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Stock World Weekly

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The Thrill of the Chase

The Thrill of the Chase

Courtesy of Investing Caffeine's Wade Slome

Chasing FreeImages

Men (and arguably women to a lesser extent) enjoy the process of hunting for a mate. Chasing the seemingly unattainable event aligns with man’s innate competitive nature. But the quest for the inaccessible is not solely limited to dating. When it comes to other aspirational categories, humans also want what they cannot have because they revel in a challenge. Whether it’s a desirable job, car, romantic partner, or even an investment, people bask in the pursuit.

For many investment daters and trading speculators, 2008-2009 was a period of massive rejection. Rather than embracing the losses as a new opportunity, many wallowed in cash, CDs, bonds, and/or gold. This strategy felt OK until the massive 5-year bull market went on a persistent, upward tear beginning in 2009. Now, as the relentless bull market has continued to set new all-time record highs, the negative sentiment cycle has slowly shifted in the other direction. Back in 2009, many investors regretted owning stocks and as a result locked in losses by selling at depressed prices. Now, the regret of owning stocks has shifted to remorse for not owning stocks. Missing a +23% annual return for five years, while getting stuck with a paltry 0.25% return in a savings account or 3-4% annual return achieved in bonds, can harm the psyche and make savers bitter.

Greed hasn’t fully set in like we witnessed in the late period of the 1990s tech boom, but nevertheless, some of the previous overly cautious “sideliners” feel compelled to now get into the stock game (see Get Out of Stocks!*) or increase their equity allocation. Like a desperate, testosterone-amped teen chasing a prom date, some speculators are chasing stocks, regardless of the price paid. As I’ve noted before, the overall valuation of the stock market seems quite reasonable (see PE ratio chart in Risk Aversion Declining - S. Grannis), despite selective pockets of froth popping up in areas like biotech stocks, internet companies, and junk bonds.

Even if chasing is a bad general investment practice, in the short-run, chasing stocks (or increasing equity allocations) may work because overall prices of stocks remain about half the price they were at the 2000 bubble peak (see Siegel Bubblicious article). How can stocks be -50% off…
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Stock World Weekly

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Good Trading Brain/Bad Trading Brain

It's long been known that the typical human brain did not evolve perfectly for success in stock trading and investing. There are probably many reasons, and many mechanisms contributing to this observation. Using fMRI imaging, researchers at the CalTech, the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging University College London studied the brains of good traders and bad traders and found several differences.

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 10.31.22 PM

(Image from CalTech)

In "They Discovered Something In The Brains Of Great Investors That Makes Them Do So Much Better," Rob Wile at Business Insider reports on the results. 

Excerpt:

But according to a new study by Caltech and Virginia Tech behavioral economists, only certain people's brains are capable of acting on [Warren Buffett's advice to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful].

The researchers looked at the brain activity and behavior of people trading in experimental markets where price bubbles formed, using an fMRI scanner to track responses. 

They found that only "wise" traders received an early "warning signal" from their brains, causing them to feel uncomfortable and urging them to sell. 

The wiser traders had more intense activity in the insular cortex, which is associated with risk aversion — it's often activated when a person smells something rank. The much more common brain pattern the researchers found was one that made traders behave in a greedy way, buying aggressively during a bubble and even after its peak. These traders had much greater activity in the nucleus accumbens, or NAcc, which is associated with reward processing.

Here's the brain activity chart: The high earners, in green, saw significantly more insula activity as a peak approached. Meanwhile, the poorly performing traders' brains' regulation areas basically shut down.

pnas investing brain
 

And here's the trading activity chart. The high earners, in green, curbed their trading activity significantly as they sensed peak pricing approach, then bought into the dip once it passed. The bad traders kept buying throughout the peak.  investing brain activity


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Central Bank Smackdown

Central Bank Smackdown

Courtesy of  JOHN MAULDIN

Smackdown: smack·down, ?smak?doun/, noun, US informal

1.  a bitter contest or confrontation.

"the age-old man versus Nature smackdown"

2.  a decisive or humiliating defeat or setback.

The term “smackdown” was first used by professional wrestler Dwayne Johnson (AKA The Rock) in 1997. Ten years later its use had become so ubiquitous that Merriam-Webster felt compelled to add it to their lexicon. It may be Dwayne Johnson’s enduring contribution to Western civilization, notwithstanding and apart from his roles in The Fast and The Furious movie series. All that said, it is quite the useful word for talking about confrontations that are more for show than actual physical altercations.

And so it is that on a beautiful July 4 weekend we will amuse ourselves by contemplating the serious smackdown that central bankers are visiting upon each other. If the ramifications of their antics were not so serious, they would actually be quite amusing. This week’s shorter than usual letter will explore the implications of the contretemps among the world’s central bankers and take a little dive into yesterday’s generally positive employment report.

BIS: The Opening Riposte

The opening riposte came from the Bank for International Settlements, the “bank for central banks.” In their annual report, released this week, they talked about “euphoric” financial markets that have become detached from reality. They clearly – clearly in central banker-speak, that is – fingered the culprit as the ultralow monetary policies being pursued around the world. These are creating capital markets that are “extraordinarily buoyant.”

The report opens with this line: “A new policy compass is needed to help the global economy step out of the shadow of the Great Financial Crisis. This will involve adjustments to the current policy mix and to policy frameworks with the aim of restoring sustainable and balanced economic growth.”

The Financial Times weighed in with this summary: “Leading central banks should not fall into the trap of raising rates ‘too slowly and too late,’ the BIS said, calling for policy makers to halt the steady rise in debt burdens around the world and embark on reforms to boost productivity. In its annual report, the BIS


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Stock World Weekly

Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW, comments are found below each post.

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The Broker Who Saved America

Happy July 4 to All!

Haym Solomon is a name you may not know, but Independence Day is good time to include him in a celebration. Joshua M Brown gives some history on Haym Solomon and his critical role in funding a revolution and the founding of the United States. 

The Broker Who Saved America

Courtesy of , The Reformed Broker 

haym

You know Hancock and Washington and Franklin and Jefferson. You might even know Greene and Knox, Henry and Hale.

But it is very unlikely that you know the name Haym Solomon. This is unfortunate, because he’s the guy who arranged financing to keep the Continental Army alive during its darkest days, finding the money to keep the revolution going when many were ready to throw in the towel. He was also instrumental in the founding of the Bank of North America – the country’s first “national” bank. Solomon’s contributions to the war and the founding of the nation, though seldom discussed, were of major importance.

Haym Solomon is born to a sephardic Jewish family in Poland in 1740. He travels widely through the banking and finance capitals of western Europe, learning a thing or two and then moving on. He arrives penniless in New York City via England as the colonies are on the cusp of revolution. His expertise with money, along with his ability to converse in several European languages, makes him extremely valuable to overseas traders – he becomes a financial broker to New York’s bustling merchant community.

haym_solomon2Solomon also establishes what will become a key friendship with Scottish maniac Alexander MacDougall, a businessman and erstwhile “politician” who was known for his aggressive disdain for class systems, hereditary titles and everything else British rule in the colonies reminded him of from back home. MacDougall, a merchant seaman by trade and privateer (pirate) during the French and Indian wars, was the street leader of the Sons of Liberty in New York. He liked to surround himself with other self-made men like Solomon and he especially liked busting heads and railing against the King.

In the summer of 1776, the Sons of Liberty attempt to burn New York City to the ground, thus denying shelter to the…
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The New Normal of Healthcare Spending

Thoughts from the Frontline: The New Normal of Healthcare Spending

?By John Mauldin

A rather interesting shockwave came across the newsfeeds this week. I was actually doing a TV interview when the host announced that GDP was down 2.9% for the first quarter. There was not much else I could do but note that that was a really bad, ugly, terrible, not very good number. But I had no real basis, without any facts in front of me, by which to understand why the revision was so extreme. Sure, we were all expecting a pretty large revision, but what we got was the worst decline in five years and the largest downward revision since recordkeeping began. Later, a quick perusal of the data on the BLS website revealed the culprits: exports and healthcare spending.

Last year I was one of the very few who suggested that the implementation of Obamacare could cause a recession (see more below). Such a suggestion was universally dismissed by all right-thinking economists, and for very good reasons based in sound economic theory, I might add. But sometimes the real world neglects to adhere to our models and theories, and that was my concern.

While I doubt we’ll see a recession – classically understood as two quarters in a row of negative GDP – this rather large bump in the road offers a number of teaching opportunities. This week’s letter will look at the actual numbers; and then, rather than try to spin the numbers to fit some preconceived political agenda, we will examine what actually happened in the spending data and why. And while it may surprise some of you, I actually think a few good things did happen, things I find encouraging.

Anytime I write about healthcare it’s controversial, and I expect this letter will be received that way as well. However, as I (and many others) haveclearly established, the healthcare system in the United States is massively dysfunctional. We are simply spending too much money on healthcare and are on a path to spending an unsustainable amount of money by the end of the decade. Things are going to change no matter what. The Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) was one way to try to address the


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Stock World Weekly

Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW, comments are found below each post.

The latest Stock World Weekly is available here. Please use your user name and password to sign in or take a free trial. 

 

 





Stock World Weekly

Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW, comments are found below each post.

The latest issue of Stock World Weekly is available for your weekend enjoyment!

Please sign in with your PSW user name and password.  Click here.

 

 

 





 

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!

 
 

Chart School

Getting Technical: Weekend Update

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Here's the latest weekend update from Serge Perreault, a Chartered Professional Accountant and market technician located near Montreal, Canada. Serge has been following the U.S. market in a series of weekly charts. Here is his update on the S&P 500.

This week, the S&P 500 broke a resistance but closed the week below it, thus remaining neutral, on mixed momentum and on above-average volume.

Click for a sharper image

Note: For newcomers to technical analysis, here are brief explanations for the two key indicators that ...



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Zero Hedge

Settlements and Fines from TBTF Institutions Since the Crisis

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by StalingradandPoorski.

Let's take a look at the amount of
settlements/fines from various banks and financial institutions around the world
since the crisis. There are probably a lot of settlements/fines I have missed, frankly the amount below is already staggering, so this is a very rough estimate. Some perspective, most of these individual banks have now paid more in fines then the value of most countries GDP's. Total tally from the listed Fines/Settlements below is $163,007,800,000. Reminder: Jail time served by any board members or CEO's of the following TBTF list=0. #FreeCorzine. Meanwhile, Supreme Leader Obama is going on...



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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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Phil's Favorites

France Unemployment New High, Output Down 15th Month; Prices Drop 27th Month; Activity Up in Peripheral Europe; Outlook for Germany

Courtesy of Mish.

The grim economic news from France keeps piling up. Today, Europe Online reports Number of Unemployed in France Hits New High.
The number of unemployed people in France has hit a new high as the country grapples with the fallout of the financial crisis and a sluggish eurozone recovery, the Labour Department reported Friday.

At the end of June, there were 3.398 million people who were registered as being without a job in the eurozone‘s second-largest economy - 0.3 per cent more than in the previous month.

Compared to June of last year, the number of jobless was up 4 per cent.

In a glimmer of positive news, the number of unemployed youth was down compared to last year: those under 25 without a job d...



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Digital Currencies

BitLicense Part 1 - Can Poorly Thought Out Regulation Drive the US Economy Back into the Dark Ages?

Courtesy of Reggie Middleton.

An Op-Ed piece penned by Veritaseum Chief Contracts Officer, Matt Bogosian

This past weekend (despite American Airlines' best efforts), Reggie and I made it to the Second Annual North American Bitcoin Conference in Chicago. While there were some very creative (and very ambitious) ideas on how to try to realize the disruptive Bitcoin protocol, one of the predominant topics of discussion was New York Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky's proposed Bitcoin regulations (the BitLicense proposal) - percieved by many participants at the event as an apparent ...



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Insider Scoop

DigiTimes Reports Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Affiliate Receives Apple iWatch Orders

Courtesy of Benzinga.

An affiliated company of Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (NYSE: ASX), Universal Scientific Industrial, has reportedly received SiP module orders from Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) for the iWatch according to industry sources, as reported by DigiTimes. Each SiP module costs approximately $60, which is 20% of the iWatch's rumored $300 price tag.

View full article http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20140723PD209.html

Posted-In: Digitimes...



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Option Review

Starbucks Options Volume Rises Ahead Of Earnings After The Bell

Volume in Starbucks options is running approximately three times the average daily level for the stock as of 1:15 p.m. ET ahead of the company’s third-quarter earnings report after the close. Shares in the name are up roughly 1.0% just before midday to stand at $79.95. Traders of SBUX options today are more active in calls than puts, with the call/put ratio hovering near 2.0 as of the time of this writing. Much of the volume is in 25Jul’14 expiry options contracts, most notably in the $80 and $83 strike calls which have traded roughly 3,350 and 2,550 times respectively and in excess of existing open interest levels in both strikes. A portion of the volume in the $80 and $83 calls appears to be part of a spread trade.

...

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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Bulls remain unfazed by borderline Black Swans

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Despite a highly eventful week in the news, not much has changed from a stock market perspective. No doubt, investors have grown immune to the daily reports of geopolitical turmoil, including Ukraine vs. Russia for control of the eastern regions, Japan’s dispute with China over territorial waters, Sunni vs. Shiite for control of Iraq, Christians being driven out by Islamists, and other religious conflicts in places like Nigeria and Central African Republic. But last Thursday’s news of the Malaysian airliner tragically getting shot down over Ukraine, coupled with Israel’s ground incursion into Gaza, had the makings of a potential Black Swan event, which in my view is the only thing that could derail the relentless bull march higher in stocks.

Nevertheless, when it became clear that the airline...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of July 21st, 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 latest Stock World Weekly. Please use your PSW user name and password to log in. (You may take a free trial here.)

#452331232 / gettyimages.com ...

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Market Shadows

Danger: Falling Prices

Danger: Falling Prices

By Dr. Paul Price of Market Shadows

 

We tried holding up stock prices but couldn’t get the job done. Market Shadows’ Virtual Value Portfolio dipped by 2% during the week but still holds on to a market-beating 8.45% gain YTD. There was no escaping the downdraft after a major Portuguese bank failed. Of all the triggers for a large selloff, I’d guess the Portuguese bank failure was pretty far down most people's list of "things to worry about." 

All three major indices gave up some ground with the Nasdaq composite taking the hardest hi...



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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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Promotions

See Live Demo Of This Google-Like Trade Algorithm

I just wanted to be sure you saw this.  There’s a ‘live’ training webinar this Thursday, March 27th at Noon or 9:00 pm ET.

If GOOGLE, the NSA, and Steve Jobs all got together in a room with the task of building a tremendously accurate trading algorithm… it wouldn’t just be any ordinary system… it’d be the greatest trading algorithm in the world.

Well, I hate to break it to you though… they never got around to building it, but my friends at Market Tamer did.

Follow this link to register for their training webinar where they’ll demonstrate the tested and proven Algorithm powered by the same technological principles that have made GOOGLE the #1 search engine on the planet!

And get this…had you done nothing b...



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About Phil:

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

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About Ilene:

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

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