Archive for 2010

Chinese Worker Suicides Mount

Chinese Worker Suicides Mount

Courtesy of Tim Iacono at The Mess That Greenspan Made

Chinese women fan dance outside Apple store in Beijing

It’s not clear exactly what one should think about the recent spate of suicides at the giant Hon Hai Precision Manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, China, the eighth such incident so far this year occurring just days ago, the third in just the last two weeks.

Also known as Foxconn Technology Group, the company is a contract manufacturing house that makes iPhones and iPads. The Wall Street Journal ran this story($) yesterday in which they provided this detail about how massive the complex is.

The eight who died this year worked at Hon Hai’s Longhua plant, a sprawling, walled facility of factory buildings, dormitories restaurants and recreational facilities set amid city streets on the outskirts of Shenzhen, a manufacturing boomtown. The Longhua facility employs about 400,00 workers—roughly equivalent to the population of Oakland, Calif., and about half of Hon Hai’s total work force in China.

The facility in places resembles a university campus, with a movie theater, book store and giant cafeterias as well as its own hospital and fire station. But life for the employees, the vast majority of whom are in their late teens or early 20s, is arduous. Staffers can work 10 or more hours a day, often volunteering for overtime because it pays better. Much of the work entails highly repetitive, assembly-line tasks.

In many ways, this sounds like early-1900s U.S. steel mills before unions grew in power.

In more recent news, Xinhua reported that the most recent death was confirmed as a suicide, citing failed romance and gambling losses as possible reasons, and this item at m&c noted that the company held emergency meetings yesterday to address the problem which they have yet to formally comment on.

You can read the full WSJ article by doing a google search on the title "Another Hon Hai Worker Dies in Fall" - a back door way to read WSJ articles. However, if I give you the url, it transforms to a page with just the beginning, i.e., you need to do your own google search. - Ilene


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Ending Badly

Ending Badly

Courtesy of Michael Panzner at Financial Armageddon 

French military airship

Just three weeks ago, in "Another Accident Waiting to Happen," I highlighted several reports detailing what I described as the "wild feeding frenzy taking place in the fixed-income markets, especially those involving the riskiest kinds of securities." I added: "Call me a cynic, but how does this not end badly?"

Well, based on the following Bloomberg report,"Libor Shows Strain, Sales Dwindle, Spreads Soar: Credit Markets," it looks like it already is (ending badly, that is):

Corporate bond sales are poised for their worst month in a decade, while relative yields are rising at the fastest pace since Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s collapse as the response by lawmakers to Europe’s sovereign debt crisis fails to inspire investor confidence.

Companies have issued $47 billion of debt in May, down from $183 billion in April and the least since December 1999, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The extra yield investors demand to hold company debt rather than benchmark government securities is headed for the biggest monthly gain since October 2008, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Global Broad Market index shows.

Concern that European leaders won’t be able to coordinate a response to rising levels of government debt from Greece to Spain, while U.S. legislation threatens to curb credit and hurt bank profits, is driving investors away from all but the safest securities. The rate banks say they charge each other for three- month loans in dollars has almost doubled since February.

“This is a quintessential liquidity crisis,” said William Cunningham, head of credit strategies and fixed-income research at Boston-based State Street Corp.’s investment unit, which oversees almost $2 trillion. “It’s not inconceivable to imagine a situation where the markets behave so poorly, the liquidity behaves so badly, and risk-tolerance just evaporates that — particularly in Europe — consumers contract, businesses stop hiring and stop investing, and economic activity halts.” 





Guest Post: US State Department Says "Conspiracy Theories Exist In The Realm Of Myth"

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Submitted by Mac Slavo of www.SHTFplan.com

The US State Department’s America.gov web site, which purports to engage international audiences on issues of foreign policy, society and values, has dedicated a special section to conspiracy theories and misinformation, claiming:

“Conspiracy theories exist in the realm of myth, where imaginations run wild, fears trump facts, and evidence is ignored. As a superpower, the United States is often cast as a villain in these dramas.”

Some of the conspiratorial myths “officially” debunked by the State Department include:

The US military’s use of depleted uranium in combat and comparing this to radioactivity from detonations of nuclear weapons.

“Uranium evokes very powerful fears. It is associated with atomic weapons, mass annihilation, radiation sickness, cancer and birth defects. Depleted uranium evokes these same fears, despite the fact that it has been depleted of much of its radioactivity. Even if you accept this fact, your fear-based associations can be more powerful than logic and facts. Compare how you feel about tungsten to how you feel about depleted uranium. Both are heavy metals, but “depleted uranium” might sound scarier to you.”

Never mind that the World Health Organization says that depleted uranium is weakly radioactive and a radiation dose from it would be about 60% of that from purified natural uranium with the same mass. It’s only 60% as radioactive as the real stuff, so it’s safe to use in weapons systems we’re lobbing into neighborhoods in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The employment of economic hit men to entrap countries in huge amounts of debt.

“Economic conspiracy theories are often based on the false, but popular, idea that powerful individuals are motivated overwhelmingly by their desire for wealth, rather than the wide variety of human motivations we all experience. (This one-dimensional, cartoonish view of human nature is at the heart of Marxist ideology, which once held hundreds of millions under its sway.)”

“One fantasy, reflecting this simplistic, unimaginative way of interpreting human events, falsely claims that U.S. national security agencies employ “economic hit men” to entrap countries with huge amounts of debt.”

“Within the United States, those who fear international influences may believe false stories that, with Canada and Mexico, the United States is replacing


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Guest Post: US State Department Says “Conspiracy Theories Exist In The Realm Of Myth”

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Submitted by Mac Slavo of www.SHTFplan.com

The US State Department’s America.gov web site, which purports to engage international audiences on issues of foreign policy, society and values, has dedicated a special section to conspiracy theories and misinformation, claiming:

“Conspiracy theories exist in the realm of myth, where imaginations run wild, fears trump facts, and evidence is ignored. As a superpower, the United States is often cast as a villain in these dramas.”

Some of the conspiratorial myths “officially” debunked by the State Department include:

The US military’s use of depleted uranium in combat and comparing this to radioactivity from detonations of nuclear weapons.

“Uranium evokes very powerful fears. It is associated with atomic weapons, mass annihilation, radiation sickness, cancer and birth defects. Depleted uranium evokes these same fears, despite the fact that it has been depleted of much of its radioactivity. Even if you accept this fact, your fear-based associations can be more powerful than logic and facts. Compare how you feel about tungsten to how you feel about depleted uranium. Both are heavy metals, but “depleted uranium” might sound scarier to you.”

Never mind that the World Health Organization says that depleted uranium is weakly radioactive and a radiation dose from it would be about 60% of that from purified natural uranium with the same mass. It’s only 60% as radioactive as the real stuff, so it’s safe to use in weapons systems we’re lobbing into neighborhoods in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The employment of economic hit men to entrap countries in huge amounts of debt.

“Economic conspiracy theories are often based on the false, but popular, idea that powerful individuals are motivated overwhelmingly by their desire for wealth, rather than the wide variety of human motivations we all experience. (This one-dimensional, cartoonish view of human nature is at the heart of Marxist ideology, which once held hundreds of millions under its sway.)”

“One fantasy, reflecting this simplistic, unimaginative way of interpreting human events, falsely claims that U.S. national security agencies employ “economic hit men” to entrap countries with huge amounts of debt.”

“Within the United States, those who fear international influences may believe false stories that, with Canada and Mexico, the United States is replacing


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Goldman's FX Clients Getting Tactically Bombed On Daily Basis Now

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

The latest tactical nuking of whatever remaining clients GS has in the FX (or any) arena has just been announced: from GS FX research “Stopped out of short USD/TWD with a potential loss of -1.2% May 24, 2010. We were stopped out of our tactical recommendation to be short USD/TWD at the London close on Friday with a potential loss of around -1.2%. We initiated the trade on 31 March on the back of strong macro data out of Taiwan and rising inflation which we expected the Taiwan central bank to fight via a stronger currency. While the macro arguments for the trade are still in place and the trade was well on its way towards the target a few weeks ago, the ongoing market jitters have pushed $/TWD a fraction past our stop of 32.1.”

For god’s sake Goldman, have some pity on your clients.





Goldman’s FX Clients Getting Tactically Bombed On Daily Basis Now

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

The latest tactical nuking of whatever remaining clients GS has in the FX (or any) arena has just been announced: from GS FX research “Stopped out of short USD/TWD with a potential loss of -1.2% May 24, 2010. We were stopped out of our tactical recommendation to be short USD/TWD at the London close on Friday with a potential loss of around -1.2%. We initiated the trade on 31 March on the back of strong macro data out of Taiwan and rising inflation which we expected the Taiwan central bank to fight via a stronger currency. While the macro arguments for the trade are still in place and the trade was well on its way towards the target a few weeks ago, the ongoing market jitters have pushed $/TWD a fraction past our stop of 32.1.”

For god’s sake Goldman, have some pity on your clients.





Oil, Oil Everywhere

Oil, Oil Everywhere

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

Boat passes through heavily oiled marsh near Pass a Loutre, Louisiana

We’re now about a month into the BP Oil "blowout" incident in the Gulf.

We still don’t know exactly what caused the blowout, but that’s not the important factor from my point of view. 

We know that a gas "bolus" got into the drill pipe and expanded as it rose, and that was the proximate cause of the blast and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon.

What we don’t know is why the blowout preventer failed to close.

There have been several theories and claims, among them:

  • The Blowout Preventer’s hydraulic system has one or more leaks in it, and as such it couldn’t close.  If this is true then the question becomes who knew of the leak, if anyone, as it would have caused the preventer to fail routine tests.
     
  • There are also claims that the well failed a negative pressure test a few hours before the incident.  That would imply that there was a problem with the casing integrity (or the cement job done to lock it in place) and work continued without addressing this first.

Let me provide some context here: I live in the Florida Panhandle and in a "worst case scenario" the value of my home is likely to be destroyed.  On April 30th I wrote a piece called "Drill Baby Drill", and I stand behind it today, even with the increased knowledge we now have.

Gulf Coast Struggles With Oil Spill And Its Economic Costs

I want answers to the above two questions, and I want the firms and persons responsible for those two breaches of protocol and common sense (along with safety measures) tarred, feathered and bankrupted, in that order, with every penny they personally and corporately possess confiscated to perform whatever remediation we can.

What I do know is this: A deepwater rig like the Horizon costs about $500,000 per day to have on site and operate.  There was obviously a decision taken by someone that halting operations to pull and repair or replace the blowout preventer stack would cost millions (such an operation would result in significant downtime, of course, during which the rig would be sitting idle) and thus it was not done.

But this does not change my base view, which is that we have no valid alternative to drilling in the Gulf and elsewhere – indeed, everywhere we can find oil and gas.

What…
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Sunday Funnies 2010-05-23: Gorilla has Message for Markets; Video on Quangos; 25 Cents a Poop in Canada

Sunday Funnies 2010-05-23: Gorilla has Message for Markets; Video on Quangos; 25 Cents a Poop in Canada

Courtesy of Mish 

The 800 pound gorilla is large and in charge. He has this message for politicians and their short selling bans, austerity programs, job programs, affordable home programs, economic bailouts, and most of all recovery announcements.

Image from Funny Chill.

On Reducing Quangos

In response to 300,000 UK Public Sector Jobs Face Axe; No Sacred Cows Including Quangos; What the Hell are Quangos?

"SS" writes …

Quangos are quangos. I don’t think they are as big as the GSEs are in the US. There is a BBC serial (from the early ’80′s) Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister, a comedy series and I remember one of the episodes was on Quangos. I found some on You Tube. Humor is typically British and was a big hit in India.

The first 3.5 minutes of that are hilarious. After that not much. Give it a play. It’s very funny for a third of the video.

On the subject of quangos, Nadeem at Market Oracle writes "The number will be more like 600,000. There will be riots next summer in Liverpool and Newcastle and elsewhere where the public sector is nearly 3/4 of the economy."

25 Cents a Poop in Canada 

Here is an interesting development in Canada, courtesy of government bureaucrats who have never ending ways to spend your money. At $400,000 each, Automatic public toilet debuts in Toronto.

For those who can give two bits, Toronto’s first automated pay toilet is now taking customers at 25 cents a poop — er, pop.

“They are modern, state of the art washrooms — they actually clean themselves after each use. Now try that at home,” Mayor David Miller said before cutting a blue ribbon to open the loo.

A large crowd of press, officials and curious onlookers were on hand for the grand opening of the automated john, the first of 20 planned across the city over the next 20 years.

The new bathroom automatically cleans itself and will also get visited by an attendant three times a day.

The Automated Public Toilets will take any coins up to and including toonies and will provide change. They will also work with tokens that the city plans to distribute to homeless people through


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South Korean President Says Will Use "Self-Defense Measures" In Case Of New North Korean Provocation

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

From South Korea’s president Lee Myung-bak: “If our territorial waters, airspace or territory are violated, we will immediately exercise our right of self-defense. Under these circumstances, any inter-Korean trade or other cooperative activity is meaningless. I solemnly urge the North Korean authorities to do the following. Apologize immediately to the Republic of Korea and the international community. Immediately punish those who are responsible for and those who are involved in the incident” Is this the last warning before war? While we await North Korea’s response, now that the ball is again in its court, we have to score one for the South Korea’s communist neighbors who once again have manage to bully it (and the US) into nothing but more posturing. Game theory is so much more fun when one of the actors is insane.

From Yonhap:

SEOUL, May 24 (Yonhap) — President Lee Myung-bak said Monday South Korea will immediately use the right of self-defense in case of any additional North Korean provocation, adding Seoul will ditch all inter-Korean exchanges except for the joint industrial park in Kaesong as the first punitive step for the North’s March attack on one of the South’s warships.

In a public address broadcast live, Lee defined the sinking as “North Korea’s military attack” on South Korea and said Seoul will request the U.N. Security Council to take up the case.

“If our territorial waters, airspace or territory are violated, we will immediately exercise our right of self-defense,” he said.

Lee also announced his government will suspend all exchange programs with the North except for the Kaesong project and will maintain minimum levels of humanitarian aid for infants and children living in the impoverished communist country.

“Under these circumstances, any inter-Korean trade or other cooperative activity is meaningless,” the president said, adding North Korean ships will no longer be allowed to use South Korean waterways that have served as short-cuts.

“I solemnly urge the North Korean authorities to do the following. Apologize immediately to the Republic of Korea and the international community. Immediately punish those who are responsible for and those who are involved in the incident,” he added, using South Korea’s official name.

The president’s speech came after a team of multinational investigators last week concluded that a North Korean submarine torpedoed the 1,200-ton warship, the Cheonan, on March


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South Korean President Says Will Use “Self-Defense Measures” In Case Of New North Korean Provocation

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

From South Korea’s president Lee Myung-bak: “If our territorial waters, airspace or territory are violated, we will immediately exercise our right of self-defense. Under these circumstances, any inter-Korean trade or other cooperative activity is meaningless. I solemnly urge the North Korean authorities to do the following. Apologize immediately to the Republic of Korea and the international community. Immediately punish those who are responsible for and those who are involved in the incident” Is this the last warning before war? While we await North Korea’s response, now that the ball is again in its court, we have to score one for the South Korea’s communist neighbors who once again have manage to bully it (and the US) into nothing but more posturing. Game theory is so much more fun when one of the actors is insane.

From Yonhap:

SEOUL, May 24 (Yonhap) — President Lee Myung-bak said Monday South Korea will immediately use the right of self-defense in case of any additional North Korean provocation, adding Seoul will ditch all inter-Korean exchanges except for the joint industrial park in Kaesong as the first punitive step for the North’s March attack on one of the South’s warships.

In a public address broadcast live, Lee defined the sinking as “North Korea’s military attack” on South Korea and said Seoul will request the U.N. Security Council to take up the case.

“If our territorial waters, airspace or territory are violated, we will immediately exercise our right of self-defense,” he said.

Lee also announced his government will suspend all exchange programs with the North except for the Kaesong project and will maintain minimum levels of humanitarian aid for infants and children living in the impoverished communist country.

“Under these circumstances, any inter-Korean trade or other cooperative activity is meaningless,” the president said, adding North Korean ships will no longer be allowed to use South Korean waterways that have served as short-cuts.

“I solemnly urge the North Korean authorities to do the following. Apologize immediately to the Republic of Korea and the international community. Immediately punish those who are responsible for and those who are involved in the incident,” he added, using South Korea’s official name.

The president’s speech came after a team of multinational investigators last week concluded that a North Korean submarine torpedoed the 1,200-ton warship, the Cheonan, on March


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Zero Hedge

Americans' Economic Hope Has Collapsed

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Which came first, the confidence or the stock market rally?

One thing is for sure, the crash in stocks in December has crushed the hope of Americans that their economic future is going to be better under President Trump.

Overall confidence dipped to 58.1 - a 4-month low, but, U.S. consumers this month were the most downbeat on the economy since November 2016, a third straight drop after expectations reached a 16-year high just three months earlier, as the partial government shutdown wears on toward a fourth week.

...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Triple Breakout Test In Play For S&P 500!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Is the rally of late about to run out of steam or is a major breakout about to take place in the S&P 500? What happens at current prices should go a long way in determining this question.

This chart looks at the equal weight S&P 500 ETF (RSP) on a daily basis over the past 15-months.

The rally from the lows on Christmas Eve has RSP testing the top of a newly formed falling channel while testing the underneath side of the 2018 trading range and its falling 50-day moving average at (1).

At this time RPS is facing a triple resistance test. Wil...



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Phil's Favorites

Brexit deal flops, Theresa May survives -- so what happens now?

 

Brexit deal flops, Theresa May survives -- so what happens now?

Courtesy of Victoria Honeyman, University of Leeds

As the clock ticks down to March 29 2019, all of the political manoeuvring, negotiating, arguing and fighting is coming to a peak. In the two and a half years since the 2016 EU referendum, views on both sides have hardened and agreement still seems as far away as it was the day after the referendum.

With Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement disliked by all sides, and voted down by an unprecedented majority in the House of Commons, everyone is wondering what can and should be done next?

...



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Digital Currencies

Crypto-Bubble: Will Bitcoin Bottom In February Or Has It Already?

Courtesy of Michelle Jones via ValueWalk.com

The new year has been relatively good for the price of bitcoin after a spectacular collapse of the cryptocurrency bubble in 2018. It’s up notably since the middle of December and traded around the psychological level of $4,000... so is this a sign that the crypto market is about to recover?

Of course, it depends on who you ask, but one analyst discovered a pattern which might point to a bottom next month.

A year after the cryptocurrency bubble popped

CCN...



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ValueWalk

D.E. Shaw Investment Calls For Leadership Change At EQT

By ActivistInsight. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Elliott Management has offered to acquire QEP Resources for approximately $2.1 billion, contending the oil and gas explorer’s turnaround efforts have done little to lift the company’s share price. The company responded and said that a thorough review of the proposition is imperative in order to properly act in the best interests of shareholders, “taking into account the company’s other alternatives and current market conditions.” The news came only a month after Travelport Worldwide agreed to sell itself to Siris Capital Group and Elliott’s private equity arm Evergreen Coast Capital for $4.4 billion in cash and two months after Athenahealth was bought by Veritas and Evergreen for $5.7 bi...



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Insider Scoop

UBS Says Disney's Streaming Ambition Gives It A 'New Hope'

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related DIS Despite Some Risks, Analysts Still Expecting Double Digit Growth From Communications Services In Q4 ...

http://www.insidercow.com/ more from Insider

Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Jan 13, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

In last week’s recap we asked:  “Has the Fed solved all the market’s problems in 1 speech?”

Thus far the market says yes!  As Guns n Roses preached – all we need is a little “patience”.  Four up days followed by a nominal down day Friday had the market following it’s normal pattern the past nearly 30 years – jumping whenever the Federal Reserve hints (or essentially says outright) it is here for the markets.   And in case you missed it the prior Friday, Chairman Powell came back out Thursday to reiterate the news – so…so… so… patient!

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reinforced that message Thursday during a discussion at the Economic Club of Washington where he said that the central bank will be “fle...



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Members' Corner

Why Trump Can't Learn

 

Bill Eddy (lawyer, therapist, author) predicted Trump's chaotic presidency based on his high-conflict personality, which was evident years ago. This post, written in 2017, references a prescient article Bill wrote before Trump even became president, 5 Reasons Trump Can’t Learn. ~ Ilene 

Why Trump Can’t Learn

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore (...



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Biotech

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

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

 

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

Bacteriophage viruses infecting bacterial cells , Bacterial viruses. from www.shutterstock.com

Courtesy of John Bergeron, McGill University

Today, the scientific community is aghast at the prospect of gene editing to create “designer” humans. Gene editing may be of greater consequence than climate change, or even the consequences of unleashing the energy of the atom.

...

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Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...



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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

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

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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. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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