Posts Tagged ‘speculators’



Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

Great commentary right now on CNBC by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.  He succinctly summarizes what QE is doing.  Coffee prices have risen almost 50% since QE2 rumors first began in August.  Schultz says the price rise is hurting his business and that he will not be passing the costs along to the consumer.  He says the only people benefiting from this price rise are the commodity speculators because the consumer remains too weak to accept the price rise.

So what do we have?  It’s quite literally a ponzi scheme.  We have a Fed that has openly admitted that they want prices “higher than they otherwise should be”.  And speculators are taking them up on their offer by borrowing in dollars and buying any and all inflation hedges.  Meanwhile, the real economic benefit of this all is nil.  In fact, it is doing nothing but generating margin compression, excess volatility in financial markets and promoting the financialization of this country – the same thing that nearly destroyed it just two years ago.


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Merkel Tells Obama To Stuff It

Merkel Tells Obama To Stuff It

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

This ought to get interesting….

Referring to the G20 summit in Canada next weekend, Merkel said in a videotaped message that "we are going to discuss when to quit the phase of short-term measures and go on to lasting budget consolidation."

Such a move was "urgently necessary, in the view of the Europeans and particularly of Germany," she said.

Obama urged the world’s leading economies Friday to avoid scaling back government spending too quickly or risk derailing the global recovery.

Heh heh heh….

Oh Mr. President?  Yes, you Mr. Obama.

Chancellor Merkel appears to have figured out the meaning of this graph:

That is, more than two years of attempting to force credit creation to expand, thereby once-again restarting the Ponzi Scheme, has failed.

All further exercises in this vein will do is make the damage worse, exactly as I said it would in 2007 initially.

"Our highest priority in Toronto must be to safeguard and strengthen the recovery," Obama said in the letter dated June 16, but released Friday amid concerns about the pace of the global recovery.

There is no recovery Mr. President.  There has not been and will not be until the speculators and banksters that have taken on excessive debt, either as creditors or debtors, are forced to disgorge same.

The below chart lays forth the wasteland you are creating:

You (and you predecessor, George Bush) have replaced 11% of final demand (in the form of GDP) with deficit spending.  You have no credible plan to stop doing it as final private demand has failed to rebound, just as it did not in the 2003-2007 years and thus George Bush was unable to withdraw his bogus "stimulus" measures.

You are now trapped in an exponentially-deteriorating credit picture Mr. President.  The only question remaining is whether you and your idiot "advisors" will recognize this and act in time to prevent the destruction of the political system of The United States.

There is no means by which you can avoid the pain and adjustment that has to be taken.  It is not possible, mathematically, to continue to increase the total systemic indebtedness, irrespective of the manipulations and games you attempt to pull on the body politic.

Angela Merkel and the rest of the EU have come to recognize that the…
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Hugh Hendry’s Slams Economist Jeffrey Sachs: I Would Recommend You Stop Going Skiing And Panic

Hugh Hendry’s Slams Economist Jeffrey Sachs: I Would Recommend You Stop Going Skiing And Panic

Courtesy of Courtney Comstock of Clusterstock/Business Insider 

hugh hendry

The European banking system is in crisis, says Hendry.

"I would recommend you panic."

The hedge fund manager of Eclectica Management went on BBC Newsnight last night to play pessimist against Jeffrey Sachs, an economist from Columbia University.

Of course the two get into a fight. It’s awesome.

At first Hendry is talking quietly and his manner is worryingly subdued but wait just a minute. He starts going after Sachs at 2:38.

"When you bring on a professor and when you bring on a politician, they are unaccountable. Jeffrey’s wrong, you know what? He’ll survive and tenure. I’m wrong, I go bankrupt."

Then Jeffrey defends himself a little bit, says no one should jump to the conclusion that all is lost, and Hendry literally jumps on him. (4:50)

"I don’t know," says Hendry, "because, was Jeffrey skiing two months ago? I was working, Gillian (Tett, who was also on the show) was working. So we can tell you about the real world."

It’s so offensive that the host has to jump in and say, "Now that’s just a low blow."

(Meanwhile, Gillian Tett is loving this, grinning from ear to ear.)

Then Jeffrey, who doesn’t want to let some other guy fight his fight for him, warns Hendry:

"Please watch your language, it’s just ridiculous. Watch your rhetoric a little bit."

Seriously, says Hendry. It’s time to worry. Panic.

"Banks today are refusing to lend to each other. Bank share prices are collapsing. We have no ability to gauge the credit-worthiness of the banking system."

"I say, let’s purge this system of its rottenness," recommends Hendry. "Let’s take on a recession. It’s going to be tough. People are going to lose their jobs."

"The banking sector is responsible for gross folly," he says. The solution is just, "Don’t pay them. Don’t reward folly."

"We can spread this over 20 years or we can get rid of it over 3 years… You make a mistake, you pay for it."

Of course remember that Hendry is shorting the crap out of Greece and the European banking crisis. He’s a big proponent of speculation and shorting, so he hates bailouts and would love massive failure.

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Merkel to the Banks and Speculators: Sprechen Sie Deutsche? Then Droppen Sie Dead

Droppen Sie Dead?  I think that means drop dead. 

Merkel to the Banks and Speculators: Sprechen Sie Deutsche? Then Droppen Sie Dead

German Chancellor Merkel delivers speech at DGB congress in Berlin


There is much surprise that the German government has declared a ban on naked short selling, including CDS, as of midnight tonight, with no prior notice or the niceties demanded by the banks when government chooses to act. This action seems to have perturbed some and confused many.

The reason for this may be quite simple.

After tonight, when hedge funds and the NY and London Banks call upon German financial firms and European governments to make payments on Credit Default Swaps or other financial instruments that are subject to the ban, the Germans will have a great big hammer in hand to help them to negotiate the terms.

Since the CDS will be deemed to be no longer legal, the option to default on them with the backing of the government may be an option. This seems quite similar to the stance that the Chinese government took on behalf of some Chinese firms that were caught on the wrong side of energy derivatives.

I have heard that there was a general disappointment in Europe and in parts of Asia at the lack of progress being made in the US Congress towards creating meaningful reforms in their financial system. In fact, there is a widespread belief that Washington is being dictated to by the Banks, and that their lobbyists are directing the conversation, and in many cases writing the actual legislation. The final straw was when the Obama Administration itself sought to water down and block key provisions of the legislation to limit the power and size of the Banks.

"To some degree this is a battle between the politicians and the markets," she said in a speech in Berlin. "But I am firmly resolved — and I think all of my colleagues are too — to win this battle….The fact that hedge funds are not regulated is a scandal," she said, adding that Britain had blocked previous efforts to do this. "However, this will certainly have taken place in Europe in three weeks," she said, without giving more details." Reuters, 6 May 2010

"German Chancellor Angela Merkel accused the financial industry of playing dirty. ‘First the banks failed, forcing states to

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See, The Gun Is Loaded!

See, The Gun Is Loaded!

Courtesy of Karl Denninger of The Market Ticker 

No, no, not the ECB’s.

The "currency speculators" – cough - BANKS that were shorting the hell out of the Euro.

Let’s see if I can figure out what’s happened here.

  1. Banks shorted the Euro, (correctly) surmising that Greece, Portugal, Spain and others can’t possibly cover their debts.
  2. The ECB freaks out as the Euro heads toward PAR and calls "emergency meetings" (forgetting, I might add, that the Euro traded under PAR not that long ago.)
  3. The ECB and Eurozone decides to "defend" the Euro with €1t in "defensive measures", including buying bonds of bankrupt sovereigns (gee, that’s nice – monetization by another name.)  Since the ECB and EuroZone cognescenti is of course connected to the large banks in Europe (including France, where Sarkozy is located) these banks know to back off on Friday (notice the nice little uptick?) to lock in their bonuses from these insanely-profitable trades against their own currency.
  4. The very same banks, including the ones in Sarkozy’s back yard, see the very nice spike and short the Euro even harder, (correctly) surmising that they have successfully stuck the gun up the nose of the ECB!
An armful of gambling chips

Rinse and repeat until you have all the money.

Naw, it wouldn’t be that simple, would it?  Why of course it would.

See, lending someone money when they’re bankrupt can’t possibly make them not-bankrupt.  It can only make them more-bankrupt.  As a consequence the ECB’s action is self-destructive and doomed to fail, and as a consequence there is no reason for these banks to back off at all!  Indeed, quite to the contrary – they have (correctly) deduced that they can make billion in bonuses by shorting their own currency to destruction, forcing ever-larger "interventions" by the ECB!

If you’ve ever seen a meth addict goose himself with his drug of choice to the point where his teeth literally fall out, you know how this story ends. 

The only winning play is to refuse to play at all, and force the bankrupt to recognize their insolvency and reorganize their debts.  That’s it.  Attempting to paper over insolvency never works, and the market has now deduced this, as I expected – although I didn’t think it would happen quite this quickly.

"All in" by the ECB drew not a "ok, ok your pot!"…
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“We Will Defend the Euro, Whatever it Takes” Says EC President; Neither Speculators nor Goldman Sachs to Blame; What is the EU Really Defending?

"We Will Defend the Euro, Whatever it Takes" Says EC President; Neither Speculators nor Goldman Sachs to Blame; What is the EU Really Defending?

Euro Symbol

Courtesy of Mish

EU finance ministers are meeting this weekend in a mad race to Defend the Euro, whatever it takes.

On Friday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy Vowed to "Confront Speculators Mercilessly" via Secret Plans he could Reveal.

On Saturday, Sarkozy said "When the markets re-open Monday, we will have in place a mechanism to defend the euro. If you don’t think that’s significant, you haven’t been to many EU summits."

It seems secrets were needed on Friday, but not on Saturday, meaning of course there were no plans on Friday, secret or not.

Stabilization Fund Created – Undisclosed Amount

Bloomberg describes the setup in EU Finance Ministers Race to Ready Euro Fund Before Asia Opens

European Union finance ministers meet today to hammer out the details of an emergency fund to prevent a sovereign debt crisis from shattering confidence in the 11- year-old euro.

Jolted into action by last week’s slide in the currency to the lowest in 14 months and soaring bond yields in Portugal and Spain, leaders of the 16 euro nations agreed to the financial backstop at a May 7 summit. They assigned finance chiefs to get it ready before Asian markets open later today European time.

“We will defend the euro, whatever it takes,” European Commission President Jose Barroso told reporters in the early hours yesterday after the leaders met in Brussels.

European officials declined to disclose the size of the stabilization fund, to be made up of money borrowed by the EU’s central authorities with guarantees by national governments.

“When the markets re-open Monday, we will have in place a mechanism to defend the euro,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy said. “If you don’t think that’s significant, you haven’t been to many EU summits.” Sarkozy cancelled a planned trip to Moscow today to deal with the crisis.

In Brussels, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stepped up German calls for a closer monitoring of government finances and more rigorous enforcement of the deficit-limitation rules, originally drafted by Germany in the 1990s.

Europe will send “a very clear signal against those who want to speculate against the euro,” Merkel said.

Speculators Did Not Cause This Crisis

Speculators are not responsible for unsustainable Greek pension plans. Speculators…
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Explosion in Search Traffic for “Shrimp Futures” and Related Terms

Explosion in Search Traffic for “Shrimp Futures” and Related Terms

Courtesy of Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker 

Shrimp boats sit idle, as all activities were called off due to inclement weather conditions in Venice, Louisiana

The big story of national interest this weekend was the worsening ecological sitch in the Gulf, specifically as it pertains to the seafood industry. The waters may be unsafe for shrimping for longer than what we had initially thought, and people are apparently searching high and low for a way to play this crisis financially.

Ain’t that America?

Anyway, I had accidentally predicted this development last Friday with my post Shrimp Futures Soar on Gulf Oil Spill.  It was a sardonic yet prescient piece of writing in which I quoted a fictional spike in the ‘Shellfish Index’ and mentioned the trading activity on the ‘New York PrawnEx’.

Well, a glance at my blog’s backend statistic page tells an interesting tale this morning – the search engines are being flooded with speculators and investors looking to play the potential scarcity crisis in gulf shrimp.  Viewers are being directed to my site when placing the following queries in the Google search box:

  • "Shrimp Futures"
  • "How can I buy shrimp futures"
  • "Trading shrimp"
  • "Gulf shrimp crisis plays"

will lament the fact that I have no way to express the shrimp trade for my own benefit. Shorting Darden ($DRI), the owner of Red Lobster, had crossed my mind, but I think most of their shellfish is frozen, farmed or fake anyway.

Holler at me if you have any interesting plays, I’m looking around but have come up with nothing so far…

Meanwhile, having a website that’s search engine optimized and relevant for the term "Shrimp Futures" is my crowning achievement as a blogger.

Read Also:

Shrimp Futures Soar on Gulf Oil Spill (TRB)

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Speculative Premium – And Why The Markets Will CRASH

Karl argues that the "animal idiocy" we’ve seen over the last year is proof that we’ve learned absolutely nothing. Hard to take the other side of that one. – Ilene 

Speculative Premium – And Why The Markets Will CRASH

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

Housing Crisis Hits Rockaways In New York

Yes, I said CRASH, and I meant it.


"Events" like this:

SINGAPORE/CAIRO, March 1 (Reuters) – Copper is likely to
climb when trading starts on Monday, lifted by uncertainty over
supply after the world’s top copper producer Chile was pounded
by a massive earthquake, analysts said over the weekend.

The front-month contract opened up more than 8%.

This, despite the fact that the earthquake was hundreds of miles away from the mines in Chile and there was zero damage to them.  Some were offline for a few hours due to power failures, but none suffered any physical or structural damage, nor did their export points and the transportation network between the two.

So why did price spike more than 8% even though all this was known by the market before it re-opened for trading?

No part of the markets are trading on fundamental values, nor on forward business expectations.  They are instead trading as "hot money" repositories where speculators rotate in and out of various instruments literally on a minute-by-minute basis.

This is how crashes happen.

When there is no fundamental value underlying a market there is no floor on price.  Price then becomes one thing and one thing only – the number at which you can find another sucker to take your position from you.

This is how tulip bulbs went nuts in Holland, it is how houses went nuts in California in 2005, it is how tech stocks went nuts in 1999 and it is how oil went nuts in 2008.

But now literally everything has gone this way.

Take European national debt.  We now know that Italy, for example, was cooking their books as early as 1995.  This means that bond buyers overpaid for their bonds and took less coupon than they should have.  This should have resulted in an immediate destruction in the value of those bonds when discovered, but it did not. 


Portrait of a man standing dressed as a school boy holding a school bag

Because there was still a bigger fool.

Tech stocks were the same thing in 1999.  These "companies" claimed the…
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Wall Street Moves in for the Kill

Wall Street Moves in for the Kill

Courtesy of MICHAEL HUDSON writing at Counter Punch 

Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson wrote an op-ed in The New York Times yesterday, February 16  outlining how to put the U.S. economy on rations. Not in those words, of course. Just the opposite: If the government hadn’t bailed out Wall Street’s bad loans, he claims, “unemployment could have exceeded the 25 per cent level of the Great Depression.” Without wealth at the top, there would be nothing to trickle down.

The reality, of course, is that bailing out casino capitalist speculators on the winning side of A.I.G.’s debt swaps and CDO derivatives didn’t save a single job. It certainly hasn’t lowered the economy’s debt overhead. But matters will soon improve, if Congress will dispel the present cloud of “uncertainty” as to whether any agency less friendly than the Federal Reserve might regulate the banks.

Paulson spelled out in step-by-step detail the strategy of “doing God’s work,” as his Goldman Sachs colleague L. Blankfein sanctimoniously explained Adam Smith’s invisible hand. Now that pro-financial free-market doctrine is achieving the status of religion, I wonder whether this proposal violates the separation of church and state. Neoliberal economics may be a travesty of religion, but it is the closest thing to a Church that Americans have these days, replete with its Inquisition operating out of the universities of Chicago, Harvard and Columbia.

If the salvation is to give Wall Street a free hand, anathema is the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency intended to deter predatory behavior by mortgage lenders and credit-card issuers. The same day that  Paulson’s op-ed appeared, the Financial Times published a report explaining that “Republicans say they are unconvinced that any regulator can even define systemic risk. … the whole concept is too vague for an immediate introduction of sweeping powers. …” Republican Senator Bob Corker from Tennessee was willing to join with the Democrats “to ensure ‘there is not some new roaming regulator out there … putting companies unbeknownst to them under its regime.”

Paulson uses the same argument: Because the instability extends not just to the banks but also to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers, A.I.G. and Wall Street underwriters, it would be folly to try to regulate the banks alone! And because the financial sector is so far-flung and complex, it is best to leave everything deregulated. Indeed, there simply is no time
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Must see video. Stephen Schork – oil "coming out the wazoo," – a repeat permformance of last year, high prices the justification for high prices, another mini bubble. – Ilene


Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

If you can tell me where the price of oil is going in the next few weeks I’ll tell you where the S&P is going.  Stephen Schork believes oil is heading to $85 if we settle over $75.  Unfortunately, the fundamentals say the price of oil should be $50.  Schork is short-term bullish, but long-term bearish.



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Zero Hedge

Bond Bloodbath Sinks Stocks As Dollar Spikes To 9-Month Highs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Another day, another pump-n-dump...

For a few brief shining moments this morning, everything was awesome, but then - once again - the selling started...

Bonds & Stocks were slammed...

As Risk parity funds dumped...


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Phil's Favorites

Knocking Down a Straw Man


Knocking Down a Straw Man

Courtesy of 

Straw Man Argument: By exaggerating, misrepresenting, or just completely fabricating someone’s argument, it’s much easier to present your own position as being reasonable, but this kind of dishonesty serves to undermine honest rational debate.

Today I’m going to pull a straw man down from its rigging, have sex with it, set it on fire and then kick it off a cliff. I’m tired of hearing it and seeing the snide remarks posted across blogs and social media by people who ought to know better.

Here is that argument, paraphrased for brevity:

“Robo-advisors and financi...

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Digital Currencies

Needham Raises Bitcoin Price Target To $848: Here's Why

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

With bitcoin breaking out of its recent trading range as Chinese buyers once again flock to the currency as the Yuan slides (as we predicted over a year ago they would), even Wall Street analysts are starting to pay attention, and in a recent report by Needham's Spencer Bogart, the analyst has raised his price...

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Russia - A Real Breakthrough In The Corporate Governance Of State-Owned Enterprises

By VW Staff. Originally published at ValueWalk.

For years, Russia had the appearance of a low-yielding equity market – at least in the eyes of those who looked at it through the prism of the MSCI and similar indices. In reality and probably more so than in other market, the headline dividend yield masked a very different relative performance between the private and state sectors – whilst at the same time, state-owned enterprises accounted for a very large portion of the index and are slightly above half at present. Even this year, despite trading at lower earnings multiples than private companies and representing mature industries, state-controlled businesses had a dividend yield of around half the yield of their private peers. This gap was even larger in previous years.


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Kimble Charting Solutions

London- 4th attempt to breakout in 16-years, results different this time?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Four months ago the world seemed scared that the Brexit vote would be negative for Europe and potentially around the world. Four months later, almost the polar opposite deserves discussion.

Below updates the FTSE -100 Index on a monthly basis over the past few decades.


FTSE Index is now testing a resistance zone for the 4th time in the past 16-years at (1), as well as testing the underside of line (3) at the same time.

Monthly MACD has created a series of ...

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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

Investors want out of the stock market (Business Insider)

Retail investors seem to have cooled on the stock market.

According to a note from Bespoke Investment Group, equity mutual funds have experienced their largest weekly outflows since August 2011.

National Living Wage Helps Boost Pay for Lowest U.K. Earners (Bloomberg)

The U.K.’s increased national minimum wage is showing signs of success.

The lowest-paid British workers had the strongest salary growt...

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Members' Corner


Courtesy of Nattering Naybob.


Discussion of the potential impacts on equity, bond, commodity, capital and asset markets regarding the following:

  • Rising Libor and Bond Yields
  • Negative Swap Spreads, Eurodollar Curve, Repo Effects
  • Compliance, Expectations, Liquidity, Fed Action

Last Time Out

"25-54 yr old prime earners peaking at 101083 in Nov 2007; today at 97628, for a net decline of 3.5M prime earning jobs during this "recovery". No real jobs, just McJobs for McPay."

"Above note, 55yrs+ in Nov 2007 at 26376, now at 34353, for a net increase of 8 million employed. Not for sheer enjoyment and mostly out of economic necessity. The above attests to no real jobs, just McJobs for McPay and work till you die?" - 08...

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Chart School

Tech Hold Breakout,.but S&P Wedge Bound

Courtesy of Declan.

It was a mixed day for indices. Large Caps remain bound by wedge support/resistance, but Tech broke upside yesterday from similar wedges and held those breakout today.

There was little change for the S&P over the last couple of days. The one technical change was the MACD trigger 'buy' as other technicals stayed on the bearish side.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq cleared wedge resistance yesterday, and was able to hang on to the breakout despite today's loss. It too enjoyed a MACD trigger 'buy', but had an On-Bal...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of October 24th,2016

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


This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...

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Mapping The Market

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

Via Jean-Luc

Good article on investing success:

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

By Morgan Housel

There is a reason no Berkshire Hathaway investor chides Buffett when the company has a bad quarter. It’s because Buffett has so thoroughly convinced his investors that it’s pointless to try to navigate around 90-day intervals. He’s done that by writing incredibly lucid letters to investors for the last 50 years, communicating in easy-to-understand language at annual meetings, and speaking on TV in ways that someone with no investing experience can grasp.

Yes, Buffett runs an amazing investment company. But he also runs an amazing investor company. One of the most underappreciated part of his s...

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Epizyme - A Waiting Game

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

Epizyme was founded in 2007, and trying to create drugs to treat patient's cancer by focusing on genetically-linked differences between normal and cancer cells. Cancer areas of focus include leukemia, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer.  One of the Epizme cofounders, H. Robert Horvitz, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2002 for "discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death."

Before discussing the drug targets of Epizyme, understanding epigenetics is crucial to comprehend the company's goals.  

Genetic components are the DNA sequences that are 'inherited.'  Some of these genes are stronger than others in their expression (e.g., eye color).  Yet, some genes turn on or off due to external factors (environmental), and it is und...

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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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PSW is more than just stock talk!


We know you love coming here for our Stocks & Options education, strategy and trade ideas, and for Phil's daily commentary which you can't live without, but there's more! features the most important and most interesting news items from around the web, all day, every day!

News: If you missed it, you can probably find it in our Market News section. We sift through piles of news so you don't have to.   

If you are looking for non-mainstream, provocatively-narrated news and opinion pieces which promise to make you think -- we feature Zero Hedge, ...

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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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