Archive for March, 2010

Have We Entered the Twilight Zone?

Courtesy of Leo Kolivakis

Please read my latest entry and post your comments here:

http://pensionpulse.blogspot.com/2010/03/have-we-entered-twilight-zone.html

Thank you,

Leo Kolivakis





Big Picture Perspective

As Allan notes, his (seemingly drug influenced) observation that Easter weekends are often turn-around weekends for uptrending markets should be researched rather than relied upon for investment decisions. Just saying. - Ilene 

Big Picture Perspective

Courtesy of Allan 

Below the DJIA Monthly chart with proposed big picture wave count, retracement and stochastic analysis.

DJIA Monthly
 
Easter weekend takes me back to the 1980′s, "BK" (before kids) days when as part of a yuppie couples community, we used to take these days off and drive down from Atlanta to the gulf coast, the Florida panhandle.  Amid the usual suspects of substances and debauchery, I remember numerous weeks leading up to the Good Friday holiday where the market was running up, my coffers were full and these beach vacations were the best of times.  But I also remember how time and time again, the market would turn right around these holiday beach trips and whether it be a stiff ABC correction or a more serious intermediate decline, the rest of the Spring season was never as sanguine as those days leading up to this particular weekend.
 
An observation, especially filled with melancholy memories of simpler, more buoyant times, doesn’t constitute a well researched empirical case for a top, but neither can I relegate it to the meaningless nostalgia bin, especially in the light of the above chart.  The wave structure, retracement levels, overbought nature of the stochastic all come together, along with the season at hand, reminding me that a big picture bear market view is still out there to be reckoned with in one way or another. 

The Monthly Trend Model is too slow to change to be of trading value here, but the Intermediate Trends, defined by the Daily and Weekly Trends, will provide the first clues that a worst case scenario is unfolding.  Therein lies the beauty of trend following, we need only observe, identify and accept what the market gives us, a lesson decades in the making. 

*****

Check out Allan’s site, and if you wish to subscribe, Allan is offering PSW readers a 25% discount.  Click here for the discount.  - Ilene 





The Collapse of the Yen: The Party Has Only Just Started

Courtesy of madhedgefundtrader

”Oh, how I despise the yen, let me count the ways.” I’m sure Shakespeare would have come up with a line of iambic pentameter similar to this if he were a foreign exchange trader.

Those who followed me into a yen short at ¥88.5 on March 5 and held on until yesterday’s low of ¥93.25 are looking at a profit of 5.1% and a home run of 25.5% if you went with my recommended 500% leverage with a stop. If you bought the leveraged short yen ETF (YCS), you clocked 10.4% on the move from $19.25 to $21.25. It beats the hell running with the lemmings in the S&P 500, doesn’t it?

We are now within reach of my initial target of ¥95, which we could see as early as Friday. Those with hot hands who have been unable to sleep since they strapped this baby on might want to cash in there. Others who are in for the long haul can sit back, get comfortable, and dig into the first chapter of Lady Muromachi’s 1,000 page Tales of the Genji. To remind you why you hate the Japanese currency, I’ll refresh your memory with this short list:

* With the world’s weakest major economy, Japan is certain to be the last country to raise interest rates.
* This is inciting big hedge funds to borrow yen and sell it to finance longs in every other corner of the financial markets. Notice that the euro/yen cross has popped from ¥121 to ¥125 in the last three weeks.
* Japan has the world’s worst demographic outlook that assures its problems will only get worse. They’re not making Japanese any more.
* The sovereign debt crisis in Europe is prompting investors to scan the horizon for the next troubled country. With net net debt at 100% of GDP, Japan is at the top of the list.
* The Japanese long bond market, with a yield of 1.2%, is a disaster waiting to happen.
* You have two willing coconspirators in this trade, the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Japan, who will move Mount Fuji if they must to get the yen down and bail out the country’s beleaguered exporters.

This is all why, after catching a breather at ¥95, we’re going to ¥100, then ¥120, then ¥150. That works out to a price…
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Spin City – San Andreas: Are There Signs From The Bond And Swap Spread Markets That Government Debt Risks Will Derail The Expansion?

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Are There Signs From The Bond And Swap Spread Markets That Government Debt Risks Will Derail The Expansion? Submitted by Michael Cembalest, CIO of JP Morgan Private Bank

 

Attachment Size
Cembalest March 30.pdf 172.82 KB




March Records Fastest Ever CMBS Delinquency Deterioration In History According To TREPP

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

On top of the previously announced record delinquency rate for Fannie, here comes some even worse news out of commercial real estate, which together with record high downtown vacancy rates, should be enough to push all REITs to 1052 week highs tomorrow. RealPoint has just released its March CMBS delinquency data, according to which delinquencies hit an all time high 6%. Not to be ignored, according to TREPP this number is even worse, at nearly 8%, after the single biggest monthly spike in 30 day + delinquencies.

In February 2010, the delinquent unpaid balance for CMBS increased by another $1.87 billion, up to $47.82 billion from $45.94 billion a month prior. Aggregate delinquency increased despite a slight decrease in 30-day delinquency. The overall delinquent unpaid balance is up almost 300% from one-year ago (when only $11.98 billion of delinquent unpaid balance was reported for February  2009), and is now over 21 times the low point of $2.21 billion in March 2007. The distressed 90+-day, Foreclosure and REO categories grew in aggregate for the 26th straight month – up by $2.88 billion (9%) from the previous month and $29.36 billion (420%) in the past year (up from only $6.98 billion in February 2009).

As Stuy Town is still current on its payment, RealPoint expects an even greater acceleration in CMBS delinquencies over the coming months:

With the $4.1 billion delinquency of the Extended Stay Hotel loan, the expected delinquency of the $3 billion Peter Cooper Village / Stuyvesant Town loan, and the recently experienced average growth month-over-month, Realpoint now projects the delinquent unpaid CMBS balance to continue along its current trend and grow to between $60 and $70 billion by mid 2010. Based upon an updated trend analysis, we now project the delinquency percentage to grow to between 8% and 9% through mid 2010, potentially approaching and surpassing 11% to 12% under more heavily stressed scenarios through the year-end 2010). This forecast / outlook is driven by the watchlist reporting of several Realpoint identified High Risk Loans from recent vintage transactions that continue to show signs of stress and are on the verge of delinquency, along with continued balloon maturity defaults from more seasoned transactions. As part of our monthly surveillance efforts of every CMBS transaction, we continue


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As GSE Delinquencies Hit All Time Highs, What About The Monolines?

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Submitted by Tin Cup

Good post on the skyrocketing Fannie delinquencies.  What does that mean for the guys that are 20x leveraged and took the first loss piece of the most adversely selected loans of Fannie (and Freddie) during the bubble years of 2005-2007?  Why, it means that PMI, MTG, and RDN are trading at 52week highs, and their CDS is rocketing tighter, of course.  Makes perfect sense.

KEY POINTS-

  • Borrowers have been making private mortgage insurance payments for many years.  Now that the MIs face large losses, they have ramped up claim denials to 20-25%, up from virtually nothing two years ago.  Borrowers will indirectly bear the cost for the MIs not honoring claims in the form of higher borrowing rates.
  • State regulatory requirements require MI’s to be below certain Risk to Capital thresholds to write new business.  The MIs are rapidly accelerating toward the 25:1 state regulatory limits, where NO new business can be written.   Some states have voted to temporarily waive the 25:1 RTC requirement as long as the MI is in “sound financial condition.” If the insurers reach this level they are by definition not in “sound financial condition.”  States should not be looking the other way and allowing them to continue putting policy holders and ultimately taxpayers at risk. While that may buy the MIs an extra few months the companies are so levered and have such little capital that 25x turns to 100x VERY quickly
    • PMI: 22.0x
    • MTG: 22.1x
    • RDN: 15.4x (receiving $1b in accounting credit from bond insurer capital; RTC would be approx. 25x-28x without bond insurer benefit)
  • The MI business model is questionable at best and we believe that it will be increasingly viewed as such.  When the insured really needs the payment from the MIs, they will not be around to pay the claim due to their undiversified business model, modest loss reserves, and the nationwide collapse in house prices.  The MIs evolved into primarily a way to arbitrage around the charter 80% LTV limit of the GSEs
  • MIs do NOT take reserves for expected losses or for changes in the outlook.  For example, no matter how ugly the housing market outlook deteriorates, MIs do NOT take additional reserves.  They only reserve for loans that fall delinquent by 2 payments or more.  This creates a very


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HAMP to the Rescue

HAMP to the Rescue

 

Courtesy of MIKE WHITNEY writing at CounterPunch 

jr. deputy accountantLast Friday, the Obama administration announced changes to its Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) The most significant change is "principal reduction". By reducing the balance on underwater loans, the administration hopes to lower the number of foreclosures which have soared to more than 300,000 per month.  This looks like a plan that could work, since most foreclosures are the result of  negative equity or unemployment. If the banks and other investors agree to the terms of the program (and it looks like they will) then more homeowners will be able to avoid foreclosure, prices will stabilize, and the recovery will gain momentum. There is one drawback, however, which is moral hazard writ large.  The new program rewards the speculators who bet on dodgy investments and who’ll be able to exchange their garbage securitizations for government-guaranteed FHA loans.

In fact, it looks like that was the real purpose of the program from the very beginning. This is an excerpt from March 30, Bloomberg News:

"Subprime-mortgage securities are rising at an accelerating pace as the U.S. begins to encourage reductions to homeowners’ balances, which may lead to fewer foreclosures and a quicker end to the housing slump….Subprime-loan bonds rated AAA when created in the first half of 2006 climbed 3.2 percent last week to 49.1, the highest since January 2009, according to Markit Group Ltd.

“Senior-ranked bonds tied to borrowers with poor credit will mostly benefit after the Treasury Department said for the first time it would seek to cut the size of mortgages, reducing the likelihood that loan modifications will fail, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Barclays Plc. The revised plan also supports the housing market by helping avert more foreclosures, Amherst Securities Group LP analyst Laurie Goodman said." (Bloomberg)

So, it looks like Obama’s modification program has touched-off a gold rush in toxic paper. Subprime securitizations which had been worth next to nothing, are presently the hottest item on Wall Street. Main Street’s loss will, once again, mean windfall profits for Wall Street’s hedge fund managers and brokerage kingpins. It’s a subprime bonanza! A recent interview I had with a Wall Street veteran (anonymous) had this to say on the topic: 

"It sounds like the investors in securitizations will be swapping underwater real estate for government-insured paper… I


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You Still Believe The Fed Can Stop Deflation?

You Still Believe The Fed Can Stop Deflation?
Recent history proves that the Fed’s "control" is just an illusion. 

Courtesy of Elliott Wave International

Deflated globe

Think back to the fall of 2007. The deflationary "liquidity crunch" that over the next year-and-a-half cuts the DJIA in half, decimates commodities, real estate and world markets is only starting. Almost no one believes that the crash is coming — to a large degree, because everyone is convinced that the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, with Ben Bernanke at the helm, will never allow deflation to happen: It can just print money!

The excerpt you are about to read is from EWI president Robert Prechter’s October 19, 2007, Elliott Wave Theorist. If you find it insightful, read more of Bob’s writings in the free Club EWI resource, "Robert Prechter’s Most Important Writings on Deflation." (Details below.)

You cannot pick up a newspaper, turn on financial TV or read an economist’s report without hearing that the Fed’s latest discount-rate cut is bullish because it indicates the Fed’s decision to “pump liquidity” into the system. This opinion is so completely wrong that it is hard to believe its ubiquity.

First of all, the Fed does not “decide” where it wants interest rates. All it does is follow the market. Figure 17 proves it. Wherever the T-bill rate goes, the Fed’s “target rate” for federal funds immediately follows. That’s all there is to it.

The FED Follows the Market

If you refuse to believe your eyes, then listen to the chairman; Alan Greenspan is very clear on this point. On September 17, a commentator on CNBC asked, “Did you keep the interest rates too low for too long in 2002-2003?” Greenspan immediately responded, “The market did.” Rates were not “too low” or the period “too long,” either, because the market, not the Fed, made the decision on the level and the time, and the market is never wrong; it is what it is. If investors in trillions of dollars worth of U.S. Treasury debt worldwide had demanded higher interest, they would have gotten it, period.

Second, falling interest rates are almost never bullish. All you have to do to understand this point is look at Figure 18.

Falling Rates are not Bullish

Interest rates fell persistently through three of the greatest bear markets in history: 1929-1932 in the Dow, 1990-2003 in the Japanese Nikkei, and 2000-2002 in the NASDAQ. The only comparably


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Don’t Invest In Ridiculously-Rigged (And Thin) Markets

Here’s Karl Denninger’s must-read take on the gold market rigging story. –  Ilene 

Don’t Invest In Ridiculously-Rigged (And Thin) Markets

Janet Tavakoli has written an interesting piece over at Huffington Post related to the gold market and a potential cornering attempt:

First, let your greed overcome all regard for the stability of the global market, and overcome your aversion to illegal activities.

….

Pump up the gold story. Get your friends to tell retail investors to buy some gold every month. Get your buddies in the financial business to offer exchange traded gold funds (ETFs) that claim to buy physical gold. This will sound safe to retail investors, but in fact, the ETFs are very risky. This will serve your purpose when you are ready to start a panic. These particular ETFs will allow the "gold" to be commingled with the custodian’s gold, and the custodian can lease out the gold. Moreover, the "gold" custodian can give it to a sub custodian that the manager doesn’t know. The sub custodian can give it to yet another sub custodian unknown to the original custodian. The manager will never audit the gold, and the gold is not "allocated" to a particular investor. Since this is an "exchange traded" gold fund, investors will probably assume the gold is regulated by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), but it isn’t. By the time investors wake up to the probability that there is very little actual gold backing their investment, your plan will be ready to execute.

That could be a problem, right?

Zerohedge has run a piece of alleged manipulation of the market (specifically, selling short an insane number of contracts – which would obligate you to deliver – when you have no possible way to do so.)  This, however, isn’t necessarily manipulation per-se, nor is the assertion that these are "financial" (that is, we trade ‘em for money, not to actually buy or sell physical gold) assets false.  They in fact are; if I sell short a S&P 500 Futures Contract I can assure you that I do not deliver a basket of 500 stocks to the buyer if I’m right (or wrong!)

However, the elements of a scam – which could be the intended…
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Optimistic individual Initiates Mammoth Bullish Risk Reversal Play on Conseco

Today’s tickers: CNO, OSIP, HIG, FXI, JDSU, ARQL, GNW, TEVA, KO & UBS

CNO – Conseco, Inc. – The holding company for a number of insurance companies, such as Colonial Penn Life Insurance Co. and Washington National Insurance Co., popped up on our ‘most active by options volume’ market scanner late in the session after a massive bullish risk reversal was established on the stock in the January 2011 contract. Conseco’s shares declined 0.80% during the course of the trading day to stand at $6.18. It looks like one optimistic options player sold 33,727 puts at the January 2011 $5.0 strike for a premium of $0.50 apiece in order to partially finance the purchase of 33,727 calls at the same strike for $1.80 each. The net cost of the transaction amounts to $1.30 per contract. Thus, the investor responsible for the reversal is prepared to amass profits if Conseco’s shares rally through the breakeven price of $6.30 ahead of expiration day in January. The 67,454 contracts involved in the spread trump existing open interest on the stock of 48,756 lots.

OSIP – OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – The outline of a slightly lopsided iron condor appeared in the May contract on OSI Pharmaceuticals, indicating one options investor expects shares of the biotechnology company to trade within a specified range through expiration. OSIP’s shares surrendered 0.85% during afternoon trading to stand at $59.55 perhaps after The Wall Street Journal reported that Astellas Pharma, Inc. is extending its tender offer for OSI Pharmaceuticals – valued at $3.5 billion – by three weeks to April 23, 2010. The investor responsible for the iron condor play essentially enacted two credit spreads, one using put options and the other calls, in order to pocket options premium. On the call side, the trader shed 4,000 contracts at the May $60 strike for a premium of $1.90 apiece, spread against the purchase of the same number of calls at the higher May $62.5 strike for $0.90 each. As for the puts, the investor sold 4,000 lots at the May $55 strike for a premium of $0.94 per contract, marked against the purchase of 4,000 puts at the lower May $50 strike for $0.62 each. Notice that the put credit spread is wider than the spread on the call side, which creates a lopsided iron condor in this case. The net credit pocketed by the trader amounts to $1.32…
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Phil's Favorites

How Does the Stock Market Bottom?

 

How Does the Stock Market Bottom?

Courtesy of 

Despite the recent selloff, things are still relatively fine. I know nobody wants to hear this right now, but the S&P 500 is still up double digits over the last year and 36% over the last three years. What has people shook, understandably, is the speed of this decline.

Depending on where stocks close today, we could be looking at a 10% haircut in just five sessions. Over the last 20 years, this only happened during the Yuan devaluation in 2015, the Eurozone crisis in 2011, the GFC (global financial crisis) in ’08 and ’09, and the dotcom bubble in ’00, &rsqu...



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Zero Hedge

NYSE Announces Disaster-Recovery Test Due To Virus Fears

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

In a somewhat shocking sounding move, given administration officials' ongoing effort to calm the public fears over the spread of Covid-19, The New York Stock Exchange has announced it will commence disaster-recovery testing in its Cermak Data Center on March 7 amid coronavirus concern, Fox Business reports in a tweet, citing the exchange.

During this test, NYSE will facilitate electronic Core Open and Closing Auctions as if the 11 Wall Stree...



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ValueWalk

Cities With The Most 'New' And Tenured Homeowners

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Homeownership is a major investment. Not just financially, but when a person or family purchases a home, they’re investing years – if not decades – in that particular community. 55places wanted to find out which real estate markets are luring in new homebuyers, and which ones are dominated by owners that haven’t moved in decades. The study analyzed residency data in more than 300 US cities and revealed the top 10 cities with the most tenured homeowners – residents who’ve lived in and owned their home for more than 30 years – are sprinkled across ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Financial Crisis Deja Vu: Home Construction Index Double Top?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Most of us remember the 2007-2009 financial crisis because of the collapse in home prices and its effect on the economy.

One key sector that tipped off that crisis was the home builders.

The home builders are an integral piece to our economy and often signal “all clears” or “short-term warnings” to investors based on their economic health and how the index trades.

In today’s chart, we highlight the Dow Jones Home Construction Index. It has climbed all the way back to its pre-crisis highs… BUT it immediately reversed lower from there.

This raises concerns about a double top.

This pr...



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Insider Scoop

A Peek Into The Markets: US Stock Futures Plunge Amid Coronavirus Fears

Courtesy of Benzinga

Pre-open movers

U.S. stock futures traded lower in early pre-market trade. South Korea confirmed 256 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, while China reported an additional 327 new cases. Data on U.S. international trade in goods for January, wholesale inventories for January and consumer spending for January will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Chicago PMI for February is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET, while the University of Michigan's consumer sentime...



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Biotech & Health

Could coronavirus really trigger a recession?

 

Could coronavirus really trigger a recession?

Coronavirus seems to be on a collision course with the US economy and its 12-year bull market. AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

Courtesy of Michael Walden, North Carolina State University

Fears are growing that the new coronavirus will infect the U.S. economy.

A major U.S. stock market index posted its biggest two-day drop on record, erasing all the gains from the previous two months; ...



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The Technical Traders

SPY Breaks Below Fibonacci Bearish Trigger Level

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our research team wanted to share this chart with our friends and followers.  This dramatic breakdown in price over the past 4+ days has resulted in a very clear bearish trigger which was confirmed by our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system.  We believe this downside move will target the $251 level on the SPY over the next few weeks and months.

Some recent headline articles worth reading:

On January 23, 2020, we ...



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Promotions

Free, Live Webinar on Stocks, Options and Trading Strategies

TODAY's LIVE webinar on stocks, options and trading strategy is open to all!

Feb. 26, 1pm EST

Click HERE to join the PSW weekly webinar at 1 pm EST.

Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

This week, we also have a special presentation from Mike Anton of TradeExchange.com. It's a new service that we're excited to be a part of! 

Mike will show off the TradeExchange's new platform which you can try for free.  

...

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Chart School

Oil cycle leads the stock cycle

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Sure correlation is not causation, but this chart should be known by you.

We all know the world economy was waiting for a pin to prick the 'everything bubble', but no one had any idea of what the pin would look like.

Hence this is why the story of the black swan is so relevant.






There is massive debt behind the record high stock markets, there so much debt the political will required to allow central banks to print trillions to cover losses will likely effect elections. The point is printing money to cover billions is unlikely to upset anyone, however printing trillions will. In 2007 it was billions, in 202X it ...

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Members' Corner

Threats to democracy: oligarchy, feudalism, dictatorship

 

Threats to democracy: oligarchy, feudalism, dictatorship

Courtesy of David Brin, Contrary Brin Blog 

Fascinating and important to consider, since it is probably one of the reasons why the world aristocracy is pulling its all-out putsch right now… “Trillions will be inherited over the coming decades, further widening the wealth gap,” reports the Los Angeles Times. The beneficiaries aren’t all that young themselves. From 1989 to 2016, U.S. households inherited more than $8.5 trillion. Over that time, the average age of recipients rose by a decade to 51. More ...



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Digital Currencies

Altcoin season 2.0: why bitcoin has been outgunned by crypto rivals since new year

 

Altcoin season 2.0: why bitcoin has been outgunned by crypto rivals since new year

‘We have you surrounded!’ Wit Olszewski

Courtesy of Gavin Brown, Manchester Metropolitan University and Richard Whittle, Manchester Metropolitan University

When bitcoin was trading at the dizzying heights of almost US$2...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

 

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

Courtesy of  

The repo market problem isn’t the problem. It’s a sideshow, a diversion, and a joke. It’s a symptom of the problem.

Today, I got a note from Liquidity Trader subscriber David, a professional investor, and it got me to thinking. Here’s what David wrote:

Lee,

The ‘experts’ I hear from keep saying that once 300B more in reserves have ...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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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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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.