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Why the World Needs the US Economy to Struggle

Thoughts from the Frontline: Why the World Needs the US Economy to Struggle

By John Mauldin

The headlines this morning talk about the US dollar hitting an 11-year high. I have been saying for years that the dollar is going to go higher than anyone can imagine. This trade is just in the early innings. And the repercussions will be dramatic, not only for emerging markets that have financed projects in dollars, but also for commodities and energy, gold, and a variety of other investments. The world is at the doorstep of a new era of volatility and currency wars.

In this week’s letter, my associate Worth Wray explores what a rising dollar means for emerging markets and what central banks are likely to do in response. Can they smooth the ride, or will it be the world’s scariest roller coaster? This letter will print long because of the number of fabulous charts Worth provides. I might make a brief comment or two at the end. Here’s Worth.

On the Verge of a Disaster… or a Miracle

By Worth Wray

Twenty years after the first divergence-induced currency crisis of the 1990s, commodity prices are tumbling, the US dollar is rallying, and externally fragile emerging markets are reliving the horrors of their not-so-distant past. Except, this time, major economies like the United States, the United Kingdom, the Eurozone, Japan, and the People’s Republic of China may not be able to side-step the ensuing contagion.

With 2014 now behind us, I want to focus this week's letter on what may prove to be the most important global macro pressure points in the coming year(s):

  • The growing divergence among the world’s most important central banks
  • The ongoing collapse in oil and other commodity prices as a function of excess supply and/or weakening global demand
  • The rise of the US dollar, driven by divergence and risk aversion… and the squeeze it’s putting on the multi-trillion-dollar carry trade into emerging markets
  • The vicious slide in emerging-market currencies
  • The rising risk of 1990s-style contagion and financial shocks
  • And what, if anything, can avert the next global financial crisis

But first, let…
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Happy New Year!

Well, now that it's 2015, let's go over some of the lessons of 2014 with the Reformed Broker.  

[Comments and bold emphasis by Ilene.]

Via Pixabay: here. 

In 2014 I Learned That…

Courtesy of 

I can’t prove it scientifically, but I’m pretty sure the years are flying by faster now than ever before. [Actually I think it is scientifically proven that time goes faster as we get older... Sorry.]  Is everyone just so busy that the passage of time is occurring while we stare at our phones? Or are the events that shape each year simply playing out faster, from start to finish, because of the increased pace of modern life? 

More importantly, will 2015 move even faster? [Yes.]

I don’t know the answers, but you’ve already heard enough from me this year anyway (I’ve heard enough from me too!). So for today’s look back on the lessons of 2014, I got a little help from my friends!

Happy New Year and thanks for reading! See you on the other side. – Josh

***

In 2014 I Learned That…

Aron Pinson (Microfundy): rates don’t necessarily rise in a rising rate environment.

Justin Paterno (StockTwits): if the US economy were a football team it would have the personnel of the Patriots with the fans of the Jets.

Justin Frankel (RiverPark Funds): beating your benchmark isn’t the key to happiness or success, but it’s a fine place to start!

Morgan Housel (Motley Fool): Unsustainable things can last years, even decades, longer than people think.

Tom Brakke (Research Puzzle): A heavily-analyzed, globally-traded commodity can go down fifty percent in response to relatively modest changes in fundamentals.  Therefore, you might want to take the predictions you hear and the models you rely upon with a grain truckload of salt.

Stephen Weiss (Short Hills Capital): terrorists don’t respect copyright or trademark laws as Isis Pharmaceuticals found out.  [Ha ha - is ISIS going to change its name?]


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Phil on Oil, Russia, the Fed, and the Trade of the Year

Must See: Phil visits with Money Talk's Kim Parlee on Business News Network. In this great interview, Phil talks about his target price range for oil and presents an options trade idea that he is calling the "Trade of 2015."    

?

Click on the links:

Segment 1 (Oil, Russia, and the Fed) : http://www.bnn.ca/Shows/Money-Talk.aspx?vid=515921

Segment 2 (Trade of the Year 2015) : http://www.bnn.ca/Shows/Money-Talk.aspx?vid=516607

In segment 2, Phil introduces the trade of the year for 2015 and discusses the strategy of "being the house." (See also "Be the House – Not the Gambler.")  

 





Oil, Employment, and Growth

Thoughts from the Frontline: Oil, Employment, and Growth

By John Mauldin

Last week we started a series of letters on the topics I think we need to research in depth as we try to peer into the future and think about how 2015 will unfold. In forecasting US growth, I wrote that we really need to understand the relationships between the boom in energy production on the one hand and employment and overall growth in the US on the other. The old saw that falling oil prices are like a tax cut and are thus a net benefit to the US economy and consumers is not altogether clear to me. I certainly hope the net effect will be positive, but hope is not a realistic basis for a forecast. Let’s go back to two paragraphs I wrote last week:

Texas has been home to 40% of all new jobs created since June 2009. In 2013, the city of Houston had more housing starts than all of California. Much, though not all, of that growth is due directly to oil. Estimates are that 35–40% of total capital expenditure growth is related to energy. But it’s no secret that not only will energy-related capital expenditures not grow next year, they are likely to drop significantly. The news is full of stories about companies slashing their production budgets. This means lower employment, with all of the knock-on effects.

Lacy Hunt and I were talking yesterday about Texas and the oil industry. We have both lived through five periods of boom and bust, although I can only really remember three. This is a movie we’ve seen before, and we know how it ends. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has remarkable timing, slipping out the door to let new governor Greg Abbott to take over just in time to oversee rising unemployment in Texas. The good news for the rest of the country is that in prior Texas recessions the rest of the country has not been dragged down. But energy is not just a Texas and Louisiana story anymore. I will be looking for research as to how much energy development has contributed to growth and employment in the US.

Then the research began…
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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.

Here's this week's Stock World Weekly.

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

 





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, with Phil's trade ideas on the Japanese stock market, CBI, CSIQ and ALEX. 

Picture by DeltaWorks at Pixabay.





Thoughts from the Frontline: Is Bitcoin the Future?

 

HAPPENS

(Photo by Dry2 at Pixabay)

Thoughts from the Frontline: Is Bitcoin the Future?

By John Mauldin

Bitcoin is a topic of discussion almost everywhere I go. My introduction to Bitcoin came when I was speaking at a gold conference in Palm Springs and three bright-eyed, bushy-tailed college students approached me with a video camera and asked for my thoughts on Bitcoin. Noting my confusion, they began to evangelistically espouse the virtues of Bitcoin and tell me how it would save us from the evils of the Federal Reserve. I kept from rolling my eyes (you do want to encourage passion in the young) and mentioned a meeting that I had to go to – at that very moment as it turned out.

Since that time Worth Wray and I and our entire team at Mauldin Economics have done a great deal of research on Bitcoin.  We will soon release a video documentary that is one of the best productions I’ve ever been involved with and that does a good job of explaining both the controversy around Bitcoin and its considerable promise. We talked with skeptics, enthusiasts, and people willing to put up tens of millions of dollars betting on the future of Bitcoin.

Worth Wray has written this week’s letter as a summary of what we know about Bitcoin. Delving into its history and bringing us up to date, he also offers a glimpse of the future. At the end of the letter I offer a few of my own thoughts on the relationships among gold, fiat money, Bitcoin, and financial transactions.

If nothing else, Bitcoin offers a provocative way to think of the future of money. Now let me turn it over to Worth.

Is Bitcoin the Future?

By Worth Wray

“Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.”

– Gail Sheehy

“When people write the history of this thing, of bitcoin, they are not going to write the story of 6 million to a billion. What is truly remarkable is the story of zero to 6 million. It has already happened! And we’re…
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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.

Here's the latest Stock World Weekly. We discuss oil prices, OPEC, and more, and Phil provides several trade ideas. One trade idea is a simple bull call spread with USO to take advantage of last week's selloff in oil stocks. Read the newsletter here. 





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 Happy Thanksgiving Edition of Stock World Weekly!

Click on this link and sign in with your PSW user name and password. 

Picture via Pixabay.





Stock World Weekly

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

The newest Stock World Weekly is ready. Click here for the this weekend's reading and sign in with your PSW user name and password. 

Picture credit: AnnaER at Pixabay. 





 
 
 

Zero Hedge

The Committee To Destroy The World

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

From Michael Lewitt, author of The Credit Strategist

The Committee To Destroy The World


Last month, the world mourned the death of beloved actor Leonard Nimoy. Mr. Nimoy, of course, was renowned for his portrayal of the iconic character Mr. Spock on the 1960s television series Star Trek. One of the most memorable Star Trek inventions was the transporter that allowed human beings to be beamed through space and time like light an...



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Phil's Favorites

Construction Spending Unexpectedly Declines; Good News For Economists!

Courtesy of Mish.

Inquiring minds are investigating construction spending, yet another economic report blamed on bad weather.

As has been the case recently, bad weather was unforeseen by economists even though their made their estimates recently, and the report is for February.

Construction spending for February came in today at -0.1% while the Bloomberg Construction Spending Consensus Estimate for February was a gain of 0.2%.


Construction spending unexpectedly dipped 0.1 percent in February after falling 1.7 percent in January. Market expectations were for a 0....



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Chart School

Bulls Continue To Defend Recent Swing Lows

Courtesy of Declan.

Today's losses took indices to test March lows before buyers stepped in to bring things back by the close.

For the Nasdaq, bulls came in at the 50-day MA, although today's action registered as higher volume distribution.


The S&P didn't quite make it to the more significant March low, instead buyers stepped up on the test of last week's swing low. However, technicals returned to net bearishness, with on-balance-volume trending lower across the March double top; whatever late day buying there was, it was outgunned by the selling trend.

...

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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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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Defensive sectors lead hesitant market, but traders honor long-standing bullish support

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

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Last week, the major indexes fell back below round-number thresholds that had taken a lot of effort to eclipse. There has been an ongoing ebb-and-flow of capital between risk-on and risk-off, including high sector correlations, which is far from ideal. But at the end of it all, the S&P 500 found itself right back on top of long-standing support and poised for a bounce, and Monday’s action proved yet again that bulls are determined to defend their long-standing uptrend line.

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...



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Digital Currencies

Federal Agents Investigating Bitcoin Money Laundering Stole Over $1 Million In Bitcoin

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

This is one of those sad times when The Onion realizes it has badly, and permanently, missed its IPO window.

Just released from the Department of Justice

Former Federal Agents Charged With Bitcoin Money Laundering and Wire Fraud

Agents Were Part of Baltimore’s Silk Road Task Force

Two former federal agents have been charged with wire fraud, money laundering and related offenses for stealing digital currency during their investigation of the Silk Road, an underground black market that al...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of March 30th, 2015

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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Promotions

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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Market Shadows

Kimble Charts: South Korea's EWY

Kimble Charts: South Korea's EWY

By Ilene 

Chris Kimble likes the iShares MSCI South Korea Capped (EWY), but only if it breaks out of a pennant pattern. This South Korean equities ETF has underperformed the S&P 500 by 60% since 2011.

You're probably familiar with its largest holding, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, and at least several other represented companies such as Hyundai Motor Co and Kia Motors Corp.

...



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Option Review

Cypress Semi Draws Bullish Option Plays

Bullish trades abound in Cypress Semiconductor options today, most notably a massive bull call spread initiated in the July expiry contracts. One strategist appears to have purchased 30,000 of the Jul 16.0 strike calls at a premium of $0.89 each and sold the same number of Jul 19.0 strike calls at a premium of $0.22 apiece. Net premium paid to put on the spread amounts to $0.67 per contract, thus establishing a breakeven share price of $16.67 on the trade. Cypress shares reached a 52-week high of $16.25 back on Friday, March 13th, and would need to rally 4.6% over the current level to exceed the breakeven point of $16.25. The spread generates maximum potential profits of $2.33 per contract in the event that CY shares surge more than 20% in the next four months to reach $19.00 by July expiration. Shar...



more from Caitlin

Pharmboy

2015 - Biotech Fever

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

PSW Members - well, what a year for biotechs!   The Biotech Index (IBB) is up a whopping 40%, beating the S&P hands down!  The healthcare sector has had a number of high flying IPOs, and beat the Tech Sector in total nubmer of IPOs in the past 12 months.  What could go wrong?

Phil has given his Secret Santa Inflation Hedges for 2015, and since I have been trying to keep my head above water between work, PSW, and baseball with my boys...it is time that something is put together for PSW on biotechs in 2015.

Cancer and fibrosis remain two of the hottest areas for VC backed biotechs to invest their monies.  A number of companies have gone IPO which have drugs/technologies that fight cancer, includin...



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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 this week's Stock World Weekly.

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

 

...

more from SWW

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!




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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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