Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

News You Can Use From Phil’s Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

Understanding the Trump Rally (Bloomberg)

Experts and pundits predicted a stock market crash if Trump were to upset Clinton and win the presidential race, so the market's behavior seemed to confirm expectations. But then a funny thing happened — stocks came roaring back, almost immediately. Markets opened slightly down but quickly regained those losses and finished the day with gains of more than 1 percent as investors digested what Trump’s proposed infrastructure and tax policies would mean for the markets.

U.S. Stocks Slip From Records as Bonds Advance: Markets Wrap (Bloomberg)

U.S. stocks fluctuated near all-time highs after rising in nine of the past 10 days, while Treasuries advanced as investors awaited Federal Reserve meeting minutes for clues on the pace of tightening. The euro extended declines political risk in the region increased.

Higher dollar pressures gold, uncertainty offers support (Reuters)

Gold prices fell on Tuesday as renewed expectations of an increase in U.S. interest rates next month pushed the dollar higher, although political and economic uncertainties in Europe and the United States supported investor sentiment.

Institutional investors pull $469 billion from equities in 2016 – report (Reuters)

Institutional investors pulled $468.8 billion out of equities in 2016, a report by the research firm eVestment showed on Tuesday, notwithstanding a rally late in the year that drove stock markets to record highs.

China's Worst Bond Rout in a Decade Seen Worsening on Rules (Bloomberg)

The prospect of new rules in China on asset management products is sparking speculation that the worst corporate bond rout in a decade is about to get even worse.

China's red-hot housing market is now starting to cool (Business Insider Australia)

Chinese new home prices continued to moderate in January.

According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), prices rose by 0.2% in January, continuing the deceleration that began in the final quarter of last year.

Investors Are Charging Into Emerging Market ETFs (Bloomberg)

U.S. President Donald Trump has supported many policies that could harm emerging market economies. But investors are betting that his bark will turn out to be worse than his bite.


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Will We Hold It Wednesday – Tesla’s 7% Solution

How high can the market get? 

"The 7% Solution" was the "lost" manuscript of Dr. John Watson recounting his famous patient's recovery from cocaine addiction.  In a similar manner, we have a market that is clearly on crack and, coincidentally, the Nasdaq Composite is up exactly 7% (5,350) from it's 5,000 line since Jan 1st – time for a bit of reflection indeed!  

The real story to the Nasdaq is, of course, Apple (AAPL), which is up 19% at $137 from $115 at the start of the year.  AAPL is about 15% of the Nasdaq so it's responsible for 2.85% of the 7% gain in the Nasdaq, which is 40% of 7% – that's quite a burden for one company to carry.  However, we feel the move in AAPL is justified so it's not AAPL's value we're questioning but whether or not AAPL should have dragged his 99 brother and sister stocks up the hill with him or are they all irresponsibly flying too close to the sun and investors are about to get burned?

There are a lot of overpriced (by normal standards) stocks on the Nasdaq but I think Tesla (TSLA) can serve as a good proxy this evening when they report Q4 results (or lack thereof) after running up 53% since Dec 2nd, when they were at $181.50 (now $277).  That's a market cap of $44.6Bn, just shy of Ford (F) at $49Bn and GM (GM) at $56Bn – even though TSLA produces just 50,000 cars a year and lost approximately $2Bn doing it.  That's a loss of $40,000 per car people!  How on Earth are they going to sell $35,000 cars if they are losing $40,000 per $90,000 car they sell now?  

We're short on TSLA in our Short-Term Portfolio as this Q should include the "earnings" of SolarCity, Musk's solar venture which had been bleeding cash before TSLA acquired it.  Musk has to check a lot of boxes and explain how he's going to sell over 100,000 Model 3s in 2017 when there isn't even an actual car yet.  Our short play is this:

Nowhere to run on that one as it's a March spread, we need TSLA to disappoint tonight or it's an…
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Can Trump resist the power of behavioral science’s dark side?

 

Can Trump resist the power of behavioral science's dark side?

Courtesy of Jon M Jachimowicz, Columbia University

More than two dozen governments, including the U.S., now have a team of behavioral scientists tasked with trying to improve bureaucratic efficiency to “nudge” their citizens toward what they deem to be higher levels of well-being.

A few recent examples include a push by the socialist French government to increase the numbers of organ donors, a conservative UK government plan to prevent (costly) missed doctor appointments, and efforts by the Obama White House to boost voter turnout on Election Day.

While the government’s use of our psychological quirks to affect behavior rubs some people the wrong way, most of us can agree that the above examples achieve positive ends. More organ donors mean more lives saved, fewer missed doctor appointments mean the government or health industry is more efficient, and increased voting means stronger citizen engagement in democracy.

But “nudges” themselves are value neutral. That is, they can be used to both achieve altruistic ends or more malicious ones. Just as behavioral science can be used to increase voter turnout, it can also be used to suppress the votes of specific individuals likely to favor the opposing side, as reportedly happened in the recent U.S. presidential election.

The nudge, in other words, has a dark side.

My research explores how behavioral science can help people follow through on their intentions where they make better or longer-term choices that increase their well-being. Because choices are influenced by the environment in which they are made, changing the environment can change decision outcomes.

This can be positive to the extent that those designing interventions have good intentions. But what happens when someone uses these insights to systematically influence others’ behavior to favor his or her own interests – even at the expense of everyone else’s?

That’s my concern with President Donald Trump, whose campaign appears to have exploited behavioral science to suppress the vote of Hillary Clinton supporters.

What’s in a nudge?

Behavioral science is a relatively young field, and governments have only recently begun using its insights to inform…
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7 Signs of Tyranny

 

7 Signs of Tyranny

Courtesy of Robert Reich

As tyrants take control of democracies, they typically do 7 things: 

1. They exaggerate their mandate to govern – claiming, for example, that they won an election by a “landslide” even after losing the popular vote. They criticize any finding that they or co-conspirators stole the election. And they repeatedly claim “massive voter fraud” in the absence of any evidence, in order to have an excuse to restrict voting by opponents in subsequent elections.

2. They turn the public against journalists or media outlets that criticize them, calling them “deceitful” and “scum,” and telling the public that the press is a “public enemy.” They hold few, if any, press conferences, and prefer to communicate with the public directly through mass rallies and unfiltered statements (or what we might now call “tweets”). 

3. They repeatedly lie to the public, even when confronted with the facts.  Repeated enough, these lies cause some of the public to doubt the truth, and to believe fictions that support the tyrants’ goals.

4. They blame economic stresses on immigrants or racial or religious minorities, and foment public bias or even violence against them. They threaten mass deportations, “registries” of religious minorities, and the banning of refugees.

5. They attack the motives of anyone who opposes them, including judges. They attribute acts of domestic violence to “enemies within,” and use such events as excuses to beef up internal security and limit civil liberties.

6. They appoint family members to high positions of authority. They ppoint their own personal security force rather than a security detail accountable to the public. And they put generals into top civilian posts.

7. They keep their personal finances secret, and draw no distinction between personal property and public property – profiteering from their public office.

Consider yourself warned.





News You Can Use From Phil’s Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

S&P 500 Is Already Trading at Wall Street's Year-end Forecast (Bloomberg)

The market bellwether has already reached the average year-end target of Wall Street analysts with a 5.5 percent gain since December, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

French Economy Grows Fastest Since 2011 as Services Strengthen (Bloomberg)

A composite Purchasing Managers’ Index climbed to 56.2 from 54.1 in January, IHS Markit said on Tuesday. That’s the eighth consecutive reading above the 50 mark that divides expansion from contraction and above an economist estimate for 53.8.

Fed's Williams Says Historically Low Interest Rates Will Persist (Bloomberg)

Historically low interest rates are here to stay, making it much harder for central banks in wealthy countries to prevent and limit recessions in the future, according San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams.

Why Does Economic Growth Keep Slowing Down? (Federal Reserve Bank Of St. Louis)

The U.S. economy expanded by 1.6 percent in 2016, as measured by real gross domestic product (GDP). Real GDP has averaged 2.1 percent growth per year since the end of the last recession, which is significantly smaller than the average over the postwar period (about 3 percent per year).

German Yields Set to Resume Drop, Technical Indicators Suggest (Bloomberg)

Germany’s benchmark 10-year bond yield, which moved higher on Tuesday, may drop to levels seen at the beginning of this year because of weakening momentum indicators, technical studies suggest.

Goldman Sachs Warns U.S. Stocks Are Now Reaching Peak Optimism (Bloomberg)

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. says the surge in confidence following Donald Trump’s November victory is reaching an inflection point. Investors counting on tax cuts and an economic boom to fuel a surge in corporate profits are getting ahead of themselves, according to the bank.

Britain is sliding towards Scoxit (The Economist)

Little more than half a year after the vote to leave the European Union, there is talk of another referendum in Britain. This time the people who could be offered the chance to “take back control” are


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Threats of violent Islamist and far-right extremism: What does the research say?

 

Threats of violent Islamist and far-right extremism: What does the research say?

Courtesy of William Parkin, Seattle University; Brent Klein, Michigan State University; Jeff Gruenewald, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; Joshua D. Freilich, City University of New York, and Steven Chermak, Michigan State University

On a Tuesday morning in September 2001, the American experience with terrorism was fundamentally altered. Two thousand, nine hundred and ninety-six people were murdered in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Thousands more, including many first responders, lost their lives to health complications from working at or being near Ground Zero.

The 9/11 attacks were perpetrated by Islamist extremists, resulting in nearly 18 times more deaths than America’s second most devastating terrorist attack – the Oklahoma City bombing. More than any other terrorist event in U.S. history, 9/11 drives Americans’ perspectives on who and what ideologies are associated with violent extremism.

But focusing solely on Islamist extremism when investigating, researching and developing counterterrorism policies goes against what the numbers tell us. Far-right extremism also poses a significant threat to the lives and well-being of Americans. This risk is often ignored or underestimated because of the devastating impact of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

We have spent more than 10 years collecting and analyzing empirical data that show us how these ideologies vary in important ways that can inform policy decisions. Our conclusion is that a “one size fits all” approach to countering violent extremism may not be effective.

By the numbers

Historically, the U.S. has been home to adherents of many types of extremist ideologies. The two current most prominent threats are motivated by Islamist extremism and far-right extremism.

To help assess these threats, the Department of Homeland Security and recently the Department of Justice have funded the Extremist Crime Database to collect data on crimes committed by ideologically motivated extremists in the United States. The results of our analyses are published in peer-reviewed journals and on the website for the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism & Responses to Terrorism.

The ECDB includes data on ideologically motivated homicides committed by both Islamist extremists and far-right extremists going back more than 25 years.


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Handcuff Volunteers

 

Handcuff Volunteers

Courtesy of 

A few weeks after the election, a friend of mine told me he sold all of his stocks in his 401(k). He was happy with the 13% his portfolio earned in 2016 and felt that stocks had gone too far too fast. He understands that he can’t time the market, but he just couldn’t help himself. His mind was made up and he would get back in when stocks came back down to earth.

I’ve had conversations with other friends and family members asking me if they should take similar measures. Now these are just anecdotes, indicative of nothing really, but it does seem like there is a giant disconnect. Civilian enthusiasm for stocks, at least from my perch, is nowhere near euphoria, but at the same time stocks are expensive on basically every single metric.

So people are paying more for stocks as they make new all-time highs, and yet the “feel” is more this is gonna end badly than I don’t care just get me in.  How can these two contradictory things exist simultaneously and what is creating this disconnect?

Howard Marks commented on this recently in his interview with Barry Ritholtz and said interest rates are responsible:

I don’t believe most people are thinking very optimistically. I think most people have reservations, most people understand that economic growth is uncertain, most people understand that we don’t know how the central bank experiment with zero rates is gonna end up or how it gets reversed, and of course most people are concerned about the geopolitical developments in the world today. I believe that enthusiasm is not unrestrained, on the other hand, people may be thinking in not a bullish way but I think they’re acting in a bullish way. What accounts for the difference? Rates near zero. And when you live in a low return world, you have to take risk to get return. People are willing to take risk because they’re hand cuff volunteers. People who do things not because they want to, but because they have to.

This morning Home Depot reported earnings and announced that they’ve raised…
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How To Survive A Bear Market

 

How To Survive A Bear Market

Courtesy of 

Not everybody can sit through a bear market. Sure, guys like Buffett and Munger never sell, but for the 99% of us who have emotions, we need to do something to de-risk when it looks like the world is falling apart. But what so many investors get wrong is that they don’t have a process for selling and then getting back in.

The pain threshold is different for everyone, but the trigger to sell is always the same, it’s overwhelming fear. We fear that the 20% correction becomes a 30% decline, that the 30% decline becomes a 40% crash, and that the 40% crash leads to a back-breaking 50% wipe out, and so on.

So you need a rules based system in place that supersedes these emotional reactions. Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about.

What if you have two separate accounts? One with the bulk of your assets, that you’ve locked and thrown away the key, and another that that’s a little more nimble, which gives you the flexibility to *attempt to dampen the deep market losses. Here is the strategy: after every 15% decline on a monthly closing basis, you take that portion of your portfolio to cash. You re-enter when the market is above the level at which you sold, a “coast is clear level,” if you will.

This is a bad strategy. I mean a really bad strategy. The model would have told you to sell in June 2008, after a 16% drawdown. It then would have told you to get back in at the end of August, only to sell two months later after another 24% loss. Sure you would have avoided another few months of selling, but you would not have gotten back in until July 2009, when stocks were already 40% off their bottom.

So how did this ridiculous, terrible, idiotic model perform? Since 1926, it returned 9.21% compared to the 10.05% return from the index.

rules

I’m definitely not suggesting this is a strategy that you employ, in fact I would implore you to come up with something else, but the point is, having a sub-optimal emergency escape plan is a thousand times better than not having one at all.





News You Can Use From Phil’s Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

U.S. Stocks Rise With Dollar as Commodities Climb: Markets Wrap (Bloomberg)

U.S. stocks rose to records as commodities from copper to crude surged and retailer results topped estimates. The dollar resumed its advance amid fresh signs global growth has started to accelerate.

Dollar rises after Fed comments; euro weakens (Market Watch)

The dollar gained against its rival currencies Tuesday, as comments from a Federal Reserve official drove up U.S. Treasury yields in Asia, along with demand for the U.S. currency.

Oil prices rise as investors increase their bullish bets (Market Watch)

Crude futures moved higher Tuesday as investors held onto their bullish positions, betting on the supply to tighten as major oil producers cut their output.

The Donald Trump Stock Rally: Who’s Winning and Losing (Fortune)

The companies that President Trump tweets about get the attention (hello, Nordstrom), but those aren’t the ones whose stocks have been affected most by the White House agenda.

China stocks rise as investors see a bull market on the horizon (Market Watch)

Asian stocks ended mostly higher Tuesday, with Japanese equities rising as the yen pulled back against the U.S. dollar while banking stocks bolstered gains in Chinese trade.

Euro-Area Economic Recovery Broadens as France Outpaces Germany (Bloomberg)

A gauge for economic activity rose to the highest level in almost six years in February, following previous signals that the region’s frail recovery is finally taking shape. National gauges showed France outpacing Germany for the first time since 2012 — a development that could signal growth in the 19-nation region is becoming more broad-based.

Records for U.S. stocks hang in the balance ahead of Wal-Mart results, PMI data (Market Watch)

U.S. stock futures pointed to a moderately higher start for Wall Street on Tuesday, poised for another shot at record territory that may hinge on the outcome of manufacturing and service surveys due later.

6 charts that show how the 'gig economy' has changed Britain – and why it's not a good thing (Business Insider)

Tax incentives such as low rates of corporation tax have fuelled


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News You Can Use From Phil’s Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

Commodities Have Been Down So Long It May Be Time To Snap Them Up (Forbes)

The post-crisis years have not been good for real assets, the catchall term for commodities, energy, real estate and other investments based on selling real things instead of clever ideas.

A trader psychologist who consulted on Showtime's 'Billions' reveals the biggest mistake traders make (Business Insider)

Denise Shull is a decision coach and performance architect who consulted on Showtime’s BILLIONS for the Wendy Rhodes character, the in-house psychotherapist for Axelrod hedge fund.

China’s bitcoin traders are finding new ways to trade after an official clampdown (Quartz)

China’s central bank has stepped up oversight of bitcoin exchanges this year, leading major trading platforms to impose halts on withdrawals and other checks to appease the regulator.

Warning signs are piling up that the bull run in stocks is nearing an end (Business Insider)

If it feels like this bull market has been going on for a long time, that's because it has.

In fact, the current market rally, which has lasted 2002 trading days, is the longest one since the rally that preceded the 1929 stock market crash.

Goldman: 'Cognitive dissonance exists in the US stock market' (Yahoo Finance)

Goldman Sachs analysts believe investors and traders in the stock market are acting irrationally.

“Cognitive dissonance exists in the US stock market,” Goldman Sachs’ David Kostin said. “S&P 500 (^GSPC) is up 10% since the election despite negative [earnings per share] revisions from sell-side analysts.”

Solar Energy Production Hit a Record High in 2016, So What's Wrong With Solar Stocks? (Fool.com)

2016 was an amazing year for the solar industry overall, even if it wasn't great for solar stocks. GTM Research recently reported that its upcoming U.S. Solar Market Insight Report done with the Solar Energy Industries Association will reveal a 95% jump in installations last year to 14.6 GW.

This company's productivity soared after replacing 90% of employees with robots (Futurism)

It’s hard to argue against automation when statistics are clearly illustrating its potential. The latest evidence comes out of a Chinese factory in Dongguan City.

India: Investors
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Zero Hedge

Starwood REIT CEO: "The Manhattan High-End Condo Market Is A Catastrophe"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Not all is well in the luxury segment of the US housing market, manifested best through Manhattan's luxury condo segment, where as reported here over the last few months, there has been a sharp deterioration. A quick sampling of recent stories on the topic reveals that the situation is indeed bad, and getting worse:



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ValueWalk

The Cost Of Screwing This Up The Border Adjustment Tax Unimaginable

By Mauldin Economics. Originally published at ValueWalk.

I believe that truly free trade helps everyone. But that’s not what recent so-called free trade deals have given us.

Instead, they delivered something quite different from the kind of free trade that Adam Smith and David Ricardo envisioned.

Globalization Perks Are Distributed Unevenly

AmberAvalona / Pixabay

I explained this at length last July in the “The Trouble with Trade” issue of my free investment newsletter, Thoughts from the Frontline (...



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Phil's Favorites

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

Oil sold out of tanker storage in Asia as market slowly tightens (Reuters)

Traders are selling oil held in tankers anchored off Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia in a sign that the production cut led by OPEC is starting to have the desired effect of drawing down bloated inventories.

Saudi Arabia's Oil Wealth Is About to Get a Reality Check (Bloomberg)

Saudi Arabia has said oil giant Saudi Aramco is worth more than $2 trillion, enough to consume Apple Inc. twice, and still have room for Google parent Alphabet Inc.

The kingdom may have to...



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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

Dollar Falls With Stocks Amid Dovish Fed Minutes: Markets Wrap (Bloomberg)

The dollar fell while Treasuries advanced after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting showed officials confident they can raise rates gradually amid little threat that near-term inflation will accelerate.

U.S. Solar Surged 95% to Become Largest Source of New Energy (Bloomberg)

Solar developers installed a record 14.6 gigawatts in the U.S. last year, almost double the total from 2015 and enough to make photovoltaic panels the largest...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Gold & Silver; Knocking on breakout door again!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Silver and Gold have continued to head lower since highs reached back in 2011. Is the 6-year bear market nearing an end?

Below looks at the Silver/Gold ratio over the past decade. To be long and strong Silver and Gold, the preference would be for this ratio to be heading higher.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

The ratio has formed a clean falling channel (series of lower highs and lower lows) inside of (1). Three different times it knocked on the underside of falling...



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Members' Corner

People With Cats Will Understand?

Courtesy of Nattering Naybob.

Taking a "potty break" from "in the Toilet Thursday" or "Thursday's in the Loo".

This week's subject is self evident, starring two lovable felines Cole and Marmalade in, People With Cat's Will Understand.

...

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Chart School

Market Pause

Courtesy of Declan.

Nothing really to add to yesterday. Markets took minor hits, but there was little intraday spread. The biggest spread was in the Russell 2000 which was underperforming heading into today's session. It reversed most of yesterday's gains, but it has some way to go before it begins challenging the breakout


The New Lows and Highs is in a secular bullish pattern, and it will take continued pressure in spike lows to generate a sustained sell off - none of which is happening here.

...

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Digital Currencies

It's Time To Beat Up On Credit Suisse and Their Woefully Misinformed Bitcoin Advice

Courtesy of Reggie Middleton at Zero Hedge

Credit Suisse has been posting cryptocurrency advisories over the last few weeks. They are quite one-sided, although couched in the appearance of objectivity. To explain why it's couched in the appearance of objectivity, and not actually objective, let me give you some background. 

The Obama administration enacted a law known as the Fiduciary Rule, as per Investopedia

The Department of Labor’s definition of a fiduciary demands that advisors act in the best interests of their clients, and to put their clients' interests above their own. It leaves no room for advisors to conce...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of February 20th, 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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Mapping The Market

NSA May Be Withholding Intel from President Trump

By Jean Luc

These GOP guys were so worried about Hillary's email server and now we find out that we had something close to a Russian mole in the White House. In the meantime, Trump keeps on using his unsecured phone, had high level conversation in his resort in front of dinner guests! It's getting so bad that rumors are now circulating that the NSA is not sharing information with the WH:

NSA May Be Withholding Intel from President Trump

By 

….Our spies have had enough of these shady Russian connections—and they are starting to push back….In light of this, and out of worries about the White House’s ability to keep secrets, some of our spy agencies have begun withholding intelligence fro...



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Promotions

Phil's Stock World's Las Vegas Conference!

Learn option strategies and how to be the house and not the gambler. That's especially apropos since we'll be in Vegas....

Join us for the Phil's Stock World's Conference in Las Vegas!

Date:  Sunday, Feb 12, 2017 and Monday Feb 13, 2017            

Beginning Time:  9:30 to 10:00 am Sunday morning

Location: Caesars Palace in Las Vegas

Notes

Caesars has offered us rooms for $189 on Saturday night and $129 for Sunday night but rooms are limited at that price.

So, if you are planning on being in Vegas (Highly Recommended!), please sign up as soon as possible by sending...



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Biotech

The Medicines Company: Insider Buying

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

I'm seeing huge insider buying in the biotech company The Medicines Company (MDCO). The price has already moved up around 7%, but these buys are significant, in the millions of dollars range. ~ Ilene

 

 

 

Insider transaction table and buying vs. selling graphic above from insidercow.com.

Chart below from Yahoo.com

...

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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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