Archive for the ‘High Mailing Priority’ Category

Today in Market History

 

Today in Market History

Courtesy of 

Eighteen years ago today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 10,000 for the first time ever. But under the surface, some funky things were happening. Here’s Gretchen Morgenson from the New York Times:

A lurking concern, however, is just how narrow the market’s advance has been. A growing portion of Americans’ investment money is devoted to the 30 well-known companies in the Dow and the components of the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, which rose near its record yesterday. But many portfolios have not matched the performance of the Dow and the S.& P. That is because a relatively small number of stocks have pulled the indexes higher. The winners have been the best-known stocks with household names, stocks like General Electric, American Express and Wal-Mart Stores.

The number of stocks that are down significantly in the broad market far outpaces the number that are up substantially.

Fully 76 percent of all stocks are trailing the S.& P.’s return by 15 percent or more. On the Nasdaq, 93 percent of stocks now fetch prices 10 percent or more below their highs of the last 52 weeks, while 88 percent of the stocks on the New York Stock Exchange are in that category. Among the S.& P. stocks, three out of four are at least 10 percent off their highs.

According to statisticians at Salomon Smith Barney, the stocks in the S.& P. 500 were on average 22.6 percent off their highs as of Friday, while the New York Stock Exchange issues were on average 33.4 percent below their peaks. Showing just how concentrated this rally has been among big stocks, the Nasdaq stocks are on average 41.8 percent below their peaks. And this calculation factors in many of the hot technology and Internet stocks.

The divergences that were seen towards the end of the tech bubble were so glaring that they will be spoken about as long as people are buying and selling stocks. But investors that decided to…
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Did medical Darwinism doom the GOP health plan?

 

Did medical Darwinism doom the GOP health plan?

Courtesy of Michael L. MillensonNorthwestern University

Image 20170327 18980 dl97nf

House Speaker Paul Ryan announced March 24 that he was pulling his proposed health care bill from consideration. Scott Applewhite/AP

“We are now contemplating, Heaven save the mark, a bill that would tax the well for the benefit of the ill.” The Conversation

Although that quote reads like it could be part of the Republican repeal-and-replace assault against the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it’s actually from a 1949 editorial in The New York State Journal of Medicine denouncing health insurance itself.

Indeed, the attacks on the ACA seem to have revived a survival-of-the-fittest attitude most of us thought had vanished in America long ago. Yet, again and again, there it was in plain sight, as when House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) declared: “The idea of Obamacare is that the people who are healthy pay for the people who are sick.” Contemporary language, but the same thinking that sank President Harry Truman’s health care plan almost seven decades ago.

Ryan’s indignation highlighted a fundamental divergence in attitudes that repeatedly turned the health care debate into a clash over the philosophy behind Obamacare-style health insurance. To some, the communal pooling of financial risk of medical expenses seems too often an unacceptable risk to personal responsibility.

As a researcher who has documented this approach to health care, I’ve been startled to see the debate over the AHCA reignite a political philosophy and policy approach that seemed to be have been discredited – and be in sharp decline.

When Truman launched the first comprehensive effort to cover all Americans, most of the population had no health insurance.

Last year, thanks to the ACA, nearly 90 percent did, according to a Gallup-Healthways poll. Yet then and now, many conservatives have downplayed the impact on physical health and focused, instead, on fiscal temptation.

If you can’t afford to be sick, then don’t be

Take, for instance, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) warning low-income Americans on March 7,…
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Trump’s FCC continues to redefine the public interest as business interests

 

Trump's FCC continues to redefine the public interest as business interests

Courtesy of Christopher AliUniversity of Virginia

Image 20170328 3798 jcvd7o

Speak up! Speech bubbles via shutterstock.com

The U.S. Senate voted last week to allow internet service providers to sell data about their customers’ online activities to advertisers. The House of Representatives agreed on Tuesday; President Trump is expected to sign the measure into law. The Conversation

As far back as 1927, American lawmakers sought to balance the needs of the public against the desire of big telecommunications companies to make huge profits off delivering information to Americans nationwide. Today, the Federal Communications Commission is charged with ensuring that the broadcasting and telecommunications systems work in “the public interest, convenience and necessity.”

Policymakers have struggled to specifically define “the public interest,” but the broad intent was clear: Government rules and programs worked to ensure a diversity of programming, distributed by a multitude of companies, with many different owners, through multiple channels that all Americans had access to.

While conducting research for my new book on local media policy in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, I watched as officials’ priorities changed, favoring what they say is “freer” competition in the marketplace of ideas. As new proposals come up for public comment and debate in the next few months, we, the American public, must join these discussions, to ensure our interests are in fact served.

A shift in priorities

Over the last 30 years, America’s communications regulators have moved away from focusing on society’s benefit, and toward an interpretation of the public interest as equivalent to what businesses want. For decades the FCC has chipped away at that broadly understood sense of the public interest, allowing more stations to be owned by one company, letting major media corporations merge and renewing station licenses with a rubber stamp. And TV and radio stations are now allowed to be located far away from the communities they serve.

As a result, the national media system is dominated by a handful of companies,…
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Trump slams brakes on Obama’s climate plan, but there’s still a long road ahead

 

Trump slams brakes on Obama's climate plan, but there's still a long road ahead

Courtesy of Henrik SelinBoston University

Image 20170328 3806 rexupq

Trump signed the executive order surrounded by coal miners, saying it was ‘about jobs.’ AP Photo/Matthew Brown

Badly looking for a political win that would both fulfill some campaign promises to his political base and satisfy the demands of rank-and-file Republicans in Congress, President Trump on March 28 signed an expansive Energy Independence and Economic Growth Executive Order. The Conversation

The executive order signals a sharp shift in federal climate change rules, standards and work procedures. This was expected based on Trump’s campaign rhetoric and his selection of Cabinet members and advisers. But as with other Trump White House initiatives, it is unclear how much change the administration can deliver and at what pace.

It took a long time for the Obama administration to formulate some of the central climate change rules now targeted by the Trump administration, and it will take years trying to change them. The signing of the executive order is just the administration’s opening salvo in what is destined to become a protracted and high-stakes battle.

The Trump attack

Cloaked in unsubstantiated “pro-growth” rhetoric, the executive order targets the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. It also focuses on mandates to cap methane emissions, looks to increase support for the extraction and use of coal and other fossil fuels, and changes the ways in which climate change concerns are embedded in actions by federal agencies (including taking into consideration the social cost of carbon).

The Clean Power Plan was designed to curb carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal-fired power plants as well as to promote renewable energy production and greater energy efficiency. The Obama administration also set emissions standards for new power plants. These and other measures were issued in response to the unwillingness by the U.S. Congress to pass any separate climate change legislation.

Announced in August 2015, the Clean Power Plan was immediately challenged in court by a group of 29 states and state agencies…
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The Robots Win: Blackrock Bets On Computers Over Human Stock Pickers, Fires Dozens

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

The writing had been on the wall – and countless online articles  - for a long time…

… and on Tuesday it finally hit the world's largest asset manager, where in the war between passive-investing robots and active-investing humans, the humans lost. As the WSJ reports, at Blackrock, the era of the star "stock picker" is coming to an end, and he will be replaced by this…

As part of a massive overhaul that has been hinted at in recent months, and was unviled on Tuesday, BlackRock announced a reorganization of its actively managed equities business that will include job losses, pricing changes and a greater emphasis on computer models that inform investments.

BlackRock's new strategy centers on a view that has been facilitated by the not so stealthy central bank takeover of capital markets in recent years, according to which it is difficult for human beings to beat the market with traditional bets on large U.S. stocks. As a result, at least seven stock portfolio managers are among several dozen employees who are expected to go as part of the revamp.

Instead of handing their funds to other humans for investing purposes, for the first time BlackRock’s Main Street customers will be able to buy lower-cost quantitative stock funds that rely on data and computer systems to make predictions, an investment option previously available only to large institutional investors. This option also virtually assures that the next market crash will be unlike anything ever seen. Some existing funds will merge, get new investment mandates or close.

For now the overhaul is only taking place at Blackrock, and represents the most dramatic attempt to rejuvenate a unit that has long lagged rivals in performance. Clients have pulled their money from the actively managed stock business in three of the past four years even as BlackRock’s total assets climbed to a record $5.1 trillion, according to the WSJ. BlackRock had $275.1 billion in active equity assets under management at the end of December, down from $317.3 billion three years earlier.

However, the world's biggest money manager is only the beginning. Many other firms that specialize in handpicking stocks


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Why Foreign Robots Are The Real U.S. Job Killer

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Over the past several months President Trump has called out pretty much every major auto OEM for their efforts to move low-skilled assembly jobs to Mexico. But absent new tariffs, it's not terribly surprising to most people that American companies would seek to move low-skilled, labor-intensive jobs to lower cost labor markets…the math is pretty simple.

But what is somewhat surprising is how poorly the U.S. is performing versus international competition in the development of advanced manufacturing robotics. As the Wall Street Journal points out this morning, when it comes to automating a manufacturing floor, buying robotics 'Made in America' isn't even an option.

Vickers Engineering Inc. embodies the potential of American manufacturing. The New Troy, Mich., machining company supplies precision parts to clients including Toyota Motor Corp. and Volkswagen AG , and exports to Mexico and Canada. Its staff has risen fivefold and average pay has doubled over the past decade, says Chief Executive Matt Tyler.

What’s helping to power Vickers’s made-in-America success? Advanced Japanese and German factory equipment. When Vickers first bought industrial robots in 2006, it chose between only European and Japanese models, says Mr. Tyler, and has been adding Japanese robots ever since. “We were not aware of any American-made option.”

America is losing the battle to supply the kind of cutting-edge production machinery that is powering the new automated factory floor, from digital machine tools to complex packaging systems and robotic arms.

Commerce Department data show the U.S. last year ran a trade deficit of $4.1 billion in advanced “flexible manufacturing” goods with Japan, the European Union and Switzerland, which lead the industry. That is double the 2003 deficit. It was down from $7 billion in 2001, but much of the decline came from foreign equipment suppliers expanding in the U.S., not from an American comeback.

Robts

Meanwhile, U.S. firms are also losing market share at home, according to Germany’s VDMA industrial-machinery trade group. In 1995, they satisfied 81% of domestic demand for factory equipment. In 2015, the most-recent data, that had slipped to 63%.

Robots

And while the U.S. lags, China is looking to make aggressive moves


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Investors Underperforming Their Own Investments

 

Investors Underperforming Their Own Investments

Courtesy of 

If a financial advisor could just accomplish one thing for clients – help them capture more of the returns that their own investments offer, then he or she has done something extremely worthy and valuable. This requires difficult work though: It’s easier to promise a client that they’ll be able to avoid drawdowns than it is to convince a client why they must learn to tolerate them. Every advisor’s client yearns to be able to say “My guy got me out” at the country club.

Steve Russolillo looks at the well-known phenomenon in which investors systematically underperform their own investments by acting emotionally, over-trading and making poor timing decisions.

Via Wall Street Journal:

Consider a long-running study of investor returns by Dalbar, a financial-research firm in Boston. It found the average investor in U.S. stock mutual funds lost 2.3% in 2015, whereas the S&P 500 was slightly positive that year, including dividends. Dalbar, which has published this study each year since 1994, plans to release an updated version this week.

And 2015 wasn’t an anomaly. The gap between investors’ returns and the market’s performance is even wider over a longer time horizon. Equity-fund investors earned just 3.7% annually over the past 30 years through 2015 compared with a 10.4% annual return for the S&P 500.

The gaps between blue and green in the chart above are abominable. Critics will say that the Dalbar study has flaws and that the calculations overstate the problems. Anecdotally, I disagree. We see investor portfolios every week coming in over the transom at my shop and I am never not surprised by what goes on out there.

The brokerages don’t care if this happens – and, in fact, some of them actively encourage it given the fact that they get paid on the trading you do, and not the sitting. Volatility avoidance is what crushes long-term returns, which is very counterintuitive. Vol is not the enemy because it causes fluctuation – rather, it is the enemy because it drives bad decisions. [my emphasis]

There might always be a


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Gibberish Is the White House’s New Normal

 

Gibberish Is the White House’s New Normal

Courtesy of 

This post first appeared on BillMoyers.com.

Once upon a time, there were presidents for whom English seemed their native language. Barack Obama most recently. He deliberated. At a press conference or in an interview — just about whenever he wasn’t speaking from a text — his pauses were as common as other people’s “uh’s.” He was not pausing because his vocabulary was impoverished. He was pausing to put words into sequence. He was putting phrases together with care, word by word, trying out words before uttering them, checking to feel out what they would sound like once uttered. It was important to him because he did not want to be misunderstood. President Obama valued precision, in no small part because he knew he lived in a world where every last presidential word was a speech act, a declaration with consequence, so that the very statement that the sky was blue, say, would be scoured for evidence that the president was declaring a policy on the nature of nature.

That was then. Now we have a president who, when he speaks, spatters the air with unfinished chunks, many of which do not qualify as sentences, and which do not follow from previous chunks. He does not release words into a stream of consciousness but into a heap. He heaps words on top of words, to overwhelm meaning with vague gestures. He does not think, he lurches.

Here are some examples from TIME’s transcript of their cover story made out of their phone interview with the president of the United States. I have italicized the non sequiturs, incomplete propositions, indefinite pronouns and other obscurities that amount to verbal mud.

Scherer: So you don’t feel like Comey’s testimony in any way takes away from the credibility of the tweets you put out, even with the quotes?

Trump: No, I have, look. I have articles saying it happened. But you have to take a look at what they, they just went out at a news conference.

Scherer: Mitch McConnell has said


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America can’t be first without Europe

 

America can't be first without Europe

Courtesy of Earl Anthony Wayne, Hamilton College and Daniel S. Hamilton, Johns Hopkins University

On March 25, European Union leaders celebrate the 60th anniversary of their founding treaty, a central pillar of the structure set up in the aftermath of World War II to solidify peace, prosperity and partnership in Europe. The Conversation

Over the last 60 years, the EU (and its predecessors) has served as an essential U.S. partner: for example, by enhancing economic opportunity for U.S. companies in Europe and increasingly supplying vital foreign assistance and diplomatic support to help solve international problems. Indeed, if the EU did not already exist, the United States would be looking to invent something like it to help preserve peace and generate prosperity on a continent that suffered through two devastating world wars.

More recently, however, the EU has faced a variety of existential threats as the euro crisis rattled its members’ financial well-being, economic growth slowed, U.K. voters opted to leave the union and “euroskeptics” in countries like France and the Netherlands use criticism of Brussels to contest elections. And even in the U.S., some reacted to Brexit with cheers.

The bottom line – based on our many year of experience as diplomats, policymakers and researchers on transatlantic issues – is that the U.S. needs a strong economic and political partnership with Europe to advance its own economic well-being and address vexing international and regional issues. Such a partnership would be enormously more difficult to maintain without the EU’s single voice, something Washington would be wise to remember.

Ensuring peace and prosperity

As it happens, the EU might not even exist today if it wasn’t for the United States and its efforts to rebuild Europe – via the Marshall Plan – and stop the spread of Communism following World War II.

Seventy years ago, U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall, U.S. President Harry Truman and members of Congress – Republicans and Democrats alike – agreed that the way to ensure peace and prosperity in Europe was for Europeans to…
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Weekend Reading: Lack Of Perspective

Courtesy of Lance Roberts, Real Investment Advice

In last weekend’s missive I wrote:

“Speaking of low volatility, the market has now gone 108-trading days without a drop of 1% for both the Dow and the S&P 500. This is the longest stretch since September of 1993 for the Dow and December of 1995 for the S&P 500.

The issue becomes, of course, which way the market breaks when volatility returns to the market. Over the course of the last three years, in particular, those breaks have been to the downside as shown below.”

“Given the particularly extreme overbought condition that currently exists, the strongest odds suggest the next pickup in volatility will be in the form of a corrective action to reverse some of that condition.”

Of course, on Tuesday afternoon that long streak of complacency came to an end as all major U.S. markets tumbled by more than 1% by the close.

While such an event has been expected, it still seemed to catch investors by surprise. Of course, given such a long period of upwardly trending prices with exceptionally low volatility, investors had been lulled into very high levels of complacency. The media had also fallen into the trap, as noted by the graphic above, suggesting the one-day correction had been a major mean reverting event.

It wasn’t.

As shown in the chart above, updated through Thursday, all indicators remain extremely overbought. While the markets may indeed rally into Friday’s close, it is quite likely the correction that began on Tuesday is not complete as of yet.

Furthermore, after such a long period of low volatility, the sharp decline in asset prices is one day FELT much worse than it actually was. 

This is the important, and often missed point about “passive indexing.”

While a 10% decline in the market certainly does SOUND that bad, with a 2000 point loss on the Dow, or a 230 point loss on the S&P 500, FEELS entirely different. This is where investors start making emotionally bad investment decisions where “passive investing” ultimately becomes “panic selling.”

It is the “lack of perspective” by investors that eventually lead them into the myriad of investment mistakes which destroys investment capital.


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Zero Hedge

Konstantin Richter: "The Dirty Dozen" - 12 'Things' That Ruined The EU

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Konstantin Richter via Politico.eu,

Last weekend, European leaders gathered in Rome for the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. They discussed, not for the first time, how to get the EU back on track. And they told each other they are ...



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ValueWalk

Pension Crisis Ahead: Why Public Employees Should Think About a Golden Nest Egg Now

By Mauldin Economics. Originally published at ValueWalk.

75.4 million Baby Boomers in America—about 26% of the US population—have reached or will reach retirement age between 2011 and 2030. And many of them are public-sector employees.

In a 2015 study of public-sector organizations, nearly half of the responding organizations stated that they could lose 20% or more of their employees to retirement within the next five years.

Local governments are particularly vulnerable: a full 37% of local-government employees were at least 50 years of age in 2015.

Seeing those numbers, it is no surprise that public ...



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Chart School

SP500 Kitchin cycle says trouble brewing

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Since March 2009 the SP500 is up 250%, so another 10% gain is just chump change, and chasing it may be a step too far!

The Kitchin cycle (purple loops) suggests trouble can be expected between May 2017 and June 2018, readtheticker.com suggests a minimum 20% correction is a sure thing during the next 18 months with the TRUMP'ster around. Why chase a 10% gain now? Best waiting for the expected market correction before increasing your exposure to real market risk. Makes sense no!

NOTE: The price chart below with our RTTHurstDPO indicator shows price is conforming to the 900 bar Kitchin cycle.

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing.


O...

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Phil's Favorites

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

Wall Street posts sharp gains, fueled by strong consumer data (Reuters)

U.S. stocks ended sharply higher on Tuesday, with financial and energy shares surging as data showed U.S. consumer confidence soaring to a more than 16-year high.

If Stocks Wobble, Will Bonds Be There To Absorb the Blow? (The Wall Street Journal)

If stocks are hitting a sticky patch, are bonds bound to shine? That was certainly the case in the first half of last year, when sharp falls in equity markets helped push bond prices sky-high. But the backdrop is different this time around.

...



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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

Wall Street posts sharp gains, fueled by strong consumer data (Reuters)

U.S. stocks ended sharply higher on Tuesday, with financial and energy shares surging as data showed U.S. consumer confidence soaring to a more than 16-year high.

If Stocks Wobble, Will Bonds Be There To Absorb the Blow? (The Wall Street Journal)

If stocks are hitting a sticky patch, are bonds bound to shine? That was certainly the case in the first half of last year, when sharp falls in equity markets helped push bond prices sky-high. But the backdrop is different this time around.

...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Strong markets struggling at breakout levels of late

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

The S&P 500, Banks, Small Caps and Transportation indices continue to climb higher, as the long-term trend remains up. The two charts below, look at performance over the past month and how each index is testing long-term breakout levels.

The chart below looks at how the above mentioned indices have performed over the past 30-days.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

These key markets are a little soft the past 30-days. The Power of the Pattern below looks at where this softness is taking pl...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of March 27th, 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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Members' Corner

More Natterings

Courtesy of The Nattering Naybob

[Click on the titles for the full articles.]

A Quick $20 Trick?

Summary

Discussion, critique and analysis of the potential impacts on equity, bond, commodity, capital and asset markets regarding the following:

  • Last time out, Sinbad The Sailor, QuickLogic.
  • GlobalFoundries, Jha, Smartron and cricket.
  • Quick money, fungible, demographics, QUIK focus.

Last Time Out

Monetary policy is just one form of policy that effects capital,...



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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin Tumbles Below Gold As China Tightens Regulations

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Having rebounded rapidly from the ETF-decision disappointment, Bitcoin suffered another major setback overnight as Chinese regulators are circulating new guidelines that, if enacted, would require exchanges to verify the identity of clients and adhere to banking regulations.

A New York startup called Chainalysis estimated that roughly $2 billion of bitcoin moved out of China in 2016.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, the move to regulate bitcoin exchanges brings assurance that Chinese authorities will tolerate some level of trading, after months of uncertainty. A draft of the guidelines also indicates th...



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Mapping The Market

Congress begins rolling back Obama's broadband privacy rules

Courtesy of Jean Luc

I am trying to remember who on this board said that people wanted to Trump because they want their freedom back. Well….

Congress begins rolling back Obama's broadband privacy rules

By Daniel Cooper, Endgadget

ISPs will soon be able to sell your most private data without your consent.

As expected, Republicans in Congress have begun the process of rolling back the FCC's broadband privacy rules which prevent excessive surveillance. Arizona Republican Jeff Flake introduced a resolution to scrub the rules, using Congress' powers to invalidate recently-approved federal regulations. Reuters reports that the move has broad support, with 34 other names throwing their weight behind the res...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

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Biotech

The Medicines Company: Insider Buying

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

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

 

 

 

Insider transaction table and buying vs. selling graphic above from insidercow.com.

Chart below from Yahoo.com

...

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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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