Archive for the ‘High Mailing Priority’ Category

Those were the days… When was America ‘great’? And who has Steve Bannon reincarnated?

 

David Brin is an astrophysicist whose international best-selling novels include The Postman (filmed by Kevin Costner in 1997), Earth, and recently Existence. Dr. Brin serves on advisory boards (e.g. NASA's Innovative and Advanced Concepts program or NIAC) and speaks or consults on a wide range of topics. His popular blog is Contrary Brin. Brin's nonfiction book about the information age – The Transparent Society – won the Freedom of Speech Award of the American Library Association. Visit David Brin's website (about, biography, books/novels, short stories).

 

Those were the days… When was America 'great'? And who has Steve Bannon reincarnated?

Courtesy of David Brin

Have you heard of “Godwin’s Law?” It asserts that: “If an online discussion (regardless of topic) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will invoke Hitler.” In practice, it is used to shame or chastise those who make any sort of comparison to the fascist hellscape of the mid-20th Century.*  To be sure, an overused, hyperbolic cliché can be tiresome.** 

Mike Godwin must be going crazy, right now, amid the tsunami of post-election comparisons. For the record, I do not think Donald Trump wants to, or will, become a Hitler. Parallels with Mussolini are creepy though, starting with Il Duce’s fervid rallies and relentless slogans, calling on Italians to rebuild classical glories and — translated literally— “make Rome great again.” 

Sure, I’ve made my own parallels with 1933 Germany, and they remain apt. Just as the Prussian barons, or Junkers aristocrats fostered the racist-populist brown shirts as a counterweight to socialists and communists, so Fox News, Breitbart-Limbaugh-Jones and the Kochs deliberately whipped non-college white male boomers into a froth… exacerbated by their grouchiness over getting old and seeing the world change around them.

As those so-clever 1930s lords did then, today’s oligarchs stare in disbelief that a gifted shaman leaped aboard their carefully-trained beast, threw off the intended jockeys and grabbed the reins for himself.*** Back eight decades ago, at least a few of the Junkers had enough honesty to proclaim: “Mein Gott, what haf we done?” Alas, do not expect any such honor or…
continue reading





French Elections: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

John Oliver appeals to the French, to their sense of superiority, to vote for anyone other than Marine Le Pen.

French Elections: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 

The presidential election in France could determine the political future of Europe. John Oliver visits an excessively French bistro to deliver an urgent message to voters.

 





PhilStockWorld.com Weekly Trading Webinar

 

PhilStockWorld.com Weekly Trading Webinar – 04-19-17

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

Major Topics:

00:02:09 Checking on the Markets
00:03:22 Future Chart
00:06:54 Chakin Money Flow
00:10:57 Checking on the Markets
00:23:23 DJI
00:24:31 IBM
00:25:45 Exxon
00:27:14 Coffee
00:29:11 Trade Ideas
00:31:12 Market News
00:37:15 CL
00:38:48 Contracts
00:41:18 French Elections
00:44:07 China Mega City
00:46:02 OTP
00:48:42 RRD
00:50:35 Male Population in China
00:51:31 Property in China
01:00:48 Twitter
01:09:09 Beige Book
01:14:53 Tax Reform
01:22:45 Checking on the Markets
01:24:52 Checking Portfolios
01:28:25 CMG
01:33:19 Butterfly Portfolio
01:35:56 USO
01:40:42 Briefing
01:44:36 Checking on the Markets
01:46:58 More Trade Ideas

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!





“The Reckoning is Finally Here”

 

“The Reckoning is Finally Here”

Courtesy of 

This is blindingly smart and fast-paced stuff from the master of Amazonology, NYU professor Scott Galloway.

Watch it:

Scott Galloway speaks at L2’s Amazon Clinic about how Amazon is disrupting retail. Not only has Amazon changed consumer shopping habits, it has changed the relationship between shareholders and investors. Investors are no longer satisfied with steadily growing profits; instead they seek fast growth and strong vision – even at the expense of profitability. See video for insights on the future of brand, Alexa’s effect on households.

Source:

L2





Harvard ‘Shock’ Study: Each $1 Minimum Wage Hike Causes 4-10% Increase In Restaurant Failures

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

A 'shocking' discovery was made when a pair of researchers at Harvard Business School decided to analyze the impact of higher minimum wages in San Francisco on restaurant failures…hint:  they went up. 

Entitled "Survival of the Fittest: The Impact of the Minimum Wage on Firm Exit", this latest study on the devastating consequences of minimum wage was conducted by Dara Lee Luca and Michael Luca and concluded that each $1 increase in the minimum wage results in a roughly 4-10% increase in the likelihood of a restaurant going out of business. 

In this paper, we investigate the impact of the minimum wage on restaurant closures using data from the San Francisco Bay Area. We find suggestive evidence that an increase in the minimum wage leads to an overall increase in the rate of exit.

This paper presents several new findings. First, we provide suggestive evidence that higher minimum wage increases overall exit rates among restaurants, where a $1 increase in the minimum wage leads to approximately a 4 to 10 percent increase in the likelihood of exit, although statistical significance falls with the inclusion of time-varying county-level characteristics and city-specific time trends. This is qualitatively consistent but smaller than what Aaronson et al. (forthcoming) find; they show that a 10 percent raise in the minimum wage increases firm exit by approximately 24 percent from a base of 5.7 percent. Differences in sample and specifications may account for the differences between our study and theirs.

Min Wage

Moreover, as we've pointed out the past, it's the low-income workers, the ones that minimum wage hikes are intended to help, that end up getting hurt the most when misinformed liberal politicians decide to meddle in labor markets.  But, as this new HBS study points out, low-income workers don't just lose their jobs when minimum wages are hiked…they also lose access to cheap casual dining options as lower-rated, cheaper restaurants are much more likely to fail when their costs are artificially raised.

Next, we examine heterogeneous impacts of the minimum wage on restaurant exit by restaurant quality. The textbook competitive labor market model assumes identical workers


continue reading





Phil on Voice of America

 

Jill Malandrino, Business Correspondent, Voice of America – VOA . China's GDP Real or Fake? with Phil Davis, CEO, Philstockworld.com





Angst In America – Disappearing Pensions

 

Angst in America, Part 4: Disappearing Pensions

Courtesy of John Mauldin, Mauldin Economics

“Companies are doing everything they can to get rid of pension plans, and they will succeed.” – Ben Stein

“Lady Madonna, children at your feet

Wonder how you manage to make ends meet

Who finds the money when you pay the rent?

Did you think that money was heaven sent?”

– “Lady Madonna,” The Beatles

There was once a time when many American workers had a simple formula for retirement: You stayed with a large business for many years, possibly your whole career. Then at a predetermined age you gratefully accepted a gold watch and a monthly check for the rest of your life. Off you went into the sunset.

That happy outcome was probably never as available as we think. Maybe it was relatively common for the first few decades after World War II. Many of my Baby Boomer peers think a secure retirement should be normal because it’s what we saw in our formative years. In the early 1980s, about 60% of companies had defined-benefit plans. Today it’s about 4% (source: money.CNN). But today defined-benefit plans have ceased to be normal in the larger scheme of things. We witnessed an aberration, a historical anomaly that grew out of particularly favorable circumstances.

Circumstances change. Such pensions are all but gone from US private-sector employers. They’re still common in government, particularly state and local governments; and they are increasingly problematic. They are another source of angst for retirees, government workers who want to retire someday, and the taxpayers and bond investors who finance those pensions. Today, in what will be the first of at least two and possibly more letters focusing on pensions, we’ll begin to examine that angst in more detail. The


continue reading





Investing in a World of Black Swans

 

Investing in a World of Black Swans

Courtesy of Wade of Investing Caffeine

In the world of modern finance, there has always been the search for the Holy Grail. Ever since the advent of computers, practitioners have looked to harness the power of computing and direct it towards the goal of producing endless profits. Today the buzz words being used across industries include, “AI – Artificial Intelligence,” “Machine Learning,” “Neural Networks,” and “Deep Learning.” Regrettably, nobody has found a silver bullet, but that hasn’t slowed down people from trying. Wall Street has an innate desire to try to turn the ultra-complex field of finance into a science, just as they do in the field of physics. Even banking stalwart JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and its renowned CEO/Chairman Jamie Dimon suffered billions in losses in the quest for infinite income, due in large part to their over-reliance on pseudo-science trading models.

Preceding JPM’s losses, James Montier of Grantham Mayo van Otterloo’s asset allocation team gave a keynote speech at a CFA Institute Annual Conference in Chicago, where he gave a prescient talk explaining why bad models were the root cause of the financial crisis. Montier noted these computer algorithms essentially underappreciate the number and severity of Black Swan events (low probability negative outcomes) and the models’ inability to accurately identify predictable surprises.

What are predictable surprises? Here’s what Montier had to say on the topic:

“Predictable surprises are really about situations where some people are aware of the problem. The problem gets worse over time and eventually explodes into crisis.”

When Dimon was made aware of the 2012 rogue trading activities, he strenuously denied the problem before reversing course and admitting to the dilemma. Unfortunately, many of these Wall Street firms and financial institutions use value-at-risk (VaR) models that are falsely based on the belief that past results will repeat themselves, and financial market returns are normally distributed. Those suppositions are not always true.

Another perfect example of a Black Swan created by a bad financial model is Long Term Capital Management (LTCM) – see also When Genius Failed. Robert Merton and Myron Scholes were world renowned Nobel Prize winners who single-handedly brought the global…
continue reading





Weekly Market Summary

 

Weekly Market Summary

Courtesy of 

Summary: US indices closed lower this week, but not by much. SPX lost just 1% and is just 3% from its all-time high. A number of notable short-term extremes in sentiment, breadth and volatility were reached on Thursday that suggest equities are at or near a point of reversal higher. The best approach is to continue to monitor the market and adjust with new data. That said, it's a good guess that SPX still has further downside in the days/weeks ahead.

* * *

Our last several posts have emphasized several points:

Strong uptrends (like this one) weaken before they reverse, meaning the current sell off is unlikely to lead directly into a major correction. 

Even years with powerful returns (like 2013) experience multiple drawdowns of 3-8% along the way, meaning the current sell off was due and is perfectly normal. 

There are a number of compelling studies suggesting that 2017 will continue to be a good year for US equities, meaning equities will likely end the year higher. 

Read more on these points here and here.

SPX ended the week at 2328, 3% off it's all-time high (ATH) made on March 1. That is a very mild drawdown. Our post last week argued that a sell off to at least the 2300 area (4% off the ATH) was likely. From that respect, a lower low is likely to still lie ahead. That post is here.

There were a number of notable short-term extremes in sentiment, breadth and volatility reached on Thursday that suggest a rebound in equities is ahead. Let's review these.

First, the equity-only put/call ratio reached a rare extreme on Thursday, with nearly as many puts as calls being traded on the day. That has happened only about a dozen times in the past 8 years. All of these have been at or near a short-term low in SPX (green lines). A rebound is likely ahead. That rebound might not last long, however: note that in several instances, the low was retested or exceeded in the days/weeks ahead (red arrows). Enlarge any chart by clicking on it.  

Second,…
continue reading





Weekend Reading: Markets Go On Alert

Courtesy of Lance Roberts, Real Investment Advice

In my money management process, portfolio “risk” is “ratcheted” up and down based on a series of signals which tend to indicate when market dynamics are either more, or less, favorable for having capital exposed to the market. This model is published each week in the Real Investment Report as shown below:

As you will notice, portfolios NEVER reach 100% cash levels. The reason is purely psychological. Once individuals go to 100% cash, it is extremely hard to re-enter back into the markets. I learned this lesson in February 2009 when I wrote the article “8-Reasons For A Bull Market” which stated:

“Any weakness next week will most likely warrant a push down to 800 for first support and then the November lows of 750. We believe that these lows will hold although we are aware that if the market doesn’t get ‘it’ together soon further weakness could show itself.

We are cautious here and still holding on to a lot of cash waiting for some signal that the market is making a turn for the short term to the better. March, April, and May tend to be fairly strong months for the market and any ‘real’ assistance next week for homeowners could push the markets higher. A move above 900 will be a signal for a move higher in the markets.“

Of course, the market bottomed on March 9th at 666 and never looked back as over $33 Trillion in various bailouts, workouts, subsidies, and QE followed.

However, when the markets bounced above 900, suggesting it was time to re-enter the market, I faced extremely tough resistance from clients. I learned maintaining a small slug of exposure, which can be completely hedged, it becomes far easier to add to an existing position as improvement can already be seen. 

So, why do I bring this up?

Because the market has now tripped the first signal as shown above, and below, sending a warning that further weakness could ensue. With the first signal registered, combined with a break of the 50-dma, it puts us on “a signal-1 alert.”

With portfolios already hedged, as we added a lot of bond and interest rate


continue reading





 
 
 

Phil's Favorites

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

We're about to get a clear example proving the stock market is not the economy (Business Insider)

When the results come in, US economic growth and earnings are on pace to show very different grades.

Gross domestic product is forecast to grow by 1%, according to Bloomberg's estimate for the advance reading expected Friday.

Euro-Area Economic Confidence Surges to Highest in a Decade (Bloomberg)

Euro-area economic confidence jumped to the highest in almost a decade this month, a testament to a continued improvement that may soo...



more from Ilene

Zero Hedge

Trump Calls Schumer's Bluff: "If There's A Shutdown, There's A Shutdown... Democrats Would Be To Blame"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

With Democrats seemingly unsatisfied with Republicans dropping border wall funding and adjusting on Obamacare-related items, it appears President Trump is calling Schumer's and Pelosi's bluff, proclaiming "If there's a shutdown, there's a shutdown," adding that Democrats would be to blame if the federal government was left unfunded.

Schumer today:

  • *SCHUMER: TRUMP CONCESSIONS BRING SPENDING DEAL CLOSER TO FINISH
  • *SCHUMER SAYS 'SOME STICKING POINTS' LEFT ON SPENDING BILL TALKS
  • *S...


more from Tyler

ValueWalk

An Earnings Miss? So What?

By Investment Master Class. Originally published at ValueWalk.

By Investment Master Class

“Estimates miss earnings, not vice versa” Market Veteran

An opportunity to purchase a quality business at an attractive prices often presents when a company misses a quarterly number and analysts downgrade their numbers to reflect the lower new estimate.  This seems to have become more prevalent in recent times with investors and analysts having an increasing focus on short time periods, leading to an over-reaction in the share price. Fear, herding and other behavioural factors come into play. However, the key is to remain unemotional ...



more from ValueWalk

Chart School

Semiconductors Tick Along

Courtesy of Declan.

It was another quiet day for indices but the Semiconductor index was able to add over 1% on the day. This also helped post gains to the Nasdaq 100, although there was a relative gain for the Semiconductor Index against the latter index.


The Nasdaq 100 registered an accumulation day despite its underperformance against Small Caps. The index remains well placed to make a move to upper channel resistance.

...

more from Chart School

Digital Currencies

Bitcoin Spikes To Record Highs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

US dollar prices for virtual currencies are soaring. Both Bitcoin ($1343 highs) and Ethereum (as we described previously) are at new record highs as China regulators/exchanges appear to have 'stabilized', fears over the so-called 'hard fork' have abated, and hopes for an ETF have been revived by an SEC review.

Back above the price of gold and at record highs, Bitcoin rallied notably overnight after China's largest bitcoin exchanges introduced a flat 0.2% fee on eac...



more from Bitcoin

Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

Euro-Area Economic Confidence Surges to Highest in a Decade (Bloomberg)

Euro-area economic confidence jumped to the highest in almost a decade this month, a testament to a continued improvement that may soon prompt a policy shift at the European Central Bank.

European Bank Bulls Seek ECB Tapering Hints as France Risk Fades (Bloomberg)

Investors are waiting to see whether Mario Draghi joins in the optimism that has engulfed the region&r...



more from Paul

Kimble Charting Solutions

S&P 500; Dangerous place to run out of gas!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Could the “Weekly Closing Highs and Lows” of last year, be impacting stock prices in 2017? The Power of the Pattern thinks so! Below looks at the S&P 500 over the past couple of years. where we applied Fibonacci to the “Weekly Closing Highs and Lows” of last year.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

The S&P 500 ran into the 161% extension level at (2) and it stopped on a dime, at the end of February. Following a small decline the rally the past two weeks has it testi...



more from Kimble C.S.

OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of April 24th, 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 ...



more from OpTrader

Members' Corner

Should I buy that stock?

Courtesy of Phil Stasukaitis (pstas)

I was asked by my local investment club to do a presentation on "how to buy a stock?" As I pondered the question, I began by noting all the elements that I monitor regularly and which come in to play as part of my decision process. As the group is comprised novices to experts, I tried to gear my discussion to cover both basics and more advanced concepts.

Four Part Discussion

  1. Macro Economic Indicators
  2. Market Indexes
  3. Fundamental Analysis
  4. Technical Analysis

1. Macro Economic Indicators

We'll start with reviewing some basic concepts and measurements that have direct effects on the stock market. 

A. Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

...

more from Our Members

Mapping The Market

Bombing - Right or Wrong?

Courtesy of Jean-Luc

I am telling you Angel – makes no sense… BTW:

Republicans Love Bombing, But Only When a Republican Does It

By Kevin Drum, Mother Jones

A few days ago I noted that Republican views of the economy changed dramatically when Donald Trump was elected, but Democratic views stayed pretty stable. Apparently Republicans view the economy through a partisan lens but Democrats don't.

Are there other examples of this? Yes indeed. Jeff Stein points to polling data about air strikes against Syria:

Democr...



more from M.T.M.

Biotech

CAR-T & CRISPR - the Future is Now

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

PSW Members....it has been a while since my last post, but since many have all been on the board following the chat, it is time for a scientific lesson in a few of the companies we are long.  In addition, another revolution is coming in the medical field, and it will be touched upon as well.

CAR-T - stands for Chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) and the T is for T-cell.  

From the picture above, T-cells are one cell type of our immune system that fight off infection as well as they are one player at keeping rogue cells from becoming cancerous. Unfortunately, cancer somehow evades the immune system and so it begins.

CAR-T came along in the late1980s via a brilliant scientist, Zelig Eshhar...



more from Biotech

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

...

more from Promotions

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...

more from David



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...

Learn more About Phil >>


As Seen On:




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.

Market Shadows >>