Archive for the ‘Appears on main page’ Category

Wheel of Fortune

 

Wheel of Fortune

Only the left can break the cycle of wealth accumulation.

By George Monbiot, originally published on monbiot.com

This is my opening speech at the Intelligence Squared debate at the Emmanuel Centre, London, 21st February, with Roger Scruton, Stella Creasy and Kwasi Kwarteng: The Left Has Right on Its Side.  

I speak without notes, but this is the text I roughly memorised.

I should confess that sometimes the left drives me round the bend. The meetings, the posturing, the infighting: it can be infuriating. The old adage that the right looks for converts while the left looks for traitors is all too often true.

Despite this, I belong to the left and will never give up on it, because without it there is no solution to a predicament that every generation faces. This predicament is the escalating concentration of wealth and power that threatens to destroy democracy and eventually make life unlivable.

Wealth and power concentrate not because those we confront are wicked (though there are one or two). Their escalation, in the absence of a political movement to restrain it, is an intrinsic feature of complex human societies. It occurred even in the world’s first cities, in southern Mesopotamia.

A useful way of looking at this problem is the concept of patrimonial capital, popularised by Thomas Piketty*. Piketty showed that when the return on capital increases faster than the growth of economic output, inequality spirals, social mobility stalls and the enterprise economy is replaced by a rentier economy.

In other words, once you have money and property, you can use it to accumulate more money and property, taking an ever greater share of society’s wealth, through the harvesting of economic rent. By economic rent I mean charging people over the odds to use a non-reproducible resource over which you exercise exclusive control. Think, for example, of the ridiculous price we pay in the UK for train tickets, because the train companies have us over a barrel.

By this means, through no enterprise of their own, the rich become richer and the poor become poorer. This process has no natural limits. Eventually, as we’ve seen in the past, the very rich can…
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Friday Market Flip-Flop – Wake Up and Smell the Coffee Futures!

What a fun market this is!

After being totally bored making money on bullish bets in 2017, 2018 has been a non-stop thrill-ride with money to be made in both directions.  Yesterday, we got yet another chance to short the Russell (/TF) at our 1,550 line and we got another 20-point drop to 1,530, which was good for gains of $1,000 per contract and our call to go long on Coffee (/KCH8) at $119 from yesterday's Morning Report is already percolating at $120.50 and that's good for gains of $562.50 per contract already and gold (/YG, also from yesterday's Report) has jumped from $1,327.50 to $1,330.50 but that's only good for gains of $96.60 per contract, as it's a cheap contract.  

These are just the quick trade ideas we give away for free folks!  If you want more trade ideas, I'll be on Benzinga TV's Pre-Market Prep Show at 8:35 this morning – Tune in here.

Meanwhile, we're not at all fooled by the pre-market bounce in the indexes as we're still not clearing those strong bounce lines and it's the same lines we've been using since the crash, which I last updated in Wednesday's Report:

Since then, have we made any improvements?

No, apparently not, so don't lose perspective and, most importantly, don't get excited when the market, like a ball, bounces less than half of what it fell – especially when it's two weeks later and you're still not moving higher.  It's more likely, at this point, that we're consolidating for a move down than a move up but +180 on the Dow at the open is the pre-market push that reels the Retail Suckers in while the Institutional Investors dump their holdings into the weekend.  

Last time I was on Benzinga, we talked about GreenCoin, which was 0.001 at the time and I don't know if it's just because I'm scheduled to be on again today but GreenCoin has shot up to 0.004, which is up 300% in a month so you're welcome for that one!  

Keep in mind all…
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Defeating Nonsense with Evidence

 

Defeating Nonsense with Evidence

Courtesy of 

Most of the market commentary you come across, including a lot of mine, is nonsense – even if it’s well meaning nonsense.

Of course we’re trying to interpret things as they happen – it’s human nature to want to understand what’s going on. The thing is, it’s probably best to use evidence as a starting point, rather than just repeating old wives tales, rules of thumb and opinions you hear in the media that sound better than they actually are.

At least, that’s what we try to do.

I want to make sure you don’t miss either of these two posts we’ve contributed to Bloomberg View today because they’re both great examples of how you can defeat nonsense with evidence, giving you a clearer picture of what to pay attention to and what nuances are more important than a blaring headline.

The first concerns “Small Business Confidence” surveys, which are useful for very little beyond dinner party conversation and political victory laps. My partner Barry Ritholtz looks at the predictive power of weak or strong confidence surveys and finds that there is nothing actionable there.

Small-Business Sentiment Is No Help to Investors (Bloomberg View)

Next – and this one is really great – my colleague Ben Carlson looks at the market’s current big concern around rising interest rates and inflation, concluding that you should be worried about the second thing, not the first thing. It turns out that stock market returns have been severely impacted by inflation readings above 3% versus below 3%. Rising rates, in the meantime, have not been a negative for stocks, with 17 instances recorded since 1962 in which the yield on the 10-year treasury rose by more than 100 basis points. During these 17 instances, stocks rose 14 out of 17 times, by an average of 22%, and the three drawdowns in the other periods were of less than 2% each.

Do not miss this:

Inflation Is a Bigger Danger to Stocks Than Rising Rates (Bloomberg View)

When clients have questions about these concerns, because they hear about them in the media or from friends, it gives us a lot of satisfaction to be able to address them in an evidence-based way. Communicating this stuff effectively makes for better client relationships and superior outcomes.





The PhilStockWorld Weekly Webinar – 02-21-18

 

The PhilStockWorld Weekly Webinar – 02-21-18

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

Major Topics:

00:01:45 Checking on the Markets
00:03:30 Metals Charts
00:06:50 Active Trader
00:09:30 Long Term Portfolio
00:17:59 CM
00:20:58 Currencies
00:24:52 Checking on the Markets
00:26:08 NGV8
00:33:54 Trade Ideas
00:36:25 AAPL
00:44:22 Natural Gas Trade Chart
00:49:05 LC
00:59:16 FOMC Meeting
01:07:16 Active Trader
01:08:24 AAPL Trade Ideas
01:11:40 SPWR
01:14:51 Active Trader
01:27:23 CM
01:29:55 OIH
01:31:47 EPD
01:37:19 Active Trader
01:40:19 Checking on the Portfolios
01:43:49 GE
01:47:02 AAPL 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!

 





Thursday Thrills as the Markets Try to Hold Our Bounce Lines

Wheeee, this is fun!  

We had a lot of fun in our Live Trading Webinar yesterday as we shorted the Russell (/TF) Futures at 1,550 after the release of the Fed Minutes led to an inexplicable rally and the Russell fell all the way back to 1,520 at the close for gains of $1,500 per contract in less than two hours – you're welcome!  

What we saw in the minutes was a Fed that is firmly on pace to raise rates 3-4 times in 2018 and, as I predicted in the Morning Report, these was nothing to get excited about and the silly morning rally completely unwound over the course of an hour's trading.  The S&P (/ES) Futures went over our 2,728 "strong bounce" line and topped out at 2,747 on a spike after the Minutes were rolled out (2pm) but then quickly fell back all the way to 2,701, good for gains of $1,350 per contract below our line and, after hours, it drifted even lower, all the way to 2,685 for another $1,300 per contract gain!  

This morning, in an effort to spin the reaction to the Minutes (as we predicted they would on Tuesday), the Fed's Bullard attempted to soften the blow, saying:

The neutral rate is "still pretty low" and the Fed shouldn't hike interest rates based on the conception from the last two decades of the twentieth century, Bullard added. It is "not the world we're living in today," he stated. In the policymaker's words, the Phillips curve effects are so weak that unemployment at 4%, compared to the natural sustainable rate of 5%, adds only seven basis points to inflation. "A lot" would need to happen for four quarter-point hikes in the benchmark rate this year instead of three, he concluded.

The key here is 3.  There WILL be three (3) rate hikes in 2018 – AT LEAST – and that's 1.5 more rate hikes than were anticipated when the market decided to get silly in November.  Yes there are tax cuts, but do tax cuts trump rate hikes?  The Fed MUST hike rates, they can't
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As the Trump administration retreats on climate change, US cities are moving forward

 

As the Trump administration retreats on climate change, US cities are moving forward

File 20180217 75990 1qdwka8.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Cars sit in flood water from Boston Harbor on Long Wharf during a coastal storm on Jan. 4, 2018. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

Courtesy of Katherine Levine Einstein, Boston University; David Glick, Boston University, and Maxwell Palmer, Boston University

Despite almost universal scientific consensus that climate change poses a growing threat, President Donald Trump’s recent infrastructure plan makes no mention of the need to build resilience to rising global temperatures. Instead, it actually seeks to weaken environmental reviews as a way of speeding up the infrastructure permitting process.

This proposal flies in the face of scientific evidence on climate change. It also contradicts the priorities of many local leaders who view climate change as a growing concern.

During the summer of 2017, we and Boston University’s Initiative on Cities asked a nationally representative sample of 115 U.S. mayors about climate change as part of the annual Menino Survey of Mayors. Mayors overwhelmingly believe that climate change is a result of human activities. Only 16 percent of those we polled attributed rising global temperatures to “natural changes in the environment that are not due to human activities.”

Perhaps even more strikingly, two-thirds of mayors agreed that cities should play a role in reducing the effects of climate change – even if it means making fiscal sacrifices.

Green roof on Chicago’s City Hall. Conservation Design Forum, CC BY-SA

Cleaner, smarter cities

In our survey, mayors highlighted a number of environmental initiatives that they were interested in pursuing. Over one-third prioritized reducing the number of vehicles on the road and making city assets, such as buildings and vehicles, more energy-efficient.

Other popular programs included shifting toward green and alternative energy sources; promoting energy efficiency in private buildings; reducing risks of damage from flooding; and installing smart traffic lights that can change their own timing in response to traffic conditions. Many mayors are already implementing these initiatives in their communities.

When we asked…
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Which Way Wednesday – Fed Minutes Edition

So far, so predictable.

And that's the way we like our markets, right?  It was two weeks ago (2/6) that we prediced the market would bounce back from 2,550 to at least 2,650 (strong bounce) for the week and then, on 2/9, we broadened our lines and came up with the following predicted range for the S&P (/ES) Futures using our fabulous 5% Rule™:

Here's how those lines are holding up two weeks later:

We're testing the top of the bounce range but remember that range tops out still only 40% back to the 30% line, which doesn't even register on the chart anymore as the trading range has narrowed – as we predicted – at the lower levels.  As I said in yesterday's Morning Report, evidence suggests that 20% line may be the top of the range for rest of the year, not the bottom or even the middle and we will need to look down to the 10% line, at 2,420, for proper support after the next correction.  Hopefully, we'll consolidate around there for a proper move up later in the year (assuming things hold up in the economy).

This isn't about TA (I HATE TA), the 5% Rule is just a mathemetical representation of the Fundamental Value of the S&P 500 and we simply use the chart to illustrate it.  Stocks can go a very long time 10% overvalued and even grow into that valuation without a correction but 20% over-valued is strething it and, as we're seeing this earnings season, we set the high-flyers up for big punishments when they miss.  Here's the Big Picture on our other indexes from our Big Chart:

Those 50 and 200 dmas are the only TA I do pay attention to because those represent the average that a large sampling of investors have been willing to pay for a stock (or index) and, as you can see, we're still miles over the 200-day moving averages for our indexes so, the question is, what changed in the last 50 days to justify a 10% bump in the indexes?  I guess you can kind of say the taxes but,
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Meet the new ‘renewable superpowers’: nations that boss the materials used for wind and solar

 

Meet the new 'renewable superpowers': nations that boss the materials used for wind and solar

File 20180216 50530 qcy2au.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Blue Planet Studio / shutterstock

Courtesy of Andrew Barron, Swansea University

Imagine a world where every country has not only complied with the Paris climate agreement but has moved away from fossil fuels entirely. How would such a change affect global politics?

The 20th century was dominated by coal, oil and natural gas, but a shift to zero-emission energy generation and transport means a new set of elements will become key. Solar energy, for instance, still primarily uses silicon technology, for which the major raw material is the rock quartzite. Lithium represents the key limiting resource for most batteries – while rare earth metals, in particular “lanthanides” such as neodymium, are required for the magnets in wind turbine generators. Copper is the conductor of choice for wind power, being used in the generator windings, power cables, transformers and inverters.

In considering this future it is necessary to understand who wins and loses by a switch from carbon to silicon, copper, lithium, and rare earth metals.

The countries which dominate the production of fossil fuels will mostly be familiar:

The list of countries that would become the new “renewables superpowers” contains some familiar names, but also a few wild cards. The largest reserves of quartzite (for silicon production) are found in China, the US, and Russia – but also Brazil and Norway. The US and China are also major sources of copper, although their reserves are decreasing, which has pushed Chile, Peru, Congo and Indonesia to the fore.

Chile also has, by far, the largest reserves of lithium, ahead of China, Argentina and Australia. Factoring in lower-grade “resources” – which can’t yet be extracted – bumps Bolivia and the US onto the list. Finally, rare earth resources are greatest in China, Russia, Brazil – and Vietnam.

Salt flats in South America contain much of the world’s lithium. Guido Amrein Switzerland / shutterstock

Of all the…
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Tumblin’ Tuesday – Thursday and Friday’s Low-Volume Gains Erased at the Open

You can't say we didn't tell you so.  

In Friday's report I said: "We're now only 5% below the "obviously overbought" market top.  What changed in the past 7 days?…  The reason I'm skeptical of the rally is that we've bounced back on 1/3 the volume at which we sold off and forming a weak base is why we were shorting the market in the first place a few weaks ago.  Apparently, traders have learned nothing at all this month and we're right back to the madness of the Dow moving up 1,500 points on ridiculously low volume.  This is simply a lack of sellers at the moment and God help us all if they come back!"  Fortunately, we also followed through with our hedges and went into the weekend with a bearish tilt to our portfolios – locking in last week's silly gains.

Even better, of course, were the Futures Trade Ideas we featured in Friday morning's Report, in which I said:  "As I noted in yesterday's Report, we amped up our hedges into the weekend and, this morning, I put out a note to our Members saying":

/YM is 25,300, that's my favorite short and we have /ES 2,740, /NQ 6,845 and /TF1,545 and my stop-outs are if we get over 2,750, 6,850 or 1,550 but, otherwise, I want to accumulate /YM shorts.  

As you can see, we already had a nice $4,385 gain on the /YM shorts by 1:15 on Friday – not bad for 4 hours' work!  After that we were able to rely on our index hedges to protect us and, into the close, we addred the following trade idea for the Russell Ultra-Short (TZA):

I'd go TZA July $11 ($2)/15 (0.90) for $1.10 you get $5 in protection and it's almost $1 in the money to start.  

TZA closed Friday at $11.84 and is should still be a playable hedge this morning if you think your portfolio is too vunerable.  A $3.14 gain in TZA would be 26% and, since TZA is a 3x short for the Russell, that would mean a 9% dip in the Russell should correspond to…
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Seeing Your Blind Spots

 

Seeing Your Blind Spots

Courtesy of 

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.”

-Richard Feynman

Anybody who has ever tried to beat the market knows that understanding psychology is just as important as understanding a business. You can know a company’s return on equity to the third decimal and what management likes to do with excess capital, but if you don’t understand prospect theory or confirmation bias, you’re missing the most important elements of what it takes to be a successful investor.

Studying investor psychology, however, is not enough, because the more we learn about it, the easier it is to become convinced that these foibles apply to other people and not to ourselves. You can read all the behavioral finance books in the world, but if you don’t apply this knowledge, you’re no better off than the investor who has never heard of Daniel Kahneman.

I traded full time for almost two years and most of what I learned can be boiled down to what everybody already knows: beating the market is ridiculously hard. But if everybody knows this, then why do so many try? And if they don’t know before they dive in, then why do people who fail to beat the market continue to try when their own experience suggests they can’t?

I suspect that people persist in failure because they don’t even know that they are failing in the first place. And they don’t know they’re failing because they don’t record and track their results.

It’s easy for investors to subconsciously inflate their track record because our memories mislead us. Memory is one of investor’s biggest blind spots.

Daniel Gilbert wrote about the dangers of relying on memory in Stumbling on Happiness:

Memory is less like a collection of photographs than it is like a collection of impressionist paintings rendered by an artist who takes considerable license with his subject. The more ambiguous the subject is, the more license the artist takes, and few subjects are more ambiguous than emotional experience.

Few subjects are more ambiguous


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ValueWalk

Is College Really for All?

By The Foundation for Economic Education. Originally published at ValueWalk.

In the last two and a half generations, the number of students who go on to attend college, as a percentage of the population, has tripled. In 1959, about 20 percent of high school students went on to college. Since relatively few people were earning degrees, having one all but guaranteed getting a good, high-paying job. As a result, parents, high schools, and colleges began encouraging more and more high school students to go to college. Today, about 60 percent of high school students go on to college. But has the big push to get kids into college done anything to improve outcomes? Is the average $250,000 investment in a four-year degree at all worth it? If not, what alternatives exist? Join Antony Davies and James Harrigan as they talk about this and more on this week’s episode of Words and Num...



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Phil's Favorites

Mad cows, Oprah Winfrey and communicating the science in a high-profile court case

 

Mad cows, Oprah Winfrey and communicating the science in a high-profile court case

A reporter interviews a protester outside the Amarillo courthouse. AP Photo/Eric Gay

Courtesy of Larry Lemmons, Texas Tech University and Asheley R. Landrum, Texas Tech University

Twenty years ago, images of staggering cattle and descriptions of brains resembling Swiss cheese became associated w...



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Zero Hedge

It's Not Just The Homicides: Commercial Robberies In Baltimore Are Up 88%

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

We now have supporting evidence that Baltimore is the “nation’s most dangerous city,” according to a new report issued by USA Today’s crime desk. The implosion of Baltimore’s inner city comes as little surprise to us, considering our recent reporting of out of control murders and violent crime plungin...



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Insider Scoop

Imperial Capital: MINDBODY Has The Keys To Success

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related 7 Stocks Moving In Wednesday's After-Hours Session 50 Biggest Movers From Friday ...

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

Digital Currencies

US Olympians Are Turning To Bitcoin To Offset Competition-Related Costs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As many college athletes know all too well, funding for more niche sports like - for example - luge is often lacking, and securing more often requires hours of fundraising by the team's boosters.

Which is why, ahead of the Winter Games in PyeongChang, some teams started getting creative. For instance, fundraisers for the US luge team have started accepting donations in bitcoin. Indeed, the team has raised several thousand dollars worth of bitcoin.

...



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Chart School

'Bull Trap' in Dow Jones Industrial Average

Courtesy of Declan.

Starting to see evidence that the February bounce in markets is fading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished with a 'bull trap' as it ducked below breakout support despite finishing above yesterday's close. Volume dropped as relative performance against tech indices took a marked step lower. Troubling times for the 'flight-to-safety' route.


The Semiconductor Index had looked like it was ready to mount a challenge of the January 'bull trap' but the last couple of days have seen a second attempt at a reversal ...

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Biotech

What is 'right to try,' and could it help?

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

 

What is 'right to try,' and could it help?

In this March 18, 2011 photo, Cassidy Hempel waved at hospital staff as she was being treated for a rare disorder. Her mother Chris, left, fought to gain permission for an experimental drug. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Morten Wendelbo, Texas A&M University and Timothy Callaghan, ...



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Mapping The Market

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

Via Jean-Luc

How propagandist beat science – they did it for the tobacco industry and now it's in favor of the energy companies:

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

The original tobacco strategy involved several lines of attack. One of these was to fund research that supported the industry and then publish only the results that fit the required narrative. “For instance, in 1954 the TIRC distributed a pamphlet entitled ‘A Scientific Perspective on the Cigarette Controversy’ to nearly 200,000 doctors, journalists, and policy-makers, in which they emphasized favorable research and questioned results supporting the contrary view,” say Weatherall and co, who call this approach biased production.

A second approach promoted independent research that happened to support ...



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Members' Corner

An Interview with David Brin

Our guest David Brin is an astrophysicist, technology consultant, and best-selling author who speaks, writes, and advises on a range of topics including national defense, creativity, and space exploration. He is also a well-known and influential futurist (one of four “World's Best Futurists,” according to The Urban Developer), and it is his ideas on the future, specifically the future of civilization, that I hope to learn about here.   

Ilene: David, you base many of your predictions of the future on a theory of historica...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

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

 

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

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

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

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



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Promotions

NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!

 

We have a great guest at today's webinar!

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

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

Just click here at 1 pm est and join in!

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



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Kimble Charting Solutions

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

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

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

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

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

If EWZ b...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

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

Click here for the full report.




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

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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 >>


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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.

Market Shadows >>