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Archive for the ‘Chart School’ Category

Consumer Confidence Surprises to the Downside

Courtesy of Doug Short.

The Latest Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index was released this morning based on data collected through November 13. The headline number of 88.7 was a surprising drop from the revised October final reading of 94.1, a downward revision from 94.5. Today’s number was well below the Investing.com forecast of 95.9.

Here is an excerpt from the Conference Board press release.

Says Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board: “Consumer confidence retreated in November, primarily due to reduced optimism in the short-term outlook. Consumers were somewhat less positive about current business conditions and the present state of the job market; moreover, their optimism in the short-term outlook in both areas has waned. However, income expectations were virtually unchanged and gas prices remain low, which should help boost holiday sales.”

Consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions was moderately less favorable in November than in October. The proportion saying business conditions are “good” decreased from 24.7 percent to 24.0 percent, while those claiming business conditions are “bad” increased from 21.3 percent to 22.4 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the job market was slightly less favorable, with the proportion stating jobs are “plentiful” falling from 16.5 percent to 16.0 percent, and those claiming jobs are “hard to get” increasing marginally from 29.0 percent to 29.2 percent.

Consumers’ optimism, which had improved in October, retreated in November. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased from 19.4 percent to 17.6 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen rose from 8.9 percent to 10.7 percent. Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also less optimistic. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead decreased from 16.0 percent to 15.0 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs rose from 14.1 percent to 16.4 percent. The proportion of consumers expecting growth in their incomes edged down from 16.7 percent to 16.3 percent, while the proportion expecting a drop in income was virtually unchanged at 11.4 percent compared to 11.3 percent in October.

Putting the Latest Number in Context

Let’s take a step back and put Lynn Franco’s interpretation in a larger perspective. The table here shows the average consumer confidence levels for each of the five recessions during…
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Q3 GDP Second Estimate at 3.9% Beats Economists’ Expectations

Courtesy of Doug Short.

The Second Estimate for Q3 GDP, to one decimal, came in at 3.9 percent, an increase from the Advance Estimate of 3.5 percent. Today’s number beat mainstream economists’ estimates, which were for a fractional decrease. For example, Investing.com had a forecast of 3.3 percent.

Here is an excerpt from the Bureau of Economic Analysis news release:

Real gross domestic product — the value of the production of goods and services in the United States, adjusted for price changes — increased at an annual rate of 3.9 percent in the third quarter of 2014, according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 4.6 percent.

The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the “advance” estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, the increase in real GDP was 3.5 percent. With the second estimate for the third quarter, private inventory investment decreased less than previously estimated, and both personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and nonresidential fixed investment increased more. In contrast, exports increased less than previously estimated (see “Revisions” on page 3).

The increase in real GDP in the third quarter reflected positive contributions from PCE, nonresidential fixed investment, federal government spending, exports, residential fixed investment, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by a negative contribution from private inventory investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased.

The deceleration in the percent change in real GDP reflected a downturn in private inventory investment and decelerations in exports, in nonresidential fixed investment, in state and local government spending, in PCE, and in residential fixed investment that were partly offset by a downturn in imports and an upturn in federal government spending.

The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents, increased 1.4 percent in the third quarter, 0.1 percentage point more than in the advance estimate; this index increased 2.0 percent in the second quarter. Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.6 percent in the third quarter, compared with an increase of 1.7 percent in the second. [Full Release]

Here is a look at GDP since Q2 1947 together with the real (inflation-adjusted) S&P…
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Semiconductors Continue to Gain

Courtesy of Declan.

Again, it was left to Semiconductors to do the leg work for the day as it added nearly 1%. The question is whether strength in this index will contribute to further gains for the Nasdaq and Nasdaq 100.  The ‘bull trap’ in the Semiconductor index is now negated.


The Nasdaq 100 is up against Friday’s highs. Volume dropped as markets prepare for the shortened holiday week. Drip gains are probably the most likely outcome, but nearby support is some distance away, making it hard to be a buyer here.

The Russell 2000 edged out of its tentative channel and is challenging the November high.  Larger resistance remains to be challenged, but it’s nicely positioned to gain. I would be looking similar to what happened in the Semiconductor Index

The S&P inched higher, but like the Nasdaq 100 it’s hard to be a buyer given the action, but even harder to be a seller if already long.

We are unlikely to see too much for Thanksgiving week, but if there is a bias it’s likely to be bullish.

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Weekly Gasoline Price Update: Down Another Seven Cents

Courtesy of Doug Short.

It’s time again for my weekly gasoline update based on data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Rounded to the penny Regular dropped another seven cents and Premium six. Regular is now at its lowest price since November 2010. Will the price decline in gasoline boost discretionary spending as we approach the holiday season? Stay tuned!

According to GasBuddy.com, Hawaii has the highest cost at $3.88. The highest continental average price is in New York at $3.18. Missouri and South Carolina are tied for the cheapest Regular at $2.55.

How far are we from the interim high prices of 2011 and the all-time highs of 2008? Here’s a visual answer.

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The next chart is a weekly chart overlay of West Texas Intermediate Crude, Brent Crude and unleaded gasoline end-of-day spot prices (GASO). WTIC closed today at 75.78, up 0.31 over the past five sessions.

The volatility in crude oil and gasoline prices has been clearly reflected in recent years in both the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE). For additional perspective on how energy prices are factored into the CPI, see What Inflation Means to You: Inside the Consumer Price Index.

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The chart below offers a comparison of the broader aggregate category of energy inflation since 2000, based on categories within Consumer Price Index (commentary here).

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Here are some additional commentaries related to gasoline prices:





Understanding the CFNAI Components

Courtesy of Doug Short.

The Chicago Fed’s National Activity Index, which I reported on earlier today, is based on 85 economic indicators drawn from four broad categories of data:

  • Production and Income
  • Employment, Unemployment, and Hours
  • Personal Consumption and Housing
  • Sales, Orders, and Inventories

The complete list is available here in PDF format.

In today’s Chicago Fed update, we learned that three of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index made positive contributions to the index in September, and three of the four categories increased from August. Personal Consumption and Housing continues to be the significantly underperforming category. Let’s now take a look at the historical context, focusing on the less volatile 3-month moving average of the components.

A chart overlay of the complete multi-decade span of all four categories, even if we use the three-month moving averages, is quite challenging for visual clarity:

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So here is a close-up view since 2000:

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But a snapshot of the 21st century contains only two recessions, so it’s unclear how the individual components have behaved in during the seven recessions since the 1967 starting point for this data series.

Here is a set of charts showing each of the four components since 1967. Because of the highly volatile nature of the data, the charts are based on three-month moving averages, a smoothing strategy favored by the Chicago Fed economists. I’ve also highlighted the values for the months that the NBER subsequently identified as recession starts.

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There’s a lot to digest in the individual charts. Clearly the first two (Production and Income and…
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Gasoline Volume Sales, Demographics and our Changing Culture

Courtesy of Doug Short.

The Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) data on volume sales is over two months old when it released. The latest numbers, through mid-September, are now available. However, despite the lag, this report offers an interesting perspective on fascinating aspects of the US economy. Gasoline prices and increases in fuel efficiency are important factors, but there are also some significant demographic and cultural dynamics in this data series.

Because the sales data are highly volatile with some obvious seasonality, I’ve added a 12-month moving average (MA) to give a clearer indication of the long-term trends. The latest 12-month MA is 8.9% below the all-time high set in August 2005, fractionally off (by 0.03%) the interim low set the previous month.

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The next chart includes an overlay of real monthly retail gasoline prices, all grades and formulations, adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index (the red line). I’ve shortened the timeline to start with EIA price series, which dates from August 1990. The retail prices are updated weekly, so the price series is the more current of the two.

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As we would expect, the rapid rise in gasoline prices in 2008 was accompanied by a significant drop in sales volume. With the official end of the recession in June 2009, sales reversed direction … slightly. The 12-month MA hit an interim high in November 2010, and then resumed contraction. The moving average for the latest month is 8.6% below the pre-recession level and 5.5% off the November 2010 interim high. For some historical context, the latest data point is a level first achieved in February 1998.

Some of the shrinkage in sales can be attributed to more fuel-efficient cars. But that presumably would be relatively small over shorter time frames and would be offset to some extent by population growth. For some specifics on fuel efficiency, see the Eco-Driving Index for new vehicles developed by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. However, if we look at Edmunds.com for data on the top 10 best-selling vehicles, energy…
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Chicago Fed: Economic Growth Moderated in October

Courtesy of Doug Short.

“Index shows economic growth moderated in October”: This is the headline for today’s release of the Chicago Fed’s National Activity Index, and here are the opening paragraphs from the report:

Led by declines in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) moved down to +0.14 in October from +0.29 in September. Two of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index decreased from September, and two of the four categories made negative contributions to the index in October.

The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, declined to –0.01 in October from +0.12 in September. October’s CFNAI-MA3 suggests that growth in national economic activity was near its historical trend. The economic growth reflected in this level of the CFNAI-MA3 suggests limited inflationary pressure from economic activity over the coming year.

The CFNAI Diffusion Index, which is also a three-month moving average, decreased to +0.11 in October from +0.16 in September. Forty-nine of the 85 individual indicators made positive contributions to the CFNAI in October, while 36 made negative contributions. Thirty-six indica- tors improved from September to October, while 49 indicators deteriorated. Of the indicators that improved, seven made negative contributions. [Download PDF News Release]

The previous month’s CFNAI was revised downward from 0.47 to 0.29. Investing.com was looking for a headline reading of 0.40.

Background on the CFNAI

The Chicago Fed’s National Activity Index (CFNAI) is a monthly indicator designed to gauge overall economic activity and related inflationary pressure. It is a composite of 85 monthly indicators as explained in this background PDF file on the Chicago Fed’s website. The index is constructed so a zero value for the index indicates that the national economy is expanding at its historical trend rate of growth. Negative values indicate below-average growth, and positive values indicate above-average growth.

The first chart below shows the recent behavior of the index since 2007. The red dots show the indicator itself, which is quite noisy, together with the 3-month moving average (CFNAI-MA3), which is more useful as an indicator of the actual trend for coincident economic activity. I’ve added a high-low channel for the MA3 data since 2010. After hitting the top of the channel in April, it has slipped to the upper mid-range.


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Overreaching Enthusiasm?

Courtesy of Declan.

Bullish monetary policy rumblings from China and Europe had kick started a bright opening for markets, but the feel good factor gradually wore off as the day lengthened, and in the end, the day felt oddly bearish. The S&P closed with a bearish inverse hammer, which could turn into a bearish shooting star if there is a gap down on Monday. Volume climbed to register technical accumulation, but this could mark significant overhead supply if sellers come back tomorrow. I have widened the Fib levels for the next decline. Note, pending MACD trigger ‘sell,’ although other technicals are in good shape.


The Nasdaq did alright as it emerged from a secondary handle. The ‘black’ candlestick finished close to breakout support, and there isn’t much room for further losses. It also looks more likely to trigger a MACD trigger ‘sell’. There is also a worrying relative shift away from (speculative) technology stocks to safety first, Large Caps.

The Russell 2000 is working a challenge on a ‘bull trap’, but it’s doing so under the cover of larger resistance. I have widened Fib levels and drawn in what might evolve into a ‘bull flag.’ Technicals are mixed, and with flatline moving averages this isn’t offering a clear advantage one way or the other.  Even the relative relationship to other indices is lacking direction.

One index which is still offering bulls something is the Semiconductor Index. Friday’s ‘spinning top’ is neutral, but it has knocked out the September ‘bull trap.’

The other watch area for Monday is the tag of the declining resistance for the Nasdaq Summation Index and Nasdaq Bullish Percents. This might mark a reversal point for the Nasdaq – which would also suggest the ‘black’ candlestick in the Nasdaq will mark a swing peak top.

For Monday, look for a reversal opportunities in the S&P and Nasdaq. If bulls manage a bright start, then the semiconductor index could deliver fresh upside.


Accepting KIVA gift certificates to help support the work on this blog. All certificates gifted are converted into loans for those who need the help more.





World Markets Weekend Update: The Rally Continues

Courtesy of Doug Short.

The world market rally continued last week with six of the eight indexes on my watch list posting gains. Europe led the pack, with Germany’s DAX up 5.18%, France’s CAC 40 up 3.44% and the UK up 1.45%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was the big loser with its -2.70% loss. The other negative performer was Japan’s Nikkei 225. It’s fractional -0.76% decline snapped not only a four-week string of gains, but also four weeks as the top performer.

China’s Shanghai Composite remains the only index on the watch list in bear territory — the traditional designation for a 20% decline from an interim high. The index is down 28.36% from its August 2009 peak. See the table inset (lower right) in the chart below.

Here is a look at 2014 so far.

Here is a table highlighting the year-to-date index performance, sorted from high to low, along with the 2014 interim highs for the eight indexes. At this point, seven of the eight are positive YTD, up from five last week, with the three European indexes in the red.

India’s SENSEX and the US’s S&P 500 both ended the week with record highs.

A Closer Look at the Last Four Weeks

The tables below provide a concise overview of performance comparisons over the past four weeks for these eight major indexes. I’ve also included the average for each week so that we can evaluate the performance of a specific index relative to the overall mean and better understand weekly volatility. The colors for each index name help us visualize the comparative performance over time.

The chart below illustrates the comparative performance of World Markets since March 9, 2009. The start date is arbitrary: The S&P 500, CAC 40 and BSE SENSEX hit their lows on March 9th, the Nikkei 225 on March 10th, the DAX on March 6th, the FTSE on March 3rd, the Shanghai Composite on November 4, 2008, and the Hang Seng even earlier on October 27, 2008. However, by aligning on the same day and measuring the percent change, we get a better sense of the relative performance than if we align the lows.

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A Longer Look Back

Here is the same chart…
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The Big Four Economic Indicators: Real Retail Sales

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Note from dshort: With yesterday’s release of the Consumer Price Index for October, I’ve updated Real Retail Sales for October.


Official recession calls are the responsibility of the NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee, which is understandably vague about the specific indicators on which they base their decisions. This committee statement is about as close as they get to identifying their method.

There is, however, a general belief that there are four big indicators that the committee weighs heavily in their cycle identification process. They are:

  • Industrial Production
  • Real Personal Income (excluding Transfer Payments)
  • Nonfarm Employment
  • Real Retail Sales
  • The Latest Indicator Data

    Real Retail Sales will be especially interesting to watch over the coming months. The rather dramatic decline in gasoline prices in recent months will no doubt boost discretionary spending, and we’re now entering the merry season holiday spending. After a strong August report, September real sales were surprisingly weak, but October has seen a partial bounce back in spending. Will holiday sales, with the advantage of lower gas prices, put this indicator on a trend of stronger growth? One potential obstacle would be another savage winter such as we saw last year. The odds of a repeat of that severity are no doubt low. However, recent news items about the lake-effect blzzard in Buffalo, serve as a “chilling reminder” that weather can play a factor in the economy.

    The Generic Big Four

    The chart and table below illustrate the performance of the generic Big Four with an overlay of a simple average of the four since the end of the Great Recession. The data points show the cumulative percent change from a zero starting point for June 2009. We now have the three indicator updates for the 61th month following the recession. The Big Four Average is (gray line below).

    Current Assessment and Outlook

    The overall picture of the US economy had been one of slow recovery from the Great Recession with a clearly documented contraction during the winter, as reflected in Q1 GDP. Data for Q2 supported the consensus view that severe winter weather was responsible for the…
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    Phil's Favorites

    How Could It Happen?

    Things That Make You Go Hmmm: How Could It Happen?

    By Grant Williams

    “How could it happen, Grandad?”

    The old man’s eyes misted over as he looked down at his grandson, who sat at his feet, his young eyes alive with questions as he turned the heavy gold bar over in his hands.

    ”I’ve told you the story too many times to count,” said the man, half-pleading, but knowing full-well he’d soon be deep into the umpteenth retelling of a story he’d lived through once in reality and a thousand times more through the eager questioning of the young man now tugging at his trouser leg. “Why don’t I tell you the story of how I met your Grandma instead?”

    “Because that’s boring.” The reply was borne of the honesty only a ten-year-old possesses.

    ...



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    Zero Hedge

    3 Things Worth Thinking About

    Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

    Submitted by Tyler Durden.

    Submitted by Lance Roberts of STA Wealth Management,

    Data And Surveys Continue To Part Company

    Last Friday, I discussed the growing gap between economic reports particularly when they measure the same basic areas of the overall economy. For example, how can the Markit Manufacturing PMI Index be negative for three months while the ISM PMI has surged higher during the same period. Both cannot be right.

    Well, the same thing happened yesterday with the release of the Chicago Fed National Activity Ind...



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    Chart School

    Michigan Consumer Sentiment for November Slightly Trims Its Strong Preliminary Reading

    Courtesy of Doug Short.

    The Final University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment for November came in at 88.8, a bit off the 89.4 preliminary reading but up from from the October Final of 86.9. As finaly readings go, this is a post-recession high and the highest level since July 2007, over seven years ago. Today's number came in below the Investing.com forecast of 90.2.

    See the chart below for a long-term perspective on this widely watched indicator. I've highlighted recessions and included real GDP to help evaluate the correlation between the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index and the broader economy.


    ...



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    Insider Scoop

    Benzinga's M&A Chatter for Tuesday November 25, 2014

    Courtesy of Benzinga.

    The following are the M&A deals, rumors and chatter circulating on Wall Street for Tuesday November 25, 2014:

    Visteon Confirms Discussions with Hahn & Co. Regarding Potential Sale of Halla Visteon Climate Control Corp Stake

    The Talks:
    Visteon Corporation (NYSE: VC) confirmed Tuesday, it is currently engaged in discussions with Korea's Hahn & Company regarding a potential sale of Visteon's ownership interest in Halla Visteon Climate Control Corp.

    to the private equity firm. Reuters reported on Sunday, that Visteon was preparing to sell its 69.99% stake in Halla Viste...



    http://www.insidercow.com/ more from Insider

    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: Holiday fever takes hold of stock investors, but a pullback is needed

    Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

    With warmer weather arriving to melt the early snowfall across much of the country, investors seem to be catching a severe case of holiday fever and positioning themselves for the seasonally bullish time of the year. And to give an added boost, both Europe and Asia provided more fuel for the bull’s fire last week with stimulus announcements, particularly China’s interest rate cut. Yes, all systems are go for U.S. equities as there really is no other game in town. But nothing goes up in a straight line, not even during the holidays, so a near-term market pullback would be a healthy way to prevent a steeper correction in January.

    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 Sector...



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    Digital Currencies

    Bitcoin Mining

    Bitcoin Mining

    Courtesy of Global Economic Intersection

    By Rod Garratt and Rosa Hayes - Liberty Street Economics, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

    In June 2014, the mining pool Ghash.IO briefly controlled more than half of all mining power in the Bitcoin network, awakening fears that it might attempt to manipulate the blockchain, the public record of all Bitcoin transactions. Alarming headlines splattered the blogosphere. But should members of the Bitcoin community be worried?

    Miners are members of the Bitcoin community who engage in a proce...



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    OpTrader

    Swing trading portfolio - week of November 25th, 2014

    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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    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 the Happy Thanksgiving Edition of Stock World Weekly!

    Click on this link and sign in with your PSW user name and password. 

    Picture via Pixabay.

    ...

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    Market Shadows

    Official Moves in the Market Shadows' Virtual Portfolio

    By Ilene 

    I officially bought 250 shares of EZCH at $18.76 and sold 300 shares of IGT at $17.09 in Market Shadows' Virtual Portfolio yesterday (Fri. 11-21).

    Click here for Thursday's post where I was thinking about buying EZCH. After further reading, I decided to add it to the virtual portfolio and to sell IGT and several other stocks, which we'll be saying goodbye to next week.

    Notes

    1. th...



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    Option Review

    Yamana Gold call options sink

    Yamana Gold call options sink

    By Andrew Wilkinson at Interactive Brokers

    A four-year low for the spot price of gold has had a devastating impact on Yamana Gold (Ticker: AUY), with shares in the name down at the lowest price in six years. Some option traders were especially keen to sell premium and appear to see few signs of a lasting rebound within the next five months. The price of gold suffered again Wednesday as the dollar strengthened and stock prices advanced. The post price of gold fell to $1145 adding further pain to share prices of gold miners. Shares in Yamana Gold tumbled to $3.62 and the lowest price since 2008 as call option sellers used the April expiration contract to write premium at the $5.00 strike. That strike is now 38% above the price of the stock. Premium writers took in around 16-cents per contract o...



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    Pharmboy

    Biotechs & Bubbles

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

    Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely.  From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.

    First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices.  Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment.  Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer.  For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...



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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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    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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