Thank you so much for the good daily news in review Phil. I love your commentary! It is such a breath of fresh air in the smog cluttered news networks.
Phil – Not that you dont usually, but you have DEFINITELY earned your money this week. THe recommendations have been PERFECT. Selling into the initial excitement (MULTIPLE TIMES), hedges, everything. Im reading this when I get home from work and want to cry b/c I cant trade at work! I might have to start getting up at 3 AM though to catch those trades bc youre killing it then too! May you and yours have a blessed weekend!
I have to thank you for excelling yourself during this past week. I have spent a good few hours going over your notes and comments and there are so many gems on repairing and rolling trades that I have been beavering away on paying special attention to my major positions and analysing them using your approach on Tuesday. Being able to look at a group of trades on the same underlying (in this case AAPL) and taking a detached view by assessing the impact of the underlying reaching different price points was extremely reassuring.
Phil/USO Adjustment~~ Thanks for showing us the make it even (maybe even profitable) tricks for 'fixing' a losing position. I would have never known the trick if you didn't explain it. The option adjustment techniques are very helpful. Trading stocks would probably never offer that kind of flexibilities! Thanks!
I doubled down on our USO June $35 puts on Tuesday afternoon and listened to your posting yesterday and sold 1/2 midday and the rest I sold (luckily) at the top of the market yesterday with the last 1/4 of my contracts at 100% return in less than one day!
Have been a member for about 6 months or there abouts. Signed up for a quarter at first and then for a year. To me, and it's only my opinion, it's an investment and I have made the membership fees back many times over on the strategy advice. Since joining and implementing the strategy of buy/writes and hedges I have cut my portfolio losses for the year and have a really good chance of going positive this year. If I would have continued down the road I was on, I would still have been fumbling around without a strategy and completely inept in what I was doing. I feel now the strategy is working and I am far more comfortable with the risks I am taking. I still have a lot to learn but I feel the fees have been one of the best investments I have made. The returns have been fantastic. Still have problems with the politics but hey nobody is perfect
Phil, I meant to post over the weekend, but I was busy having fun . Last week was a very nice week for me, and I wanted to thank you for all that you do. I am pretty much back to cash and really feel like I am learning. I have out performed the $5kp by a very large margin. Thanks again for the service you provide.
Phil - I just referred 10 people. Last week was a 50% gainer for me. There are companies that want to sell mentoring service for thousands of dollars. This is far better of a deal with very good advice.
I picked up one of your recommended Gold plays, the July ABX 30s and sold the Feb 35s, which are now mostly intrinsic value. Is it time to roll these to the March 37.50s, or should I wait this spike out?
Phil- I want to let you know that you really helped me make some money this morning when I probably would have lost on my own. I was stuck in doctors waiting rooms most of the morning starting at 8AM. By following the game plan you laid out and using my smartphone, I went short on oil whenever we got to 61.50 and long at 61 waiting for the spikes ahead of inventory. When 10:30 rolled around I was out after selling longs at 61.60 a few minutes earlier. I went short at 61.75-61.80 and voila, rode it down to 60.60 or so. Thank you.
Phil… My portfolio, in the past few months, has acheived a high degree of stabilization. I've noticed that on up days, down days, even days, it doesn't matter, my portfolio rarely varies more than 2%. And over the long haul it just slowly increases in value. I attribute this not to investment choices, but to style. Thanks to you and others on this site I'm paying close attention to position size, delta neutrality, downside protection, and concentrating on selling premium rather than buying it. I've developed increasing patience, not having to trade daily, or even weekly. I'm concentrating on the finer points of trading, letting the profits come to me, rather than the other way around. I appreciate the help everyone here has given in getting me focused on this principle. I'm pumped!…in a calm sort of way.
Being a bear is easy (and I am not convinced we are doing all that well on the whole as an economy), but one cannot fight the trend (didn't Phil say that a while ago)? Just cover, make 5-10-15-20% and move on. It really does add up by chipping away. All I can say is I am back to 2007 levels in my account b'f the crash with this run up and some very nice help on this board….so kudos to us (and me!!)…
Phil: I loaded up big time yesterday on your suggestion of the AMZN September 75 naked puts. They are up 43%!
Phil/ I hope the next 5 year bear market will be as much fun and as profitable as this 5 year bull market. For those who survived 2008/2009, and who imbibed the wisdom of PSW, what a time it has been. Good to have you by my side. I think you are selling yourself short – you need to triple your prices :)
Phil - Moved today to send kudos. You're in my top 5 to see/read daily. I do not trade...
but as former econ-finance adjunct faculty near Stanford U. I give you lots of attaboys....
and provide your links to many to spread some understanding of the mess we are in. Best to you and yours,
Phil, Passed a milestone today since joining 2 months ago. 25% of my account is in buy/writes, bull call spreads and disaster hedges. A majority of the trades were taken directly from your ideas or someone else`s contributions. Some were daytrades that became spreads.
That part of my account is up 30% as of today. I don`t worry about it, or mess with it much, did a few rolls etc.
Rest of the account is there to day trade, cover the writes and take advantage of opportunities.
Thanks to everyone who contributes here, what a sweet way to trade, so many opportunities.
Phil - I followed your great pick re F and sold short the 1011 2.50 puts (200 contracts) and paid for the next 10 years of membership fees…. Thanks!
New member/1st time posting: Thanks Phil and Pharm for the rec on TOS. I've emailed Scott to get myself setup so I hope to hear back soon. As a newbie on PSW for a month now, I've been readin' and readin' and readin'. Gonna start paper-trading for a while. See how I do before putting a single dime into it. New at options but seems like this is the best training and educational platform out there.
I'm a long-time mortgage broker who got too involved with real estate investing. LOVED your article, Phil, on mortgage interest scams. Right on!! Let me know if and how I can contribute back to the community here. Cheers! - Mark
GMCR – Just bought back my Jan $90 callers on GMCR for a nice $10,000 gain. Thanks for the recommendation Phil! It was nice to cash in on a momo.
Phil: Thank You!
Scaling, Scaling, and Scaling… then patience, patience, patience I'm 2 to 1 short and even on a day the broad market is up I had my largest one day gain in years. The last 6 weeks in fact have been great. I really feel I've learned to use some tools that will enable me to deal with the turbulence ahead. Selling short calls is definitely my preferred approach. Even allowed me to play golf this afternoon while the premium melted away and shoot a career low round. I owe you man!
Why were the analysts wrong?
If I were a Japanese investor who purchased US stocks prior to November at Y80 yen to the dollar, with the US market up an average of 15% or more and upon selling the asset I covert dollars to Yen, also realizing an additional 25% gain (one dollar now converts to 100+ Yen rather than the 80 I used at time of purchase), I think I would be unloading US assets also.
But analysts never do the math in their articles nor very rarely bring up or discuss the ramifications of currency fluctuations. I don't include Phil in this group as this is a valuable lesson I am learning from him.
Phil: Closed out ZION with 49 % gain!
We are lucky to be in America and it is great to be part of the PSW tribe. Keeps me thinkin' and gatherin' the profits. ~ 42 % gain in my trading account year to date, which keeps me happy. Half to a third of the trading account is reserved in margin capacity that Is not committed. So, again thanks Phil and all of you other members.
Wow, Phil, we pretty much made your levels.
Dow 7,404, S&P 775, Nas 1,466, NYSE 4,839 and RUT 402
My sceen is showing:
Dow 7,404, S&P 777, Nas 1,462, NYSE 4,868 and RUT 404
Phil – just wanted to say a sincere thank you for teaching me how to offset, hedge, roll, and not panic. My account is up 10% in the last two weeks, and far from panic, this is becoming great fun. Thanks again,
Phil - Another excellent teaching article - when you write like that it blows me away. Thank you!
I had the ideas from earlier articles but what I didn't have was enough understanding. The familiarity of ideas through repetition, re-working, revision - over time - the variation, the pulling out of implications - it all contributes to understanding and mostly thats on the student - but a good teacher (worth their weight in gold) makes understanding a pleasure.
I wanted to learn about trading options because it makes my brain feel better - fitter, healthier. Actually mostly it makes me happy to think about the trade and trading options.
You are a good teacher and I know that or I wouldn't value the subscription the way I do. It pays for itself through the pleasure of understanding alone.
Killed it tonight trading copper. Anyone who jumped in right after election is up about 75k on one contract!
Phil, Thanks for the long calls@ $ 85 on AAPL. A quick $4900. Paid for my subscription!!
You may wonder if anyone gets anything out of you seminars (or may not wonder). Anyway, I almost never day trade because of my job. Today, I was home due to the snow and since I was behind by 2 weeks on watching your recorded seminars I though I would watch one of them. I set up my pivot point charts in TOS to match the ones in your seminar and made the QQQ trade from this morning. I only bought 5 puts. While I watched the seminar, I would pause then switch back and forth and watch the live QQQ chart. I ended up stopping out for a $170 gain, but it was pretty cool to have the dip and recovery at the same time I was learning the art of stopping out when a pivot line was taken out.
Phil...The hundred grand portfolio updates are helpful...Fun ..and have been profitable...really like em... made some nice entries into USB, KEY today... and I better add those FAZ calls tomorrow... Really glad you put that up this morning...
James Kunstler writes on climate-gate as another distraction on the way to societal collapse, as is the baloney sandwich we’re trying to make with Iran as baloney and Afganistan as a slice of white bread. - Ilene
Against a greater welter and flow of incoherence jerking the nation this way and that way en route to collapse comes "ClimateGate," the latest excuse for screaming knuckleheads to defend what has already been lost. It is also yet another distraction from the emergency agenda that the United States faces – namely the urgent re-scaling, re-localizing, and de-globalizing of our daily activities.
What seems to be at stake for the knuckleheads is their identity, their idea of what it means to be an American, which boils down to being an organism so specially blessed and entitled that it is excused from paying attention to reality. There were no doubt plenty of counterparts among the Mayans when the weather changed and their crops failed, and certainly the Romans had their share of identity psychotics who doubted reality even when Alaric the Visigoth was hoisting off their household treasure.
Reality doesn’t care if we are on-board with its mandates or not. The human race has to get with whatever program reality is serving up at a particular time. Are we shocked to learn that scientists fight among themselves and cheat as much as congressmen? Does that really change the relationships we understand about parts-per-million of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere and the weather?
What the people of the world can do or will do about a change in climate is something else. My guess is that the undertow of entropy is now too great to provoke any meaningful unified change in behavior. The collapse of the US economy is too close to the horizon, and the so-called developing nations will have problems equally severe. In the meantime, it is unlikely that any of the major players will burn less coal and oil, or not cheat on each other even if they pledge to burn less. People who are not knuckleheads will make the practical arrangements that they can. These will, by definition, be localized, small-scale, and non-global communities, doing what they would have to do anyway.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is the organization that audits the books of countries world-wide to determine their real financial health. The IMF is also responsible for bailing out countries in trouble, and stabilizing the world’s economic systems.
On May 11th, U.S. News & World Report pointed out that bank loan loss rates will be much higher than during the Great Depression.
On May 7th, Investment advisor, risk expert and "Black Swan" author Nassim Nicholas Taleb said "The current global crisis is “vastly worse” than the 1930s because financial systems and economies worldwide have become more interdependent."
Steve Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone said Wednesday he was seeing “more than green shoots” for the economic rebound. He sees the deal market coming back to life and a return to the good old days of leveraged loans, toxic assets and IPO’s where you sell your company to the public at the most insane valuation of all time (sarcasm intended). Despite this his optimism remained somewhat muted:
“We do not expect the U.S. economy to slip back into recession but we do believe that weak consumer spending and continued constraints on bank lending will dampen the U.S. economic recovery in 2010 and 2011.”
On the earnings front, JP Morgan confirmed what we have believed for a long time – the banks are juicing. The company trounced analysts expectations by 30 cents and reported a 79% jump in revenues. JP Morgan actually lost money on the lending side of their business as well as their card services segment (the consumer is still very weak), but they made up for it in their trading and investment banking where they are helping to shower the market with secondary offerings and trading this Fed induced liquidity rally to new highs. A look under the hood questions the sustainability of these earnings. After all, banks are in the business of lending money:
Consumer Lending reported a net loss of $1.0 billion, compared with a net loss of $659 million in the prior year and $955 million in the prior quarter. Compared with the prior quarter, results decreased by $81 million, reflecting a decrease in mortgage production revenue, an increase in the provision for credit losses and lower loan balances, largely offset by higher MSR risk management results and wider loan spreads.
Net revenue was $7.5 billion, an increase of $3.4 billion, or 85%, from the prior year. Investment banking fees were up 4% to $1.7 billion, consisting of equity underwriting fees of $681 million (up 31%), debt underwriting fees of $593 million (up 19%) and advisory fees of $384 million (down 33%). Fixed Income Markets revenue was $5.0 billion, up by $4.2 billion, reflecting strong results across most products and gains of approximately $400 million on legacy leveraged lending and mortgage-related positions, compared with markdowns of $3.6 billion in the prior
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said signs of economic recovery are “stronger” and have appeared “sooner” than expected, while reiterating it’s not yet time to roll back stimulus programs.
Financial conditions have improved “dramatically,” particularly in the U.S., where the housing market has stabilized, Geithner said in a statement issued in Istanbul today. Still, jobless rates are “unacceptably high” and the financial system remains damaged. As a result, it’s too soon for governments to withdraw stimulus, Geithner said.
“Planning for an eventual exit is the responsible and necessary thing to do, but we are not yet in the position where it would be prudent to begin to withdraw fiscal and monetary policy support,” Geithner said in remarks released after a meeting of finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of Seven nations.
“Exit will not be like flipping a switch,” he said. “Instead, as conditions stabilize and growth strengthens, we will unwind the extraordinary policy measures we’ve taken, phasing them out carefully to avoid a damaging cliff.”
Signs, Signs, Everywhere A Sign
One might expect to see a few signs given the $trillions in expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet along with the massive stimulus programs coming from Congress.
However, cash-for-clunkers just blew up and we will soon find out what housing does after $8,000 handouts are taken off the table, and the Fed’s monetization of treasuries stops.
Certainly the stock market has recovered, but it is highly debatable if the stock market is any kind of leading indicator. I will have more in a look at leading indicators next week.
If one wants to consider signs, look no further than the treasury market which is flashing a huge warning message with a flattening of the yield curve. The 10-year note has fallen from a high of 4 to 3.22, 78 basis points of flattening.
If the treasury market was expecting a sustainable recovery, yields at the low end would not be sitting near 0 with yields on the top end falling like a brick.
This is the same warning message people have ignored before.
Note that all of these are from the BLS "A" tables – that is the actual count of people from a survey, not the cooked, "birth-death-adjusted" nonsense that BLS calls a "headline" number.
This first chart shows the bad news – the blue line is monthly change from the previous month. It is very noisy, as you’d expect.
The solid line is annualized change – that is, the actual count compared to one year prior.
Notice that employment went to a negative 12-month rate of change right at the start of 2008 – coincidentally, right at the start of the official "start" of the recession.
Also note that the last recession, which began at the end of the first quarter of 2001, also had the rate of change on a 12-month basis go negative at roughly the same time.
(Not-so-coincidentally, you also got a 12 month advance warning of the recession when the trend changed in both cases too. Now you know what one of the indicators I used in my 2008 "Outlook" Ticker in which I said we would enter a formal recession was…..)
I want to to pay particular attention to the bottom of the last recession, which was (officially) 11/01.
Notice that the spike bottom in the first derivative, that is, when the rate of change on a 12 month basis turned positive, was almost exactly when NBER called that recession (in retrospect) "over".
Has the first derivative turned in the table at this point on an annualized basis? NO.
First question: What does this say about the calls that "the recession is over"?
You will also note that in terms of the 12 month rate of change this recession is more than three times as severe in its impact on employment as was the 2001 recession. In fact, "by the numbers" we have 8,236,000 fewer people employed now than we had at the peak in July of 2007.
It is, however, worse than it first appears. Here’s the second chart, and this is the chart
Despite the cornucopia of costly bailouts, the billions in borrowed money being scattered about like candy, the quick fixes like cash-for-clunkers, the junk-led surge in stocks and the accompanying euphoria on Wall Street, the distorted data points, and the relentless spin coming from the powers that be, most Americans simply aren’t buying the so-called recovery story.
Is it because they are not paying attention? Or is it because the "little people" — as the now departed Manhattan hotelier and real-estate magnate Leona Helmsley once referred to average Joes — have their eyes wide open to the disturbing reality that still surrounds us? You know my answer, of course.
Most small business owners remain cautious in their economic outlook, with more than two-thirds saying the recession is not over for them, according to this month’s Discover Small Business Watch index released on Monday.
In addition, more than half of owners rate the economy as poor, up from 48 percent in August. Only 10 percent said it’s excellent or good.
That’s a change after three consecutive months of gains. The index fell 2.1 points to 87.7 in September from August. The latest Discover index is based on a random telephone survey of 750 U.S. small business owners who have less than five employees and 3,000 consumers.
Ryan Scully, director of Discover’s business credit card, called it more of a pause than a reversal of recent trends. Many people “are eager for a definitive signal that the economy is on the mend, but America’s small business owners aren’t sending that message yet,” he said.
The outlook for the rest of the year isn’t much better. Nearly half of small business owners expect the fourth quarter to be worse than a year earlier, according to the index. Thirty percent expect no change and 21 percent expecting a year-over-year improvement.
Small businesses still struggle to control operating costs. The report shows that half of small business owners say they plan to cut spending on business development, such as advertising, inventory and capital expenditures,…
Based on what Julian Robertson said yesterday, and the fact we all know America is playing with fire – this CBSMarketwatch story had to be the scariest headline of the week. I don’t know how realistic it is, but if China eventually turns into a net importer rather than exporter (which is where they need to take their economy in the long run) … without a commensurate massive increase in savings in the United States – it will be time to call in ScoobyDoo: "RuhRohRaggy!" The fact they could potentially be moving to net importers as early as next year? First time I’ve heard that.
China is emerging as a key export destination for Asian economies faster than many expected, thanks to the impact of rising income levels and government stimulus on the nation’s consumption.
But as import growth continues to outpace the nation’s export growth after bottoming out earlier this year, the world’s largest foreign-exchange accumulator is now on a path to start reporting trade deficits soon, according to Eric Fishwick, head of CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets’ head of economic research.
"China will be recording, at the current run rate of exports and import growth, monthly trade deficits early next year or the turn of the year," Fishwick said Monday at the CLSA Investors’ Forum 2009. "What is remarkable about its composition of imports is not just the pace, but the breadth. Nearly everything is going up at more or less the same sort of rate."
Official data released earlier this month showed that China’s exports slumped a larger-than-expected 23.4% in August from the same period a year earlier, while imports narrowed by a margin of 17%.
Fishwick said trade data released by other emerging countries in Asia show that China has been a big importer of a range of other products, outside of commodities, including motor vehicles and parts, along with other consumer durables and electronic products.
The trend bears out in other nations’ trade statistics as well. Singapore,
According to a recent article on Reuters, on Saturday Lou Jiwei, the chairman of the CIC, China’s sovereign wealth fund, said at a conference on Saturday in response to a question about his expected performance: “It will not be too bad this year. Both China and America are addressing bubbles by creating more bubbles and we’re just taking advantage of that. So we can’t lose.”
In my last entry I noted that after the recent “green shoots” period, during time which it seemed hard to find anyone who was skeptical of our seeming ability to turn the corner on the crisis without actually having addressed any of the underlying imbalances, it was good to see that more and more analysts, and especially policymakers, had begun to worry again. President Hoover went down in a blaze with his “light at the end of the tunnel”, and of course one of my favorite stories of that time is his response in June 1930 to a delegation requesting a public works program to help speed the recovery: “Gentleman, you have come sixty days too late. The depression is over.”
As I see it the more policymakers worry, the better. This crisis is far from over. Until we know how the continued adjustment in US household consumption and debt will evolve, and how this adjustment will play out in China’s own changing consumption rate – most importantly whether it will complement the fiscal and credit expansion embarked upon by Beijing or, as I believe, conflict enormously with it – the crisis won’t be over. We need policymakers to resist the green-shoots nonsense and to worry about what happens when fiscal, monetary and credit tools stop working.
Although I thoroughly disagree with the “So we can’t lose” part of Mr. Lou’s statement – I have been a trader for too long to hear those words with anything but the deepest dread, and I am sure he didn’t intend the way it read – it is nonetheless interesting to me that by now skepticism is so widespread that a major investor can even propose our inability to work through the imbalances as a reasonable investment strategy.
We need skepticism. For one thing it has caused Beijing increasing worry about the risks of continuing to extend…
• The market has gone nowhere over the last three trading days despite what was being construed on bubblevision as unrelenting good news (home prices, house sales, consumer confidence, durable goods orders, Bernanke’s reappointment) — any other time in the last five months, these “green shoots’ would have turned the equity screens green. Could be a sign that a lot of good news is already being discounted.
• While it is often reported that over 70% of S&P 500 companies beat their 2Q earnings estimates, only 46% did so meaningfully. Not only that, but only 23% significantly beat their top-line revenue projections. See page C2 of the WSJ (The Rally Revenue Forgot).
• Leading stocks have been seeing reduced trading volumes of late.
• VIX futures and the put/call ratio on the S&P 500 have shot upwards in the past few sessions.
• The ECRI leading economic indicator fell 0.4% in the latest week, the first decline in six weeks and only the second falloff in the past eighteen.
• Sentiment is far too bullish — to an extreme level. A sentiment index quoted in today’s NYT business section is now 89% bullish, the same as it was in October 2007; at the March lows, it was sitting at 2%. See Some Once-Bullish Analysts See an End to Market Rally on page B1 of the Monday NYT.
• Corporate insiders sold nearly 31 times more stock than they bought in August (TrimTabs data) — the long run average is 7x and it was 2x at the lows (apparently a heck of a buying opportunity at that time).
• Small-cap stocks are down for back-to-back weeks and Chinese equities are on a four-week losing streak. Finally, the market has turned in the precise same 50% advance over the same 117 time period that it enjoyed coming off the 1929 lows — that rally ended despite all the hype at the time and the market lost more than 50% in the ensuing year.
• Of course, there are the negative seasonals too — since 1950, the S&P 500 is down 1% in September, on average, and has declined twice as often as it has rallied during the month.
By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.
Published on Feb 25, 2017
Despite library shelves sagging under the weight of neurology books, what we know about the brain so far is unfledged. MIT professor Edward Boyden explains how research teams are using expansion microscopy to map the densely packed neurons so we can understand how the brain is wired and apply that to human therapies. He also explains a technology called optogenetics (using light to control cells) that he hopes will do many things lik...
Called the “largest interconnected machine,” the U.S. electricity grid is a complex digital and physical system crucial to life and commerce in this country. Today, it is made up of more than 7,000 power plants, 55,000 substations, 160,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines and millions of miles of low-volta...
Just when it looks like shorts may have something to attack, buyers step in to make up the lost ground. The rally is out on a limb, but not enough to place it at the outer extremes of historic price action. So while there hasn't been any big pullback since the election, there isn't much to suggest a pullback is coming soon either.
The weakest of the indices is the Russell 2000 as 2017 continues to see money rotate out of speculative stocks into more defensive Large Caps. However, Friday did offer some healthy a backtest of former resistance turned support, and buyers have a relatively low risk opportunity to take advantage; helped by the proximity of 20-day and 50-day MAs.
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Narrative switching. That is what the Trump administration is desperately trying to do around Russia right now. The White House reportedly interfered with the FBI in the middle of an active investigation involving counter-intelligence. This was not only foolhardy but also suspicious, as it directly undermined their apparent objective: distracting us.
New discoveries about the human mind show the limitations of reason.
By Elizabeth Kolbert
In “Denying to the Grave: Why We Ignore the Facts That Will Save Us” (Oxford), Jack Gorman, a psychiatrist, and his daughter, Sara Gorman, a public-health specialist, probe the gap between what science tells us and what we tell ourselves. Their concern is with those persistent beliefs which are not just demonstrably false but also potentially deadly, like the conviction that vaccines are hazardous. Of course, what’s hazardous is not being vaccinated; that’s why vaccines were created in the first place. “Immunization is one of the triumphs of modern medicine,” the Gormans no...
As the Trump presidency unravels, unraveling the country along with it, there is no real political antecedent, no lessons from American history on which to draw and provide guidance. We are in entirely uncharted waters.
But there is an antecedent in our popular culture that provides a prism through which to view the contemporary calamity, especially the alleged collusion between Trump’s henchmen and Russian intelligence to deny Hillary Clinton the presidency. I am not the first observer who has ...
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