Archive for the ‘Appears on main page’ Category

What if the price of Bitcoin is the least interesting thing about it?

 

What if the price of Bitcoin is the least interesting thing about it?

Courtesy of 

Over the summer, I reviewed Steven Johnson’s book about innovation, called The Invention of Air. Johnson shows us how a simple insight by one of the least technically gifted scientists in history led to a massive chain reaction of human understanding about the world we live in and how it truly works.

If you missed my synopsis, it’s here.

Anyway, Johnson dropped a monster article about Bitcoin and the Blockchain this week for New York Times Magazine and he makes the point that the daily price swings of coins may turn out to be the least interesting thing about it. This is a line of thinking I’ve been pursuing all winter (see: A Twist).

What if the return of an open-protocol internet (think email, GPS, URLs, etc) is the true promise of the blockchain? What if the ability to affirm who we are as human beings is wrested away from Facebook and the the passport issuers of countries around the world thanks to open-source technology and the peer-to-peer network? These are big questions, and worth spending the time to consider?

I send you there now, you really can’t afford to miss this:

Beyond the Bitcoin Bubble (NYT Magazine)





Terrific Tuesday – Futures Blast Market to New Highs – Just Because

Dow 26,000?  Really???

That's right, the Dow blasted 1% higher this morning to hit 26,000 and the S&P 500 hit 2,800 and the Nasdaq 100 hit 6,800 and the Russell hit 1,600 all record highs ahead of the Government shut-down on Friday (not really, they will extend it again).  Meanwhile, this puts Donald Trump only 12% behind Obama for first-year market rallies and he only had to promise a $1.5Tn tax cut to get it.  George Bush I also beat Trump – and that guy wasn't even trying!  

Obama's rally peaked out on Jan 19th, 2010 at 1,150 on the S&P and then we fell for a month – back to 1,050 (10%) but then we rallied to 1,200 (April) but then we fell to 1,050 again (July) in a very exciting second year.  Of course, those consolidation waves set the base for the next 1,200 points and then Trump took over we're up another 600 but, of course, Trump is taking credit for the whole 3,222-day rally – even though he's only been President for 10% of it.

Notice the Clinton Rally lasted 4,494 days and was much, much bigger (582%) than our rally (301%) and yes, it was pure lunacy at the end of the dot.com boom but this is the no tax boom and crypto-idiocy boom and 2,000 lie boom – all rolled into one.  Sure, in a few years, we'll look back at this rally and say "What were those idiots thinking?" and we'll forget "those idiots" were us and yes, I'm including myself because, despite warning you to be cautious, we put 20% of our CASH!!! back to work this month in our brand new Member Portfolios.

chartFOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is what drives the markets and, if we are on the way to a Clintonesque 100% additional gain from here (Dow 50,000?), then we'd feel like real idiots missing out on that rally, even if there is "no inflation" – according to the Fed.  As you can see from the Relative Strength Indicator – since 1960, we have never been this "strong" in the market and forget the fact that all those peaks ended
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Breaking Up Tech: Indexes doing what the economy won’t

 

Breaking Up Tech: Indexes doing what the economy won’t

Courtesy of 

Nobody wants to say this but I will.

The technology sector has gotten so big, so pervasive and powerful, that the stock market index creators had to break it up. Because the monopolist powers of these corporations off of the stock market and in the real world have not been checked by natural competitive forces or government intervention.

The big names in tech get bigger and bigger every year, their influence extending into all facets of modern life, no industry left untouched by the effects of this.

This has been reflected in S&P 500 in terms of market capitalization and the weighting these companies have. They’re almost a quarter of the large cap indices now. And even within the sector, a handful of enormous companies dominate. It’s like how the .01% of rich people have most of the wealth of the 1% in the world. The same thing is being mirrored across the corporate landscape.

This is actually something that the CAPEsters missed about stock market valuation – that we could one day have companies with moats so unassailable that classical valuation theory would cease to matter and comparisons to prior eras would be utterly inapplicable. Imagine telling investors in the 1980’s that someday Apple would be the world’s largest mobile phone seller and that they would earn 95% of the entire industry’s total profitability each year. How do you value that? How do you compare it to an index full of steel producers in the 1970’s ripping each others eyeballs out for every penny per tonne?

And the situation is getting more cartoonish, not less so.

As there appears to be no sign that something is going to happen in the real world to restore any sort of balance to the force, MSCI and S&P Dow Jones Indices (collectively, these two companies comprise the Global Industry Classification Standard or GICS committee) have taken it upon themselves to act. They’re going to spread things out in terms of industry group classification and re-weight the sectors. They’re reclassifying some technology companies as “communications” companies and changing an entire sector’s name from…
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‘Shithole countries’: Trump uses the rhetoric of dictators

 

‘Shithole countries’: Trump uses the rhetoric of dictators

Courtesy of Henry GirouxMcMaster University

File 20180112 101486 1l854ri.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

A day after Donald Trump met with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, he told lawmakers the U.S. should have more immigrants from places like Norway and not “shithole” countries like Haiti. AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

George Orwell warns us in his dystopian novel 1984 that authoritarianism begins with language. In the novel, “newspeak” is language twisted to deceive, seduce and undermine the ability of people to think critically and freely.

Donald Trump’s unapologetic bigoted language made headlines again Thursday when it was reported he told lawmakers working on a new immigration policy that the United States shouldn’t accept people from “shithole countries” like Haiti. Given his support for white nationalism and his coded call to “Make America Great (White) Again,” Trump’s overt racist remarks reinforce echoes of white supremacy reminiscent of fascist dictators in the 1930s.

His remarks about accepting people from Norway smack of an appeal to the sordid discourse of racial purity. There is much more at work here than a politics of incivility. Behind Trump’s use of vulgarity and his disparagement of countries that are poor and non-white lies the terrifying discourse of white supremacy, ethnic cleansing and the politics of disposability. This is a vocabulary that considers some individuals and groups not only faceless and voiceless, but excess, redundant and subject to expulsion. The endpoint of the language of disposability is a form of social death, or even worse.

As authoritarianism gains strength, the formative cultures that give rise to dissent become more embattled, along with the public spaces and institutions that make conscious critical thought possible.

Words that speak to the truth to reveal injustices and provide informed critical analysis begin to disappear, making it all the more difficult, if not dangerous, to judge, think critically and hold dominant power accountable. Notions of virtue, honour, respect and compassion are policed, and those who advocate them are punished.

I think it’s fair to argue that Orwell’s nightmare vision of the future is no longer fiction in the United States. Under Trump, language is undergoing a shift: It now treats dissent, critical media coverage and scientific evidence…
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Don’t mess with the money

 

Don’t mess with the money

Courtesy of 

Here’s something you may not have known – that massive protest in Iran was initially caused by a financial fraud that wiped out people’s savings when they thought the central bank had their back and it didn’t…

Via the Wall Street Journal:

The call to protest came through a group channel on the smartphone app Telegram. Younes, a 42-year-old accountant at a saffron-importing company, like most of the group’s thousand or so members, had lost his savings when a financial firm promising huge returns went bankrupt amid bad investments and corruption.

Younes, who lives in Iran’s northeastern city of Mashhad, had used all his funds and borrowed from his employer to invest about $20,000. The firm was offering returns of up to 27%, up to 15 percentage points higher than banks were offering. Younes said he has recovered only about 20% of his investment.

“We lost all our fortune and no one cares”

So basically, Iran has something like 7000 of these loosely regulated financial firms that were originally operated by the government but then privatized within the last decade and allowed to run themselves. They’re promising investors high interest rates on real estate projects and the like, which, of course, never really pan out. And then there’s outright theft of funds and other crimes and for the middle classes who’d had their money wiped out, there was no recourse.

And while these are privatized investment firms, they still have all sorts of connections to the clerics and elements of the Revolutionary Guard. And so that’s how a financial crime wave turned into an anti-government insurgency within hours of the protests beginning.

Once upon a time, Puff Daddy starred on an MTV show called “Making the Band“, in which he served as producer and manager for a group of aspiring rappers in New York City. One of the first lessons he had to impress upon the kids was that as entertainers and rap stars, they could get away with a whole lot of stuff  – partying, trashing hotel rooms, getting with females and whatever else. But only if…
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Fantastic Friday – Greetings from the Top to all you S-Hole Countries!

What a great start to the year!

The S&P 500 is up from 2,680 to 2,770 so 90 points is 3.3% and our Long-Term Portfolio is already up 4.4% or $21,755 in 8 days of trading.  As you can see, we still have all of our cash on the sidelines as the well-hedged positions we picked up have been cash-positive for us so far – we haven't been confident enough to take big risks yet.  Our $100,000 Options Opportunity Portfolio, which you can follow at Seeking Alpha, is only up 3.3% because we're down $900 on our TZA hedge while, in the $500,000 LTP, CASH!!! is still our primary hedge against a market collapse.  

Our goal is not to "beat" the market on the way up, our goal is to kick the market's ass on the way down or if the market is flat.  By capturing all the good stuff and avoiding all the bad stuff, we can consistently outperform the market year after year without suffering the portflio-killing pullbacks that plague more aggressive traders.  While it's fun to brag about making outsized returns during these market bubbles – it's more fun to "Get Rich Slowly" and retire with plenty of money, isn't it?  

The key to building wealthy over time is CONSISTENCY.  Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has "only" averaged 16% returns but he's been doing it for 50 years, allowing his initial investors to make 10,000 x returns on their invesments.  

But that's not the way it starts.  It starts in year one with a 16% return and $100,000 becomes $116,000 and then $116,000 becomes $134,000 which becomes $156,000 in year 3 and then $181,000 after 4 years and finally, in year 5, you get to say you've doubled up.  While it may seem like you'll never get to $1Bn in 50 years at that pace – the math doesn't lie – you just need to learn how to CONSISTENTLY make good returns.  

And, of course, anyone who says they have a better system is LYING to you because, after 50 years of measuring, no investor on this planet is richer than Warren Buffett so it's Warren Buffett's model we pursue, picking up good stocks at good prices and building
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PhilStockWorld Weekly Trading Webinar – 01-10-18

 

PhilStockWorld Weekly Trading Webinar – 01-10-18

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

Major Topics:

00:01:57 Checking on the Markets
00:04:15 Indexes
00:11:00 Active Trader
00:14:54 Watchlist Update Virtual Portfolio Review
00:19:48 Gold
00:23:01 BBBY
00:27:34 Watchlist Update
00:32:13 Natural Gas
00:33:00 CHK Chart
00:41:23 NAK Trade Ideas
00:49:11 More Trade Ideas
00:50:37 VRX
00:55:26 NAK
00:57:21 Checking on the Markets
00:59:36 Watchlist Update
01:10:19 GE
01:17:37 More on the Watchlist Update
01:23:37 VRX
01:30:31 Active Trader
01:36:45 Seeking Alpha News

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!

 





Thrill-Ride Thursday – Markets Right Back on Top

What pullback?

We waited all year for the markets to pull back and all we got was a lousy 50-point correction?  This market is completely nuts and this morning the Futures already have us back at the 6,700 line on the Nasdaq (/NQ) along with 25,400 on the Dow (/YM), 2,756 on the S&P (/ES) and 1,565 on the Russell (/TF) while Oil (/CL) is testing $64 despite disappointing demand numbers in yesterday's inventory report.

Facts don't matter in this market – it's all about the momentum at this point and, tempting though it may be, we're not placing many bets against it though shorting /NQ Futures at 6,700 with tight stops above is a no-brainer – as it limits your losses but not your gains (see yesterday's Report).  We took a poke short in yesterday's Live Trading Webinar but then decided long was a better play after losing $105 but now we're done with those and flipping short at the same(ish) levels we shorted on Tuesday afternoon.  

We saw how quickly gains could evaportate yesterday but, if those weak retrace lines keep holding up, we may be consolidating for a breakout to new highs, rather than correcting from our New Year's rally.  Yesterday's strong 10-year note auction alleviated fears in the bond market but that may have been because we sold $20Bn in debt at 2.6%, the highest level since last March.  Today we sell $12Bn of 30-year notes at 1pm and we'll see how that goes.  

One thing everyone seems to be ignorning is a warning from Moody's that Trump's tax plan has put the United States on Negative Credit Watch as they see it as detrimental to our economy overall, with at least $1.5Tn in additional deficits over the next 10 years (in addition to the $8Tn deficit that was already modeled in).  According to Moody's:  

"Any boost to economic growth from the new US tax law will be modest and depend on how businesses and individuals


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If you remember only one thing about inflation, remember this

 

If you remember only one thing about inflation, remember this

Courtesy of 

I said a little while back that the “I” word was going to make a comeback this year and could represent the biggest theme in the markets for 2018. I say “could” because if I thought I knew for sure, I’d be one of these 2-and-20 guys, and I am decidedly not.

But I have a nose for these things because I watch price action on the charts, listen to the concerns of our clients and read tons of market commentary every day. And for the first time in forever, the cost of living / rise in commodities / rise in interest rates are making themselves felt in the daily discourse.

Before I continue, I ask that you keep in mind that a blog post does not constitute an investment recommendation, personalized advice or a recommendation of any security or strategy. See my terms and conditions for a full 100,000 word disclaimer.

Okay, let’s continue.

I shared these two charts yesterday with the subs in my premium Twitter feed. The first one is a breakout and the second one is a potential breakout in progress…

Here’s the S&P GSCI index, which features a heavy amount of oil in its calculation and has already climbed out of this two-year base.

 

The next one is the Bloomberg Commodities index, which looks like it wants to go. It has oil in it but downplays that exposure somewhat in favor of a larger weighting toward precious metals and agricultural commodities (the “softs”).

These are nascent breakouts, not longstanding uptrends, and so they should be watched closely with an understanding that anything can happen. Commodities have been in an incredible downtrend for years and years now. And relative to stocks, they’ve been a horrendous asset class. One dollar invested in commodities in 2012 is worth about 55 cents. In comparison, a dollar invested in the S&P 500…
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Weakening Wednesday – Did China Find the Market’s Achilles Heel?

Wheeeee!  

Finally a nice little dip and we nailed it yesterday as I said to our Members at 3:08pm in our Live Chat Room:

  • /NKD down 125 today but the US indexes could care less.
  • /YM 25,400 is a fun short with tight stops above.
  • /ES 2,760 finally got a reject
  • /NQ 6,700 finally caused a pause – also a good shorting line
  • /TF 1,565 is good to play for the cross below
  • DAX 13,400 is a good check line too
  • Check out the 5-year charts.  There are 30 year-old traders with 5 years' experience who have no idea whatsoever that markets can go down.  ?

I put out an Alert to our Members at 6:06 am (and tweeted it too) calling for profit taking on the dip, saying:

I'm taking the money and running here, /NQ was my play and now testing S2 at 6,644 and my fresh horse is now /TF below 1,550 (but I doubt it) with /YM at 25,235 and /ES at 2,738.  If anything, I'd play long for the bounce here but huge winner ($11K) so I'm just happy to watch for now.

Seems like we're only selling off because the Dollar dove and took /NKD down 250 and our indexes followed it lower – otherwise I'd be more inclined to stick with it.

/RB is still a good short at $1.85, of course, with tight stops above. 


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Phil's Favorites

Guarding against the possible Spectre in every machine

 

Guarding against the possible Spectre in every machine

Courtesy of Scott ShackelfordIndiana University

A call to better track manufacturing, shipping and distribution. Travel mania/Shutterstock.com

Security vulnerabilities in technology extend well beyond problems with software. Earlier this month, researchers revealed that the hardware at the heart of ...



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ValueWalk

Bill Miller On Amazon, Google, Facebook And Bitcoin

By VW Staff. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Miller Value Partners’ Bill Miller holds the record for being the only mutual fund manager to beat the market for 15 years in a row. One way he did it is by investing in new technologies that the Wall Street establishment thought were crazy at the time – Amazon, Google, and Facebook among them. His latest “crazy” idea: Bitcoin.

]]> Get The Timeless Reading eBook in PDF

Get the entire 10-part series on Timeless Reading in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues.

Listen to the audio only version here:

...



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Zero Hedge

Global Markets Shrug As US Government Shutdown Enters Day 3

 

Global Markets Shrug As US Government Shutdown Enters Day 3

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Global stocks and U.S. bond markets on Monday shrugged off day three of the US government shutdown in Washington, although the dollar pulled back as the euro continued its strong start to the year, while U.S. stock index futures dipped less than 0.1% on expectations that the political impasse will not hurt the U.S. economy and that it will be resolved shortly, which may prove to be an overly optimistic outlook.

Here is Bloomberg's quick on what has been a particularly quiet overnight session:

Exceptionally quiet European session due to lack of pert...



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Digital Currencies

Cryptos Are Crashing Again...

 

Cryptos Are Crashing Again...

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

From South Korean bank blocks to Bulgarian ponzi scheme shutdowns and a Bali bitcoin crackdown, you can take your pick as to what is driving the sudden plunge in cryptocurrencies this morning. Ethereum is back below $1000, Bitcoin is back to a $10k handle, and Ripple is down 30% from the weekend's highs.

Weakness began around 6amET but really accelerated at around 8am ET...

With Bitcoin and Ethereum breaking key support levels..

The catalyst for the move is uncertain at best with numerous headlines over the weekend:

OneCoin offices ...



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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Jan 21, 2017

Courtesy of Blain.

Investors suffered through two whole days of losses in a shortened week – but the indexes still gained on the week!  Boo yah!  Even a sharp reversal Tuesday (gap up, close at the lows) – which is usually negative short term – couldn’t stop the freight train.  Earnings season kicked off in earnest.  The government shutdown put absolutely zero fear into markets.

“I would characterize a shutdown as just the kind of political news that the market has demonstrated, over the past year, a willingness to ignore,” said Hank Smith, co-chief investment officer at Haverford Trust, which manages $8 billion.

The S&P 500 gained 0.9% for the week, while the NASDAQ jumped 1.0%.

Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at wealth manager Bleakley Financial G...



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Insider Scoop

34 Biggest Movers From Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Gainers
  • Forward Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: FORD) shares surged 137.9 percent to close at $2.95 on Friday after the company reported the acquisition of Intelligent Product Solutions.
  • NuCana PLC (ADR) (NASDAQ: NCNA) shares climbed 41.55 percent to close at $20.51 as the company announced plans to initiate a Phase 3 study of Acelarin in front-line advanced biliary tract cancer.
  • New Age Beverages Corporation (NASDAQ: NBEV) shares jumped 22.5 percent to close at $3.92 on Friday.
  • ...


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Biotech

How Alzheimer's disease spreads throughout the brain - new study

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

 

How Alzheimer's disease spreads throughout the brain – new study

Courtesy of Thomas E CopeUniversity of Cambridge

Harmful tau protein spreads through networks. Author provided

Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating brain illness that affects an estimated 47m people worldwide. It is the most common cause of dementia in the Western world. Despite this, there are currently no treatments that are effective in curing Alzheimer’s disease or preventing its relentless progressio...



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Mapping The Market

Trump Admin Bans CDC From Using Words Like 'Science-Based,' 'Diversity'

By Jean-Luc

These are the policies of a theocracy, not a modern democracy:

Trump Admin Bans CDC From Using Words Like ‘Science-Based,’ ‘Diversity’

The Trump administration has prohibited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from using words like “science-based,” “diversity,” and “transgender” in their official documents for next year’s budget, according to the Washington Post.

Senior CDC budget leader Alison Kelly met with the agency’s policy analysts on Thursday to announce ...



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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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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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