Posts Tagged ‘SDS’

The End of May – Heading into June with CASH!!!

I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real – Nine Inch Nails

Were we wrong to cash out?  

It's hard to feel bad about taking a 19% profit off the table after just 6 months (in our $500,000 Long-Term Portfolio) but we had another low-volume pump-job yesterday that sent some of the positions we closed up sharply and left us regretting our timing – just a little.  

Still, the time to sell your positions is when other people are buying, not while everyone is panicking.  We got great exit prices and, on the whole, it was fairly stress-free.  S&P 1,920 was our predicted top and we pulled the trigger to take the money and run at 1,910 because, as experience has taught us – it doesn't pay to be greedy! 

Last week and this week, I laid out my case for why the economy is not as good as it seems and certainly not good enough to be paying all-time highs for stocks.  As you can see from the chart on the left – I'm certainly not the only one who thinks so as the "smart money" has flown out of the market this year, taking advantage of each record high to sell, Sell, SELL!!!

We were a little more patient, we moved our Conservative Income Portfolio ($500,000) to cash at the end of March and avoided the April sell-off and have since been buying bargain stocks in that portfolio.  We had left our more aggressive Long-Term Portfolio ($500,000) on the table but this last leg of the rally left it up a ridiculous 19% for the year – and that's halfway to our best-case goal so it's a good time to take a break, step back, and see how the market handles early June.  

SPY 5 MINUTEIt's not like we can't find anything to do with our cash.  In additions to our usual Futures trading, we still have our Short-Term ($100,000), Butterfly ($100,000) and $25,000 Portfolios to play with and, since Wednesday
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Friday Failure – Weak Bounce Levels Turn Into Resistance

Resistance is, unfortunately, not futile for our indices.  

On Monday we discussed our expectations for a 2% weak bounce for the week, which would be a 20% retrace of the 10% drop I had predicted we'd have way back (and a bit early) in March.  That constitutes a WEAK bounce and not a rally and they almost fooled us on Monday by taking back most of that 2% on day one but, since then – it's been pathetic and we've essentially done nothing the rest of the week.  

The levels we were looking for were laid out in Monday's Member Chat and in Tuesday morning's post and were:

  • Dow – 12,750 (12,540 is 20% retrace/weak bounce), now 12,529 – off by 11
  • S&P – 1,343 (1,319), now 1,320 – off by 1
  • Nas – 2,900 (2,840) , now 2,839 – off by 1
  • NYSE – 7,720 (7,560), now 7,552 – off by 8 
  • RUT – 780, (765), now 766


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TGIF – Stop the Rally We Want to Get Off!

I have never hated an up market more.  

Even on October 1st, 2008, when I wrote "Hedging for Disaster," where we added 3 ultra short ETFs at Dow 10,650 (SKF Jan $100s at $19, DXD April $55s at $14.20 and SDS March $77s at $9.95) we still had some hope that the Congressional bailout would stabilize the markets, although my comment at the end of that post is just as relevant today as it was at that market top:  

Congress  many think Paulson and Bernanke and Warren Buffett are kidding when they say we are about to go over an economic cliff but I think there is certainly enough evidence to merit serious concern.  In part, we have a crisis of confidence and – even if it were true that we could "muddle through" without a bailout, if just 1/3 of the investors believe that we can’t and pull out of the markets, what good will it do the remaining optimists?

You know how that story ends, of course – the stimulated "recovery" was very short-lived and we went right back off that cliff, dropping 2,000 points that week and another 2,000 by March 9th the next year.  Our hedges worked out nicely, of course, with SKF topping out at $1,200 on Nov 21st (up 5,600%), DXD was at $110 on October 10th for a nice $40.80 profit in 9 days (287%) and SDS ran to $130 on the same day and returned 430%.  

The other day, I published a list of 12 Long Put Plays for Members (see yesterday's Alert), which I worked at in the morning, after I put up my 10 Bullish Ideas in the morning post.  Why?  Because, after watching the open and reading the news, I could only conclude that this rally is still fake, Fake, FAKE!  Back in October '08, we were already 25% off our 2007 highs where I used to make fun of the market going up every day, like on October 2nd of that year, when I said:


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Just Another Manic Monday – Value Investing

Up, up and away!  

As I mentioned in Friday’s morning’s post, we did a lot of bottom-fishing on Thursday as we began to develop Disaster fatigue with long plays on XLF at $11.50, shorting TLT at $123, shorting VXX at $49.50, TNA at $34.50, BRK.B at $65, AA at $10.20, VLO at $19, IMAX at $15.75, BA at $58.32, AGQ at $170, CHK at $27.50, DIS at $30.14 and ABX at $47.50.   They were hedged, of course and, for the most part, you still had a nice chance to make those entries on Friday – but not so much this morning as the futures are up about 1.5% already (7:30).  

Friday morning, in my Alert to Members, I reminded them that BCS looked like an excellent VALUE to me, no matter what the PRICE was ($8.75 after hitting $8.40 the day before) and this morning, that PRICE is up well over 10% in EU trading.  Did the VALUE of BCS change materially over the weekend?  Of course not, certainly not by the $4Bn their market cap gained – like the song, the VALUE remains the same – only the highly variable price of a share of BCS is undergoing ch-ch-changes…  

I pointed out similar hedged, long-term plays could be made on GS ($94), MS ($13), BAC ($6) and C ($24).  Of course we hedged them per our discussion in the morning post (TZA was our morning choice but we’re out over 650 on the RUT) but then we went long on EWG (Germany) again with the very aggressive Oct $16,18 bull call spread at $1.30, offset by the sale of the $17 puts for .90 for net .40 on the $2 spread.  10 of those in our virtual $25,000 Portfolio cost $400 and can return $2,000 in less than 30 days if EWG is over $18 and, guess what – they’re over $18 this morning!

Another bullish bet we placed was USO Nov $28/30 bull call spread at $1.30, selling the $27 puts for $1.10 for net .20 on the $2 spread with a 900% upside if USO simply doesn’t drop from where it is now.  That’s what’s nice about options – you don’t need the market to go up to make money good money.  On this trade idea, your worst-case scenario is owning USO at net $27.20, about 10% lower than it…
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TGIF – Stop the Week, We Want to get Off!

What a disaster!  

Of course, that's why we have Disaster Hedges, right?  August 11th was the last time we did a "Hedging for Disaster" post which included a LONG trade idea on gold that's done now (we're short) after gaining over 300%.  We're a little mixed in our results on the other hedges but that means we can SWITCH HORSES – from the trades that have already worked to the ones that haven't yet.  That's how we cash out our winners on a regular basis – it's the pony express of investing.   Our other Disaster Hedges from that post were:  

  • DXD Oct $23 calls at $2, selling Oct $27 calls for $1.15 and the Oct $19 puts for .70 for net .10.  That spread is currently -.05 so down 150% so far and a nice horse to switch to, offering a .05 credit on the $4 spread.  
  • FAZ Oct $65 calls at $22, selling Oct $72 calls for $20 and selling JPM 2013 $20 puts for $2.05 was a net .05 credit as a backstop to our long financial plays.  FAZ is now at $71.34 and the October FAZ spread is now $3.70 but the JPM puts are now $3 so net .70 is only up 1,500% so far.  Should the financials stay low, we get the full $7 from the spread and we're obligated to buy JPM for $20 (now $29.27) in 2013.  
  • SDS Sept $26 calls at $3.20, selling Sept $32 calls for $1.65 and selling VLO Jan $15 puts for $1.20 for net .35.  SDS is only at $25.73 so far (not a disaster yet) and the spread is now net $1.25 and the short VLO puts are .17 so net $1.08 on this one is up 208% and we're not even at goal – that's pretty good!  Note the spread is LOWER than when we started so this can also be used as a fresh horse with a different offset, like X Jan $15 puts for $1.20 for a net .05 trade.  
  • TBT was stopped out with a small loss at $24 (fortunately).  My comment at the time, with TBT at $24.88  was:  "Keep in mind though, that the Fed has said rates will stay low through 2013 so it would be wise to uses stops on the


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Which Way Wednesday – Fed Edition

Click to ViewStrap in folks, it's going to be another wild ride!  

As you can see from Doug Short's S&P chart,we are about to slam right into that collapsing 50-day moving average, now at 1,223.40 – right about where the S&P topped out on yesterday's morning spike.  Unfortunately, the Nasdaq topped out and headed down before the other indexes got a chance to complete their up cycle and the Dollar rose back over the 77.50 line and tanked the market – exactly as we predicted it would at the bottom of yesterday morning's post

Of course, I can't MAKE these things happen – I can only tell you what's going to happen and give you trade ideas to help you profit from it.  I mentioned that we had picked up 10 DIA 9/30 $115.75 calls in our virtual $25,000 Portfolio at $1.05 on Monday and they topped out at $1.75 (up 66%) but we took a non-greedy exit at $1.45 in the morning spike (up 33%) and we switched to 20 QQQ 9/30 $57 calls at .45 in the afternoon sell-off.  So, we made $350 off a $1,050 investment and then we spend $900 but now we have 20 contracts instead of 10 but we also have $450 in cash so now risking just $600 of our original investment on the much more volatile Fed day.  

Another trade idea we like ahead of the Fed that's still playable is 20 FAS weekly $13/14 bull call spreads at .38 ($760), selling 10 JPM Oct $28 put for .55 ($550) for net $210 invested on the 20 $1 spreads.  The worst-case on this spread is owning JPM for net $28.10, which is 13% off the current price and the best case is a $1,790 profit (852%) in a week.  That sounds like a lot but options let you do funny things like at 11:30 in Member Chat, we saw PCLN making new highs against news that we thought was not actually that good for them on closer examination.  Our trade idea to take advantage of that was:  

If you want to play PCLN bearish – it’s very risky but the weekly $565/555 bear put spread is $6 and you can sell the $565 calls for


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Friday Follies – Did Obama Blow Jobs Speech?

Obama did not satisfy the markets last night.

Although his $447Bn American Jobs Act is a step in the right direction, $307Bn (68%) of the money is coming in the form of tax cuts and Unemployment Insurance extensions, leaving just $140Bn to go towards the creation of actual jobs.  Even if every single dollar of that money went directly towards paying a $40,000 salary – the entire amount would employ just 3.5M people, not even 1/4 of the amount of people who are out of work.  

Is that the best America can do?  Come up with a jobs program that MIGHT lower unemployment from 9% to 7% over the next year?  Of course we won’t create 3.5M jobs for $140Bn because a lot of that money gets spent on parts and materials.  It’s certainly not that the projects are unnecessary, it’s just that the scope of the program is too limited to have a substantial impact.

In fact, exactly one year ago, I wrote "Jobless Thursday – America’s Infrastructure Crisis" where I laid out the TRILLIONS of Dollars worth of repair work that MUST be done in this country sooner or later.  Why don’t we do them SOONER, while 20M potential workers are sitting on the sidelines?  We MUST spend at least $2Tn on infrastructure in the next 10 years so why not spend $400Bn this year and next rather than waiting until the last minute to do anything?  The money is all borrowed over time either way but NOW is when people need to get back to work and, of course, if we get necessary projects done now instead of 10 years from now, then we, the People, get to enjoy 10 years of beneficial use out of them.  This is not complicated stuff folks, just common sense… 

Nonetheless, $447Bn is 3% of our GDP and figure about 2/3 gets spent in the first year so the program SHOULD keep us out of Recession in 2012 – yay for that at least.  If Recession is off the table, then the markets are underpriced – now we have to consider whether or not the bill can get past the Republicans in Congress.  By the way, if you have not read "Reflections of a GOP Operative" yet, please do – it’s an excellent insight into the current political climate.  

We had flipped bearish yesterday, anticipating…
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Hedging For Disaster – 5 Plays that Make 500% if the Market Falls (Members Only)

We took our last round of disaster protection back in early July and almost all of those trades are well in the money.  

Since you know I am a big fan of taking cash off the table in either direction, let’s not be greedy and look at ways to "roll" our downside protection into new downside plays so we can set SENSIBLE stops on our now deep in the money short plays (very similar to our Mattress Strategy).  Keep in mind that this is the biggest market decline we’ve had since last Summer, so adding a layer of protection here doubles our returns if this is the first leg of a major sell-off, or it gives us a smaller hedge that we can roll up later while we take our bigger hedges off the table.  As I have to say WAY too often to members – It’s not a profit until you cash it in! 

Hedging for disaster is a concept I advocated during another "recovery," in October of 2008, where we made our cover plays to carry us through a worrisome holiday season and into Q1 earnings – "just in case."  That "just in case" saved a lot of virtual portfolios!  The idea of disaster hedges high return ETFs that will give you 3-5x returns in a major downturn.  That way, 10% allocated of your virtual portfolio to protection can turn into 30-50% on a dip, giving you some much-needed cash right when there is a good buying opportunity.  At the time, I advocated SKF Jan $100s at $19.  SKF hit $300 around Thanksgiving and those calls made a profit of over $280 (1,400%), so putting even just 5% of your virtual portfolio into that financial hedge would give you back 75% of your virtual portfolio when you cash out. 

Keep in mind these are INSURANCE plays – you expect to LOSE, not win but, if you need to ride out a lot of bullish positions through an uncertain period, this is a pretty good way to go.  We cashed out our bullish $25KP positions by July 28th, (our active virtual portfolio) with the S&P at 1,340 and, since then, I’ve had a very hard time making long-term bullish picks.  I want top put up a Buy List but it’s still too risky – this will be step 1 though – protect first, then buy!  Once we cash
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Volatility Sellers Attack UltraShort S&P500 Calls

Today’s tickers: SDS, RIMM, KWK & XLB

SDS - ProShares UltraShort S&P 500 ETF – Roughly 50% of the S&P 500 Index rally from August 2010 through early-May has evaporated, with the market meltdown accelerating on the heels of the downgrade of U.S. debt. The VIX spiked to flash-crash levels today, and exceeded 40.95 earlier in the session as U.S. equities tumbled lower. However, barring a repeat of the flash crash or some other unforeseen piece of negative news, it looks like options strategists are positioning for investor fears to ease in the near term. Heavy out-of-the-money call selling on the SDS, an ETF corresponding to twice the inverse of the daily performance of the S&P 500 Index, was likely initiated by traders selling the spike in volatility. Shares in the SDS shot up 7.9% this afternoon to $26.52, the highest since November 2010. Volatility sellers targeted the August $30 strike most aggressively, selling some 45,000 contracts at that strike against paltry previously existing open interest of 1,651 contracts. Investors short the calls pocketed an average premium of $0.43 apiece, which they keep if shares in the SDS fail to rally above $30.00 at expiration. Traders have time on their side and may be able to buy back the calls, even if the S&P 500 Index continues to slide, at an advantageous price as long as volatility comes off in the next couple of weeks. Call selling spread to the August $31 strike, where nearly 10,200 contracts sold for an average premium of $0.32 each. Sellers dominated up at the August $32 and $33 strikes where some 2,600 and 6,100 calls sold for an average premium of $0.26 and $0.21, respectively. Volatility could come off should President Obama, one of the G7 leaders, the IMF, a central banker, or other government leader throw a few crumbs of optimism the market’s way this week to assuage investor fears. Meanwhile, closer-to-the-money call buying, on the other hand, indicates other strategists expect the S&P 500 Index…
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Which Way Wednesday?

SPY 5 MINUTEWheeeeeeeeeeeee!  

I love the smell of capitulation in the morning (illustrated nicely by David Fry).  It smells like — opportunity.  We haven’t had a good bottom-fishing expedition in ages and it’s amazing to think that less than two weeks ago I was having to tell our Members NOT to BUYBUYBUY at the top.  On Friday, July 22nd, when Jimmy Cramer was crowing Thursday night over "29 of 30 Dow Stocks" closing higher as if that meant you should buy everything that wasn’t nailed down, I was warning that the new EU rescue fund only indicated things were worse than they seemed.  My comment that morning (7/22) was:

I like shorting the Futures here:  S&P (/ES) at 1,346, Nas (/NQ) 2,415, Dow (/YM) 12,720 and Rut (/TF) 842.6 – as long as 74.20 hold on the Dollar, we should get a bit of a sell off so these are levels to look for as the Dollar heads back over that line but we can scale into position between 75.20 and 75.10 but, below that, too dangerous!   Oil is good too below $99.50 with tight stops (now $99.66 so a patience game) – couldn’t quite get back to $100 ahead of the EU open.  

I was wrong (so far) on shorting gold as our GLL Aug $22 calls have fallen from .50 to .10 (we rolled down to the $20s but those are not faring much better at the moment) but that was much more than made up for with the MASSIVE gains on the short futures as well as huge winning spreads like that morning’s Alert to Members, where my trade idea was to buy the SQQQ Aug $21/24 bull call spread for .90 and sell the AAPL weekly $375 puts for .80 for net .10 on the $3 spread.  Of course the AAPL puts expired worthless and SQQQ is now at $25.29 and the spread is $1.85 so up 1,750% so far (and half off the table with stops on the rest at this point, of course).  

THAT’s why we love our disaster hedges – they really help balance out your virtual portfolio in the event of an actual disaster with every $1,000 hedged paying $17,500 on that play.  We then turn around (like today) and cash out that money and use it to buy
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Phil's Favorites

Investors Will Never Get the Answer to "Why Now?"

 

Investors Will Never Get the Answer to “Why Now?”

Courtesy of Joshua Brown, The Reformed Broker

Andrew Lo’s heuristic to understanding why markets are resistant to rules is that we can’t think about them as though they’re governed by physics or mechanics. He refers to markets as biological systems, which are highly susceptible to unpredictability, adaptation and evolution. I think that’s right, based on everything I’ve seen, read and experienced over the last twenty years. Or, I should say, this is the best explanation I’ve seen anyone make.

Attempts to understand...



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Insider Scoop

Earnings Scheduled For December 11, 2017

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Companies Reporting After The Bell
  • Quanex Building Products Corporation (NYSE: NX) is estimated to post quarterly earnings at $0.29 per share on revenue of $232.47 million.
  • KMG Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE: KMG) is projected to post quarterly earnings at $0.63 per share on revenue of $106.60 million.
  • Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (...


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Zero Hedge

A Gift From The Oldies

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

By Chris at www.CapitalistExploits.at

I bumped into a friendly bloke at my local gym last week. Jim is his name.

Jim tells me he just started because, and I quote, "my doctor says I'm going to die unless I do something".

Now, I assure you it doesn't take a doctor to figure this out.

One glance in Jim's direction and you can tell that underneath all that weight there's a big struggling heart in there... just ready to explode. He was surprisingly fr...



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Digital Currencies

All You Need To Know About Today's Bitcoin Futures Contract

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

CBOE Global Markets Inc and CME Group Inc will launch futures contracts on bitcoin on Dec. 10 and Dec. 17 respectively. Here are some of the differences between the products to be offered by the exchange operators.

CONTRACT UNIT
  • The Cboe Bitcoin Futures Contract will use the ticker XBT and will equal one bitcoin.
  • The CME Bitcoin Futures Contract will use the ticker BTC and will equal five bitcoins.
PRICING AND SETTLEMENT
  • Both Cboe’s and CME’s bit...


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Chart School

Time for a funny

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Many countries who are neighbors, have digs at each other.

Taking a dig at the Aussies.

Asking an Aussie to work the weekend with his mates.




A 'smoko' is a union tea break for blue collar workers. A song from a Aussie kid!





NOTE: readtheticker.com does allow users to load objects and text on charts, however some annotations are by a free third party image tool named Paint.net

Investing Quote...

.."Anyone who buys or sells a stock, a bond or a commodity for profit is speculating if he employs intelligent foresight...



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Biotech

DNA has gone digital - what could possibly go wrong?

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

 

DNA has gone digital – what could possibly go wrong?

Courtesy of Jenna E. GallegosColorado State University and Jean PeccoudColorado State University

Modern advances come with new liabilities. Sergey ...



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ValueWalk

Tax Bill May Spark Exodus From High-Tax States

Courtesy of FinancialSense.com via ValueWalk.com

The following is a summary of our recent podcast, “Exodus – The Major Wealth Migration,” which can be listened to on our site here on on iTunes here.

It’s looking increasingl...



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Members' Corner

An Interview with David Brin

Our guest David Brin is an astrophysicist, technology consultant, and best-selling author who speaks, writes, and advises on a range of topics including national defense, creativity, and space exploration. He is also a well-known and influential futurist (one of four “World's Best Futurists,” according to The Urban Developer), and it is his ideas on the future, specifically the future of civilization, that I hope to learn about here.   

Ilene: David, you base many of your predictions of the future on a theory of historica...



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Mapping The Market

Puts things in perspective

Courtesy of Jean-Luc

Puts things in perspective:

The circles don't look to be to scale much!

...

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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 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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Promotions

NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!

 

We have a great guest at today's webinar!

Bill Olsen from NewsWare will be giving us a fun and lively demonstration of the advantages that real-time news provides. NewsWare is a market intelligence tool for news. In today's data driven markets, it is truly beneficial to have a tool that delivers access to the professional sources where you can obtain the facts in real time.

Join our webinar, free, it's open to all. 

Just click here at 1 pm est and join in!

[For more information on NewsWare, click here. For a list of prices: NewsWar...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Brazil; Waterfall in prices starting? Impact U.S.?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the Brazil ETF (EWZ) over the last decade. The rally over the past year has it facing a critical level, from a Power of the Pattern perspective.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

EWZ is facing dual resistance at (1), while in a 9-year down trend of lower highs and lower lows. The counter trend rally over the past 17-months has it testing key falling resistance. Did the counter trend reflation rally just end at dual resistance???

If EWZ b...



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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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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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