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Thrilling Thursday – Will Jackson Hole Give us S&P 2,000?

SPY 5 MINUTEI could take today off.  

Why?  Because I already wrote this article last month, on a Thursday, when the S&P was at 1,988 and topped out at 1,991, which was $199.06 on SPY and, as you can see from Dave Fry's chart, SPY topped out at $199.16 yesterday (before plunging back to $198.90 on strong volume into the close).  

Will this time be different?  I certainly hope so because last time, we plunged about 5%, back to 1,904 over the next 10 sessions and it's taken us another 10 to claw our way back for another attempt at an all-time high.

In our Live Member Chat this morning, we shorted the run-up in the Futures at Dow 16,990 (/YM), S&P 1,985 (/ES), Nasdaq 4,045 (/NQ) and Russell 1,155 (/TF) because, as I said to our Members:

I'm sorry but I simply can't reconcile this news with what's going on in the markets so I'm going to continue to lose money hedging to make sure we keep what we have.  The alternative is going to cash but there is simply no way I can endorse getting more bullish on this market at this point.  

NDX WEEKLYOne major difference this time is we DON'T have money flowing out of SPY (as much), as we did last month and we DO have the Fed's Jackson Hole conference tomorrow, which looks to Global Investors like a Santa Claus convention with Yellen, Draghi, Carney and Kuroda sitting under the spruce trees with gigantic bags of FREE MONEY – and that's why traders are as giddy as kids before Christmas this week.

But, Virginia, is there really a Santa Claus, or are the bulls hopes and dreams about to be crushed by cruel economic realities they have, so far, been avoiding like the plague (or Ebola)?  Realities like China's horrific PMI this morning, that dropped from 51.7 to 50.3 (barely positive) and France's PMI, which is back in heavy contraction at 46.5 this morning.  Retail Sales in the UK were up just 0.1% vs.…
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The Chase for (no) Yield

The Chase for (no) Yield

Courtesy of 

A popular tale financial pundits and Fed critics like to tell around the campfire is that the Fed’s ultra-low rate policies have led to a speculative mania that has Americans chasing down risky investments for higher yields from sun-up til sundown. The “Chase for Yield” is, according to some, about to be our undoing – just look at the tremors caused by the early August blip of selling in the junk bond market for the latest evidence of this.

But what if the data suggested that, while many are ramping up their allocation to riskier assets, the lion’s share of people were not. What if it turned out that most people are doing just the opposite of “chasing” higher yields?

via MarketWatch (emphasis mine):

Data from the little-noticed financial accounts report show the American people have $10.8 trillion parked in cash, bank accounts and money-market funds that pay little or no interest. At the end of the first quarter, low-yielding assets totaled 84.5% of annual disposable personal income, the highest share in 23 years. Sure, people need to keep some money handy to pay their bills and some folks might have a few hundred or a few thousand in a rainy-day fund, but no one needs immediate access to the equivalent of 11 months of income. In essence, there’s $10.8 trillion stuffed into mattresses. That $10.8 trillion hoard represents a failure of Fed policy.

Since the Fed began quantitative easing in September 2012, U.S. households have socked away $1.17 trillion in their low-yield accounts. That means that 95% of the Fed’s $1.24 trillion QE3 ended up not in bubbly markets but in a safe and boring bank account. 

But don’t let that alter your narrative, which by now is probably immaculately delivered and quite compelling.

Source:





How can you have euphoria when nobody gives a sh*t?

How can you have euphoria when nobody gives a sh*t?

Courtesy of 
 
In early 2013, the “It’s 1999 again” bears came out of the woodwork and I spent a day looking at the way the stock market’s new highs were being covered by national newspapers all over the country.

Surely, in 1999, everyone was both aware and excited about the milestones in the market – if we were anywhere near a mania-like atmosphere, wouldn’t we be seeing something similar today?

But instead of wall-to-wall market coverage – there was just about nothing. Most business sections mentioned it, but the stock rally didn’t make the front cover of anything. And even the mentions were skeptical in nature, there was precisely zero ebullience to be found in the mainstream press. (See ‘Meanwhile on Main Street…’)

Sorry, no bubble without an accompanying mania – bubbles are never just about price, but about investor behavior as well. The people who got this wrong, and were without the context of what a real bubble looks like, ended up missing out substantially.

And the funny part is that this disinterest in stocks continues to this day.

This week we learned that only 7% – SEVEN PERCENT – of Americans are aware that the US stock market went up by 30% last year.

This is quite a mania – a mania of apathy.

Gallup (via Jason Zweig):

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 9.15.21 AM

Source:

U.S. Investors Seem Unaware of Bull Market’s Strong Gains (Gallup)

Read Also:

Meanwhile on Main Street… (TRB)

 




AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs

AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs

By John Mauldin, Outside the Box

This past week several reports came across my desk highlighting both the good news and the bad news about the future of automation and robotics. There are those who think that automation and robotics are going to be a massive destroyer of jobs and others who think that in general humans respond to shifts in employment opportunities by creating new opportunities.

As I’ve noted more than once, in the 1970s (as it seemed that our jobs were disappearing, never to return), the correct answer to the question, “Where will the jobs come from?” was “I don’t know, but they will.” That was more a faith-based statement than a fact-based one, but whole new categories of jobs did in fact get created in the ’80s and ’90s.

However, a new Wall Street Journal poll finds that three out of four Americans think the next generation will be worse off than this generation.

Barack Obama’s former chief economist Larry Summers began this chant of “secular stagnation.” It’s a pessimistic message, and it’s now being echoed by Federal Reserve Vice-Chair Stanley Fischer. He agrees with Summers that slow growth in “labor supply, capital investment, and productivity” is the new normal that’s “holding down growth.” Summers also believes that negative real interest rates aren’t negative enough. If Fischer and Fed chair Janet Yellen agree, central bank policy rates will never normalize in our lifetime. (National Review Online)

As the above-cited article asserts (and I agree), the term secular stagnation is a cover-up for the failure of Keynesian policies which, as my friends Larry Kudlow and Stephen Moore note, began in the Bush years and were doubled down on by the current administration.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who is pursuing a career as a social commentator after dominating the NBA boards for so many years, tells us that Ferguson (which is on all the news channels all the time) is not just about systemic racism; it’s about class warfare and how America’s poor are held back.

Jared Dillian over at the Daily Dirtnap notes that the militarization of the nation’s police forces has been an issue for…
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Which Way Wednesday – Fed Edition

SPY 5 MINUTEFed Minutes Today (2pm).

That gives the bullish pundits another chance to read the tea leaves and promise MORE FREE MONEY to those who are silly enough not to be fully invested in stocks.  As you can see from Dave Fry's SPY chart, only 56.7M shares were transacted yesterday and nearly half of those people were selling.  

Perhaps 10% more buys than sells is 5.7M shares at $198.28 means it cost just $1.1Bn to move the $60Tn markets up 0.5% ($300Bn) – now that's leverage!  With a lack of participation, those few buyers can really shove the markets around.  Also, as Dave noted:

Hobson owned a livery stable and he rotated his horses to different stalls. He offered customers the choice of taking the horse in the first stable or none at all. Henry Ford also offered a variation of Hobson’s Choice since customers could buy a car in any color they liked, as long as it was black. The stock market offers many choices but only stocks are effective as bonds offer no yield while Fed policies have forced investors to stocks or nothing else.

This is basically the issue for investors in financial markets, buy stocks or nothing else. Farmland is admittedly in a bubble as Iowa farmland now goes for $8,500 per acre. If you can buy it right, some residential real estate offers a decent rental yield. Then there is the weird world of collectibles where you really need to know what you’re doing and have adequate cash.

So stock markets remain in play at least for most institutions. We’ve seen heavy volume sell-offs meaning most retail investors continue to loathe and leave markets. It remains a market for


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Comment by News:

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  1. News:

    From Bloomberg, Aug 19, 2014, 5:00:01 PM


    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier yesterday called the discussions, which also included France’s Laurent Fabius, “a difficult conversation.” Photographer: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

    The Ukrainian government said its forces took control of one of four districts in the pro-Russian separatist stronghold of Luhansk and are fighting in the city center as diplomatic efforts to end the conflict intensified.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1thHcdr

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8







Got Growth?

Got Growth?

Courtesy of Wade of Investing Caffeine 

Slide1

Investing in the stock market can be quite stressful, especially during periods of volatility…but investing doesn’t have to be nerve-racking. Investing legend T. Rowe price captured the beneficial sentiments of growth investing beautifully when he stated the following:

“The growth stock theory of investing requires patience, but is less stressful than trading, generally has less risk, and reduces brokerage commissions and income taxes.”

What I’ve learned over my investing career is that fretting over such things as downgrades, management changes, macroeconomic data, earnings misses, geopolitical headlines, and other irrelevant transitory factors leads to more heartache than gains. If you listen to a dozen so-called pundits, talking heads, journalists, or bloggers, what you quickly realize is that all you are often left with are a dozen different opinions. Opinions don’t matter…the facts do.

Finding Multi-Baggers: The Power of Compounding

Rather than succumbing to knee-jerk reactions from the worries of the day, great long-term investors realize the benefits of compounding. We know T. Rowe Price appreciated this principle because he agreed with Nobel Prize winning physicist Albert Einstein’s view that “compounding interest” should be considered the “8th wonder of the world” – see also how Christopher Columbus can turn a penny into $121 billion (Compounding: A Penny Saved is Billions Earned).

People generally refer to Warren Buffett as a “Value” investor, but in fact, despite the Ben Graham moniker, Buffett has owned some of the greatest growth stocks of all-time. For example, Coca Cola Co (KO) achieved roughly a 20x return from 1988 – 1998, as shown below:

Source: Yahoo! Finance

Source: Yahoo! Finance

If you look at other charts of Buffett’s long-term holdings, such as Wells Fargo & Company (WFC), American Express Co (AXP), and Procter & Gamble – Gillette (PG), the incredible compounded gains are just as astounding.

In recent decades, there is no question that stocks have benefited from P/E expansion. P/E ratios, or the average price paid for stocks, has increased from the early 1980s as long-term interest rates have declined from the high-teens to the low single-digits, but the real lifeblood for any stock is earnings growth (see also It’s the Earnings, Stupid). As…
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Things That Make You Go Hmmm: Thinker, Trader, Holder, Why?

Things That Make You Go Hmmm: Thinker, Trader, Holder, Why?

By Grant Williams

Sometimes, just sometimes, you need to stop for a second, take a step back, and reconsider the simplest pieces of any puzzle.

David John Moore Cornwall was a real-life spy. A spook. An agent. He worked for Britain’s MI5 and, later, MI6 intelligence services.

Whilst there, Cornwall began a little hobby that, in today’s world, would be unthinkable for a serving intelligence officer: writing novels about the secret world in which he lived and worked.

He chose a nom de plume with a certain je ne sais quoi: John le Carré. The hero of le Carré’s first two novels, Call for the Dead andA Murder of Quality, was George Smiley, a somewhat ordinary spy who grew up in a middle class family and attended an “antiquated Oxford college of no real distinction” but who, apparently, had“the cunning of Satan and the conscience of a virgin.”

Smiley was everything other spies of the time — fictional ones, at least — weren’t:

(Wikipedia): The spy novel writing of John le Carré stands in contrast to the physical action and moral certainty of the James Bond thriller established by Ian Fleming in the mid 1950s; the le Carré Cold War features unheroic political functionaries aware of the moral ambiguity of their work, and engaged in psychological more than physical drama. They experience little of the violence typically encountered in action thrillers, and have very little recourse to gadgets. Much of the conflict is internal, rather than external and visible.

Unlike the moral certainty of Fleming’s British Secret Service adventures, le Carré’s Circus spy stories are morally complex. They emphasise the fallibility of Western democracy and of the secret services protecting it, often implying the possibility of East-West moral equivalence…

In 1979, the BBC adapted what is perhaps le Carré’s most famous novel for television, casting the great Alec Guinness as Smiley in a seven-part miniseries that changed the face of television.

The series, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, was a smash hit


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Elizabeth Arden Put Option Activity Revisited

www.interactivebrokers.com

It’s an ugly day for investors in Elizabeth Arden, with shares in the name losing roughly one-quarter of its value overnight after the retailer of beauty products and fragrances reported a wider than expected loss and sales that were lower than analysts anticipated. Shares in the name are down more than 23% in the final hour of trading to stand at $14.95.

On Friday of last week we wrote a short note about put option activity on the stock, highlighting activity in the Sep 20.0 strike put options. At the time, shares in RDEN were hovering near $20.17 and the company was a few days away from reporting fourth-quarter earnings. On Friday, it looked like bearish positions were building on RDEN as around 1,500 of the 20.0 strike puts looked to have been purchased at a premium of $1.50 each. The sharp drop in Elizabeth Arden shares today pushed premium on the contracts to more than three times that level during the session. Trading action in the 20.0 puts on Tuesday suggests profit-taking may have kicked in as 1,500 of the puts appear to have been sold at a premium of $5.10 each within the first 30 minutes of the opening bell today.


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Testy Tuesday – 50 DMA Spectacular!

You've gotta love those trend lines.

Chart people sure love them and we love chart peopel because they are SOOOOOOOO predictable and predictable behavior is behavior we can bet on and that makes us happy.  Today we'll be seeing the 50-day moving averages on the Dow, the NYSE and the Russell all tested at the same time – what happens next will tell us a lot about this rally.  

As I pointed out to our Members in our Live Chat Room this morning, though we may be past our bounce levels and though we are now challenging the 50 dmas, we still have 3 of 5 of our Must Hold levels red on the Big Chart – that's not too impressive.  Consider what a 50-day moving average is.  It means that, over the last 50 days, half the time the index has been above the line and half the time it's been below – so how impressive should it be to see the index back in the middle?

SPY 5 MINUTENonetheless, Chart People believe it's some mystical symbol that gives them a rally signal and half the time they are right – so the religion of TA continues to prosper!  As you can see from Dave Fry's SPY chart from yesterday, 75% of yesterday's gain came on no volume as we gapped up in the Futures and the rest of the day's trading was one of the lightest of the year.  

The reason I like Dave is because he's one of the only TA people who actually pay attention to volume and this volume is total BS.  Still, it's enough to stampede the retail suckers back in and God bless them because they throw money at us to sell them the things we liked when they were out of favor.

In May and June, for example, we compiled a Buy List for our Members, which had 29 trades we liked for the rest of 2014.  Here's a few that we are done with already:


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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!

 
 

Chart School

Philly Fed Business Outlook: Highest Six-Month Outlook in 22 Years

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Note from Doug: Having lived for two wonderful years in Paoli, PA, a suburb west of Philadelphia just south of Valley Forge, I have a special interest in this regional indicator. But, more importantly, it gives a generally reliable clue as to direction of the broader Chicago Fed's National Activity Index.

The Philly Fed's Business Outlook Survey is a monthly report for the Third Federal Reserve District, covers eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware. The latest gauge of General Activity came in at 28.0, an increase from last month's 23.9. The 3-month moving average came in at 23.2, up from 19.0 last month. Since this is a diffusion index...



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Zero Hedge

Ebola Patient Dr. Kent Brantly Leaves Hospital - Live Feed

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

After 19 days in isolation, the Fort Worth doctor who became infected with the Ebola virus while serving as a missionary in Africa will be released from an Atlanta hospital later today, the hospital announced early Thursday. As NBC reports, Dr. Kent Brantly is scheduled to make a brief statement to reporters Thursday morning before leaving to spend time with his family at an undisclosed location, the hospital said. Fellow missionary Nancy Writebol, who also became ill with Ebola while working in Li...



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Phil's Favorites

Japan PMI "Strongest Since March": Does That Mean "Strong"?

Courtesy of Mish.

The spin in media reporting, in both directions (but typically bullish), is pervasive.

Here is a case in point. Markit reports Japan PMI Points to Strongest Manufacturing Expansion Since March.

Does "strongest since March" mean "strong"?

Here are the Key Points:

  • Flash Japan Manufacturing PMI™ at 52.4 (50.5 in July). Modest improvement in growth registered in August.
  • Flash Japan Manufacturing Output Index at 53.2 (49.8 in July). Output increased at solid pace.

A few charts will put this into perspective.

...



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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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Option Review

Elizabeth Arden Put Option Activity Revisited

It’s an ugly day for investors in Elizabeth Arden, with shares in the name losing roughly one-quarter of its value overnight after the retailer of beauty products and fragrances reported a wider than expected loss and sales that were lower than analysts anticipated. Shares in the name are down more than 23% in the final hour of trading to stand at $14.95.

On Friday of last week we wrote a short note about put option activity on the stock...



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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Bullish investors jockey for position as if the correction is over

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

As many investors enjoy the final weeks of summer, some optimistic bulls seem to be positioning themselves well ahead of Labor Day in anticipation of a fall rally. Indeed, last week’s action was impressive. After only a mere 4% correction, investors continued to brush off the disturbing violence both at home and abroad, and they took the minor pullback as their next buying opportunity. But was that really all the pullback we’re going to get this year? I doubt it. But I also believe that nothing short of a major Black Swan event can send this market into a deep correction.

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 August 18th, 2014

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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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.

The Stock World Weekly Newsletter is ready to go! View it here: Stock World Weekly. Just put in your user name and password, or take a free trial. 

 

#120692880 / gettyimages.com ...

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Market Shadows

Helen Davis Chaitman Reviews In Bed with Wall Street.

Author Helen Davis Chaitman is a nationally recognized litigator with a diverse trial practice in the areas of lender liability, bankruptcy, bank fraud, RICO, professional malpractice, trusts and estates, and white collar defense. In 1995, Ms. Chaitman was named one of the nation's top ten litigators by the National Law Journal for a jury verdict she obtained in an accountants' malpractice case. Ms. Chaitman is the author of The Law of Lender Liability (Warren, Gorham & Lamont 1990)... Since early 2009, Ms. Chaitman has been an outspoken advocate for investors in Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (more here).

Helen Davis Chaitman Reviews In Bed with Wall Street. 

By Helen Davis Chaitman   

I confess: Larry D...



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Digital Currencies

BitLicense Part 1 - Can Poorly Thought Out Regulation Drive the US Economy Back into the Dark Ages?

Courtesy of Reggie Middleton.

An Op-Ed piece penned by Veritaseum Chief Contracts Officer, Matt Bogosian

This past weekend (despite American Airlines' best efforts), Reggie and I made it to the Second Annual North American Bitcoin Conference in Chicago. While there were some very creative (and very ambitious) ideas on how to try to realize the disruptive Bitcoin protocol, one of the predominant topics of discussion was New York Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky's proposed Bitcoin regulations (the BitLicense proposal) - percieved by many participants at the event as an apparent ...



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Pharmboy

Biotechs & Bubbles

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

Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely.  From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.

First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices.  Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment.  Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer.  For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...



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Promotions

See Live Demo Of This Google-Like Trade Algorithm

I just wanted to be sure you saw this.  There’s a ‘live’ training webinar this Thursday, March 27th at Noon or 9:00 pm ET.

If GOOGLE, the NSA, and Steve Jobs all got together in a room with the task of building a tremendously accurate trading algorithm… it wouldn’t just be any ordinary system… it’d be the greatest trading algorithm in the world.

Well, I hate to break it to you though… they never got around to building it, but my friends at Market Tamer did.

Follow this link to register for their training webinar where they’ll demonstrate the tested and proven Algorithm powered by the same technological principles that have made GOOGLE the #1 search engine on the planet!

And get this…had you done nothing b...



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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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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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