Archive for the ‘High Mailing Priority’ Category

What is the Message of the Market?


What is the Message of the Market?

Courtesy of Jeff Miller, Dash of Insight's Weighing the Week Ahead

As I have noted for the last two weeks, this earnings season carries a special significance. It provides an alternative to the official data on the economy. After a bad week for stocks, the punditry will be asking:

What is the message of the market?

Prior Theme Recap

In my last WTWA [Weighing the Week Ahead], I predicted that attention to earnings reports would once again dominate the news. This was an accurate call. Earnings stories, both good and bad, were daily highlights. Our featured chart on dollar weakness as more important than geopolitics was especially accurate. More on earnings in the account of the week below.

We would all like to know the direction of the market in advance. Good luck with that! Second best is planning what to look for and how to react. That is the purpose of considering possible themes for the week ahead. You can try it at home.

This Week’s Theme

Earnings season has developed a bipolar theme: Strength in some popular momentum names and weakness in stocks sensitive to the dollar. The market has provided a daily verdict on earnings reports. For many there is also an important economic message. Observers are asking:

What is the message of the market?

…and for some… Will the Fed be listening?

The Viewpoints

The earnings message draws several different viewpoints, including some noted last week.

  • A weak economy has finally taken a toll on corporate profits, especially in some sectors.
  • Stock market leadership has narrowed dramatically. Frank Zorilla illustrates with the chart below. He is open-minded about how this divergence could resolve, including a possible broad rally.


Stockbee has a very similar take on this important theme, including the potential for a rally.


  • The strong dollar has hurt exports and profit margins of many large companies. It is showing up dramatically in energy stocks.
  • Commodity price declines have accompanied the earnings

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Europe: Running on Borrowed Time


Thoughts from the Frontline: Europe: Running on Borrowed Time

By John Mauldin

“I am sure the euro will oblige us to introduce a new set of economic policy instruments. It is politically impossible to propose that now. But some day there will be a crisis and new instruments will be created.”

– Romano Prodi, EU Commission president, December 2001

Prodi and the other leaders who forged the euro knew what they were doing. They knew a crisis would develop, as Milton Friedman and many others had predicted. It is not conceivable that these very astute men didn’t realize that creating a monetary union without a fiscal union would bring about an existential crisis. They accepted that eventuality as the price of European unity. But now the payment is coming due, and it is far larger than they probably anticipated.

Time, as the old saying goes, is money. There are lots of ways that equation can work out. We had an interesting example last week. Europe and the eurozone pulled back from the brink by once again figuring out how to postpone the inevitable moment when all and sundry will have to recognize that Greece cannot pay the debt that it owes. In essence they have borrowed time by allowing Greece to borrow more money. Money, I should add, that, like all the other Greek debt, will not be repaid.

I’ve probably got some 40 articles and 100 pages of commentary on Greece and the eurozone from all sides of the political spectrum in my research stack, and it would be very easy to make this a long letter. But it’s a pleasant summer weekend, and I’m in the mood to write a shorter letter, for which many of my readers may be grateful. Rather than wander deep into the weeds looking at financial indications, however, we are going to explore what I think is a very significant nonfinancial factor that will impact the future of Europe. If it was just money, then Prodi would be right – they could just create new economic policy instruments, whatever the heck those might be. But what we’ve been seeing…
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Chinese Stocks Plunge 8.5% Today

Bloomberg video: Herald Van Der Linde, head of equity strategy at HSBC, discusses Chinese equities and the Shanghai Composite's 8.5% smackdown. Other Asian and European markets are down in sympathy. (Source: Bloomberg)

Has China's Market Support Run Out of Steam?

See also:

Chinese Stocks Plunge 8.5%, Biggest Decline Since February 2007

Courtesy of Mish.

The crash in Chinese stocks continued today following a respite last week.

Shares on the Shanghai index plunged 8.48%, the Biggest One-Day Plunge Since February 2007.

The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell 8.6 percent, to 3,818.73, while the Shanghai Composite Index SSEC lost 8.5 percent, to 3,725.56 points.

The drops were the biggest since Feb. 27, 2007.

It wasn't immediately clear what caused such a sharp tumble in the afternoon session. At midday, the two indexes were down about 2.5 percent.

"The recent rebound had been swift and strong, so there's need for a technical correction," said Yang Hai, strategist at Kaiiyuan Securities.

Immediately Clear

It should be immediately clear stocks are in a bubble, so there is no need to search for a "reason" for the plunge.

If anything, one might wonder why the stocks rose to such absurd valuations in the first place.

$SSEC Shanghai Index

Stock rose from about 2300 in November to 5178 in June. That was an advance of 125% or so in about seven months. Today's decline is shown by the second blue arrow.

Since the plunge in June, China stepped in to directly buy stocks, prohibit short selling, halted trading on half the companies, and prohibited large shareholders from selling any shares for six months.

Expectation of such moral-hazard maneuvers coupled with cheap money is exactly what fuels bubble activity in the first place.

Amusingly, margin buying is still at or near record levels.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock  


US Data is Key for the Dollar


US Data is Key for the Dollar

Courtesy of Marc To Market

Surveys suggest that a little more than 80% of the economists expect the Federal Reserve to hike rates in September. The September Fed funds futures, the most direct market instrument, has only about a 50% chance discounted. This week's FOMC meeting is the last one before September. The economy is performing largely in line with the Fed's expectations. Investors may be looking in vain if they expect some hint from the FOMC that it will in fact hike rates in September. It is more reasonable to expect a non-committal statement on the timing of the liftoff, as Yellen was in her recent Congressional testimony. 

The Fed diligently worked to shift the focus of the outlook of policy from a date-specific commitment to a data-dependent path. A signal of a September rate hike would bring investors back to thinking about the date and unwind the Fed's efforts. This is unlikely. There are still much economic data to be released, including two employment reports. Also in the coming weeks, there will be a greater sense of the economic performance for the first couple of months of Q3.  

The day after the FOMC meets, the US will publish its first estimate of Q2 GDP. The Atlanta Fed says it is tracking about a 2.4% annualized pace.  We suspect the risk is on the upside. Economists may take advantage of the June durable goods orders report to tweak their forecast.  

We know that Boeing orders jumped to 161 in June from 11 in May. This bodes well for headline orders, which may rise 3.2%-3.5% after a 1.8% decline in May. The details, especially the orders and shipments for nondefense and non-aircraft durable goods, should point improving business investment, and better overall growth.  

Annual benchmark GDP revisions will also be announced.  With new seasonal adjustments, the biggest impact is likely not to be so much on growth itself, but how it is distributed between the quarters.  There is some risk that the first quarter may be revised up, but this may…
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5 Things To Ponder: Shades Of Risk

Courtesy of Lance Roberts via STA Wealth Management

Is it just me? Last week while on vacation, the markets surged back to all-time highs as the Greek and China problems were solved. Unfortunately, as I left the white, sandy beaches and clear ocean waters behind me to return to reality – so did the markets. Either it is purely coincidental or I should head back to Mexico.

As I discussed earlier this week (chart updated through Thursday's close):

"While the prices did manage to break out of the downtrend that has contained the market since mid-May, so far that rally has failed to attain new highs. Furthermore, the previous oversold condition that acted as the "fuel" for the recent rally has been exhausted with the markets are now back to an extreme overbought condition. This suggests that there is likely very little upside currently and that investors should consider using this opportunity to engage in prudent portfolio management practices such as taking profits, reducing laggards, and rebalancing allocations."


That advice has played out well as the markets have continued to deteriorate, along with a vast majority of internal measures. The question is now, and is the subject of this weekend's reading list, is the correction over? Or, is this just the beginning of something bigger?

1) The Thinnest New High In Stock Market History? by Dana Lyons via Dana Lyons' Tumbler

"When we posted yesterday's piece on the stock market's weak internals (If Beauty's On The Inside, This Market Wins The Ugly Contest), we weren't sure if things could get any worse – and by how much – with the major averages still able to hold near 52-week highs. Well, the answers were 'yes' and 'a lot'."


Read Also: What Do 1987, 2003, 2009 And 2015 Have In Common by Chris Ciovacco via Ciovacco Capital

2) Doubling Down On A Summer Correction by Michael Gayed via MarketWatch

"This is not about opinion, and this is not a call. The odds simply favor some kind of heightened volatility, and volatility tends to coincide with corrections in stocks. Much like in July 2011 when stocks rallied and all seemed well

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The Next Big Short…


The Next Big Short…

Courtesy of 

Jeff Gundlach thinks junk bonds could be the next big blowup. Carl Icahn agrees. Others are pointing to the burst in non-traditional bond fund inflows and the proliferation of exchange traded products that traffic in some of the less liquid and more esoteric fixed income asset classes – like bank loans and such.

I agree.

Advisors have been stuffing their clients to the gills with instruments that a) they don’t understand and b) have never seen a down-cycle. Surprises will be legion, whether interest rates rise or defaults rise or some other event comes long to shake confidence and drive outflows. There’s no possible way this ends quietly. The In door is always easier to squeeze through than the Out door.

I’m seeing ETF bloggers and “liquid alt” industry experts (totally captured) opine on how Icahn “doesn’t understand” ETFs and I’m laughing to myself. The guy has five f***ing decades of trading and investing excellence under his belt, having started his career as one of the foremost authorities on options trading in New York City prior to making money in a Skittles rainbow of different investment strategies. Don’t confuse the heavy Queens accent and the off-the-cuff rhetoric for ignorance about the creation/redemption process in the ETF market.

Besides, since when has the mechanism of a product been the critical factor that either prevented or caused a blowout? It’s never the mechanics, it’s always the fate of the underlying. If everyone wants to buy or sell something at the same time, the asset is going to spike or plunge, regardless of the mousetrap through which they’re attempting to participate.

The Wall Street Journal has a piece today about how hedge funds are gearing up to take advantage of the next blowup:

Wall Street is preparing for panic on Main Street.

Hedge funds are lining up to profit from potential trouble at some “alternative” mutual funds and bond exchange-traded funds that have boomed in popularity among retirees and other individual investors.

Financial advisers have pushed ordinary investors into those funds in search of higher returns, a strategy that has come into favor as

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Next Week as Part of the Bigger Picture

Courtesy of Marc To Market

The global capital markets have entered a new phase.  The transition has partly been obscured by the crisis in Greece and the sharp fall in Chinese shares.  It is the policy response to those events that are key.  Similarly, the policy response to Great Financial Crisis differed, so it is hardly surprising that after a lag, the macroeconomic outcomes are different.   
These different outcomes are shaping the investment climate and underpinning the dollar.  The power of this narrative weakened in Q2 as investors responded to weakness in the US economy and QE in Europe and Japan to buy their equities.  However, the US economy has rebounded, and the slack in the labor market continues to be absorbed (though seemingly at the cost of productivity).  The greenback is at multi-year highs against the dollar-bloc and is moving into back toward its earlier highs against the euro and yen.   
The Federal Reserve has indicated for some time that provided the economy evolves like it expects; it was prepared to raise rates later this year.  More than 80% of economists (surveyed by the Wall Street Journal) expect that that "later" will be September. At the same time, a few officials at the Bank of England, including Governor Carney, have been sounding more hawkish.   Although this is not the first time that wolf has been cried, what is different now is that pace of wage growth is accelerating.  This gives the rate hike warnings greater salience and a receptive audience.    
Outside of the US and UK, other high income countries are in easing modes.  This includes the ECB, BOJ, Bank of Canada, the Reserve Bank of Australia, and New Zealand (another 25 bp rate cut will most likely be delivered on July 23, and an easing bias maintained), Sweden's Riksbank, Norway's Norges Bank and the Swiss National Bank. The divergence of monetary policy has not peaked.    The ECB and BOJ, for example, will be easing monetary policy for a few quarters at least after the Fed's gradual and limited rate hike cycle begins.   Monetary policy divergence peaks only when the movement ceases to be in opposite directions. 
We argue this is the third major dollar rally since the end of Bretton Woods.  The first

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IMF Rips Pandora’s Box To Shreds, Demands Greek Debt Relief “Far Beyond What Europe Has Been Willing To Consider”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Earlier today, Reuters first leaked that just two weeks after the IMF released its first revised Greek debt sustainability report, one which the Eurogroup desperately tried to squash as it urged for a 30% debt haircut and came hours before the Greek referendum vote giving the Oxi camp hope and crushing Tsipras' carefully laid plan to lose the vote and capitulate with integrity instead of having to capitulate a week later after 17 hours of "mental waterboarding" and have his reputation torn to shreds, the IMF would release a follow up report updating its view on the Greek economy which in just two short weeks of capital controls has utterly imploded.

Just like the first IMF report, which we correctly compared to the opening of a Pandora's box, and with which the IMF also obliterated the careful plans of the Troika, so with this follow up the IMF effectively crushes the glideslope of the latest Greek bailout process barely scraped together on Monday morning and has torn Pandora's box to shreds with the following summary assessment: "Greece’s debt can now only be made sustainable through debt relief measures that go far beyond what Europe has been willing to consider so far."

Yes, debt relief… just the others' debt: not the IMF's, please.

So what just happened?

As of this moment the IMF is telling Greece that if nothing changes, it will die of cancer with 100% certainty; on the other hand the Eurogroup is telling Greece it will die of a heart attack also wih 100% certainty if anything changes.

Good luck with the choice.

Here are the report punchlines:

  • Greece’s public debt has become highly unsustainable. This is due to the easing of policies during the last year, with the recent deterioration in the domestic macroeconomic and financial environment because of the closure of the banking system adding significantly to the adverse dynamics. The financing need through end-2018 is now estimated at Euro 85 billion and debt is expected to peak at close to 200 percent of GDP in the next two years, provided that there is an early agreement on a program. Greece’s debt can now only be made

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Courtesy of Joshua Brown, The Reformed Broker

fire break

The Great Fire of London began at a bakery in Pudding Lane on September 2nd, 1666. A few hundred houses caught flame in the vicinity and then the wind took the fire east, burning everything in its path. The first thing Londoners did was try pouring buckets of water on the burning buildings. This didn’t work so the next thing they attempted was escape, a crush of humanity piling up along the Thames waiting for boats to get them clear of the inferno.

By September 4th, it became clear that escape for everyone would be impossible. The fire had to be brought under control immediately to save lives, not just property. The king ordered a firebreak, which involved pulling down all of the houses in the fire’s path using hooked poles. When that process proved not to be fast enough, the king ordered a massive gunpowder explosion – akin to blowing up a neighborhood with a bomb – so as to save the rest of the city.

After four days of fighting the blaze, they had finally succeeded. Only one-fifth of the city’s buildings were still standing, with an estimated 13,000 private dwellings either burned to the ground or deliberately destroyed. Miraculously, historical records indicate that only six people died.

200 years later, the residents of Chicago would not be so lucky after Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicked over a kerosene lamp. We’re told by Harper’s that the Great Chicago Fire of October, 1871, “burned for 29 hours, cutting a destructive swath through 17,450 buildings on 73 miles of streets, leaving an estimated 300 people dead, 100,000 homeless, and $192 million worth of property destroyed.” Temperatures reportedly reached levels “high enough to disintegrate stone into powder and granite into lime, melt iron (2000º F) and steel (2500º F), and explode trees from their own heated resin.”

The windy conditions for which the city is famous made the fire nearly impossible to contain. The only reason the South Side was saved was that the order finally came down to make a firebreak. City officials commanded that buildings be blasted with dynamite to create some space in which the fire could peter out rather than spread further.

Last week, Chinese stock market officials attempted to douse the flames of…
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The Big Fat Greek ‘No’

The Greeks said 'NO.' 61% voted against accepting the latest bailout package offered to them by their European creditors. Here's a tour of the many thoughts about what's next for Greece.  

[Picture Source: Drudge Report Headline]

Greece Says 'NO'; Thousands Celebrate; Emergency Summit Called (Business Insider)

The landslide victory for the "No" campaign is a major surprise. Athens exploded in celebration over the result, with thousands streaming into Syntagma Square, waving Greek flags, chanting, and setting off fireworks. 

But the party could be short-lived. A "No" (Oxi) vote will mean that Greece will likely default on almost all its remaining debt, maybe exit the EU, abandon the euro and re-adopt its old currency, the drachma. That would plunge Greece into even more economic turmoil as it would become an international pariah, largely cut off from the credit markets countries need to finance themselves. 

Ending Greece's Bleeding (Paul Krugman, NY Times)

Europe dodged a bullet on Sunday. Confounding many predictions, Greek voters strongly supported their government’s rejection of creditor demands. And even the most ardent supporters of European union should be breathing a sigh of relief.

Of course, that’s not the way the creditors would have you see it. Their story, echoed by many in the business press, is that the failure of their attempt to bully Greece into acquiescence was a triumph of irrationality and irresponsibility over sound technocratic advice.

More Headlines:

Greece votes No — now what? (

No vote puts Greece’s euro future in doubt (

Jubilation in Syntagma tinged with fear (

Greek banks prepare plan to raid deposits to avert collapse (

Sugar, flour, rice: panicked Greeks stock up on essentials (Yahoo Finance)

Greeks Reject Austerity, Setting Up Euro Showdown (Bloomberg)

How Bad Is
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The Graham & Dodd P/E Matrix

By Guest Post. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The Graham & Dodd P/E Matrix by Redfield, Blonsky & Co.

Based on his observations of stock over the years, Benjamin Graham developed a stock valuation model that allows for future growth. Graham observed that the average no-growth stock sold at 8.5 times earnings, and that price-earnings ratios increased by twice the rate of earnings growth. This led to the earnings multiplier:

P/E = 8.5 + 2G

where G is the rate of earnings growth, stated as a percentage.

The original formulation was made at a time when there was very little inflation, and growth could be assumed to be real growth; the AA...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Travel indicator being put to critical tests

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

The American Economy is driven a good deal by the consumer.

The table below reflects that nearly 70% of GDP is based consumption.


The 4-pack below looks at consumption with a focus on the travel and leisure sector, by looking at Avis (CAR), Hertz (HTZ), Expedia (EXPE) and Priceline (PCLN).


While many seem to be occupied by the news abou...

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Zero Hedge

THE Breakdown Of 2015 Is Now A Fact

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Secular Investor.

We wrote on July 5th that markets are increasingly looking scary. Now, only 3 weeks later, the situation seems to be escalating.

Let's get it straight: this is a serious deflationary bust in the making. The most worrisome fact is Dr. Copper's technical breakdown, as seen on the first chart.


The price of copper, being a leading indicator for the health of the global economy, has broken through a multi-decade trend channel. This is really bad news for th...

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Phil's Favorites

Information overload is making us dumber investors

"Information overload" may be especially problematic when we don't have a plan or don't stick with our plan. For example, we may have a long term goal for a stock, but then short term information gets presented, and we act on it, abandoning our original thesis. This can lead to over-trading, chasing the news, and ultimately, regrets. 

Information overload is making us dumber investors



We live in an age of seemingly infinite information, and that’s great in many ways. But that doesn’t make investors any smarter.

Stock rese...

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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

2015 has simply not been a fun year in the stock market (Business Insider)

2015 has not been a fun year for stock investors. 

In 2015, the S&P 500, which opened the year nearly at all-time highs, has made a new all-time high just 10 times. For a point of comparison, at this time last time at this year, the benchmark index had hit 27 fresh all-time records, and when 2014 was said and done, the S&P 500 had hit a new record 53 times. 

The bull in China’s shop has no more room to run (Market Watch) ...

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Sector Detector: Lackluster earnings reports put eager bulls back into waiting mode

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

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

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 SectorCast rankings of the ten U.S. business sectors, and then offer up some actionable trading ideas, including a sector rotation strategy using ETFs and an enhanced version using top-ranked stocks from the top-ranked sectors.

Corporate earnings reports have been mixed at best, interspersed with the occasional spectacular report -- primarily from mega-caps like Google (GOOGL), Facebook (FB), or Amazon (AMZN). Some of the bul...

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Chart School

Fifth Day of Selling

Courtesy of Declan.

Sellers in the S&P made it five days of downside in a row. On this last day it closed near the day's lows, but also on its 200-day MA. If there was reason for a bounce, then tomorrow could be the day.  Technicals are all net negative.

The Dow took the selling harder. It undercut the July swing low having earlier lost its 200-day MA. Next up is the February swing low.

Small Caps finished at its 200-day MA, after it lost trendline support on Friday...

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Swing trading portfolio

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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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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Digital Currencies

Gold Spikes Back Above $1100, Bitcoin Jumps

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Gold is jumping after the overnight double flash-crash...testing back towards $1100...

Bitcoin is back up to pre-"Greece is Fixed" levels...

Charts: Bloomberg and Bitcoinwisdom


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Baxter's Spinoff

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

Baxter Int. (BAX) is splitting off its BioSciences division into a new company called Baxalta. Shares of Baxalta will be given as a tax-free dividend, in the ratio of one to one, to BAX holders on record on June 17, 2015. That means, if you want to receive the Baxalta dividend, you need to buy the stock this week (on or before June 12).

The Baxalta Spinoff

By Ilene with Trevor of Lowenthal Capital Partners and Paul Price

In its recent filing with the SEC, Baxter provides:

“This information statement is being ...

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Mapping The Market

An update on oil proxies

Courtesy of Jean-Luc Saillard

Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself. 


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Watch the Phil Davis Special on Money Talk on BNN TV!

Kim Parlee interviews Phil on Money Talk. Be sure to watch the replays if you missed the show live on Wednesday night (it was recorded on Monday). As usual, Phil provides an excellent program packed with macro analysis, important lessons and trading ideas. ~ Ilene


The replay is now available on BNN's website. For the three part series, click on the links below. 

Part 1 is here (discussing the macro outlook for the markets) Part 2 is here. (discussing our main trading strategies) Part 3 is here. (reviewing our pick of th...

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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 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.

Thank you for you time!

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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