Archive for the ‘High Mailing Priority’ Category

Angela Merkel wins a fourth term in office – but it won’t be an easy one

 

Angela Merkel wins a fourth term in office – but it won't be an easy one

Courtesy of Patricia Hogwood, University of Westminster

Angela Merkel will continue as chancellor of Germany. But following an election that saw the rise of smaller parties – most notably the far right – her fourth term will probably be an eventful one in ways she would not wish for.

Early exit polls show the Union parties (Merkel’s CDU and sister party CSU) in top place with just under 33%. They did nevertheless lose almost 9% over their previous election result of 2013.

The Social Democratic Party (SPD), coalition partner to the Union parties, finished a distant second, with just over 20% of the vote. For the SPD, this is a historic low: almost 6% down on the last election. Party leader Martin Schulz failed to come up to scratch in a lacklustre campaign.

Four smaller parties appear to have managed to meet the 5% threshold to qualify for seats in parliament.

The right-wing populist party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), achieved a dubious milestone in post-war German history. With a vote share expected to be just over 13%, some 2% of which was gained in the last days of the campaign, it will be the first overtly far-right nationalist party to enter the federal parliament.

The Left Party (die Linke) and the Green Party (Bündnis ‘90/die Grünen) made marginal gains to score 9% and just over 9% respectively. Big gains went to one party that had been more or less written off after the last election and to another that many commentators hoped never to see in parliament at federal level. The liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) rose from the ashes to return to parliament under their charismatic new leader Christian Lindner. With 10.5% of the vote, the party more than doubled its tally of the last election.

Forming a government

The new government will need to control 316 seats in the parliament to achieve the majority needed to take office. While probably technically possible, a continuation of the current Grand Coalition (GroKo) between CDU/CSU and SPD now seems unlikely.

Having sent mixed messages before the election, the…
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Twin earthquakes expose Mexico’s deep inequality

 

Twin earthquakes expose Mexico's deep inequality

Courtesy of Luis Gómez Romero, University of Wollongong

Early in the morning on Sept. 16, 1810, priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rang the bell of his church in the small town of Dolores, near Guanajuato, Mexico. His parishioners gathered round, and he urged them to revolt against Spain’s two-year-old Napoleonic government.

Hidalgo’s call to arms, which later became known later as the Grito de Dolores (Cry of Dolores), triggered the Mexican War of Independence. Every September 15, the president of Mexico takes to the balcony of the National Palace in Mexico City to reenact it.

This year, just a week before Independence Day, a historic earthquake struck Mexico’s southern coast, killing nearly 100 people. So President Enrique Peña Nieto added a poignant element to his Grito by including in the incantation a reference to the impoverished states that were most devastated by the quake, crying “Long live the solidarity of Mexicans with Chiapas and Oaxaca!”

This year, the president’s ‘Cry of Pain’ included Oaxaca and Chiapas.

It was a nice twist on tradition, but these two states will need more than expressions of solidarity to recover. The 8.2 magnitude quake is the strongest Mexico has experienced in 100 years, surpassing even the Sept. 19, 1985 earthquake that killed up to 40,000 people in and around Mexico City, according to the highest estimates.

It was also significantly more powerful than the recent 7.1 magnitude earthquake that killed upwards of 200 people in and around Mexico’s capital on September 19.

Natural and man-made disasters

This latest quake shook Mexico City 32 years to the day after the 1985 “big one.” I was 11 years old when the quake hit, and I recall the government of President Miguel de la Madrid reacting with what can only be described as criminal apathy: In the first days after the disaster, he prevented the army from rescuing victims and rejected international aid.

The people of Mexico City, however, took to the streets, distributing food, water and blankets among those who needed them and digging neighbors free from…
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What Should Keep Facebook Shareholders Up At Night

 

What Should Keep Facebook Shareholders Up At Night

Courtesy of 

The power of Facebook advertising – let’s say they can identify 2 billion people around the world based on 200 points of data, which allows them to offer advertisers the holy grail of targeting. Now companies know exactly who is seeing their ads – only the “right” potential consumers. This is unheard of in the history of the world.

Facebook’s shareholders have been rightfully rewarded for the company’s marketing prowess. It now sports a market capitalization of $500 billion – the only two companies worth more are Apple and Microsoft. Exxon, J&J, Google, JP Morgan, Berkshire – they’re all worth less.

So it is true that Facebook has an amazing marketing product and it is also true that the world now fully appreciates this fact.

But what if not everyone agrees to play along? What if this ability to micro-target every living human being to the degree of 200 individual data points is not okay anymore? For example, what if a foreign government – say, Germany – decides that 200 data points is too much information for Facebook to collect and make available about their citizens to advertisers? What if Germany says, “You know what? This is not okay. From now on, you can only utilize 100 of those 200 data points. We don’t want our sovereign citizens targeted to that degree by anyone – dishwashing detergent firms, political parties, special interest groups – it’s too much influence.”

Now what if this happens, and Facebook acquiesces so as to stay out of court, and then a month later Japan says they’d like the same thing? And then the Netherlands? And then the state of Florida? And then the city of Las Vegas? And so on? What if the world begins to make the decision that no entity – corporate or otherwise – ought to have the sort of broad, unchecked free reign that Facebook (and to a lesser extent, Google) has enjoyed over the last few years?

Does Facebook face them all down, one after another, to


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PhilStockWorld.com Weekly Trading Webinar

 

PhilStockWorld.com Weekly Trading Webinar – 09-20-17

For LIVE access on Wednesday afternoons, join us at Phil's Stock World – click here

Major Topics:

00:02:02 Checking on the Markets
00:06:44 Platinum
00:07:25 Ford
00:08:09 Petroleum Status Report
00:18:01 S&P 500
00:26:14 Crude Oil
00:29:23 USD
00:30:00 EUR
00:34:07 TSLA
00:47:33 Apple
00:52:29 Apple Watch
00:54:24 AAPL Charts
00:56:54 Checking on the Markets
00:58:15 FOMC Statement
01:16:14 Checking on the Markets
01:08:42 Active Trader
01:10:10 Trade Ideas
01:13:58 Bra prices
01:15:27 LB
01:23:48 IBM
01:25:20 WPM
01:27:17 IBM Trade Ideas
01:41:08 Checking on the Markets
01:44:52 XRT
01:48:10 ATI Trade Ideas
01:55:32 AAPL Charts
01:58:43 Russell 2000
02:09:36 TEVA Charts and Trade Ideas
02:14:06 Active Trader

Phil's Weekly Trading Webinars provide a great opportunity to learn what we do at PSW. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and view past webinars, here. For LIVE access to PSW's Weekly Webinars – demonstrating trading strategies in real time – join us at PSW — click here!





How Trump could undermine the US solar boom

 

How Trump could undermine the US solar boom

Courtesy of Llewelyn Hughes, Australian National University and Jonas Meckling, University of California, Berkeley

Tumbling prices for solar energy have helped stoke demand among U.S. homeowners, businesses and utilities for electricity powered by the sun. But that could soon change.

President Donald Trump – whose proposed 2018 budget would slash support for alternative energy – may get a new opportunity to undermine the solar power market by imposing duties that could increase the cost of solar power high enough to choke off the industry’s growth.

As scholars of how public policies affect, and are affected by, energy, we have been studying how the solar industry is increasingly global. We also research what this means for who wins and loses from the renewable energy revolution in the U.S. and Europe.

We believe that imposing steep new duties on imported solar equipment would hurt the overall U.S. solar industry. That in turn could discourage choices that slow the pace of climate change.

 

 

Trade complaints

A bankrupt manufacturer has petitioned the Trump administration to slap new duties on imported crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, the basic electricity-producing components of solar panels – along with imported panels, also known as modules.

This case follows earlier and narrower complaints filed by SolarWorld, a German solar manufacturer with a factory in Oregon, that Chinese companies were getting an unfair edge as a result of subsidies and dumping.

Due to those cases, the U.S. has imposed duties on solar panels and their components imported from China and Taiwan. The punitive Chinese tariffs averaged 29.5 percent last year, according to the Greentech Media research firm.

Suniva, a U.S. company that – oddly enough – is majority-owned by a Chinese company, lodged this complaint in April under a rarely activated 1974 Trade Act provision called Section 201. SolarWorld Americas joined in a month later.

The key difference in this new case is that it will potentially lead to tariffs on all imported solar cells and panels, rather than specific kinds…
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The Future Of Artificial Intelligence (According To Pop Culture)

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

The unpredictable nature of super-intelligent, self-improving machines lends itself quite nicely to the dramatic storylines of movies and books.

It’s a science fiction writer’s dream – as Visual Capitalist's Jeff Desjardins warns: if AI becomes smart enough to create more advanced versions of itself, pretty much every outcome is on the table. Machines could empower humanity to become enlightened and virtuous. On the less optimistic side? Machines could instead ruthlessly enslave all of humankind to tickle their own warped sense of satisfaction.

POP CULTURE PERSPECTIVES

From the plot of movies like The Terminator to The Matrix, pop culture offers up innumerable examples of what could happen from the rise of the machines – and most of them, as you can imagine, steer towards the less optimistic side of the spectrum.

Today’s infographic from BBC Future provides an entertaining take on these scenarios, organized by potential likelihood.

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

Some experts see AI having a $15.7 trillion impact on our economy, but pop culture offers up a slightly different perspective of what the future may hold.

FUTURE AI SCENARIOS

Here are just some of the scenarios offered up in mainstream movies, books, and television shows. Some are apocalyptic and dystopian, and some seem just plain bizarre:

Seductive Siris: In 2013’s Her, Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with an intelligent operating system named Samantha.

Self-Replicating AI: In 1995’s Screamers, scientists create a self-replicating weapon with one purpose: to destroy all life.

The Singularity: AI vies to take over the world in 1982’s classic Tron.

Rampaging Robots: In 1973’s Westworld, recently re-envisioned as a different TV series by HBO, murderous androids go on a killing spree in a futuristic Disney-style theme park.

Feeling Machines: In the 1999 movie Bicentennial Man, a household robot experiences emotions, creative thoughts, and eventually develops sentience.

Androids Among Us: Artificial beings infiltrate society undetected in TV series Battlestar Galactica.

Human Enslavement: In the 1999 movie The Matrix, all life on Earth is an elaborate facade. The robots are really the ones in command, but you wouldn’t know it until you take the “red pill”.

Mind Upload: Digitized humans gain immortality and then wreak havoc, such as in 2014’s Transcendence.

ONE CERTAINTY

While some of these ideas seem far-fetched, it’s worth noting that not all future scenarios are as distant as they may seem.

With computing power increasing exponentially, the tail end of the hockey stick could happen sooner than we may think.





Government By Goldman

By Gary Rivlin and Michael Hudson via The Intercept, in partnership with The Investigative Fund

As posted at Zero Hedge

Steve Bannon was in the room the day Donald Trump first fell for Gary Cohn. So were Reince Priebus, Jared Kushner, and Trump’s pick for secretary of Treasury, Steve Mnuchin. It was the end of November, three weeks after Trump’s improbable victory, and Cohn, then still the president of Goldman Sachs, was at Trump Tower presumably at the invitation of Kushner, with whom he was friendly. Cohn was there to offer his views about jobs and the economy. But, like the man he was there to meet, he was at heart a salesman.

On the campaign trail, Trump had spoken often about the importance of investing in infrastructure. Yet the president-elect had apparently failed to appreciate that the government would need to come up with hundreds of billions of dollars to fund his plans. Cohn, brash and bold, wired to attack any moneymaking opportunity, pitched a fix that would put Wall Street firms at the center: Private-industry partners could help infrastructure get fixed, saving the federal government from going deeper into debt. The way the moment was captured by the New York Times, among other publications, Trump was dumbfounded. “Is this true?” he asked. Was a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan likely to increase the deficit by a trillion dollars? Confronted by nodding heads, an unhappy president-elect said, “Why did I have to wait to have this guy tell me?”

Within two weeks, the transition team announced that Cohn would take over as director of the president’s National Economic Council.

Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn arrives for a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York,  Nov. 29, 2016. Photo: Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images

1. GOLDMAN ALWAYS WINS

Goldman Sachs had been a favorite cudgel for candidate Trump – the symbol of a government that favors Wall Street over its citizenry. Trump proclaimed that Hillary Clinton was in the firm’s pockets, as was Ted Cruz. It was Goldman Sachs that Trump singled out when he railed against a system rigged in favor of the global elite — one that “robbed our working class, stripped our country


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Can the world’s megacities survive the digital age?

 

Can the world's megacities survive the digital age?

Courtesy of Christopher H. Lim, Nanyang Technological University and Vincent Mack, Nanyang Technological University

Today, megacities have become synonymous with economic growth. In both developing and developed countries, cities with populations of 10 million or more account for one-third to one-half of their gross domestic product.

Many analysts and policymakers think this trend is here to stay. The rise of big data analytics and mobile technology should spur development, they assert, transforming metropolises like Shanghai, Nairobi and Mexico City into so-called “smart cities” that can leverage their huge populations to power their economies and change the power balance in the world.

As technology researchers, however, we see a less rosy urban future. That’s because digitization and crowdsourcing will actually undermine the very foundations of the megacity economy, which is typically built on some combination of manufacturing, commerce, retail and professional services.

The exact formula differs from region to region, but all megacities are designed to maximize the productivity of their massive populations. Today, these cities lean heavily on economies of scale, by which increased production brings cost advantages, and on the savings and benefits of co-locating people and firms in neighborhoods and industrial clusters.

But technological advances are now upending these old business models, threatening future of megacities as we know them.

Manufacturing on the fritz

One classic example of a disruptive new technology is 3-D printing, which enables individuals to “print” everything from ice cream to machine parts.

As this streamlined technique spreads, it will eliminate some of the many links in the global production process. By taking out the “middle men,” 3-D printing may ultimately reduce the supply chain to just a designer on one end and a manufacturer on the other, significantly reducing the production costs of manufactured goods.


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Tech Stocks as Career Obsolescence Insurance

 

Tech Stocks as Career Obsolescence Insurance

Courtesy of 

Posted this poll this morning and the results came out just I had expected.

Is it at all possible that multiples are elevated for some segments of the stock market because people are investing based on metrics that have nothing to do with those prized by prior generations of investors? And, further, is it possible that these new investor predilections – for revenue growth and industry dominion and the capacity to disrupt a wide variety of industries and TAM (total addressable market) – is completely reasonable?

Target and Macy’s and Ford Motors and Best Buy did an admirable job chugging along at single-digit percent earnings growth rates for decades. And what was the point? Who benefitted? Why should investors prefer the shares of CVS and Walgreens and other sitting ducks who persist in this same strategy?

Identifying a company with a good profit margins and a nice earnings / dividend payout may have rewarded investors in the past. But identifying the companies that are going to eat all of the other companies and, by extension, someday be able to produce much higher earnings / dividend payouts might be the better route. The stock market seems to be voting this way.

The tech sector represents 23.5% of the S&P 500 as of the end of August. And just for context, this doesn’t even include the $80 billion value of Netflix or the $474 billion value of Amazon – both are classified as consumer discretionary. It also doesn’t include the $70 billion value of Tesla, which is not even in the S&P 500 despite being more valuable than 400 of the companies in the index.

Verizon and AT&T (worth a combined $440 billion) are not in the technology sector classification, but can anyone truly argue that they do anything but technology? That they aren’t, in fact, two…
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There’s No Such Thing as a “Sin Stock”

 

There’s No Such Thing as a “Sin Stock”

Courtesy of Cullen Roche, Pragmatic Capitalism

This post will at first appear like a discussion about morality, but I hope it will end as a post about objective reasons for market cap weighted equity indexing. So hang tight even if your head starts to explode a little.

Here’s a good piece by Felix Salmon on why we should avoid “sin stocks”. In it, he disagrees with a piece by Cliff Asness and Matt Levine. The basic gist of the disagreement is that Matt and Cliff say that avoiding sin stocks could make it more expensive to finance their future operations which will lead to fewer sinful companies and Felix says that not investing in these companies is unlikely to have a meaningful real world impact.¹ I think they’re having the wrong discussion though.

This is going to annoy many of you, but a lot of this strikes me as virtue signalling. Matt, Cliff and Felix are having this discussion assuming that they know what is and what isn’t virtuous. I would argue none of us really knows a virtuous company from one that isn’t. Yes, you might have a general idea of what is virtuous, but there is no specific way to determine this other than a company that operates illegally and one that operates legally. Aside from that, the idea of a “sin stock” is rather murky. Obviously, since all publicly traded companies are operating legally then the idea of a “sinful” company must be rather opaque.

I know, I know, alcohol, tobacco, firearm and casino companies are obviously bad. They operate distasteful businesses, but they also provide goods and services to many people who find them very valuable. While most of us might find some of these businesses distasteful or even immoral they have a clientele that finds them valuable. And if a company operates legally then who is to say whether a cheeseburger (which is one of the most lethal things Americans consume) is more sinful than an AR-15? There might be degrees of sin in the way these companies produce their goods and services, but there is no clear line for the sinners vs the non-sinners.

So while you might think a stock is sinful…
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Phil's Favorites

OPEC's Premature Victory Lap

 

OPEC’s Premature Victory Lap

By Nick Cunningham, Oil Price 

OPEC met on Friday to review the progress of their work over the past 9 months, assessing whether or not they should extend their current production cuts beyond the March 2018 expiration date.

OPEC gathered in Vienna at a time when the oil market arguably looks tighter than it has in a very long time. Demand is growing at a rapid clip – increasing at a 1.6 million-barrel-per-day rate this year – global supply fell in August, and inventories have drained at a much swifter pace in recent months. Kuwait’s oil minister Issam Almarzooq ...



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Zero Hedge

Colorado Landfills Contain Radioactive Substances From Oil Sector

Courtesy of Zainab Calcuttawala, OilPrice.com

(As posted at Zero Hedge)

Landfills in Colorado have begun to fill their space with low-level radioactive substances from oil and gas activities, state health officials have said, according to the local news site the Daily Camera.

After a series of meetings with local officials, state authorities have ...



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Chart School

Russell 2000 Hits Its Target

Courtesy of Declan.

Friday delivered the upside target of 1,450 I was looking for in the Russell 2000. Next will be some follow through in line with the S&P and Dow breakouts, but this will require a resistance break which will be harder than a resistance tag. Technicals are healthy and relative strength is working strongly in Small Caps favour.


The S&P had a quiet Friday; volume was lighter, technicals are strong, and Thursday's sell off was stalled by Friday's recovery. However, the S&P continued its relative underperformance...

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ValueWalk

Dotard Vs. Madman: The Linguistic War Between Trump And Kim

By Polina Tikhonova. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The war of words between the leaders of the U.S. and North Korea has escalated… again. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un threatened to “tame with fire” U.S. President Donald Trump, whom he referred to as “mentally deranged U.S. dotard.”

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

An official statement released by Kim on Thursday came as an apparent response to Trump’s newly announced eco...



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Insider Scoop

Healthcare Stocks Spike After McCain Announces 'No' Vote On Graham-Cassidy Proposal

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related AET Your Easy Guide To Credit Suisse's New Top Stocks List Vornado Realty Has An Intri...

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

Digital Currencies

Jamie Dimon Faces Market Abuse Claim Over "False, Misleading" Bitcoin Comments

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A week after Jamie Dimon made headlines by proclaiming Bitcoin a "fraud" and anyone who owns it as "stupid," the JPMorgan CEO faces a market abuse claim for "spreading false and misleading information" about bitcoin.

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past week, you will be well aware of JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon's panicked outburst wi...



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Members' Corner

"Citron Exposes Ubiquiti Networks" But TNN Says "Not So Fast"

What do you think? (There's a comment section below )

"CITRON EXPOSES UBIQUITI NETWORKS" 

Does Ubiquiti Networks (NASDAQ:UBNT) actually have real products that sell to consumers? Of course! So did Valeant and WorldCom, but that does not stop its financials from having every indication of being completely fraudulent.

Citron will detail a series of alarming red flags and detail how Ubiquiti Networks is deceiving the investing public.

Read the full report here.

******

Rebutal by The Nattering Naybob, ...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

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

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Biotech

Can low doses of chemicals affect your health? A new report weighs the evidence

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

 

Can low doses of chemicals affect your health? A new report weighs the evidence

Courtesy of Rachel ShafferUniversity of Washington

Assessing the data. LightField Studios/shutterstock.com

Toxicology’s founding father, Paracelsus, is famous for proclaiming that “...



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Mapping The Market

The App Economy Will Be Worth $6 Trillion in Five Years

Courtesy of Jean-Luc

This would be excellent news for AAPL and GOOG to a lesser extent although not inconsequential:

The App Economy Will Be Worth $6 Trillion in Five Years 

In five years, the app economy will be worth $6.3 trillion, up from $1.3 trillion last year, according to a report released today by app measurement company App Annie. What explains the growth? More people are spending more time and -- crucially -- more money in apps. While on average people aren't downloading many more apps, App Annie expects global app usership to nearly double to 6.3 billion people in the next five years while the time spent in apps will more than double. And, it expects the...



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Promotions

NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!

 

We have a great guest at today's webinar!

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

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

Just click here at 1 pm est and join in!

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



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Kimble Charting Solutions

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

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

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

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

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

If EWZ b...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

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

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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FeedTheBull - Top Stock market and Finance Sites



About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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