Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Tax Free Thursday – It’s Christmas for Rich People!

Image result for trickle down economics reaganWow, what a tax plan!  

The plan is, essentially, not to collect any taxes but don't worry, all that wealth will trickle down and the bottom 99% will be so tired of winning they will say "Donald, please, we are tired of winning, make it stop."  As I noted yesterday morning, it is a $4Tn giveaway to the rich, not $2Tn and, now that we have more fact, the Federal Tax Policy Center says this plan will reduce Federal Revenues by $6.2 TRILLION over the next 10 years.  That's $500Bn per year!

At our current rate of Government spending, that will put the US close to $30 TRILLION in debt if Trump lasts until 2025.  The big changes revealed under the new program has several winners:

  • Corporations – Taxes are cut from 35% to 15%.
  • High-Income Earners – Top rate cut from 39.6% to 35% and 3.8% Obamacare surcharge removed.  
  • LLC Members – If you are in an LLC, your income will be taxed at just 15%
  • Multimillionaires – Couples with estates over $11M and singles with $5.5M will no longer have to pay estate taxes (you know, family farmers).   This will save Trump's children about $1.5Bn when he dies.  
  • Tax Avoiders – The AMT is being eliminated, now your accountant can get creative again.
  • Red Staters –  Your state and local taxes will no longer be deductible, a big "screw you" to the blue states, whose citizens believe in social safety nets (and didn't vote for Trump)

Image result for bill maher pinataAnd we get all that for just $6Tn – what could possibly go wrong?  As I noted on Tuesday, $1.7Tn has already gone into the markets (on paper) and today we're closer to $2Tn in gains since the election at Dow 21,000 and, despite the fact that we're doing that on 10:1 leverage (to actual inflows), that will be counted as "economic growth" – even though it's nothing more than a gigantic bubble that is unlikely to have long-term support.

One way Trump is raising money to pay
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For restaurants looking to boost profits, it’s often about everything but the food


For restaurants looking to boost profits, it's often about everything but the food

Courtesy of Frank T. McAndrewKnox College

File 20170424 12629 d1k18a

Lighting, layout and music can determine whether you’ll be grabbing a quick bite or staying a while. 'Diners' via

Staying one step ahead of the competition in the hypercompetitive restaurant industry requires more than simply tinkering with the menu. Serving tasty food doesn’t do much good if customers don’t stay long enough – or never even walk through the door in the first place. The Conversation

People in the restaurant business have long understood that design and ambiance matter a great deal, and studies by environmental psychologists and other social scientists confirm that the shrewd manipulation of a restaurant’s physical environment can boost profits.

Consequently, a perpetual arms race of restaurant redesign has become a defining feature of many American restaurant chains.

The scramble has been especially frantic in recent years, with fast food giants KFC, Arby’s, Panera and Subway all revamping their interiors, along with casual dining chains such as Olive Garden and T.G.I.Friday’s.

This attention to detail matters, with studies showing that everything from the color of the lighting to the appearance of the waitstaff can influence the dining behavior of patrons.

Sometimes it is all about the presentation

In 2010, Cassandra Smith, a 20-year-old Hooters waitress who was 5'8" and weighed 132 pounds, was told by her boss that she needed to lose weight if she wanted to keep her job. Smith ended up suing Hooters for weight discrimination and settled out of court.

But a 2013 study suggests that when restaurants discriminate against overweight employees, it may not be just a public relations problem – it could actually undermine the bottom line.

A team of researchers observed approximately 500 people as they ate in 60 different restaurants. They assessed the body mass index (BMI) and body type of every diner and his or her server, keeping track of the number of appetizers, soups, salads, main courses, desserts and beverages each ordered.

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Frexit: how a Le Pen victory could unleash a tsunami of economic volatility


Frexit: how a Le Pen victory could unleash a tsunami of economic volatility

Courtesy of Panicos O. Demetriades, University of Leicester

With Marine Le Pen through to the second round of the French presidential elections, the prospect of Frexit, which is at the centre of her economic policies, is beginning to spook financial markets. While the possibility of Le Pen winning in the second round remains remote, two weeks can be a long time in politics. The Conversation

When it comes to the implications of a French exit from the European Union, commentators have so far focused on the €1.7 trillion of French public debt issued under French law – which can be re-denominated into francs, if France leaves the eurozone. According to the rating agencies, this would constitute the largest ever sovereign default.

By comparison, Greece’s sovereign debt restructuring, which affected €200 billion of debt held by the private sector in 2011-12, appears miniscule. While the timing of a French default remains uncertain, French sovereign bondholders are likely to flee en masse the moment they realise their baseline scenarios – which do not account for a Frexit – are wrong.

Although a sovereign default of such magnitude could unleash a tsunami of volatility in international financial markets, that is only the tip of the iceberg. The roll-out of a new currency across the economy would create new and unprecedented solvency and liquidity risks, which could cause financial turmoil, if not chaos, early on in the life of the new government.

Returning to the franc would have huge ramifications.

Frexit would certainly have implications for the debt issued by French banks and corporations, irrespective of whether it has been issued under French law or otherwise. In the case where the debt has been issued under French law, its redenomination in French francs would be automatic. Again, international investors would be likely to flee early on, attempting to cut their losses short. This would cause abrupt drops in French bond prices and collateral values.

French banks and corporations are likely to lose the ability to continue borrowing on international markets, and…
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Mine wars: The struggle for coal miners’ health care and pension benefits comes to a head


Mine wars: The struggle for coal miners' health care and pension benefits comes to a head

Courtesy of Simon HaederWest Virginia University

File 20170426 2834 tijo5y

United Mine Workers members rally in September on Capitol Hill for benefits for retired miners that are at risk. Jose Louis Magana/AP

During the 2016 presidential campaign, then-candidate Trump repeatedly expressed his support for coal miners and their communities. Voters in the country’s old mining regions of Appalachia rewarded these promises with overwhelming electoral support. The Conversation

Yet this Friday, more than 22,000 retired union coal miners in seven states whose former companies went bankrupt over the past few years are bound to lose their health care benefits if Congress is unable to agree on a permanent or temporary fix.

The situation is a repeat of the one coal miners were confronted with just four months ago. Unable to find a permanent solution in December to a shortage of funds to pay health benefits to these retired miners, Congress settled on a temporary compromise.

The situation serves as a harbinger for further troubles for coal miners and their health care and pension benefits. Moreover, the situation could point to troubles ahead for other union-run pension and health care plans.

I study health care policy at West Virginia University. With close to 30,000 retired union coal miners, West Virginia, a state already suffering from the dramatic changes in the coal industry, would be particularly negatively affected by the failure to find a solution to this issue.

The changing fortunes of the coal industry

Coal miners in Pennsylvania in April listen to Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Gene Puska/AP

At the heart of the current situation is an agreement between the federal government and the United Coal Miners of America dating from 1946. Faced with a series of strikes across different industries in 1945 and 1946, President Truman, in line with a long line of…
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    /KC getting ccuuuurrrrshed.  

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    Phil/GOGO thanks – excellent points.

News You Can Use From Phil’s Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

Oil prices rebound after big draw in U.S. crude inventories (Reuters)

Oil prices rebounded from early losses on Wednesday after U.S. government data showed a larger-than-expected falloff in crude inventories, which encouraged buying after prices slid for several days on worries that a global crude glut was persisting despite cuts in output by producing countries.

Lucky, Good or Tipped Off? The Curious Case of Government Data and the Pound (The Wall Street Journal)

Some investors could be trading with knowledge of U.K. official statistics before they are published, according to a comparison of currency trading data for the Swedish krona and British pound.

America’s $1.2 Billion Mexico Milk Trade Is Now at Risk (Bloomberg)

With a tweet on Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump told Wisconsin dairy farmers—and the world—that America “will not stand for” the Canadian policies he says are hurting U.S. exports.

Wall Street pares gains after tax reform plan unveiled (Reuters)

U.S. stocks pared gains in midday trading on Wednesday after the Trump administration outlined its tax reform plan.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday proposed slashing the U.S. tax rate on corporate and pass-through business profits to 15 percent from 35 percent or more.

America’s Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Replaced by Robots (Bloomberg)

The rich-poor gap -- the difference in annual income between households in the top 20 percent and those in the bottom 20 percent — ballooned by $29,200 to $189,600 between 2010 and 2015, based on Bloomberg calculations using U.S. Census Bureau data.

Here Are the Markets Moving on Reports That Trump Will Drop Nafta (Bloomberg)

Mexico’s peso, the Canadian dollar and shares of companies that rely on cross-border trade plunged on speculation the Trump administration was close to scrapping Nafta.

China's biggest property markets still hot, prices may rebound if curbs lifted: People's Daily (Reuters)

Home prices in China's biggest cities would likely rebound if government curbs are relaxed, a senior official from the country's top economic planner was quoted as saying, suggesting authorities are in no mood to lift restrictions any time soon.

Europe’s Car Makers
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Bespokecast Episode 10 – Josh Brown


Joshua Brown, The Reformed Broker, talks with Bespoke Investment Group. Listen here.

Bespokecast Episode 10 — Josh BrownNow Available on iTunes, GooglePlay, Stitcher and More: 

"In our newest conversation on Bespokecast, we spoke to Josh Brown, the CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management.  Josh is a contributor on CNBC’s daily show Fast Money Halftime Report, has written two books about the financial markets, regularly writes on his blog The Reformed Broker, and has a huge following on Twitter."

[More here.]

News You Can Use From Phil’s Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

Oil Bull Andurand Says Rebound in Sight Despite `Choppy' Market (Bloomberg)

Oil’s jerky path to recovery has been a frustrating, money-losing affair for hedge fund trader Pierre Andurand this year, but he’s sticking to his view that the commodity is set to rebound.

'You live by the sword, you die by the sword': Trump says the stock market is still a fair indicator of his success (Business Insider)

President Donald Trump appears to be OK with people judging his success by the stock market.

In an interview with the Associated Press on Friday, Trump was asked whether it was still fair to use the stock market as a scorecard to evaluate the success of his presidency.

First Cannabis ETF Hits Market and Rises Sharply in Initial Trading (

Canada continues to trail blaze when it comes to legal marijuana, with national legalization on the table in 2017 and even Snoop Dogg traveling north of the border to partner with an Ontario-based marijuana company.

Mexico inflation rises to nearly 8-year high in early April (Reuters)

Mexican annual inflation rose more than expected in early April to hit its fastest pace in nearly 8 years, which could bode for further interest rate hikes from the central bank.

New home buyers will pay for that new Canadian lumber tariff (CNN)

The Trump administration announced Monday plans to impose duties of up to 24% on most Canadian lumber, charging that lumber companies there are subsidized by the government. Canadian lumber makes up about 30% of the U.S. market.

New rules are going to fundamentally change the business models of brokers (Greenwich Associates)

Most people in the industry have been aware of the impending regulations for many years, but were able to brush it aside for a variety of reasons: the implementation date is far in the future / it’s been delayed / we are waiting for further guidance / it might get delayed again … but now it has become a reality and brokers, asset managers and vendors are hurrying to comply with the directives scheduled to go into effect in January 2018. 

Nasdaq Hits 6,000 as
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Police around the world learn to fight global-scale cybercrime


Police around the world learn to fight global-scale cybercrime

Courtesy of Frank J. CilluffoGeorge Washington UniversityAlec NadeauGeorge Washington University, and Rob WainwrightUniversity of Exeter

File 20170425 12650 umknr6

Police must join forces across international borders to take on modern cybercriminals. wutzkohphoto/

From 2009 to 2016, a cybercrime network called Avalanche grew into one of the world’s most sophisticated criminal syndicates. It resembled an international conglomerate, staffed by corporate executives, advertising salespeople and customer service representatives. The Conversation

Its business, though, was not standard international trade. Avalanche provided a hacker’s delight of a one-stop shop for all kinds of cybercrime to criminals without their own technical expertise but with the motivation and ingenuity to perpetrate a scam. At the height of its activity, the Avalanche group had hijacked hundreds of thousands of computer systems in homes and businesses around the world, using them to send more than a million criminally motivated emails per week.

Our study of Avalanche, and of the groundbreaking law enforcement effort that ultimately took it down in December 2016, gives us a look at how the cybercriminal underground will operate in the future, and how police around the world must cooperate to fight back.

Cybercrime at scale

Successful cybercriminal enterprises need strong and reliable technology, but what increasingly separates the big players from the smaller nuisances is business acumen. Underground markets, forums and message systems, often hosted on the deep web, have created a service-based economy of cybercrime.

Just as regular businesses can hire online services – buying Google products to handle their email, spreadsheets and document sharing, and hosting websites on Amazon with payments handled by PayPal – cybercriminals can do the same. Sometimes these criminals use legitimate service platforms like PayPal in addition to others specifically designed for illicit marketplaces.

And just as the legal cloud-computing giants aim to efficiently offer products of broad use to a wide customer base, criminal computing services do the same. They pursue technological capabilities that a wide range of customers want to use more easily. Today, with an internet…
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Zero Hedge

100 Days Of Trump: A Nation Divided

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

An almost inconceivably large amount has been written and said about Donald Trump during his first 100 days as the president of the United States. The lion's share, it must be said, has been negative; especially internationally. But, as Statista's Martin Armstrong details, where it matters most for the president, there is a very clear split in opinion.


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Phil's Favorites

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

How North Korea gets its oil from China: lifeline in question at U.N. meeting (Reuters)

As the United Nations Security Council decides whether to tighten the sanctions screws on North Korea, the country's increasingly isolated government could lose a lifeline provided by state-owned China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC).

Anything-But-Soft Earnings Data Starting to Smack of Rally Years (Bloomberg)

Among the spate of bullish trends visible after three weeks of earnings reports: analysts, who almost always cut full-year estimates in April, are now raising them, pu...

more from Ilene

Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

How North Korea gets its oil from China: lifeline in question at U.N. meeting (Reuters)

As the United Nations Security Council decides whether to tighten the sanctions screws on North Korea, the country's increasingly isolated government could lose a lifeline provided by state-owned China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC).

Anything-But-Soft Earnings Data Starting to Smack of Rally Years (Bloomberg)

Among the spate of bullish trends visible after three weeks of earnings reports: analysts, who almost always cut full-year estimates in April, are now raising them, pu...

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Digital Currencies

Is The Blockchain About To Disrupt This $7 Trillion Industry?

By Teeka Tiwari, International Man

[Posted at Zero Hedge]

Recently, I wrote about a small $100,000 trade of cheese and butter.


This one trade changed 400 years of history in just four hours.

How so? Normally, it would take 10 days to handle the paperwork. But this trade concluded in less than fou...

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The First (and Last?) Competitive Advantage

By VWArticles. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Farnam Street Q1 letter to investors

Also see

2017 Hedge Fund Letters Hedge Fund Letters: 2016

The First (and Last?) Competitive Advantage

“Capitalism is a pretty brutal place.”

– Charlie Munger

]]> Get The Full Series in PDF

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

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Gold Miners; Largest outflows in history could be bullish, says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Could historical outflows present an opportunity? Yesterday reported that outflows from Gold Miners ETF’s GDX and GDXJ topped $800 million on 4/26, the largest single day outflows in history. 

Below looks at Gold Miners ETF GDX, reflecting where these large outflows took place.


The long-term trend since...

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Chart School

Semiconductors Tick Along

Courtesy of Declan.

It was another quiet day for indices but the Semiconductor index was able to add over 1% on the day. This also helped post gains to the Nasdaq 100, although there was a relative gain for the Semiconductor Index against the latter index.

The Nasdaq 100 registered an accumulation day despite its underperformance against Small Caps. The index remains well placed to make a move to upper channel resistance.


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Swing trading portfolio - week of April 24th, 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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Members' Corner

Should I buy that stock?

Courtesy of Phil Stasukaitis (pstas)

I was asked by my local investment club to do a presentation on "how to buy a stock?" As I pondered the question, I began by noting all the elements that I monitor regularly and which come in to play as part of my decision process. As the group is comprised novices to experts, I tried to gear my discussion to cover both basics and more advanced concepts.

Four Part Discussion

  1. Macro Economic Indicators
  2. Market Indexes
  3. Fundamental Analysis
  4. Technical Analysis

1. Macro Economic Indicators

We'll start with reviewing some basic concepts and measurements that have direct effects on the stock market. 

A. Gross Domestic Product (GDP)


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Mapping The Market

Bombing - Right or Wrong?

Courtesy of Jean-Luc

I am telling you Angel – makes no sense… BTW:

Republicans Love Bombing, But Only When a Republican Does It

By Kevin Drum, Mother Jones

A few days ago I noted that Republican views of the economy changed dramatically when Donald Trump was elected, but Democratic views stayed pretty stable. Apparently Republicans view the economy through a partisan lens but Democrats don't.

Are there other examples of this? Yes indeed. Jeff Stein points to polling data about air strikes against Syria:


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CAR-T & CRISPR - the Future is Now

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

PSW has been a while since my last post, but since many have all been on the board following the chat, it is time for a scientific lesson in a few of the companies we are long.  In addition, another revolution is coming in the medical field, and it will be touched upon as well.

CAR-T - stands for Chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) and the T is for T-cell.  

From the picture above, T-cells are one cell type of our immune system that fight off infection as well as they are one player at keeping rogue cells from becoming cancerous. Unfortunately, cancer somehow evades the immune system and so it begins.

CAR-T came along in the late1980s via a brilliant scientist, Zelig Eshhar...

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Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"



Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:


·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union


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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...

more from David

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...

Learn more About Phil >>

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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.

Market Shadows >>