Durable Goods New Orders. This Census Bureau series dates from 1992 and is not adjusted for either population growth or inflation.

Let’s now review Durable Goods data with two adjustments. In the charts below the red line shows the goods orders divided by the Census Bureau’s monthly population data, giving us durable goods orders per capita. The blue line goes a step further and adjusts for inflation based on the Producer Price Index for All Commodities, chained in today’s dollar value. This gives us the “real” durable goods orders per capita and thus a more accurate historical context in which to evaluate the conventional reports on the nominal monthly data.

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Economists frequently study this indicator excluding Transportation or Defense or both. Just how big are these two subcomponents? Here is a stacked area chart to illustrate the relative sizes over time based on the nominal data.

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Here is the first chart, repeated this time ex Transportation, the series usually referred to as “core” durable goods.

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Now we’ll leave Transportation in the series and exclude Defense orders.

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And now we’ll exclude both Transportation and Defense for a better look at a more concentrated “core” durable goods orders.

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Here is the chart that I believe gives the most accurate view of what Consumer Durable Goods Orders is telling us about the long-term economic trend. The three-month moving average of the real (inflation-adjusted) core series (ex transportation and defense) per capita helps us filter out the noise of volatility to see the big picture.

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The Trend in Capital Goods

Finally, let’s take…
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What Inflation Means to You: Inside the Consumer Price Index

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Note from dshort : The charts in this commentary have been updated to include today’s Consumer Price Index news release for the January data.

Back in 2010 the Fed justified its monetary policy “to promote a stronger pace of economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time, is at levels consistent with its mandate” (full text). In effect, the Fed has been trying to increase inflation, operating at the macro level. But what does inflation mean at the micro level — specifically to your household?

Let’s do some analysis of the Consumer Price Index, the best known measure of inflation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) divides all expenditures into eight categories and assigns a relative size to each. The pie chart below illustrates the components of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers, the CPI-U, which I’ll refer to hereafter as the CPI.

The slices are listed in the order used by the BLS in their tables, not the relative size. The first three follow the traditional order of urgency: food, shelter, and clothing. Transportation comes before Medical Care, and Recreation precedes the lumped category of Education and Communication. Other Goods and Services refers to a bizarre grab-bag of odd fellows, including tobacco, cosmetics, financial services, and funeral expenses. For a complete breakdown and relative weights of all the subcategories of the eight categories, here is a useful link.

The chart below shows the cumulative percent change in price for each of the eight categories since 2000.

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Not surprisingly, Medical Care has been the fastest growing category. At the opposite end, Apparel has actually been deflating since 2000. Another unique feature of Apparel is the obvious seasonal volatility of the contour.

Transportation is the other category with high volatility — much more dramatic and irregular than the seasonality of Apparel. Transportation includes a wide range of subcategories. The volatility is largely driven by the Motor Fuel subcategory. For a closer look at gasoline, see this chart in my weekly gasoline update.

The Ominous Shadow Category of Energy

The BLS does not lump energy costs into an expenditure category. Instead, it includes energy subcategories in Housing in addition to the fuel subcategory in Transportation.…
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Inflation: A Six-Month X-Ray View

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Here is a table showing the annualized change in Headline and Core CPI, not seasonally adjusted, for each of the past six months. I’ve also included each of the eight components of Headline CPI and a separate entry for Energy, which is a collection of sub-indexes in Housing and Transportation.

We can make some inferences about how inflation is impacting our personal expenses depending on our relative exposure to the individual components. Some of us have higher transportation costs, others medical costs, etc.

A conspicuous feature in the year-over-year table is the plunge in energy, significantly a result of gasoline prices, which is also reflected in Transportation.

Here is the same table with month-over-month numbers (not seasonally adjusted). The nose-dive in energy costs is clearly illustrated, reflected here too in transportation.

The Trends in Headline and Core CPI

The chart below shows Headline and Core CPI for urban consumers since 2007. Core CPI excludes the two most volatile components, food and energy. I’ve highlighted the 2% to 2.5% range that the FOMC targeted in their December 12, 2012 press release, although the Fed has traditionally used the Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) price index as their preferred inflation gauge.

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Year-over-year Core CPI (the blue line) made a moderate arc above the 2% benchmark beginning October of 2011. It dropped below the 2% – 2.5% range in August of 2012, but grazed the bottom of that range in February and July of last year. Core CPI has been below 2% for 29 of the last 33 months. The more volatile Headline CPI has spent 30 of the past of the past 33 months under the 2% lower benchmark. Much of the volatility in the past few years has been the result of broad swings in gasoline prices (more on gasoline here).

For a longer-term perspective, here is a column-style breakdown of the inflation categories showing the change since 2000.

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Note: For additional information on the component composition of the Consumer Price Index, see my Inside the Consumer Price Index.





The Myth of the Most Efficient Market

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Upcoming Complimentary APViewpoint Events

Presenter: Jim O’Shaughnessy

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 – 4:15 p.m. EST

Assets in index funds and ETFs are reaching all-time highs, driven in part by the belief that stock selection strategies have become a fool’s errand for investors who are trying to outperform the market. In this webinar, Jim O’Shaughnessy will share empirical research conducted over 80 years to debunk this myth and identify time-tested principles that allow investors to consistently beat the market.

During the webinar he will:

  • highlight the benefits and flaws of indexing, with a particular focus on unraveling the myth of market efficiency among U.S. large caps;
  • offer his perspective on the evolution of factor-based investing as an alternative to indexing; and
  • share research that combines the best aspects of both active and passive investing into a complete investment strategy.

Jim will discuss research on factors-based stock selection where quality, valuation and yield criteria generate returns that dramatically and consistently outperform the U.S. large-cap market on an absolute-and risk-adjusted return basis. There will be plenty of time for Q&A, and after the session Jim will be available to discuss its content on APViewpoint.

Pfau

Jim O’Shaughnessy
O’Shaughnessy Asset Management

Jim O’Shaughnessy is the Chairman and CEO of O’Shaughnessy Asset Management (OSAM) and also serves at the firm’s Chief Investment Officer. Prior to founding OSAM, Jim was the Director of Systematic Equity at Bear Stearns Asset Management and a Senior Managing Director of the firm. Long recognized as one of America’s leading financial experts and a pioneer in quantitative equityanalysis, he has been called a “world beater” and a “statistical guru” by Barron’s and in 2009 Forbes.com included Jim in a series on “Legendary Investors.” He is the author of four highly acclaimed books on investing.

You must be a member of APViewpoint to register for this event.
APViewpoint Events are webinars that offer advisors the opportunity to gain insights on the markets, financial planning and practice management from some of the industry’s most respected thought leaders.




A Long-Term Look at Inflation

Courtesy of Doug Short.

The Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U) released this morning puts the January year-over-year inflation rate at -0.9%, the lowest since the eight-month deflationary period that ended in October 2009. It is substantially below the 3.85% average since the end of the Second World War and its 10-year moving average.

For a comparison of headline inflation with core inflation, which is based on the CPI excluding food and energy, see this monthly feature.

For better understanding of how CPI is measured and how it impacts your household, see my Inside Look at CPI components.

For an even closer look at how the components are behaving, see this X-Ray View of the data for the past six months.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has compiled CPI data since 1913, and numbers are conveniently available from the FRED repository (here). My long-term inflation charts reach back to 1872 by adding Warren and Pearson’s price index for the earlier years. The spliced series is available at Yale Professor (and Nobel laureate) Robert Shiller’s website. This look further back into the past dramatically illustrates the extreme oscillation between inflation and deflation during the first 70 years of our timeline. Click here for additional perspectives on inflation and the shrinking value of the dollar.

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Alternate Inflation Data

The chart below (click here for a larger version) includes an alternate look at inflation *without* the calculation modifications the 1980s and 1990s (Data from www.shadowstats.com).

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On a personal note, I believe the current BLS method of calculating inflation is reasonably sound. As a first-wave Boomer who raised a family during the double-digit inflation years of the 1970s and early 1980s, I see nothing today that is remotely like the inflation we endured at that time. Moreover, government policy, the Federal Funds Rate, interest rates in general and decades of major business decisions have been fundamentally driven by the official BLS inflation data, not the alternate CPI. For this reason I view the alternate inflation data as an interesting but ultimately useless statistical series.

That said,…
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March 4th Webinar: The Myth of the Most Efficient Market

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Upcoming Complimentary APViewpoint Events

Presenter: Jim O’Shaughnessy

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 – 4:15 p.m. EST

Assets in index funds and ETFs are reaching all-time highs, driven in part by the belief that stock selection strategies have become a fool’s errand for investors who are trying to outperform the market. In this webinar, Jim O’Shaughnessy will share empirical research conducted over 80 years to debunk this myth and identify time-tested principles that allow investors to consistently beat the market.

During the webinar he will:

  • highlight the benefits and flaws of indexing, with a particular focus on unraveling the myth of market efficiency among U.S. large caps;
  • offer his perspective on the evolution of factor-based investing as an alternative to indexing; and
  • share research that combines the best aspects of both active and passive investing into a complete investment strategy.

Jim will discuss research on factors-based stock selection where quality, valuation and yield criteria generate returns that dramatically and consistently outperform the U.S. large-cap market on an absolute-and risk-adjusted return basis. There will be plenty of time for Q&A, and after the session Jim will be available to discuss its content on APViewpoint.

Pfau

Jim O’Shaughnessy
O’Shaughnessy Asset Management

Jim O’Shaughnessy is the Chairman and CEO of O’Shaughnessy Asset Management (OSAM) and also serves at the firm’s Chief Investment Officer. Prior to founding OSAM, Jim was the Director of Systematic Equity at Bear Stearns Asset Management and a Senior Managing Director of the firm. Long recognized as one of America’s leading financial experts and a pioneer in quantitative equityanalysis, he has been called a “world beater” and a “statistical guru” by Barron’s and in 2009 Forbes.com included Jim in a series on “Legendary Investors.” He is the author of four highly acclaimed books on investing.

You must be a member of APViewpoint to register for this event.
APViewpoint Events are webinars that offer advisors the opportunity to gain insights on the markets, financial planning and practice management from some of the industry’s most respected thought leaders.




New Jobless Claims at 313K, Worse Than Forecast

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Here is the opening statement from the Department of Labor:

In the week ending February 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 313,000, an increase of 31,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 1,000 from 283,000 to 282,000. The 4-week moving average was 294,500, an increase of 11,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 250 from 283,250 to 283,000.

There were no special factors impacting this week’s initial claims. [See full report]

Today’s seasonally adjusted 313K came in well above the Investing.com forecast of 290K. The four-week moving average at 294,500 is now 15,500 above its 14-year interim low set sixteen weeks ago.

Here is a close look at the data over the past few years (with a callout for the past year), which gives a clearer sense of the overall trend in relation to the last recession and the volatility in recent months.

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As we can see, there’s a good bit of volatility in this indicator, which is why the 4-week moving average (the highlighted number) is a more useful number than the weekly data. Here is the complete data series.

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Occasionally I see articles critical of seasonal adjustment, especially when the non-adjusted number better suits the author’s bias. But a comparison of these two charts clearly shows extreme volatility of the non-adjusted data, and the 4-week MA gives an indication of the recurring pattern of seasonal change in the second chart (note, for example, those regular January spikes).

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Because of the extreme volatility of the non-adjusted weekly data, a 52-week moving average gives a better sense of the secular trends. I’ve added a linear regression through the data. We can see that this metric continues to fall below the long-term trend stretching back to 1968.


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Our Next Webinar: The Myth of the Most Efficient Market

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Upcoming Complimentary APViewpoint Events

Presenter: Jim O’Shaughnessy

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 – 4:15 p.m. EST

Assets in index funds and ETFs are reaching all-time highs, driven in part by the belief that stock selection strategies have become a fool’s errand for investors who are trying to outperform the market. In this webinar, Jim O’Shaughnessy will share empirical research conducted over 80 years to debunk this myth and identify time-tested principles that allow investors to consistently beat the market.

During the webinar he will:

  • highlight the benefits and flaws of indexing, with a particular focus on unraveling the myth of market efficiency among U.S. large caps;
  • offer his perspective on the evolution of factor-based investing as an alternative to indexing; and
  • share research that combines the best aspects of both active and passive investing into a complete investment strategy.

Jim will discuss research on factors-based stock selection where quality, valuation and yield criteria generate returns that dramatically and consistently outperform the U.S. large-cap market on an absolute-and risk-adjusted return basis. There will be plenty of time for Q&A, and after the session Jim will be available to discuss its content on APViewpoint.

Pfau

Jim O’Shaughnessy
O’Shaughnessy Asset Management

Jim O’Shaughnessy is the Chairman and CEO of O’Shaughnessy Asset Management (OSAM) and also serves at the firm’s Chief Investment Officer. Prior to founding OSAM, Jim was the Director of Systematic Equity at Bear Stearns Asset Management and a Senior Managing Director of the firm. Long recognized as one of America’s leading financial experts and a pioneer in quantitative equityanalysis, he has been called a “world beater” and a “statistical guru” by Barron’s and in 2009 Forbes.com included Jim in a series on “Legendary Investors.” He is the author of four highly acclaimed books on investing.

You must be a member of APViewpoint to register for this event.
APViewpoint Events are webinars that offer advisors the opportunity to gain insights on the markets, financial planning and practice management from some of the industry’s most respected thought leaders.




December Headline Consumer Price Index At Its Lowest Since October 2009

Courtesy of Doug Short.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the January CPI data this morning. Year-over-year unadjusted Headline CPI came in at 0.09% (rounded to 0.1%), down from 0.76% (rounded to 0.8%) the previous month. Year-over-year Core CPI (ex Food and Energy) came in at 1.65% (rounded to 1.6%), up from the previous month’s 1.61% (but unchanged to one decimal). The non-seasonally adjusted month-over-month Headline number was down -0.47% (rounded to -0.5%), and the Core number was up 0.20%.

The January headline number was the lowest since the eight-month deflationary period that ended in October 2009.

Here is the introduction from the BLS summary, which leads with the seasonally adjusted data monthly data:

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined 0.7 percent in January on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index decreased 0.1 percent before seasonal adjustment.

The energy index fell 9.7 percent as the gasoline index fell 18.7 percent in January, the sharpest in a series of seven consecutive declines. The gasoline decrease was overwhelmingly the cause of the decline in the all items index, which would have risen 0.1 percent had the gasoline index been unchanged. The fuel oil index also fell sharply, and the index for natural gas turned down, although the electricity index rose. The food index was unchanged in January, with the food at home index falling for the first time since May 2013.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent in January. The shelter index rose 0.3 percent, and the indexes for personal care, for apparel, and for recreation increased as well. The medical care index was unchanged, while an array of indexes declined in January, including those for household furnishings and operations, alcoholic beverages, new vehicles, used cars and trucks, airline fares, and tobacco.

The all items index declined 0.1 percent over the last 12 months, the first negative 12-month change since the period ending October 2009. The energy index fell 19.6 percent over the span, with the gasoline index down 35.4 percent. The food index rose 3.2 percent, and the index for all items less food and energy increased 1.6 percent.   [More…]

Investing.com was looking for a -0.6 decline in…
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Zero Hedge

The Stage Is Set For The Syrian Invasion

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

One week ago, when reporting on the latest bizarre plan presented by the Pentagon, namely providing Syrian rebels (but only the moderate ones, not the jihadists like al Nusra, or, well, ISIS) with B-1B Bomber air support in their attacks on ISIS, when we wrote that this "means in the coming weeks and months look forward to a surge in false flag "attacks" blamed on the Assad regime, aiming to give Obama validation to expand the "War against ISIS" to include Syria's regime as well."

We didn't have long to wait: in an entirely unsourced Time article written today by Aryn Baker, the Middle East Bureau ...



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Phil's Favorites

When do we decide that Europe must restructure much of its debt?

When do we decide that Europe must restructure much of its debt? Courtesy of Michael Pettis 

It is hard to watch the Greek drama unfold without a sense of foreboding. If it is possible for the Greek economy partially to revive in spite of its tremendous debt burden, with a lot of hard work and even more good luck we can posit scenarios that don’t involve a painful social and political breakdown, but I am pretty convinced that the Greek balance sheet itself makes growth all but impossible for many more years.

The history is, to me pretty convincing. Countries with this level of debt and this level of uncertainty associated with the resolution of the debt are never able too grow out of t...



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Chart School

Second Day of Quiet Action

Courtesy of Declan.

The S&P lost a little, the Nasdaq gained a little, but there was no change in the larger picture.  The S&P registered a distribution day, of sorts: volume climbed, but as the index finished with a doji it doesn't really qualify as a heavy sell off day. The selling volume was enough to generate a 'sell' trigger in On-Balance-Volume too, but the whipsaw risk is high.


The Nasdaq did the opposite. It added nearly 0,5% on higher volume accumulation. It's brushing the 10% envelope relative to the 200-day MA, which is not a particularly strong sell signal, but a warning sign for a possible slow down in the advance.

...

more from Chart School

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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Market Shadows

Kimble Charts: Coal

Kimble Charts: Coal

By Ilene 

Chris Kimble's chart for KOL shows a recently beaten down ETF struggling to pull itself up from the ashes. As the chart shows, KOL has recently drifted down to levels not seen since the financial crisis of 2008-9.

Bouncing or recovering with energy in general, coal prices appear to have stabilized in the short-term. Reflecting coal prices, KOL has traded between $13.45 and $19.75 during the past year. Bouncing from lows, KOL traded around 2% higher yesterday from $14.26 to $14.48 on high volume. It traded another 3.6% higher in after hours to $15, possibly related to ...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of February 23rd, 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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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Sector rankings stay neutral with few bullish catalysts on horizon

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

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Stocks are hitting new highs across the board, even though earnings reports have been somewhat disappointing. Actually, to be more precise, Q4 results have been pretty good, but it is forward guidance that has been cautious and/or cloudy as sales into overseas markets are expected to suffer due to strength in the US dollar. Healthcare and Telecom have put in the best results overall, while of course Energy has been the weakling. Still, overall year-over-year earnings growth for the S&P 500 during 2015 is expected to be about +8%.

In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 cha...



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Digital Currencies

MyCoin Exchange Disappears with Up To $387 Million, Reports Claim

Follow up from yesterday's Just the latest Bitcoin scam.

Hong Kong's MyCoin Disappears With Up To $387 Million, Reports Claim By  

Reports are emerging from Hong Kong that local bitcoin exchange MyCoin has shut its doors, taking with it possibly as much as HK$3bn ($386.9m) in investor funds.

If true, the supposed losses are a staggering amount, although this estimate is based on the company's own earlier claims that it served 3,000 clients who had invested HK$1m ($129,000) each.

...



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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...



more from Caitlin

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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