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Initial Jobless Claims Surge To 10 Month Highs, Worst Start To A Year Since 2009

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Following this morning’s dire Challenger Job Cuts data, it appears the hard reality that lower oil prices are not unambiguously good for America is setting in. Initial Jobless Claims surged last week (after a big jump the week before) to 320k (far worse than the 295k expectation) to the highest since May 2014. Non-seasonally-0adjusted claims surged 29,361 to 310,000 making 2015 the worst start to the year for claims since 2009. Continuing Claims also rose. Since the end of QE3 and the end of the government’s fiscal year, the trend of improvment has clearly ended and a new regime of weakening labor markets has begun.

The trend has changed…

This is the worst start to a year since 2009…

Charts: Bloomberg





Mario Draghi’s “Q€ Unleashed” ECB Press Conference – Live Feed

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

After what feels like years of anticipation and promises, we found out last month that Q€ will happen. Today we find out exactly how Mario Draghi's magic trillion euro spending spree will occur (or not). Despite all the 'facts' surrounding a lack of liquidity, willing sellers, and available securities we are sure Draghi will have an answer for how he will fit 10lbs of 'stuff' into a 5lb bag. We also expect him to exuberasntly forecast higher inflation (less deflation) and stronger growth – because if he doesn't, what does that say about his optimism that Q€ is anything but more wealth transfers?

ECB Press Conference (live Feed)

Alternate if ECB embed feed is broken (click image for link)

*  *  *

As a reminder, here’s what the distribution of asset purchases looks like across the eurozone:





Challenger Job Cuts Surge 19%; Energy Sector Is 38% Of Total: “Falling Oil Hasn’t Resulted In Higher Retail Spending”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

A month ago we asked if, perchance, the BLS had simply forgotten to add any of the job losses in the energy sector in January, when it reported a drop of just 1900 jobs in the entire Oil and Gas Extraction space, compared to 18K actual announcements, and 21,300 job cuts in the sector as reported by Challenger. Moments ago, the latest Challenger data is out, and we really hope the BLS finally reads it because things in the energy sector are getting worse by the day, if only for its well-paid workers.

According to Challenger, the February total planned job cut were over 50,000 for the second month in a row, or a total of 103,620 in the first two months of 2015, up 19% from the same period last year, with a 38% of the total, or 39,621 of these job cuts, due to plunging oil prices and about to take place in the highest paid oil extraction space.

From the press release:

Employers announced 103,620 planned layoffs through the first two months of 2015, which is up 19 percent from the 86,942 job cuts recorded during the same period in 2014.

Once again, the energy sector saw the heaviest job cutting in February, with these firms announcing 16,339 job cuts, due primarily to oil prices.

Falling oil prices have been responsible for 39,621 job cuts, to date. That represents 38 percent of all recorded workforce reductions announced in the first two months of 2015. In February, 36 percent of all job cuts (18,299) were blamed on oil prices.

Here is the one chart that the BLS, if it ignored everything else, should look at:

To paraphrase John Challenger, it is unambiguously ungood.

Oil exploration and extraction companies, as well as the companies that supply them, are definitely feeling the impact of the lowest oil prices since 2009. These companies, while reluctant to completely shutter operations, are being forced to trim payrolls to contain costs,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

While oil-related companies will see profits slide, the net impact of falling oil prices will likely be positive for the economy, as a whole. Some economists are estimating that GDP could see a 0.5 percentage point boost from


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Thursday Thrust – Draghi Fires the QE Boosters Again

MORE FREE MONEY!!!

Mario Draghi (a Goldman employee) will discuss his $75Bn/month QE program for the ECB this morning and the BOE (another Goldman employee) has already announced they will continue their $35Bn/month QE program while Japan continues their $80Bn/month QE program and our own Fed is still at $80Bn/month with China probably around the same.  

That's $350Bn PER MONTH or $4.2Tn per year being pumped into the Global Economy by Central Banksters.  AND IT'S NOT REALLY HELPING!!!

Well, it is helping the Top 1% as they get richer and richer and richer.  It's easy to get richer when we can borrow money at 0.25% and then lend it to poor people (and we're justified because their credit simply isn't as good as ours) for 5%.  That's a 20x return on our borrowing cost – don't you just love the Central Banksters?!?  

Now, I know that there are those of you in America who are confused by these numbers because you think your economy is improving – and it is – but that's because you're not thinking the math through.  300M Americans, with an average income of $55,000 per family, are already in the top 10% of the Worlds 7Bn people.  So the whole top 10% of America is already in the Global Top 1%, which is what is giving our economy such a boost – but it's at the expense of Billions of others.

fernholz1A study by Fernholz in Econobrowser shows the very direct correlation between the gains of wealth held by the top 0.01% and 0.01-0.1% of households are increasing by 3% and 1% per year, respectively, while the share of wealth held by the bottom 90% of households is decreasing by 1.5% per year.  1.5% PER YEAR.  When you graph it, it looks like this over time:

Not only is wealth being taken from the poor and given to the rich but the process is accelerating through QE policies.  One of the ways the top 0.1% is reaping these rewards is through share buybacks – $2Tn worth of them since 2009, which is 6 times more money than the amount contributed by actual investors
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Take Out A 7 Year Car Loan To Buy Stocks, CNBC Experts Advise

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

In what can only be described as a wanton display of absurdity, CNBC dedicated not one, not two, but three segments (and those are just the ones we noticed) to subprime auto lending on Wednesday producing, in the process, three of the most hilarious clips in recent memory. 

There was Phil Lebeau with the latest numbers from Experian which show that average monthly payments hit a record high in Q4 at nearly $500 and the average amount being financed is up 4% Y/Y to nearly $24,000. It gets worse. Fully a quarter of new car loans carry terms of at least 73 months. That may sound bad, but Experian’s director of automotive finance Melinda Zabritski — the same Melinda Zabritski who last month said we are looking at a “remarkably stable automotive-loan market” — isn’t ready to pass judgement quite yet. “I haven’t quite made up my mind on 84 month loans,” she noted, although she did say she is “concerned.” 

We also got a classic interview with AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson who notes that if you include leasing (which is of course different from buying, but why quibble over the details), loan terms are actually only 56 months. The rest of the clip can be summed up in three words: “Trucks, trucks, trucks.” 

We saved the best for last. Watch below as Bill Griffeth and Kelly Evans host WSJ’s Jonathan Clements and Premier Financial Advisors’ Mark Martiak for a discussion on what we’re calling the car-stock arbitrage wherein you are (literally) encouraged to take out a 7 year loan with a rapidly amortizing asset as collateral in order to buy stocks. 

Enjoy. 





ECB Keeps Rates Unchanged, QE Details To Come Shortly

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

As is normally the case, the ECB did not provide any details aside from its headline rates decision in the monetary policy decision press release, which as was expected by virtually everyone, were unchanged across the board.

At today’s meeting, which was held in Nicosia, the Governing Council of the ECB decided that the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.05%, 0.30% and -0.20% respectively.

The President of the ECB will comment on the considerations underlying these decisions at a press conference starting at 2.30 p.m. CET today

In other words, in most places across New Paranormal Europe, borrowers will continue to get paid and savers will continue to get punished.

What other tricks does Draghi have up his sleeve? Tune in in 45 minutes for the press conference straight from Nicosia to find out.





Frontrunning: March 5

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

  • China Lowers Growth Target to About 7% (WSJ)
  • Obesity Is Hurting the U.S. Economy in Surprising Ways (BBG)
  • Embattled Hillary Clinton urges State Department to release emails (Reuters)
  • Washington Strips New York Fed’s Power (WSJ)
  • U.S. Supreme Court split over Obamacare challenge (Reuters)
  • Citigroup Loses $800 Million as It Exits Turkey’s Akbank (BBG)
  • Justice Who Once Tried to Kill Obamacare Now Potential Savior (BBG)
  • Buyers of Espírito Santo Debt Face Financial Uncertainty (WSJ)
  • Shadow Banks Could Take $11 Billion Annual Profit, Goldman Says (BBG)
  • Like Israel, U.S. Arab Allies Fear Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal (WSJ)
  • Apple to Delay Production of Larger iPads (BBG)
  • AbbVie boosts cancer drug pipeline with $21 billion Pharmacyclics deal (Reuters)
  • Knife-wielding attacker slashes face of U.S. ambassador in South Korea (Reuters)
  • Snowden says U.S. not offering fair trial if he returns (Reuters)
  • As heroin trade grows, a sting in Kenya (Reuters)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* China lowered its economic growth forecast to about 7 percent for 2015 at the opening of the country’s biggest political event of the year, ushering in what leaders have dubbed a “new normal” of slower growth in the world’s second largest economy.(http://on.wsj.com/1B92uOE)

* AbbVie Inc said late Wednesday it will buy cancer biotech Pharmacyclics Inc in a $21 billion deal that returns the North Chicago drug company to deal-making after backing away from a big tax-lowering takeover last year.(http://on.wsj.com/1B93qTd)

* Investors snapped up a half-billion euros of French utility bonds that will pay them no interest, a groundbreaking deal that shows how corporations are rushing to take advantage of Europe’s efforts to keep interest rates low to try to revive the continent’s economy.(http://on.wsj.com/1B951sl)

* Simon Property Group Inc has made takeover approaches to Macerich Co, seeking to combine two of the largest shopping-mall owners in the U.S.(http://on.wsj.com/1B95pqN)

* Etsy Inc unveiled plans to further test investors’ appetite for e-commerce companies, filing for an initial public offering a decade after it was founded in a Brooklyn, N.Y., apartment as a way to sell handmade goods online.(http://on.wsj.com/1B96tLj)

* McDonald’s Corp plans to curtail antibiotics use in its U.S. chicken, a move that could help kick-start a broader food-industry response to…
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The Silence of the Lambs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Sprott Money.

Posted with permission by Gary Christenson – The Deviant Investor

One interpretation is that we are living in the best of all possible worlds. Another is that we are being led to financial slaughter.

lambs2

A few thoughts:

1913: The Federal Reserve was created and dollars have been devalued ever since. (more paper, less gold)

1933: President Roosevelt confiscated gold owned by American citizens. (no more citizen held gold in the US)

1971: President Nixon terminated the convertibility of dollars into gold. (much more paper, less gold)

2000: The NASDAQ crashed along with the retirement dreams for many Americans. (paper assets crashed)

2001: The Patriot Act and the War on Terror…… (more paper)

2008: Financial crash, crisis, and bailout for Wall Street….. (much more paper)

2008: Quantitative Easing, bond monetization, printing currency, and effectively zero interest rates are used to recapitalize banks at the expense of savers, pension funds, insurance companies and the productive economy. (more paper)

2010: QE2 (much more paper)

2012: QE3 (much much more paper)


Quick summary: more paper, less gold

  • The dollar has lost approximately 98% of its purchasing power since 1913.
  • Governments and central banks have dramatically increased their power and importance since 1913 and particularly since 1971.
  • Several $Trillion in sovereign debt now “pays” negative interest rates.
  • Savers in the US, Japan and Europe lose purchasing power every day to understated inflation, devaluation of currencies, and near zero or negative interest rates.
  • Total global debt is approximately $200 Trillion. There appears to be no plan to repay that debt. Perhaps it will increase exponentially forever or will it default? Which is more likely?
  • Gold produces no income and actually costs money to store– and now, the same is true for cash in some countries.Why choose paper assets when gold and silver are real and have maintained their value, on average, for 5000 years, while unbacked paper currencies have inevitably crashed and burned.

Fiat currencies are inevitably printed to excess, purchasing power declines and assets increase in nominal price. Consider the increasing prices shown on these log scale monthly charts of the S&P, crude oil, gold and silver for the last 30 years.

Q-sp

Q-crude

Q-gold

Q-silver

The S&P, crude oil, gold and silver have exponentially increased in
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One Last Look At The Real Economy Before It Implodes – Part 1

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.com,

We are only two months into 2015, and it has already proven to be the most volatile year for the economic environment since 2008-2009. We have seen oil markets collapsing by about 50 percent in the span of a few months (just as the Federal Reserve announced the end of QE3, indicating fiat money was used to hide falling demand), the Baltic Dry Index losing 30 percent since the beginning of the year, the Swiss currency surprise, the Greeks threatening EU exit (and now Greek citizens threatening violent protests with the new four-month can-kicking deal), and the effects of the nine-month-long West Coast port strike not yet quantified. This is not just a fleeting expression of a negative first quarter; it is a sign of things to come.

Stock markets are, of course, once again at all-time highs after a shaky start, despite nearly every single fundamental indicator flashing red. But as Zero Hedge recently pointed out in its article on artificial juicing of equities by corporations using massive stock buybacks, this is not going to last much longer, simply because the debt companies are generating is outpacing their ability to prop up the markets.

This conundrum is also visible in central bank stimulus measures. As I have related in past articles, the ability of central banks to goose the global financial system is faltering, as bailouts and low-interest-rate capital infusions now have little to no effect on overall economic performance. The fiat fuel is no longer enough; and when this becomes apparent in the mainstream, all hell will indeed break loose.

The argument that banks can prop up the system forever is now being debunked. In this series of articles, I will cover the core reasons why this is happening, starting with the basis of all economics: supply and demand.

The Baltic Dry Index has been a steadfast indicator of the REAL economy for many years. While most other indexes and measures of fiscal health are subject to direct or indirect manipulation, the BDI has no money flowing through it and, thus, offers a more honest reflection of the world around us. In the past two months, the index measuring shipping rates and international demand for raw goods has hit all-time historical lows, plummeting 57…
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And It’s Gone! After 3 Days, Beijing Bans Discussion Of Viral China Smog Documentary

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Just 3 days after "Under The Dome" went massively viral (152 million views on China's Tencent alone), exposing the reality of China's disastrous pollution in an in-depth 104-minute documentary, The FT reports Chinese censors have moved to tamp down discussion domestically.  We had previously noted with surprise just how 'big' the story had got without Beijing's intervention and now we see propaganda authorities directed news outlets on Monday not to publish stories about Under the Dome.

Of course, the documentary is still available (with English subtitles) on YouTube…

As The FT reports,

Chinese censors have moved to tamp down discussion of a hard-hitting documentary on air pollution that sent the country’s blogosphere into overdrive, highlighting political sensitivity about China’s smog problem.

Propaganda authorities directed news outlets on Monday not to publish stories about Under the Dome, the emotional first-person documentary by a former state television anchor, journalists from three news organisations told the Financial Times on Tuesday.

The official Xinhua News Agency has deleted at least two original articles on the documentary from its website, including one about the environment minister’s praise for the film. The other deleted article is about how the film has become a hot topic at the parliament meeting. Both articles are still available on other news sites.

Xinhua has requested other media not to republish several other related articles remaining on its site, according to screenshots of the request that circulated on Weibo, the Twitter-like microblog platform.

A duty secretary at Xinhua surnamed Zhu said she was not aware of a notice sent to media clients.

The film is no longer a trending topic on Weibo, although it is not clear whether the change is the result of censorship. Posts featuring the Xinhua screenshot have also been deleted.

China maintains a multi-layered censorship apparatus that includes both explicit directives to media organisations from the Communist party’s propaganda department, self-censorship by news organisations and social media platforms, and outright blockages of some foreign websites.

*  *  *





 
 
 

Zero Hedge

Initial Jobless Claims Surge To 10 Month Highs, Worst Start To A Year Since 2009

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Following this morning's dire Challenger Job Cuts data, it appears the hard reality that lower oil prices are not unambiguously good for America is setting in. Initial Jobless Claims surged last week (after a big jump the week before) to 320k (far worse than the 295k expectation) to the highest since May 2014. Non-seasonally-0adjusted claims surged 29,361 to 310,000 making 2015 the worst start to the year for claims since 2009. Continuing Claims also rose. Since the end of QE3 and the end of the government's fiscal year, the trend of improvment has clearly ended...



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Market Shadows

Kimble Charts: Utilities

Kimble Charts: Utilities

By Ilene

Chris Kimble shared his chart of the Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF, XLU, with us.

The one month performance inset shows XLU’s uninspiring performance compared to every other ETF on the list. However, the rather steep bullish falling wedge pattern says that it may be time for a bounce.

[Click on chart to enlarge]

Chris likes XLU for a short-term bounce off the 200 day moving average at $44. One way to play this setup is to buy the XLU outright. Chris suggests a 3% stop loss on the shares.

Another bullish play is to use options in a strategy designed by Phil:

1. Buy the XL...



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Insider Scoop

Analysts On Dicks Sporting Goods: 'Pain Mostly Behind Us'

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related DKS Benzinga's Top Downgrades Needham Downgrades Dick's Sporting Goods To Hold DICK's Sporting Q4 Earnings Beat on Growth Strategies - Analyst Blog (Zacks)

Dicks Sporting Goods Inc (NYSE: DKS) faces pressure from winter weather and a West Coast port slowdown, but troubles from its golf...



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Phil's Favorites

Ukraine Bans Gold Transactions Over $125, Currency Derivatives and Interbank Purchases Exceeding $10,000; Update on Black Market Rates in Ukraine

Courtesy of Mish.

Today the National Bank of Ukraine announced new capital controls on currency transactions. All Interbank Transactions Over $10,000 are Banned.
The national Bank of Ukraine has expanded the list of administrative restrictions for stabilization of the hryvnia, in particular, completely prohibiting the withdrawal of foreign dividends and limiting the purchase of foreign currency on the domestic markets.

Resolution No. 160 is effective from March 4, 2015 and is valid until June 3, 2015.

Previously, prohibitions did not target dividends on securities that are traded on stock exchanges.

The NBU has also introduced limits on the balance of banks' operations on the interbank ...



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Chart School

Close to an Inflection point for S&P

Courtesy of Declan.

A second day of losses brought markets closer to support, and a potential decision point.

The S&P tagged support at 2094 and the 20-day MA at 2090. Bulls will need to step up to the plate tomorrow if such key support is to hold. Lose 2093 and 2064 comes into play. Volume climbed today to register as distribution.


The Nasdaq was little changed. It was able to rally in late afternoon trading as it hugged the 10% envelope (relative to the 200-day MA.   The 20-day MA is looking like a logical next test, but if it was to do this, it would give up today's low without much question. Bulls need to be careful not to buy the dip too early. At least the inde...

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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: Stocks break out again but may be running on fumes

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Despite low trading volume, a strong dollar, mixed economic and earnings reports, paralyzing weather conditions throughout much of the U.S., and ominous global news events, stocks continue to march ever higher. The world remains on edge about potential Black Swan events from the likes of Russia, Greece, or ISIS (or lone wolf extremists). Moreover, the economic recovery of the U.S. may be feeling the pull of the proverbial ball-and-chain from the rest of the world’s economies. Nevertheless, awash in investable cash, global investors see few choices better than U.S. equities.

In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, review our weekly fundamentals-based SectorCast rankings of the ten U.S. business sectors, and then ...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of March 2nd, 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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Digital Currencies

MyCoin Exchange Disappears with Up To $387 Million, Reports Claim

Follow up from yesterday's Just the latest Bitcoin scam.

Hong Kong's MyCoin Disappears With Up To $387 Million, Reports Claim By  

Reports are emerging from Hong Kong that local bitcoin exchange MyCoin has shut its doors, taking with it possibly as much as HK$3bn ($386.9m) in investor funds.

If true, the supposed losses are a staggering amount, although this estimate is based on the company's own earlier claims that it served 3,000 clients who had invested HK$1m ($129,000) each.

...



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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. 

 

...

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Option Review

SPX Call Spread Eyes Fresh Record Highs By Year End

Stocks got off to a rocky start on the first trading day in December, with the S&P 500 Index slipping just below 2050 on Monday. Based on one large bullish SPX options trade executed on Wednesday, however, such price action is not likely to break the trend of strong gains observed in the benchmark index since mid-October. It looks like one options market participant purchased 25,000 of the 31Dec’14 2105/2115 call spreads at a net premium of $2.70 each. The trade cost $6.75mm to put on, and represents the maximum potential loss on the position should the 2105 calls expire worthless at the end of December. The call spread could reap profits of as much as $7.30 per spread, or $18.25mm, in the event that the SPX ends the year above 2115. The index would need to rally 2.0% over the current level...



more from Caitlin

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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