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Posts Tagged ‘Sam Antar’

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters: Calling a Bean, a Bean

To Err is Human, To Disclose Divine.

Courtesy of Sam E. Antar with Ilene

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ: GMCR) is currently under the scrutiny of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is facing numerous class action lawsuits alleging securities fraud. In particular, plaintiffs are alleging false and misleading disclosures in violation of federal securities laws.

One troubling issue is that when Green Mountain initially disclosed an accounting error concerning its K-Cup margin percentages, it claimed that the error was “immaterial.” Material and immaterial errors are treated differently.  If an accounting error is immaterial, a public company is required to correct it by making a one-time cumulative adjustment to earnings in the latest quarter. If an accounting error is material, a public company is required to notify investors that its previous financial reports cannot be relied on and that it will restate its affected financial reports to correct that error.

Background

On Monday, September 20, 2010, the SEC notified Green Mountain Coffee Roasters that it was conducting an informal inquiry. It requested information concerning “revenue recognition practices and the Company’s relationship with one of its fulfillment vendors.” Eight days later, on September 28, 2010, Green Mountain surprised investors by disclosing news of the SEC inquiry in an 8-K filing. In that 8-K report, Green Mountain also disclosed that it discovered an "immaterial accounting error" affecting financial reports issued from 2007 to June 26, 2010:

In connection with the preparation of its financial results for its fourth fiscal quarter, the Company’s management discovered an immaterial accounting error relating to the margin percentage it had been using to eliminate the inter-company markup in its K-Cup inventory balance residing at its Keurig business unit. Management discovered that the gross margin percentage used to eliminate the inter-company markup resulted in a lower margin applied to the Keurig ending inventory balance effectively overstating consolidated inventory and understating cost of sales. Management determined that the accounting error arose during fiscal 2007 and analyzed the quantitative impact from that point forward to June 26, 2010.

As of June 26, 2010, there is a cumulative $7.6 million overstatement of pre-tax income. Net of tax, the cumulative error resulted in a $4.4 million overstatement of net income or a $0.03 cumulative impact on earnings


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Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Time to Spill the Beans?

Going through the SEC filing and press releases by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters led Sam Antar to ask Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Time to Spill the Beans? Specific dates would make a good first step. – Ilene 

Courtesy of Sam Antar, White Collar Fraud

To truly exonerate itself after the discovery of certain material violations of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ: GMCR) needs to come clean with investors and disclose exactly when it found certain accounting errors. In addition, Green Mountain needs to provide clearer and more transparent disclosures to investors about the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) inquiry and the discovery of those errors.

Timing of certain disclosures

On Monday, September 20, 2010, the SEC notified Green Mountain Coffee Roasters that it was conducting an informal inquiry and requested it voluntarily submit information concerning “revenue recognition practices and the Company’s relationship with one of its fulfillment vendors.”

Eight days later, on September 28, 2010, Green Mountain surprised investors by disclosing news of the SEC inquiry in an 8-K filing with the SEC. In that same 8-K report, Green Mountain disclosed that it discovered an "immaterial accounting error" affecting financial reports issued from 2007 to 2010: 

In connection with the preparation of its financial results for its fourth fiscal quarter, the Company’s management discovered an immaterial accounting error relating to the margin percentage it had been using to eliminate the inter-company markup in its K-Cup inventory balance residing at its Keurig business unit. Management discovered that the gross margin percentage used to eliminate the inter-company markup resulted in a lower margin applied to the Keurig ending inventory balance effectively overstating consolidated inventory and understating cost of sales. Management determined that the accounting error arose during fiscal 2007 and analyzed the quantitative impact from that point forward to June 26, 2010.

As of June 26, 2010, there is a cumulative $7.6 million overstatement of pre-tax income. Net of tax, the cumulative error resulted in a $4.4 million overstatement of net income or a $0.03 cumulative impact on earnings per share.

After evaluating the quantitative and qualitative aspects of the error in accordance with applicable accounting literature, including Staff Accounting Bulletins published by the SEC, the Company, with the participation of the audit committee of the Board of Directors,


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Does Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne Know When to Shut Up, Especially While the SEC Investigates his Company?

Does Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne Know When to Shut Up, Especially While the SEC Investigates his Company?

Courtesy of Sam Antar

During an ongoing SEC investigation into financial reporting violations by a public company, competent lawyers will advise management that the wisest course of action is to simply shut up. Not so, with Overstock.com (NASDAQ: OSTK) CEO Patrick Byrne. He does not know when to stop blabbing away, misleading investors, and lying to the media – even during an ongoing SEC investigation of his antics.
??

overstock

For example, in 2009, I correctly reported in my blog that Overstock.com violated Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) in accounting for its recoveries of certain offsetting costs and reimbursements amounts due to the company from its fulfillment partners (suppliers) who were under-billed in previous reporting periods, from Q1 2007 to Q 2 2008. Overstock.com should have restated its financial reports to recognize income when those offsetting costs and reimbursements were actually earned by the company in those previous reporting periods.

Instead, the company improperly recognized income as those amounts were collected in future accounting periods (Q4 2008 to Q3 2009) on a non-GAAP cash basis. In one instance, Overstock.com improperly reported Q4 2008 profits, even though the company should have reported a loss under accounting rules.

Despite many emails from me, Patrick Byrne stubbornly refused to correct his company’s GAAP violations and even fired Grant Thornton as its auditor for agreeing with my recommendations. Instead, Byrne opened up his big mouth and attacked me on a stock market chat board and during various earnings calls in an effort to discredit me. Byrne even hired internet stalker Judd Bagley to interfere with my divorce and pretext my children and relatives after I pointed out the company’s accounting violations.

Patrick Byrne while intoxicated

The company’s pretexting operation also targeted dozens of other journalists, bloggers, critics, and their minor children, too. Big Picture (over 140,000 subscribers) blogger Barry Rithholtz called Judd Bagley a "possible pedarast." His family was spied on, too.

Eventually, the SEC started investigating Overstock.com and the company was forced to restate its financial reports. Patrick Byrne will have a difficult time explaining to SEC investigators why they should not find that Overstock.com’s GAAP violations were a deliberate scheme to manipulate earnings. At…
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What is Accounting?

What is Accounting?

Courtesy of Sam Antar at White Collar Fraud 

The best definition of accounting I’ve ever heard comes from securities attorney Howard Sirota appearing on Russia Today’s segment, "US Marks two years since Lehman Brothers collapse."

The difference between arithmetic and accounting is that in accounting the result can be any number you want it to be.

See the video below:

Back in the day, my former nemesis Howard Sirota was lead attorney in the successful class action litigation against Crazy Eddie. Today, Sirota represents whistleblowers, such as me, who are frequent targets of retaliation by unscrupulous public companies.

Written by Sam E. Antar

Disclosure:

I am a convicted felon and a former CPA. As the criminal CFO of Crazy Eddie, I helped my cousin Eddie Antar and other members of our family mastermind one of the largest securities frauds uncovered during the 1980′s. I committed my crimes in cold-blood for fun and profit, and simply because I could.

If it weren’t for the efforts of the FBI, SEC, Postal Inspector’s Office, US Attorney’s Office, and class action plaintiff’s lawyers who investigated, prosecuted, and sued me, I would still be the criminal CFO of Crazy Eddie today.

There is a saying, "It takes one to know one." Today, I work very closely with the FBI, IRS, SEC, Justice Department, and other federal and state law enforcement agencies in training them to identify and catch white-collar criminals.

I do not seek or want forgiveness for my vicious crimes from my victims. I plan on frying in hell with other white-collar criminals for a very long time.

Recently, I exposed GAAP violations by Overstock.com (NASDAQ: OSTK) which caused the company to restate its financial reports for the third time in three years. The SEC is now investigating Overstock.com and its CEO Patrick Byrne for securities law violations (Details herehere, and here).

In addition, the SEC is now investigating possible GAAP violations by Bidz.com (NASDAQ: BIDZ) after I alerted them about the company’s inventory accounting practices.

I do not own any securities in Overstock.com or Bidz.com, long or short. My investigation of these companies is a freebie for securities regulators to get me into heaven, though I doubt I will ever get there.


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Five More Public Companies Who Need to Learn How to Properly Calculate EBITDA under SEC Rules

Sam Antar Sam Antar makes a request to CFOs, Audit Committees, and auditors of public companies’ financial reports: study the SEC’s rules governing the calculation of non-GAAP measures such as EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), and follow them. Correct the mistakes before the reports get filed so Sam doesn’t have to write an article and I don’t have to post it.

For example, Penn National Gaming (PENN) erroneously reported EBITDA as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization AND charges for stock compensation, impairment losses, disposal of assets, losses from unconsolidated affiliates and the Empress Casino Hotel fire--that would be an "Adjusted EBITDA" or in PENN’s case, EBITDASCILDALUAECHFIRE. 

To learn how to read a financial report and discover if the company you’ve invested in is calculating EBITDA properly or inflating this number, read Sam’s article. – Ilene 

Five More Public Companies Who Need to Learn How to Properly Calculate EBITDA under SEC Rules

Courtesy of Sam Antar 

It’s pathetic that so many public companies miscalculate EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) and violate Regulation G governing the calculation of non-GAAP measures such as EBITDA. It seems that too many CFOs, Audit Committees, and auditors don’t take the time to thoroughly review compliance with all appropriate SEC financial reporting rules.

Starting in 2007, I reported improper EBITDA calculations by Overstock.com (NASDAQ: OSTK). After a  brutal yearlong public battle, Overstock.com’s embittered CEO Patrick Byrne finally changed his company’s EBITDA calculation to comply with Regulation G. For additional details, please read Lee Webb’s Stockwatch article and Richard Sauer’s book.

Last July, I reported apparently erroneous EBITDA calculations by Penson Worldwide (NASDAQ: PNSN) and Comtech Telecommunications (NASDAQ: CMTL).

In this blog post, I will report erroneous EBITDA calculations by five more public companies: A. H. Belo Corporation (NYSE: AHC), FirstService Corporation (NASDAQ: FSRV), Animal Health International, Inc. (NASDAQ: AHII), Schawk Inc. (NYSE: SGK), and Penn National Gaming Inc. (NASDAQ: PENN).

First, let’s review how EBITDA supposed to be calculated 

According to the SEC Compliance & Disclosure Interpretations, EBITDA is defined as under Regulation G as net income (not operating income) before interest,…
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Week Gone By at Phil’s Stock World

Week Gone By at Phil’s Stock World 

By Elliott and Ilene 

A man rides a bicycle in front of the construction site of a residential complex in Kolkata August 31, 2010. Tuesday's data showed annual rate of growth picked up to 8.8 percent from 8.6 percent in the previous quarter, underscoring continued growth momentum in Asia's third-largest economy amid a slowing pace of global recovery. REUTERS/Rupak de Chowdhuri (INDIA - Tags: BUSINESS CONSTRUCTION)

Globalism is featured in several of this week’s Favorites articles. The ever insightful Paul Craig Roberts asks whether “economists have made themselves irrelevant” in his article "Death by Globalism".

Michael Synder points out that globalism is no longer "something that is going to happen in the future", but is instead a hard reality that is currently annihilating our middle class in his article "Winners and Losers."  Of our new global economy, Michael writes: 

"…American workers are just far too expensive.  So middle class manufacturing jobs are fleeing our shores at a staggering pace.

Since 1979, manufacturing employment in the United States has fallen by 40 percent.

Are you alarmed yet?

You should be.

The truth is that we did not have to merge our economy with nations like China.  China does not have the same minimum wage laws that we do.  China does not have the same environmental protection laws that we do.  In China, companies can treat their workers like crap.  As a result of open trade with the United States, scores of shiny new factories have opened all over China while once great manufacturing U.S. cities such as Detroit have degenerated into rotting war zones.  We continue to expand trade with China even though their communist government stands for things that are absolutely repulsive and has a list of human rights abuses that is seemingly endless.

But politicians from both parties swore up and down that globalism would be so good for us.  Now we have created a network of free trade agreements that would be virtually impossible to unwind…"

What is the result? We have the disparity of multinational corporations doing remarkably well in the face of a weak and sickly U.S. economy. The large corporations are relying on the U.S. consumer less and less. They have moved their factories overseas, avoided U.S. taxes, laid off U.S. workers, and taken advantage of cheap off shores labor.  And their earnings may continue relatively unharmed by a lull, double dip, or continued recession in the U.S. – depending on whose perspective. (See Consumer Metrics Institute’s report on the U.S. consumer and our economic malaise.) The result of this corporate earnings/U.S. economy disparity is reflected in the stock market’s performance which seems to have decoupled…
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The Art of Spinning: How to Identify Possible White Collar Criminals or at Least Unethical and Deceitful People Who You Should Avoid

Sam wrote this timeless piece a few years ago but searched it out specially for us. For non-criminal types, this article is pretty depressing, but if you feel entangled in one of these criminal-non-criminal, or unethical-ethical person, relationships, it behooves you to know how the game is played. If you are an aspiring white collar criminal, this essay can be used as a how-to manual. – Ilene 

The Art of Spinning: How to Identify Possible White Collar Criminals or at Least Unethical and Deceitful People Who You Should Avoid

sam antar Courtesy of Sam Antar 

White collar crime is a crime of persuasion and deceit. Since the white collar criminal uses persuasion and deceit to commit their crimes, it follows that such felons are artful liars.

People often ask me what characteristics I look for in other people that alert me to possible criminal activity or at least unethical and deceitful people.

Not all questionable conduct is illegal. A person can be unethical or deceitful (however they are defined) without committing any illegal acts as defined under the law.

However, most criminals use tools like spinning (see below) in the conduct of their crimes.

The Art of Spinning:

  • Sell people hope. My cousin ‘Crazy Eddie’ Antar taught me that “people live on hope” and their hopes and dreams must be fed through our spin and lies. In any situation, if possible, accentuate the positive.
  • Make excuses as long as you can. Try to have your excuses based on at least one truthful fact even if the fact is unrelated to your actions and argument.
  • When you cannot dispute the underlying facts, accept them as true but rationalize your actions. You are allowed to make mistakes as long as you have no wrongful intent. Being stupid is not a crime.
  • Always say in words you “take responsibility” but try to indirectly shift the blame on other people and factors. You need to portray yourself as a “stand up” guy or gal.
  • When you cannot defend your actions or arguments attack the messenger to detract attention from your questionable actions.
  • Always show your kindness by doing people favors. You will require the gratitude of such people to come to your aid and defend you.
  • Build up your stature, integrity, and credibility by publicizing the good deeds you have done in areas unrelated to the subject of scrutiny.
  • Build a


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My Life as a White-Collar Criminal

My Life as a White-Collar Criminal

Courtesy of Sam Antar at White Collar Fraud 

Last Friday evening, Marcia MacMillan from CTV News Channel (a 24-hour news network in Canada) interviewed me and asked me what it’s like to be a white-collar criminal and what role, if any, did morality play in my decisions to commit crime. 

 

You can watch the interview by clicking on this link.

Reflecting on my own white-collar criminal mind leaves no doubt that money is not the only motivating force compelling hardcore criminals to commit crimes.  There was also a passion for the act, a sense of accomplishment, that made me enjoy committing my crimes. It is perhaps the same positive feelings of success that law-abiding citizens experience for a legitimate job well-done.  

To better understand the behavior of white-collar criminals, take morality out of the equation. During my years at Crazy Eddie, we never had a single conversation about the morality of our actions. We did not give a damn about right and wrong.

Hardcore criminals don’t question their unethical and immoral conduct.  Laws, morality, and ethics are weaknesses of other people. They don’t factor in except by limiting society’s behavior. In our society, morality dictates that people are entitled to the benefit of the doubt. Ironically, the “benefit of a doubt” limits the behavior of law-abiding citizens while giving criminals greater opportunity to commit their crimes.  After all, no one likes to be called "a paranoid" or "impolite."  

Our late President Ronald Reagan used to say "trust, but verify." That initial trust gives criminals the freedom to take steps to evade detection.  For example, Joseph T. Wells, founder of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, described certain steps I took during Crazy Eddie’s audit to successfully execute my crimes: 

Crazy Eddie’s auditors were provided a company office during their examination. They had a key to lock the desk—which they kept in a box of paperclips on top of the desk in full view. After the auditors left for the day, Eddie’s cohorts would unlock the desk, increase the inventory counts on the work-papers and photocopy the altered records. Were the auditors stupid? No, just too trusting. After all, no one wants…
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I Have A Question

I Have A Question

Courtesy of Sam Antar at White Collar Fraud

Nice timing. NBTY Inc. (NYSE: NTY) Directors Michael L. Ashner and Peter J. White May purchased company stock just about two months before last week’s announcement that NBTY is being acquired by the Carlyle Group, according to publicly available information.

On May 13, 2010, Michael Ashner purchased 5,000 NBTY common shares at a total cost of $171,295 or an average price per share of $34.26. Five days later on May 18, 2010, Peter White purchased 4,000 NBTY common shares at a total cost of $140,398 or an average price per share of $35.10.

On July 15, 2010, NBTY agreed to be purchased by the Carlyle Group. According to Dow Jones Newswires:

NBTY Inc. (NTY) agreed to be acquired by private-equity firm Carlyle Group in a deal valued at $3.5 billion in one of the largest transactions to take a public company private since the credit bubble burst.

Carlyle and Blackstone Group LP (BX), two of the world’s largest buyout firms, had been eyeing the vitamin and nutritional-supplement maker, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday night.

Under the deal unveiled early Thursday, NBTY holders will receive $55 a share, a 47% premium to Wednesday’s closing price. The stock has lost a quarter of its value the past three months and has never been at $55.

In July 2010, Carlyle agreed to pay $55 per share or about $21 per share more than the average share cost paid by Ashner and White in May 2010.

David Faber from CNBC reported:

Some background on the deal itself: Carlyle approached NBTY with an offer in early May, according to people familiar with the deal.

Note: Bold print and italics added by me.

So I have a question. If Faber’s reporting is correct, does "early May" mean before or after Michael Ashner and Peter White bought their NBTY shares?

Written by:

Sam E. Antar

Disclosure:

I am a convicted felon and a former CPA. As the criminal CFO of Crazy Eddie, I helped Eddie Antar and other members of his family mastermind one of the largest securities frauds uncovered…
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I Have A Question

I Have A Question

Courtesy of Sam Antar at White Collar Fraud

Nice timing. NBTY Inc. (NYSE: NTY) Directors Michael L. Ashner and Peter J. White May purchased company stock just about two months before last week’s announcement that NBTY is being acquired by the Carlyle Group, according to publicly available information.

On May 13, 2010, Michael Ashner purchased 5,000 NBTY common shares at a total cost of $171,295 or an average price per share of $34.26. Five days later on May 18, 2010, Peter White purchased 4,000 NBTY common shares at a total cost of $140,398 or an average price per share of $35.10.

On July 15, 2010, NBTY agreed to be purchased by the Carlyle Group. According to Dow Jones Newswires:

NBTY Inc. (NTY) agreed to be acquired by private-equity firm Carlyle Group in a deal valued at $3.5 billion in one of the largest transactions to take a public company private since the credit bubble burst.

Carlyle and Blackstone Group LP (BX), two of the world’s largest buyout firms, had been eyeing the vitamin and nutritional-supplement maker, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday night.

Under the deal unveiled early Thursday, NBTY holders will receive $55 a share, a 47% premium to Wednesday’s closing price. The stock has lost a quarter of its value the past three months and has never been at $55.

In July 2010, Carlyle agreed to pay $55 per share or about $21 per share more than the average share cost paid by Ashner and White in May 2010.

David Faber from CNBC reported:

Some background on the deal itself: Carlyle approached NBTY with an offer in early May, according to people familiar with the deal.

Note: Bold print and italics added by me.

So I have a question. If Faber’s reporting is correct, does "early May" mean before or after Michael Ashner and Peter White bought their NBTY shares?

Written by:

Sam E. Antar

Disclosure:

I am a convicted felon and a former CPA. As the criminal CFO of Crazy Eddie, I helped Eddie Antar and other members of his family mastermind one of the largest securities frauds uncovered…
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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!

 
 

Zero Hedge

Public Health Expert Explains How to Prevent a Panic About Ebola: Tell the Truth!

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by George Washington.

The head of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota – Dr. Michael Osterholm – is one of the world’s top infectious disease experts and a prominent public health scientist.

Dr. Osterholm just gave a talk shown on C-Span, explaining how to prevent the public from panicking about Ebola:

I categorically reject the idea that you can’t tell people you “don’t know” … because you’re afraid you’ll scare them.

 

There is a complete [scientific] literature on risk communications that says people are never frightened if you tell them you don’t ...



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Phil's Favorites

Challenge to Keynesians "Prove Rising Prices Provide an Overall Economic Benefit"

Courtesy of Mish.

The ECB has been concerned about falling consumer prices. I propose that's 100% stupid, yet that's the concern.

When the euro declined vs. the US dollar, the ECB was happy that inflation would inch back up. The fear now is that falling oil prices will take away the alleged gain of a falling euro.

With that backdrop, credit the Financial Times for the absurd headline of the week: Eurozone Fails to Benefit from Weak Currency as Oil Price Slides.
Pity the policy makers given the job of rescuing the eurozone from deflation.

The unorthodox steps the European Central Bank has taken since June – including a programme of private-sector asset purchases – have caused a steep fall in the eu...



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Market Shadows

Falling Energy Prices: Sober Look takes a Sober Look

Falling Energy Prices: Sober Look takes a Sober Look

What do falling energy prices mean for the US consumer? Sober Look writes a brief yet thorough overview of the consequences of the correction in the price of crude oil. There are good aspects, particularly for the consumer, bad aspects, and out-right ugly possibilities. For more on this subject, read James Hamilton's How will Saudi Arabia respond to lower oil prices?  In previous eras, Saudi Arabia would tighten the supply to help increase prices, but in this "game of chicken," the rules m...



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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.

Here's this week's Stock World Weekly. Just sign in with your PSW user name and password. (Or take a free trial.)

#457319216 / gettyimages.com

 

...

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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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Chart School

World Markets Weekend Update: The Selloff Moderates ... Except for Japan

Courtesy of Doug Short.

The world market selloff moderated over the past week, except for Japan's Nikkei 225. The top performer in my gang of eight world indexes (and the sole gainer) was Germany's DAX, which rose 0.70%. At the bottom of the heap, the Nikkei plunged 5.02%. The S&P 500, like most of the others on the list, posted its 4th weekly loss, down 1.02%

Despite its 10.64% year-to-date advance, the Shanghai Composite remains the only index on the watch list in bear territory -- the traditional designation for a 20% decline from an interim high. The index is down 32.56% from its August 2009 peak. See the table inset (lower right) in the chart below.

Here is a look at 2014 so far.

...

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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of October 14th, 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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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Semiconductors get slammed as investors scramble to protect profits

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Volatility continues to increase in the stock market and many of the leaders are breaking down. In particular, semiconductors took a rather big hit when one of the bellwethers warned of weakening global demand. Nevertheless, despite the significant headwinds, I do not think this spells the end of the bull market. But the technical damage to the charts is severe, particularly to the small caps, which are in full-blown correction mode. The large caps must show leadership and rally immediately -- or it will put at risk the critical and widely-anticipated year-end rally.

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 offer up ...



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Option Review

Release Of Fed Minutes, Icahn Tweet Boost Shares In Apple

Shares in Apple (Ticker: AAPL) are near their highs of the session in the final hour of trading on Wednesday, adding to the muted gains seen earlier in the day, following the release of the September FOMC meeting minutes and after activist investor and Apple shareholder Carl Icahn tweeted, “Tmrw we’ll be sending an open letter to @tim_cook. Believe it will be interesting.” Icahn’s tweet hit the ether at 2:33 pm ET and was met with a spike in volume in Apple shares. The stock is currently up 2.0% on the day at $100.75 as of 3:15 pm ET.

Chart – Apple rally accelerate...



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Bitcoin Has Been Getting Obliterated

Joe has found a place for Bitcoins, and if you hold a lot of them, you won't like it.

Bitcoin Has Been Getting Obliterated

Courtesy of 

Remember Bitcoin?

There's not much to say about it, except that it's doing TERRIBLY.

Here's a chart going back to earlier this summer. Charts don't get uglier than this.

Bitcoinwisdom

Interestingly, the Bitcoin industry continues to be quite excited about the prospects for the digital currency, and there continue to be announcements about expand...



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Promotions

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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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