Archive for 2010

Olé! Brace for Earnings Season!

Courtesy of Leo Kolivakis

Via Pension Pulse.

What a great match in Soccer City, but in the end someone had to win and on Sunday it was Spain who won its first World Cup victory. Congratulations for this well earned victory.

Now that World Cup is over, traders will be focusing on earnings. David Milstead of the Globe & mail reports, Wary markets brace for earnings season:

The second-quarter earnings season that kicks off today may be the make-or-break test for a global recovery that suddenly looks to be sputtering.

The past several weeks have seen a string of disappointing economic data, as growth in the U.S. and elsewhere unexpectedly slowed. More bears came out of hibernation to argue the recovery that was once seen as V-shaped would look more like a W – an imminent double-dip recession.

 

Last week’s market rally, in which the prior week’s carnage was reversed, occurred without any major economic or market news and blunted that talk.

 

What will occur over the next several weeks, however, is a string of major earnings releases with little margin of error, owing to a consistent ratcheting up of expectations in 2010.

 

“You’re going to need a lot of upside surprises to break the negative mentality,” said Beata Caranci, the deputy chief economist at TD Bank. And the high expectations “tells you where the balance of risks are – it’s much easier to disappoint than surprise.”

 

Peter Buchanan, a CIBC economist, said “as economists are getting more cautious, analysts for companies in the S&P 500 have not cut their estimates. We’ll see who’s right in the weeks to come.”

 

Robert Kavcic, an economist at BMO Nesbitt Burns, notes that at the beginning of 2010, the consensus analyst estimate for 2010 earnings for S&P 500 companies was 8.6 per cent below 2009 levels. On the strength of the fourth-quarter 2009 and first-quarter 2010 earnings reports, 2010 estimates have been jacked up so much that the consensus numbers are now 34 per cent above 2009.

 

For the second quarter, consensus estimates are for earnings to grow 27 per cent over 2009’s second quarter, according to Thomson Reuters.

 

“The last three quarters have been absolute blowouts with respect to earnings surprises,” Mr. Kavcic


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US Export Push Fails As Chinese June Exports And Trade Surplus With America Hits Record

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

China’s first trade deficit in many years of ($7.2) billion recorded in March is now a distant memory. The Chinese General Administration of Customs has released June trade data, which confirms that no matter what China does with the yuan, and no matter the amount of posturing coming out of the US and Europe, in their attempts to ‘stimulate’ an export economy at least in words, the Chinese export juggernaut marches on: the June trade deficit came in at an even $20 billion, on relatively flat imports, and relentlessly growing exports. In fact, after surging by $32 billion in March, imports have remained flat each month at just under $120 billion, while exports have been increasing consistently as month after month of fiscal stimulus has been pushing the domestic export industry to the redline. Indeed, in the midst of a CNY reval, and a complete collapse in the Baltic Dry as excess supply, especially in capesize vessels is causing shipping rates to rapidly hit unsustainable levels, exports to the US and the Europe hit multi year records – the EU came in at $27.2 billion, the highest since the summer of 2008, while the US saw a record number of Chinese exports in the month at $25.5 billion, as well as the biggest trade deficit with China in history (at least according to China) at ($17.7) billion- something tells us Chuck Schumer will not be too happy with this number. Most importantly, total Chinese June exports of $137.4 were, paging Chuck Schumer again, an all time record.

Total imports and exports:

Total imports and exports by country:

Below is the monthly trade detail with the US – note that June 2010 was the all time biggest amount of exports to the US, as well as the biggest net trade surplus in history. Not a good data point for the Obama Export Commission.

And the EU:

Yet the June export record will likely be a fluke. Bloomberg quotes Shen Jianguang, Hong Kong-based economist at Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd, who warns: “Exports may see a sharp deceleration after July as demand in Europe and the U.S. weakens and a stronger Chinese currency, higher wages and reduced export tax rebates erode the competitiveness of Chinese goods. The government may have to intensify efforts to boost the domestic economy as they have limited control…
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Shipping Our Economy, Our Jobs And Our Prosperity To China

Shipping Our Economy, Our Jobs And Our Prosperity To China

Courtesy of Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse

As the U.S. economy continues to implode, large American corporations are investing billions upon billions of dollars in China.  But all of this investment comes at a price.  Over the past several decades, hundreds of factories and manufacturing facilities that would have been constructed in the United States, along with millions of decent paying jobs, have ended up going to China instead where labor is so much cheaper.  In the process, China has become a massive economic powerhouse, while once thriving manufacturing cities in the United States such as Detroit are now rusted-out corpses.  In fact, China’s economy has grown so rapidly that it is being projected that in 2010 China will replace Japan as the world’s second-largest economy.  Not only that, but China has already overtaken Germany and is now the biggest exporter of goods in the entire world.

But none of this growth in communist China would have been possible without all of the globalism and free trade that U.S. politicians from both parties have been pushing on us for the last 40 years.  When they were selling us on the benefits of "free trade" they didn’t tell us that we would end up shipping our economy, our jobs and our prosperity over to China. 

American consumers never seemed to be able to put two and two together.  As we were busy running out and filling up our shopping carts with cheap plastic crap made in China, we didn’t seem to realize that a "global economy" meant that we would be competing for jobs and wages with workers on the other side of the world.

So now the U.S. economy, with its high wages and repressive government regulations, is suffering while China’s economy is thriving.…
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Oil Spill, Corexit, Arsenic, Collateral Damage

Here’s an interesting video on the chemicals being used in the Gulf oil spill’s clean-up process that doesn’t seem to have much to do with cleaning up the spill but rather with dispersing the oil making it less easy to detect. Logically, to clean it up, to get the oil out of the water, you wouldn’t think adding chemicals to make the oil dissipate into the water would be particularly useful. – Ilene 

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

See also: Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill (2010), NY Times

Excerpt:  

Dispersants

BP also clashed with the federal government over its use of dispersants, chemicals sprayed on the spill that were meant to break up the oil in the hope that it would settle to the bottom. In a novel approach, BP has been spraying dispersants on the oil as it leaves the well head to reduce the amount that reaches the surface.

The Environmental Protection Agency directed the company to stop using two dispersants from a line of products called Corexit and switch to something less toxic. The oil company defended its use of Corexit and taken issue with the methods the agency used to estimate its toxicity, and continued to spray the chemicals past the E.P.A. deadline.

The E.P.A. administrator, Lisa P. Jackson, said that she had ordered the oil giant to take "immediate steps to scale back the use of dispersants." She said the amount of chemicals applied to control the oil spilling from the Deepwater Horizon well – more than 700,000 gallons so far on the gulf’s surface and a mile underwater at the leaking well head – was "approaching a world record." 

Allan also wrote briefly on the subject in his weekend update.  - Ilene 

The Oil Volcano – Update

I’m bringing the first link below forward from a Comment just posted in a prior blog. It contains a You Tube video that address some problems caused by the oil volcano and in particular, collateral damage that might be occurring…
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Guest Post: Deciphering Joe Cassno's Lies Before The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Submitted by David Fiderer

Deciphering Joe Cassno’s Lies Before The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission

Joe Cassano is a very good liar, which is why it would be so hard to prosecute him for perjury. When testifying before The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, the former head of AIG Financial Products kept blending in half-truths with his audaciously dishonest claims, so that the overall effect was nonsensical. For instance, to justify his outrageous claim that, “the books were generally considered fully hedged,” he explained that “we were using it basically in actuarial basis …[so] it’s not hedged in the conventional sense.” (Translation: The book was never hedged in any sense. Nor was there any actuarial analysis, only a reliance on triple-A credit ratings.) These rhetorical tricks were designed to throw sand in everyone’s face. But his tactics seem to have worked. The staunchly unregenerate Cassano framed a media narrative that deflected away from his dishonesty and gross incompetence.

Here’s a reality check on some of his more ridiculous claims, in order of appearance:

1. Cassanos’s Claim: AIGFP never compromised its high underwriting standards.
The Truth: AIGFP had no underwriting standards pertaining to the most important risk, which affected AIG’s liquidity
.

Commission Chairman Phil Angelides asked Cassano if he understood the subprime risks he insured. Cassano stonewalled with a lot of doubletalk:

Angelides: I want to talk to you about this, that these were represented as multisector CDOs. But if you look at — we did a sample of some of these in 2004, 2005, 2006, they were almost overwhelmingly residential-backed and very substantially subprime. For example, in the survey we did of some of these CDOs that you issued protection on, 84 percent were backed by RMBS residential mortgages in ’05, 89 percent in ’06. And just as an example, while you indicated you decided to stop writing on subprime instruments in January of ’06, for example, you backed an instrument called RFC III where that CDO was 93 percent subprime and seven percent HELOC home equity loans.

My question for you, Mr. Cassano, is was there — you said you did thorough due diligence. Were you aware of the quality of the mortgages? Do you do direct analysis of the loan data? Were you confident that you had a full understanding


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Deciphering Joe Cassno’s Lies Before The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission

Courtesy of Tyler Durden of Zero Hedge 

Submitted by David Fiderer

Deciphering Joe Cassno’s Lies Before The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission

Joe Cassano is a very good liar, which is why it would be so hard to prosecute him for perjury. When testifying before The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, the former head of AIG Financial Products kept blending in half-truths with his audaciously dishonest claims, so that the overall effect was nonsensical. For instance, to justify his outrageous claim that, "the books were generally considered fully hedged," he explained that "we were using it basically in actuarial basis …[so] it’s not hedged in the conventional sense." (Translation: The book was never hedged in any sense. Nor was there any actuarial analysis, only a reliance on triple-A credit ratings.) These rhetorical tricks were designed to throw sand in everyone’s face. But his tactics seem to have worked. The staunchly unregenerate Cassano framed a media narrative that deflected away from his dishonesty and gross incompetence.

Here’s a reality check on some of his more ridiculous claims, in order of appearance:

1. Cassanos’s Claim: AIGFP never compromised its high underwriting standards.
The Truth: AIGFP had no underwriting standards pertaining to the most important risk, which affected AIG’s liquidity
.

Commission Chairman Phil Angelides asked Cassano if he understood the subprime risks he insured. Cassano stonewalled with a lot of doubletalk:

Angelides: I want to talk to you about this, that these were represented as multisector CDOs. But if you look at — we did a sample of some of these in 2004, 2005, 2006, they were almost overwhelmingly residential-backed and very substantially subprime. For example, in the survey we did of some of these CDOs that you issued protection on, 84 percent were backed by RMBS residential mortgages in ’05, 89 percent in ’06. And just as an example, while you indicated you decided to stop writing on subprime instruments in January of ’06, for example, you backed an instrument called RFC III where that CDO was 93 percent subprime and seven percent HELOC home equity loans.

My question for you, Mr. Cassano, is was there — you said you did thorough due diligence. Were you aware of the quality of the mortgages? Do you do direct analysis of the loan data? Were you confident that you had a full understanding of the nature of what you were backing?


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Bank of America Pulls a $10.7 Billion Lehman-Esque Oopsie, Claims No Material Effect

Bank of America Pulls a $10.7 Billion Lehman-Esque Oopsie, Claims No Material Effect

Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant 

Oh that’s precious. What sort of money does Bank of America have to claim $10.7 billion in misclassified cash non-material?

Reuters:

Bank of America Corp is beefing up its internal accounting controls after it incorrectly classified as much as $10.7 billion in short-term lending and repurchase deals for mortgage securities as sales, according to a letter filed on Friday with U.S. securities regulators.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based lender said the transactions — spread over a three-year period — were immaterial to Bank of America’s earnings in a May 13 letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which was publicly filed on Friday.

The error was first disclosed in the bank’s first quarter 2010 report, which noted the bank incorrectly accounted for some mortgage-backed securities as sales, rather than repurchase or short-term lending deals.

The first such error occurred on March 31, 2007, totaling $4.5 billion in securities. The largest misclassification was $10.7 billion in securities on September 30, 2008.

"The transactions did not have a material impact on the bank’s earnings or balance sheet," said company spokesman Jerry Dubrowski.

Ahem PricewaterhouseCoopers, do you have something to confess here? Is it not your job to spot these sorts of errors BEFORE you sign off on BofA’s financials?  Just curious. 

 


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ETF Periscope: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall Street

Courtesy of Daniel Sckolnik, ETF Periscope

ETF Periscope:  Mirror, Mirror on the Wall Street

“‘But I don’t want to go among mad people,’ said Alice. ‘Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the cat. ‘We’re all mad here.’” ~Lewis Carroll

One version of a well known children’s fairytale features a magic mirror that, upon being asked the question “Who’s the fairest of them all?” replies with the harsh truth of reality.  Such a mirror would be eminently useful at this juncture in time, when the markets are, at best erratic and yes, even a bit more schizophrenic than usual.

So in terms of the markets right now, who, indeed, is the fairest of them all? Would it be the snorting Bovines, who have prodded the major indexes past key points of resistance during the current holiday-shortened week, or the lumbering Grizzlies who pounded the indexes into submission for the bulk of the last several weeks?

Who, indeed, mirror, mirror? Bear or Bull? Or maybe a beast of a more sideways nature?

Putting things in perspective is a task worth undertaking, especially if the reflection you’re seeing seems a bit distorted. So here are a few points of interest along the way that might help to accomplish the task.

The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Index closed out on Friday at 10,916, putting it squarely at the midpoint between last October’s flirtation with Dow 9,500 and late April’s brief fling above 11,250. Even when taking into account May’s steep correction, and, to a lesser extant, the recent downturn in June, it would not be unfair to say that the market has, in fact, been traveling in a sideways range for the last ten months. This, in spite of such nasty turns of events such as the Europe’s financial crisis, continuing bad unemployment numbers,  and BP’s Deepwater Horizon debacle.

Can it be that the trillion-dollar action taken by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union to prop up the flailing Euro has effectively taken root? Has broad promises of financial regulation by the US government served the dual purpose of placating Main Street while still giving Wall Street the room to breathe it demands? Will merry old England survive the near demise of one of its hallowed institutions, venerable British Petroleum?

Or might it be more the case that the markets are like a punch-drunk fighter, still standing, though somewhat on…
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ETF Periscope: Mirror, Mirror on Wall Street

Courtesy of Daniel Sckolnik, ETF Periscope

Mirror, Mirror on Wall Street

“‘But I don’t want to go among mad people,’ said Alice. ‘Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the cat. ‘We’re all mad here.’” ~Lewis Carroll

One version of a well known children’s fairytale features a magic mirror that, upon being asked the question “Who’s the fairest of them all?” replies with the harsh truth of reality.  Such a mirror would be eminently useful at this juncture in time, when the markets are, at best erratic and yes, even a bit more schizophrenic than usual.

So in terms of the markets right now, who, indeed, is the fairest of them all? Would it be the snorting Bovines, who have prodded the major indexes past key points of resistance during the current holiday-shortened week, or the lumbering Grizzlies who pounded the indexes into submission for the bulk of the last several weeks?

Who, indeed, mirror, mirror? Bear or Bull? Or maybe a beast of a more sideways nature?

Putting things in perspective is a task worth undertaking, especially if the reflection you’re seeing seems a bit distorted. So here are a few points of interest along the way that might help to accomplish the task.

The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Index closed out on Friday at 10,916, putting it squarely at the midpoint between last October’s flirtation with Dow 9,500 and late April’s brief fling above 11,250. Even when taking into account May’s steep correction, and, to a lesser extant, the recent downturn in June, it would not be unfair to say that the market has, in fact, been traveling in a sideways range for the last ten months. This, in spite of such nasty turns of events such as the Europe’s financial crisis, continuing bad unemployment numbers,  and BP’s Deepwater Horizon debacle.

Can it be that the trillion-dollar action taken by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union to prop up the flailing Euro has effectively taken root? Has broad promises of financial regulation by the US government served the dual purpose of placating Main Street while still giving Wall Street the room to breathe it demands? Will merry old England survive the near demise of one of its hallowed institutions, venerable British Petroleum?

Or might it be more the case that the markets are like a punch-drunk fighter, still standing, though somewhat on the dazed side?…
continue reading





PIMCO's Perspectives On Commercial Real Estate: "Expect Cap Rates Near Or Above 8%"

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

As part of its Commercial Real Estate Project, PIMCO has conducted an extensive overview of opportunities in the U.S. CRE market. In this most perplexing of markets, where if one follows REIT stock prices, a V-shaped recovery is all but guaranteed, PIMCO has a notably less optimistic outlook. Based on the framework of its well-documented “new normal” paradigm, the Newport Beach asset manager is far less sanguine about investment opportunities in the market – in evaluating prospects for the most relevant CRE valuation metric, PIMCO sees a gradual return to 8% capitalization rates. “the market can expect long term cap rates near or above 8%. In this case, even if properties with floating rate debt can successfully avoid defaults in the short term, rising longer term rates will create a floor for cap rates and limit recoveries.” On the other hand, extrapolating from current CMBS spreads, the prevailing market expectation is for a current and future cap rate up to 150 bps lower. Which means that as securities backed by existing assets see their cash flows dry out, as all valuable assets get extinguished, the repricing in assorted CRE fixed income securities, and their equity counterpartes in the REIT realm, will likely have a very dramatic downward repricing event in the future.

Full PIMCO report


Pimco CRE Project

h/t Robert





 
 
 

Zero Hedge

Johns Hopkins, Bristol-Myers Face $1 Billion Suit For Infecting Guatemalan Hookers With Syphilis 

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A federal judge in Maryland said Johns Hopkins University, pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Rockefeller Foundation must face a $1 billion lawsuit over their roles in a top-secret program in the 1940s ran by the US government that injected hundreds of Guatemalans with syphilis, reported Reuters.

Several doctors from Hopkins an...



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Phil's Favorites

This Is The One Chart Every Trader Should Have "Taped To Their Screen"

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

After a year of tapering, the Fed’s balance sheet finally captured the market’s attention during the last three months of 2018.

By the start of the fourth quarter, the Fed had finished raising the caps on monthly roll-off of its balance sheet to the full $50bn per month (peaking at $30bn USTs, $20bn MBS, although on many months the (balance sheet) B/S does not actually shrink by this full amount which depends on the redemption schedule) and by end-Q4 markets also experienced some of the largest volatility and drawdowns in nearly a decade.

As Nomura&...



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ValueWalk

The Competition For Capital Has Made Stocks Cheap

By Michelle Jones. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The new year is upon us, and now is the time many investors look at what 2018 was and prepare for what 2019 might be. Recession jitters are starting to pick back up again, especially now that the full picture of 2018 is in the books. But what if you could pick only one theme for 2018? Jefferies strategist Sean Darby and team have a suggestion which is especially timely given that it appears to mark the end of an era.

StockSnap / PixabayVolatility carries into the new year

This past year was one of extremes, and the markets ended i...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Stock declines did not break 9-year support, says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

We often hear “Stocks take an escalator up and an elevator down!” No doubt stocks did experience a swift decline from the September highs to the Christmas eve lows. Looks like the “elevator” part of the phrase came true as 2018 was coming to an end.

The first part of the “stocks take an escalator up” seems to still be in play as well despite the swift decline of late.

Joe Friday Just The Facts Ma’am- All of these indices hit long-term rising support on Christmas Eve at each (1), where support held and rallies have followed.

If you find long-term perspectives helpf...



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Digital Currencies

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

 

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

Blockchain technologies can empower people by allowing them more control over their user data. Shutterstock

Courtesy of Ajay Kumar Shrestha, University of Saskatchewan

Blockchain has already proven its huge influence on the financial world with its first application in the form of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It might not be long before its impact is felt everywhere.

Blockchain is a secure chain of digital records that exist on multiple computers simultaneously so no record can be erased or falsified. The...



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Insider Scoop

Cars.com Explores Strategic Alternatives, Analyst Sees Possible Sale Price Around $30 Per Share

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related 44 Biggest Movers From Yesterday 38 Stocks Moving In Wednesday's Mid-Day Session ...

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.

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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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