Archive for 2010

Nocera: Financial Reform Bill is Perfect – If You’re a Bank

Nocera: Financial Reform Bill is Perfect – If You’re a Bank

Courtesy of Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker 

Why do I blog so much about financial regulatory reform? Maybe because over a fairly short career of 12 years in the business, about half of those years were spent enduring some of the most destructive calamities in the history of free markets.  I’m 33 and have seen enough monetary death and dismemberment to last me 3 lifetimes.  Volatility and cycles I can deal with…locusts, pestilence and  nuclear detonations are a bit much already.

And I don’t want to hear from any of you Crash of ’87 wusses, we do those types of selloffs like every day.

Anyway, Joe Nocera is back and is dismayed at what he sees as a fairly useless potential bill to be hammered out over the next week or so as the Senate and House versions are melded together…

From the New York Times:

In the first place, there is nothing even remotely radical about anything in these bills. Nobody is suggesting setting up a new Securities and Exchange Commission, which reshaped Wall Street regulation when it was formed in 1934. Nobody is talking about breaking up banks the way they did in the 1930s with the passage of the Glass-Steagall Act. Nobody is even talking about a wholesale revamping of a regulatory system that so clearly failed in this crisis. “They are trying to attack the symptoms, instead of the basic issues,” said Christopher Whalen, managing  director of the Institutional Risk Analyst. There is something oh-so-reasonable about these bills, as if Congress was worried that they might do something that would — heaven forbid! — upset the banking industry.

The gist is that the new reforms being proposed are not even sufficient enough to have prevented the last crisis, let alone the next one. Well good, as long as the five largest banks can live with the proposals, I suppose they must be just fine for the rest of us. Rock on.

Source:

A Dubious Way to Prevent Fiscal Crisis (NYT) 

Photo by Jr. Deputy Accoutant


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Non Farm, Non Encouraging Payrolls

Non Farm, Non Encouraging Payrolls

Courtesy of Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker 

Was I too tough on President Obama this weekend, perhaps being a bit unfair about how responsible he now is for this wreck of an economy?  Maybe.

But here’s a fact:

President Obama sandbagged The Street and many economists last Wednesday by telling us in his remarks to expect a "strong jobs number on Friday".  These comments, which other Presidents have been smart enough not to make so close to an economic release of data, encouraged many analysts to take their numbers up for the May non farm payrolls release.  Goldman went up into the 600 thousand range with the consensus in the low 500 thousands.

This sandbagging led to a 3% bludgeoning of the nation’s wealth when all major markets sold off as a result of the data being anything but an upside surprise.

The President’s off-handed comments, combined with his weaker-than-expected recovery’s job gains, were the proximate causes of this massive sell-off.

Fact.

Here’s Ex-Wirehouse, writing at the Davian Letter, with the only take on Friday’s number you need to read:

The unmitigated disaster that was the most recent release of the NFP report leaves me in such a grim mood I will skip the cute part and get right to the issue at hand. For the month we created 435,000 jobs of which 411,000 were part time census workers for a total of only about 20k private sector jobs created. The consensus was any where from 150k to 200k (note to self short anything out of VP Joe Bidens Mouth) so it was a miss by a country mile.

I say it again, stop making speeches and start giving businesses a reason to hire.

Sources:

That NFP # Is Going To Leave A Mark (Davian Letter)

Mr Obama, It’s Your Economy Now (TRB)

Picture credit: Jr. Deputy Accountant  


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Swing trading virtual portfolio – week of June 7th, 2010

This post is for live trades and daily comments. 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

 

Optrader 





On The Stealthy Doubling In Chinese 7-Day Repo Rates

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Even as most investors are focusing on Europe, Libor, Euribor, Ted Spreads, the ECB, etc, many have noticed that over the past 10 days China’s seven-day interbank rates have doubled from 1.8% to 3.2%. Is this latest episode of liquidity turmoil indicative that the PBoC is becoming less successful at communicating an “all clear” to the domestic (and international) markets? Or are there more troubling undercurrents in the sea of (previously) excess Chinese liquidity?

The primary driving force behind the BRIC (re)growth story of the past year has been the mirroring by China of the US excess liquidity policy, coupled with an extremely loose fiscal policy. Which is why every minor blip in any of the liquidity metrics in China tends to be analyzed under a microscope, due to huge implications on the commodity (and thus every other) trade. As the chart below highlights, in the last week, there has been a very disturbing move in the Chinese seven-day repo rate.

What may be the reasons for this surprising move? Bank of America’s Ting Lu ventures one explanation:

Recent anomalies in China’s money market bewildered most investors who are trying to detect any small change in policy direction amid the European debt crisis. Markets became nervous about a possible credit seizure as China’s seven-day interbank rates doubled from 1.8% to 3.2% in 10 days. While some took the net injection of RMB224bn in May as a sign of policy easing, others cite the latest rise of the one-year PBoC bill’s yield at issuance as a sign of imminent rate hikes in June. However, we believe the ongoing mess in short-term rates tells us much more about the PBoC’s technical problems than its policy intentions.

The most immediate reason for the spike according to Lu, are imminent IPO and Convertible Bond issuances by the BoC:

To smooth short-term interbank rates, the PBoC has to forecast the demand and supply of funds. Though it might be hard to know the exact scale of hot money inflow or outflow (or conversion between USD and RMB by domestic  residents), it should be relatively easy to know of IPOs and seasoned offerings in advance. The latest “unexpected” spike was largely driven by Bank of China’s RMB40bn offering in CBs, which could


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Omega-3 lesson: Not so much brain boost as fishy research

This is a good article highlighting how scientific research gets misrepresented in the media, making it important to go to the original source.  Moreover, often an experiment measures one thing (a surrogate) but makes conclusions that go well beyond what was actually measured. (E.g. high cholesterol levels being used as a surrogate for heart attack risk.) – Ilene 

Omega-3 lesson: Not so much brain boost as fishy research

By Ben Goldacreguardian.co.uk

Fish oil helps schoolchildren to concentrate ran a headline in the Observer. Regular readers will remember the omega-3 fish oil pill issue. The entire British news media has been claiming for several years now that there are trials showing that the pill improves school performance and behaviour in mainstream children, despite the fact that no such trial has ever been published.

There is something very attractive about the idea that solutions to complex problems in education lie in a pill.

[...]

This paper showed no difference in performance at all. Since it was a brain imaging study, not a trial, the results of the children’s actual performance in the attention task was only reported in a single paragraph. But these results were clear: "There were no significant group differences in percentage correct, commission errors, discriminability, or reaction time."

So this is all looking pretty wrong. Are we even talking about the same academic paper? I’ve a long-standing campaign to get mainstream media to link to original academic papers when they write about them, at least online, with some limited success on the BBC website. I asked the writer Campbell which academic paper he was referring to, but he declined to answer, and passed me on the Stephen Pritchard, the readers’ editor for the Observer, who answered a couple of days later to say he did not understand why he was being involved. Eventually Campbell confirmed, but through Pritchard, that it was indeed a paper from the April edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

[...]

Similarly, drug reps and researchers will often announce that their intervention has some kind of effect on some kind of elaborate measure of some kind of surrogate outcome: maybe a molecule in the blood goes up in concentration, or down, in a way that suggests the intervention might be effective.

This is all very well. But it’s not the same as showing that something really does actually work back here in


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North Korea Parliament To Hold Rare Second Annual Session Monday, Major Announcement Expected

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Adding to the already tense and riskoffish environment heading into Monday, is the news from Reuters that North Korea’s parliament will hold a “rare second annual session on Monday.” While the reason for the extra session is unknown, “analysts said the North could use the extra session of the Supreme People’s Assembly to make a major announcement on personnel changes or power succession, or to issue a hardline response to sanctions imposed by the South over the ship sinking.” With China still pending in its firm response toward the recent North Korean provocation, will this be the enablement signal that allows Pyongyang to test just how much further it can push the international community? The quandary of dealing with Korea was best recapped by Robert Gates, who was earlier quoted by Yonhap: “As long as the regime doesn’t care about what the outside world thinks of it, as long as it doesn’t care about the well-being of its people, there is not a lot you can do about it, to be quite frank, unless you are willing at some point to use military force. And nobody wants to do that.” The main problem with Gates’ argument is that in attempting to explain the behaviour of an irrational actor he assumes North Korea will come to the rational conclusion. The world may know within 24 hours if he is in fact wrong.

More from Reuters:

Analysts said the North could use the extra session of the Supreme People’s Assembly to make a major announcement on personnel changes or power succession, or to issue a hardline response to sanctions imposed by the South over the ship sinking.

Many analysts say neither side is ready to go to war but also see the possibility of more skirmishes at their disputed sea border off the west coast or along the heavily armed DMZ land buffer that could flare up into a major fight.

Some analysts said the parliamentary session could also mark the 10th anniversary of a summit between the two Koreas by formally overturning pledges of reconciliation made then.

North Korea has called Seoul’s move to refer it to the Security Council an “unforgivable act of grave provocation.”

The Supreme People’s Assembly is the North’s rubberstamp parliament, and approves new laws, personnel changes and economic policy initiatives


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The Oxen Report: Weekly Reflection

Does everyone remember when Microsoft was the greatest American company? I saw this interesting chart this weekend, and it really shows how much market share the company has lost in the past ten years. While I do not tend to play much in the way of technology, I did find this to be astonishing. 

This past week was quite a great week for The Oxen Report as we made four successful trades for 38%, 4%, 3%, and 2% gains with no misses. We also got involved into a new long term position in the Long Term Virtual Portfolio in an overvalued coffee maker. This week we investigated the IMF and its role in third world loans as a four-part series for The Daily Discourse. Finally, we did our monthly virtual portfolio update for the three virtual portfolios: The Buy Pick Virtual Portfolio, The Short Sale Virtual Portfolio, and The Long Term Virtual Portfolio. The Buy Pick virtual portfolio is up 19% for the year as of June. The Short Sale Virtual Portfolio is up 8%. The Long Term Virtual Portfolio just began at the end of May. 

 

Winners for the Week:

Quiksilver Inc. (ZQK) - ZQK was this week’s Play of the Week. We were intrigued by ZQK due to the fact that the company looked poised for a great quarter with earnings being reported on Thursday evening and the fact that the company had had back-to-back 80%+ quarterly gain surprises. We got involved on Monday at 4.60 looking for a 4-6% gain, but the market’s tank on Monday quickly dropped the price of ZQK. We were not able to move back up to 4.60 and beyond until Thursday. We exited at 4.78 on Thursday for a 4% gain. It was unfortunate for us as the stock rocketed up past 5.50 on Friday, but we still took a safe exit. 

Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. (HOV)HOV was our Buy of the Day for Wednesday. We liked HOV for the fact that Wednesday afternoon it was reporting its earnings. The company had had a lights out quarter in Q1 of 2010, and I was expecting the company would get a nice buying interest for that reason along with the fact that the company was heavily undervalued. Further, the company looked to get some interest from a pending home sales announcement. We got involved at 6.00 and…
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Prechter on Yahoo! Finance: “Even $1 Trillion Can’t Save the Euro, But Gold is No Safe Haven”

Here’s Robert Prechter’s (of Elliott Wave International) latest video.

Prechter on Yahoo! Finance: "Even $1 Trillion Can’t Save the Euro, But Gold is No Safe Haven"

The euro’s recent loss has been the dollar’s gain, which means that it’s not the best time to buy the U.S. dollar. Meanwhile, the most popular alternative to currencies, gold, isn’t such a good buy either. Watch the second excerpt from Robert Prechter’s May 20 interview with Yahoo! Finance Tech Ticker host Aaron Task to hear what Prechter thinks is in store for the U.S. currency and gold.

For more information from Robert Prechter, download a FREE 10-page issue of the Elliott Wave Theorist. It challenges current recovery hype with hard facts, independent analysis, and insightful charts. You’ll find out why the worst is NOT over and what you can do to safeguard your financial future. Hurry! This free offer expires June 7.

****

And in case you missed Robert Prechter’s previous Yahoo video (I did), here it is:

"On Schedule for a Very, Very Long Bear Market"

Robert Prechter discussed the recent global sell-off that has sent all major U.S. averages 10% below their 2010 highs with Yahoo! Finance Tech Ticker host Aaron Task on May 20, 2010. Prechter says that the current climate shows that "we’re in a wave of recognition" where the fundamentals are catching up to the technicals and that it’s time to prepare for a "long way down."


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On FX – Who to Trust?

Courtesy of Bruce Krasting

French President Sarkozy on May 7, 2010:

“We will confront speculators mercilessly. They will know once and for all what lies in store for them.”

But it has not worked out the way Sarkozy planned:

Sarkozy changed his tune on June 4th:

“I see good news from the current euro-dollar rate.”

This is a good example how things can go wrong when an elected official (who has no understanding of markets) speaks and acts rashly. Basically Sarkozy said, “Bring on the wolves!” And wolves came and ate him alive. Angela Merkel is no different. She initiated a freeze on shorts and restrictions on CDS. The German markets have been southbound ever since.

So the heads of state of the two critical countries in the Euro drama have made things worse not better. At this point the Wolves have a nice wad of cash in their pouches and they are still very hungry. They are more dangerous than ever.

On the other side of the Euro ledger is the ECB. They have bought a modest amount of troubled sovereign bonds so far. More importantly the have borrowed in the public markets to finance it. This is not QE by any means.

There must be a fair bit of pressure on J.C. Trichet to open the floodgate and print money. Tim Geithner has been breathing down his neck with the, “Do it Big and Do it Fast” plan for more than a week. That J.C.  has resisted this step is one reason to be optimistic. At some point the resolve of the ECB on the anti QE issue will translate into confidence. Heaven help the Euro zone should they waiver and open the printing presses. That mistake would take many years to fix.

If you follow FX you should ignore what the elected officials are saying. If anything, trade against them. Focus on the ECB and what they are doing. In this case they are doing nothing for the Euro. There have been rumors and suspicious market moves that make it possible that the ECB has been involved with sub rosa currency…
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G-20 an Amazing Success; Another Look at the Impossible

G-20 an Amazing Success; Another Look at the Impossible

Courtesy of Mish 

In relative terms, as economic summits go, the recent G-20 meeting was a spectacular success.

Unfortunately, one might not get that impression from the Bloomberg headline G-20 Coordination Fails as Governments Clash on Recovery Recipe.

Global policy makers are starting to clash over their individual prescriptions for recovery as Europe demands lower budget deficits while the U.S. warns against pushing exports instead of domestic demand.

At a meeting of Group of 20 finance chiefs in Busan, South Korea, June 4-5, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said the world cannot again bank on the cash-strapped U.S. consumer to drive growth and urged other nations to stimulate their own demand.

Global policy makers are starting to clash over their individual prescriptions for recovery as Europe demands lower budget deficits while the U.S. warns against pushing exports instead of domestic demand.

At a meeting of Group of 20 finance chiefs in Busan, South Korea, June 4-5, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said the world cannot again bank on the cash-strapped U.S. consumer to drive growth and urged other nations to stimulate their own demand.

The conundrum is that governments are all trying to harness a rebound in trade, which the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Analysis last week estimated grew 3.5 percent in March, more than double February’s pace.

Companies from French beverage maker Pernod Ricard SA to Japan’s Toshiba Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. are counting on foreign demand to stoke earnings.

In the U.S., President Barack Obama aims to double exports over five years, while China is refusing to bow to international pressure to allow an appreciation in the yuan, which it has held at 6.83 per dollar for almost two years to help its exporters.

Japan’s new prime minister, Naoto Kan, enters office with a reputation for favoring a weak yen after saying as finance minister that he wanted the currency to fall “a bit more.” French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said June 4 the euro’s drop below $1.20 is “good news” after a gain that was “penalizing our exports.” Britain’s Osborne said last week in Beijing he is “keen” to make the U.K. more trade-driven.

‘Who Will’ Buy?

“If everyone’s expecting to export their way out of trouble, who will be buying?” said Alvin Liew, a Singapore- based economist for Standard Chartered Plc. “Countries may


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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:

 

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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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