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Morning News, 4-18-15

From Around the Web:

Not All Macro Models Failed to Predict Crisis (MultiplierEffect)

Noah Smith has a post on the failure of macro theory to predict the crisis. He concedes that DSGE models did very badly on this score, but, he continues, “There are no other models out there that did forecast the crisis” and there is nobetter alternative. (More)

LIQUOR BANNED6 Illegal Cocktails Banned in the U.S. and the United Kingdom (HuffingtonPost)

It's human nature to want to raise the bar. If your car has 300 horsepower, you want 400. If you have a 2,000-square-foot house, you want 3,000. So why should it be any different when it comes to booze? These six cocktails upped the alcoholic ante--then ended up getting slapped by the long arm of the law. (Continue reading)

Thompson Aero Cozy Suite.The Economy Seat Concept That Will Have Passengers Booking the Middle Seat (Skift)

The Cozy Suite by independent seating manufacturer Thompson Aero Seating of Northern Ireland is a brilliant idea that rethinks economy seating without sacrificing the passenger experience for anyone — including the person stuck in the middle seat. (Read more)

Outsmart Your Own Biases (HBR)

Suppose you’re evaluating a job candidate to lead a new office in a different country. On paper this is by far the most qualified person you’ve seen. Her responses to your interview questions are flawless. She has impeccable social skills. Still, something doesn’t feel right. You can’t put your finger on what—you just have a sense. How do you decide whether to hire her? (Full article)

dogs oxytocin eyes loveThose puppy-dog eyes trigger chemical connection with humans (LAtimes)

The long, loving gazes. The ritualized, often high-pitched, expressions of affection. The heroic self-sacrifice one would readily endure for the other.

What is it about the bond between human and dog that is not like the relationship between parent and child?

Now science offers a new explanation for the similarity. When our dogs gaze into our eyes with that “you are everything to me” look, our


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Dollar Bulls Bend, but Don’t Break

Courtesy of Marc To Market

The US dollar fell against the major currencies and many emerging market currencies last week. Punished by disappointing data, it threatened to breakout of ranges that have confined it. However, the third consecutive upside surprises on core CPI helped the greenback stabilize ahead of the weekend. The price action reinforces our sense that after trending for several months, the dollar has entered a consolidative phase. Trading is choppy, and positioning is still stretched, but the divergence of monetary policy trajectories will likely prevent sharp dollar losses. 

The Canadian dollar may be an exception.  The combination of a less dovish central bank, higher than expected inflation and stronger than expected retail sales, coupled with the 30% rally in oil prices over the past month, sent the Canadian dollar sharply higher.  Indeed, the Canadian dollar was among the best performing major currency (2.6%), behind another petro-linked currency the Norwegian krone (3.4%) and Swiss franc (2.8%), where Grexit fears found succor.

Even though it was the biggest weekly advance in four years, the pre-weekend price action is potentially a bearish signal for the Canadian dollar (hammer).  The US dollar appears to have found support near CAD1.2080.  This corresponds to three standard deviations from the 20-day moving average (Bollinger Bands are two standard deviations from the 20-day average).  The CAD1.2300-30 area offers initial resistance, but it probably requires a move back above CAD1.24 to signal the breakout was false.   

The euro rallied three and a quarter cents of the low set at the start of the week near $1.0520.  It ran out of steam near $1.0850.  The RSI and MACDs are constructive, and the five-day moving average is above the 20-day.  Slow stochastics is crossing higher.   The broad range that has confined the euro for over a month now is seen $1.05-$1.1050.   The double top that we discussed last week has now been complimented with a double bottom.   

The cyclical recovery in the euro area, which is expected to be extended in next week's flash PMI readings are largely offset by the ECB's asset purchases and the drop in yields.  A little more than half of the outstanding German bunds now have negative yields, for example.  In addition, many perceive that the risks of…
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Evening News, 4-17-15

From Bloomberg:

Greece's Main Creditors Said to Be Unwilling to Allow Euro Exit

Greece’s major creditors are not ready to let the country drop out of the euro as long as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras shows willingness to meet at least some key demands, according to two people familiar with the discussions.

Chancellor Angela Merkel will go a long way to prevent a Greek exit from the single currency, though only so far, one of the people said. Every possibility is being considered in Berlin to pull Greece back from the brink and keep it in the 19-nation euro, the person said. (Read more)

Global Temperature Records Just Got Crushed Again

It just keeps getting hotter. 

March was the hottest month on record, and the past three months were the warmest start to a year on record, according to new data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It's a continuation of trends that made 2014 the most blistering year for the surface of the planet, in to records going back to 1880.  (More)

Mayweather-Pacquiao Fight Tickets May Never Go on Sale to Public

Those who want to buy tickets for next month’s fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao may soon need to confront the possibility that there will be no public sale.

While promoters from both sides have said fewer than 1,000 tickets would be sold to the public for face value, multiple dates have passed and no official announcement has been made. With about two weeks remaining until the May 2 bout, and a secondary market that has been quiet in anticipation of the public sale, it’s possible that resale will be the only option, according to Chris Matcovich, a spokesman for aggregator TiqIQ. (Read here)

Dry Wells Plague California as Drought Has Water Tables Plunging

Near California’s Success Lake, more than 1,000 water wells have failed. Farmers are spending $750,000 to drill 1,800 feet down to keep fields from going fallow. Makeshift showers have sprouted near the church parking lot.

“The conditions are like a third-world country,” said Andrew


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Denials Mount as Greece Robs Peter to Pay Paul; Shell Games and Check Kiting

Courtesy of Mish.

Denials in Greece about its sorry state of affairs are now so ridiculous that even some ardent Greek supporters are likely laughing out loud (off the record of course).

Please consider Greece Scrapes Bottom of Barrel in Hunt for Cash to Stay Afloat.

Greece will need to tap all the remaining cash reserves across its public sector — a total of 2 billion euros ($2.16 billion) — to pay civil service wages and pensions at the end of the month, according to finance ministry officials.

Greece’s finance ministry denied that it would need to tap remaining cash reserves to meet salary payments, without providing any figures.

“News agencies’ reports that refer to the state’s cash reserves are groundless, we categorically deny them,” the ministry said in a short statement on Friday.

“This is the last bit of cash that the Greek state has,” a senior finance ministry official, who requested anonymity, told Reuters.

For months, the government has been borrowing from different parts of the state administration, including the Athens subway system, to pay the wages and pensions of public sector workers. Now, however, it is reaching the end of the line.

Finance ministry officials say the state’s cash balance will be negative from April 20 if the government does not extract the 2 billion euros in cash deposits remaining in various public bodies, including a handful of pension funds and regional administrations.

Without that money, the state would be 1.6 billion euros short of what it needs to pay month-end salaries and wages.

Regular tax revenues, which start flowing in early in the month, should help the state’s financial position of course. Tax revenues had begun to slip early in the year, when Tsipras’ government was elected, but have stabilized since to around 4 billion euros a month.

Still, the financial pressure will not subside because Athens faces a new round of payments to the IMF next month. It needs to give the IMF 950 million euros by May 12 — then domestic commitments kick in once again.

Shell Games and Check Kiting 

One can only keep these rob Peter to Pay Paul shell games going so long.  Eventually they always blow up. Of course, if Greece convinces creditors to lend it more money, of if the Troika decides to unleash more funds, perhaps Greece can make it until June….



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Slight Production Declines Hide Bigger Oil Storage Issues

Courtesy of EconMatters

Storage Builds

Everyone this week focused on the slight production declines that this was a sign to go long oil, but what seemed to go under the radar was another build in both Cushing and the Gulf Coast storage hubs.

Cushing added another 1.3 million barrels to weekly storage and stands at 61.5 million barrels. The Gulf Coast added another 600 thousand barrels to storage and stands at 237 million barrels. By comparison Cushing had 26.8 million barrels in storage this time last year, and the Gulf Coast had 207.2 million barrels in storage a year ago.

Refinery Utilization Rate 92%

This is with refineries operating at 92.3 percent of capacity which is robust and near the top end of this metric. We also have about 17.6 million more barrels of Gasoline in storage versus this time last year, and 17 million more barrels of Distillate stocks in storage this year versus last year.

Artificial Demand

Analysts have pointed out the increased demand for products, and this makes sense given lower prices, but the numbers are inflated because much of the demand is artificial by turning the oil into gasoline and distillates and just storing the products in another form of storage. It isn`t as if demand is so robust that we are lower in product inventories versus this time last year, in fact it is just the opposite.

Imports

The only reason total inventories didn’t have another 10 million build this past week was because imports were down 1.12 million barrels per day versus this same period last year. This would add an additional 7.9 million barrels to last week’s 1.3 million barrels build bringing the total to 9.2 million barrels. So the market got a respite this past week, but with OPEC and Saudi Production at record levels as witnessed by the latest readings, traders may not be able to rely on lower import numbers as the norm going forward into the summer driving season.

 

Oil Drawdowns

Moreover, despite lower import numbers and


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Men Go Mad In Herds

Courtesy of Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform

The Chinese real estate bubble has been imploding for the last year. The Chinese economy is barely growing at 1.6% after decades of 10% growth. There are millions of unoccupied condos. There are dozens of ghost cities and empty office towers. It’s the most corrupt nation on earth. We are in the midst of a global recession.It’s pure madness that the Chinese stock market would soar when its leading economic indicators crash to 2008 lows.

Its stock market has gone up 115% in the last 9 months. It has gone up 80% in the last 5 months. It has gone up 35% in the last month. Housewives and other uneducated gamblers have opened a record 10.8 million new stock accounts this year, more than the total number for all of 2012 and 2013 combined.

The Hong Kong stock market has gone up 14% in three weeks.

Since real estate investing is failing miserably, the Chinese middle class have piled into stocks on margin. Where have I seen that before? Margin debt on the Shanghai Stock Exchange climbed to a record 1.16 trillion yuan on Thursday. When has buying overvalued stocks on margin when the economy is tanking ever gone wrong before? Have we already forgotten 2000 and 2008? Humans truly act like irrational herds of cattle stampeding in whatever direction they are pushed by their keepers.

After the markets closed for the weekend today in China regulators announced they were clamping down on the use of shadow financing for equity purchases and increased the supply of shares available for short sellers. Bloomberg explained what happened a few hours ago:

Investors have used umbrella trusts, which allow for more leverage than brokerage financing, to ramp up wagers on Chinese stocks after monetary stimulus sparked a world-beating rally in the nation’s benchmark equity gauge. Permitting mutual funds to lend their holdings to short sellers would make it easier for bearish traders to bet on a retreat after the Shanghai Composite Index closed at a
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5 Things To Ponder: Aircraft Erudition

Courtesy of Lance Roberts via STA Wealth Management

Speaking of seeming backward, the economic data has continued to disappoint on virtually all fronts, earnings are weak and markets are grossly extended. Yet, investors are more bullish than ever as noted yesterday:

"While investors may be looking for returns, they are 'extraordinarily optimistic about their investment prospects in both the short and long term,' says Natixis. Respondents say they need 10.1 percent return on their investments, and 81 percent of them feel their expectations are realistic.

Fifty-four percent expect their returns this year to be better than 2014.

Stocks will be the best-performing asset class this year, according to 45 percent of the respondents, followed by 17 percent who say cash will be the top performer."

While it has been repeatedly stated that individuals have "missed out" on surging asset prices, it has only been those with little or no money actually to invest with. However, for those that are invested, they are as optimistic as at every previous bull market peak in history. As shown in the chart below from the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII), individuals are at the highest levels of stock allocations, and lowest cash, since the financial crisis.

AAII-Allocations-041615

But then again, maybe it is just me.

But, for now, the markets clearly remain in their bullish trend as discussed in last weekend's newsletter. This suggests that portfolios remain tilted more heavily to equity based exposure at the current time, but attention should be paid to the rising levels of risk that exists.

With that said, I wanted to share with you my list of articles I have downloaded to read while winging my way to Arizona.


1) Stock Market Losses With Low Interest Rates by Ben Carlson via Wealth Of Common Sense

"One of the common misconceptions I’m starting to hear from investors is that because we’re in a low interest rate environment, stocks either can’t or won’t fall very far from these levels. This is the TINA (there is no alternative) argument that says because over the longer-term bonds returns will be much lower from today’s yield levels, stocks should be supported


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Déjà Vu Weather? No, It’s a Recession!

Courtesy of Mish.

New Seasonal Pattern?

Yesterday Fed Governor Stanley Fischer proclaimed U.S. Economy Should Rebound After ‘Poor’ First Quarter.

“There’s definitely a rebound on the way already, and we’ll see at what speed it proceeds,” Mr. Fischer said during an interview on CNBC. “The first quarter was poor. That seems to be a new seasonal pattern. It’s been that way for about four of the last five years.

Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker said Wednesday that he thinks a “strong case” can be made to raise rates at the Fed’s June policy meeting, and suggested the economy’s recent performance may have been weighed down by temporary factors.

U.S. wage growth has been stagnant for years, but many economists expect pay raises will accelerate as the labor market continues to tighten. “There are more signs every day, and lots of papers come through my computer explaining that this is the turning point, right now,” Mr. Fischer said. “But they’ve been coming for a while.”

Déjà Vu All Over Again

The Atlanta Fed Macro Blog investigates Fisher’s claim in Déjà Vu All Over Again.

Output in the first quarter has grown at a paltry 0.6 percent during the past five years, compared to a 2.9 percent average during the remaining three quarters of the year.

What’s causing this pattern? Well, it could be we just get really unlucky at the same time every year. Or, it could be a more technical problem with seasonal adjustment after the Great Recession (this paper by Jonathan Wright covers the topic using payroll data). It also seems likely that we can just blame the weather (see this Wall Street Journal blog post).

Whatever the reason for the first-quarter weakness, it appears to be happening again. Our current quarterly tracking estimate—GDPNow—has first-quarter growth hovering just above zero. As for the rest of the year, we’ll have to wait and see. We of course hope it follows the postrecession pattern.

Pattern Real or Imaginary?

Is there really a pattern?

I see two weak Q1s, one weak Q3, and one weak Q4.



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Peugeot Introduces Self-Driving Car Features for 2018

Courtesy of Mish.

Not wanting to be left behind in the race for autonomous cars, French manufacturer Peugeot says the 508 Peugeot Model will contain "self-driving aids for bottleneck situations." Via translation from l'informaticien.

Imagine a car that automatically adapts to a bottleneck ahead, handling the "accordion " for you. All drivers who have experienced long minutes of wait will welcome what Peugeot will do in 2018.

Peugeot has not yet fully detailed his concept: it is not known if the driver will completely do something else for a traffic jam or if it will still "attend" the car in one way or another. Other manufacturers are working on these kinds of concepts, including the BMW-Mercedes-Audi Germans.

Driverlesscar Evolution

This is yet another way people will get accustomed to letting technology take over. If drivers get comfortable letting the car drive in slow-speed setups and parking, that comfort will quickly spread to higher speeds and more situations.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com

 




Is A Trap About To Be Sprung?

There are numerous reasons for the increasing amount of inequality in the US and for a subcomponent of that: an increasing ratio of CEO compensation to employee compensation. Contributing to the inequality: the very nature of capitalism, the political power to sustain the status quo, tax policy, outsourcing to lower-cost workers in poorer countries, higher job demand than job supply (holding wages down).  

Via Business Insider

As John Rubino discusses here, breakthroughs in robotics will exacerbate the problem

Is A Trap About To Be Sprung?

Courtesy of John Rubino

New York artist Stephen Green’s latest painting, DemandedDislocation, combines current affairs irony with a deeply sad vision of the future. Check out the workers demanding higher wages in front of the discount robots store.

DemandedDislocation1

Green’s point is that two big trends are intersecting:

1) The push by workers for their fair share of record corporate profits, in the form of a higher minimum wage and better pay for jobs a rung or two up on the income ladder.

2) Breakthroughs in robotics that make it possible to automate a whole range of service and factory work. See The burger flipping robot that could put fast food workers out of a job and Meet the robots shipping your Amazon order.

A cynic might observe that trend number 2 appears to explain why trend number 1 is proceeding so smoothly. In the past year a growing number of cities and states have raised their minimum wage while corporations like McDonald’s and Wal-Mart have begun paying their people more. That they’re doing so without much of a fight would be suspicious if they didn’t have an angle. Now we see what it is:

Corporations seem be running the numbers on the latest generation of robots and finding that they don’t profitably replace $7-an-hour workers. But raise the prevailing wage to $10 or $15 and suddenly it becomes justifiable (actually mandatory from a profit-maximization standpoint) to replace millions of unpredictable, argumentative, messy humans with low-maintenance, tireless, ever-improving mechanical slaves. It’s a fantasy…
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Zero Hedge

2007 All Over Again? Let Us Count The Ways (And Remember What Happened Then)

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by John Rubino via Dollar Collapse blog,

There’s a journalistic sub-genre that might be called “The Highest/Lowest Since XXX,” in which a reporter takes a current statistic and illustrates (often with snazzy charts) how it hasn’t been this high or low since some date in the distant past. This is a compelling theme, implying as it does that the connection between now and then makes the current situation more important or meaningful while providing context with which to judge current trends.

Unfortunately,...



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Phil's Favorites

Morning News, 4-18-15

From Around the Web:

Not All Macro Models Failed to Predict Crisis (MultiplierEffect)

Noah Smith has a post on the failure of macro theory to predict the crisis. He concedes that DSGE models did very badly on this score, but, he continues, “There are no other models out there that did forecast the crisis” and there is nobetter alternative. (More)

6 Illegal Cocktails Banned in the U.S. and the United Kingdom (HuffingtonPost...



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Chart School

Richard Wyckoff Stock Position Sheet - PART 2

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Richard Wyckoff used this tool for over 20 years, of course as readtheticker.com is a fan website of Richard Wyckoff here is our reproduction of his work.More from RTT Tv

NOTE: readtheticker.com does allow users to load objects and text on charts, however some annotations are by a free third party image tool named Paint.net Investing Quote...

..“The only way you get a real education in the market is to invest cash, track your trade, and study your mistakes…. The examination of a losing trade is tortuous but necessary to ensure that it will not happen again.”..Jesse Livermo...



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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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Kimble Charting Solutions

S&P 500 vulnerable to a decline says Joe Friday!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

When it comes to investing in the stock market, do you feel leadership can be important. If so, you might want to pay attention to price action from a key global stock index. China has been in the news for hot stock market performance that past couple of months. When it comes to the past couple of years, Germany has been stronger than China and the S&P 500. In the past two years the DAX index has gained 18% more than the S&P 500, which is a 60% greater return.

The chart below looks at conditions in the DAX at this time and what message is coming from this index.

...



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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Earnings and GDP temporarily take investor spotlight off the Fed

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

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

As we get into the heart of earnings season and anticipate the GDP report for Q1, the investor spotlight has been taken off the Federal Reserve and timing of its first interest rate hike, at least temporarily. Even though Q1 economic growth will undoubtedly look weak, the future remains bright for the U.S economy – even though many multinationals will struggle with top-line growth due to the strong dollar – and any near-term selloff resulting from weak economic or earnings news should be bought yet again in expectation of better results for the balance of the year. High sector correlations remain a concern, reflectin...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of April 13th, 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

SkyNet Is Almost Sentient: HFTs To Start Trading Bitcoin

SkyNet Is Almost Sentient: HFTs To Start Trading Bitcoin

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As noted earlier, with equities now a barren wasteland of volume (and liquidity), the last remaining HFT master (of whale order frontrunning) has been forced to go to those asset classes where organic flow is still abundant such as FX, courtesy of central banks engaged in global currency wars. However, HFTs rea...



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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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Mapping The Market

S&P 500 Leverage and Hedges Options - Part 2

Courtesy of Jean-Luc Saillard.

In my last post (Part 1 of this article), I looked at alternative ETFs that could be used as hedges against the corrections that we have seen during that long 2 year bull run. Looking at the results, it seems that for short (less than a month) corrections, a VIX ETF like VXX could actually be a viable candidate to hedge or speculate on the way down. Another alternative ETF was TMF, a long Treasuries ETF which banks on the fact that when markets go down, money tends to pack into treasuries viewed as safe instruments. In some cases, TMF even outperformed the usual hedging instruments like leveraged ETFs. There could of course be other factors at play since some of 2014 corrections were related to geopolitical events which are certain...

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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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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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