Archive for 2012

Are We Really Going To Bomb Iran?

Courtesy of John Rubino.

Just based on national balance sheets, 2012 will be somewhere between challenging and catastrophic. But debt and deficits might be the least of our near-term problems if Jim Rickards is right. In his latest King World News interview he predicts yet another war, “sooner rather than later”:

Iran will not be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. They’re going down that path, and this is coming to a head sooner rather than later. They don’t want to give up the program, so all the bargaining is a pretense. They go through the motions of negotiations but it’s all to stall for time.

The Obama administration has woken up to the fact that it’s time to get serious. Things are moving very quickly. Israel has integrated itself into the US and European command and there are joint US/Israel exercises; the pieces have begun to move on the chessboard.

For Israel this is existential. If Iran gets nuclear weapons they’ve said they’ll burn Israel to the ground. So it’s not just a strategic rebalancing, it’s life or death. The US wants to go in first [for a variety of reasons], but there’s residual distrust. How do the Israelis know that the US won’t reach an accommodation with Iran and leave Israel holding the bag? All the information I have is that the US is going to do it. We’ll take out their air force and command/control system, and suppress their missiles.

It is not in the US interest to see China cut off from Iranian oil, so we’ve cut a deal with Saudi Arabia to make up the difference. The Chinese care about the oil, not who’s selling it. Russia is more interested in selling weapons, so they’re approaching it as an arms dealer, selling weapons to replace the ones we destroy. They’re also the biggest oil exporter and win financially if oil goes up.

This will be done with air power, sea power, financial warfare, sabotage, special operations. It’s already going on: Iran’s nuclear scientists are being assassinated, financial sanctions on Iranian banks are being dialed up. The Iranian currency has plunged and inflation is soaring. This is financial warfare; the cyber warfare has been well-advertised.

The Iranians do have a few tricks up their sleeves, including submarines and speedboats. There will be casualties and the US

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Europe Holds Key To Future (EWQ, EWO, EWI, TLT, IVV)

Courtesy of John Nyaradi.

Europe Holds The Key (EWP, EWI, EWQ EWO, JPM)

Week Two of 2012 was strong but Week Three and beyond will depend upon action and news from Europe.

The bulls were largely in charge this week with continued positive economic reports and corporate earnings reports in America.  Friday the 13th however was truly unlucky for Europe as S&P went on another “credit downgrade rampage” which wrecked havoc across the pond.  Major European ETFs took losses in the neighborhood of 2% as the news, while not surprising, was very poorly received.

On My ETF Radar

S&P 500 (SPY, IVV)chart courtesy of

In the chart above, we can see how the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) (NYSEARCA:IVV) is in a technically bullish configuration with a “triple top breakout” established on January 3, 2012, with an upside profit target of 1460.  The index is well above its bullish support line which is the blue line at approximately 1190 on the index, below which would be bear market territory in point and figure charting.

So all is well, however, the S&P 500 index needs to break above the heavy resistance line at 1290 in order for this rally to continue.  It has been hovering at this level for the last four trading days and needs a convincing and sustained breakout to establish this level as new support and set the groundwork for moves higher.

The Economic View From 35,000 Feet

The Bulls were in charge on Monday through Thursday of the New Year’s week two until ratings agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded a slew of European nations which spooked stocks and European ETFs to sell off an average 2%.  France (NYSEARCA:EWQ) and Austria received the harshest downgrade as they lost their coveted “AAA” status, while Italy (NYSEARCA:EWI) was reduced to a “BBB+” and Spain was slammed down to AA.  Perhaps the country most hurt was Portugal, which received the infamous “BB.”  As mentioned earlier this week, S&P placed nearly 15 countries on “credit watch” in the fourth quarter of last year; I feel it was only a matter of time before the coveted ratings would be stripped and now that time has come.

There is a sense of irony, however, in the fact that S&P’s downgrades, although intended to inform investors of a nation’s credit worthiness, do not stop investors from buying government bonds with spiked interest rates.  Quite the contrary, as we have witnessed…
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Stocks Open Down As EURJPY Hits Fresh 11-Year Low

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Following EURUSD’s modestly weak opening (though managing to hold above Friday’s lows and inching higher), EURJPY has pushed to fresh new 11-year lows (and JGB yields at one-year lows). Asian equities are trading notably lower with Japan’s Nikkei down 1.6% in early going (coming back a little now) and South Korea’s Kospi down 1.1% so far. ES (the e-mini S&P 500 futures contract) opened lower, tried to get back up to Friday’s close, failed and is now down around 6pts (at 1285) – still shy of where broad risk assets (CONTEXT) would expect – around 1280 for now – though AUD strength (housing data not totally dire), JPY weakness (government comments on the flatness expected in Japan’s recovery) and Treasuries not open is maintaining some support for stock futures so far. The economically-sensitive commodities are leaking lower with Silver having given back its earlier gains and Copper down 0.75%, Oil is holding near $99 and Gold is down a smidge (and more stable than the rest) at -0.23% ($1635).

JPY is underperforming and AUD outperforming as EUR stabilizes modestly. The rotation from JPY to EUR as carry-currency of choice continues we suspect and the macro news is not helping tonight either.

Credit markets are only open in Asia and JGBs are rallying – back to one-year lows (as corporate credit indices leak wider). US equity futures are losing ground from the after-hours ramp on Friday and CONTEXT (our broad risk asset proxy) is pulling lower (though stabilizing) as carry FX is down( though EURJPY vs AUDJPY is more balanced) and commodities are weighing modestly. With Treasuries not open, we will likely see correlation drop a little as the credit stabilizer is not there, though post Europe’s close on Friday, ES and CONTEXT have been increasingly correlated.

Charts: Bloomberg and Capital Context

As Two Thirds Of Companies Report EPS In The Next 3 Weeks, Talk Of “Record Earnings” Is About To Hit Mute

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Just like back in the first half of 2011, when GDP experienced a premature climax to coincide with the end of QE2, only to tumble promptly afterwards, so just as two thirds of the S&P by market cap prepare to announce earnings starting tomorrow, Q4 EPS forecasts have hit the lowest they have been at in the past 12 months. While the general economy has been lagging the contraction of Europe and Asia, yet finally hit a downward inflection following the disappointing data of the past week (more on that shortly, as we explain why with the Fed set to begin an easing bias in 10 days, all economic indicators are about to take a dive), it has been corporate results that have so far managed to keep the market afloat. This may be coming to an end, courtesy of a perfect storm of negative earnings preannouncements (which have soared to a ratio of 3.5x compared to positive ones; the highest since Q1 2008) together with outright coincident misses. Because as the chart below shows, at $24.09 and pointed decidedly downward, Q4 EPS and its transition to Q1 2012 does not portend anything good for the world economy or markets. In fact, with the EUR plunging, while the news is welcomed by German exports, the adverse impact to US companies, via FX losses and otherwise, is about to be unveiled.

Here is how earnings seasons is shaping up: the next three weeks are critical.

And why any talk of record corporate earnings is about to be muted for a long time.

here is Goldman’s take on earnings:

We expect modest 1% upside to bottom-up consensus for 4Q S&P 500 earnings, and estimate beats for Telecom, Financials, and Info Tech, but lower profits for Energy, Materials, and Consumer Discretionary. We also expect the margin expansion cycle to end at 8.9%, flat on a trailing four quarter basis since 2Q. Consensus has cut estimates for 4Q 2011 and 2012 significantly since the summer despite stronger US economic data and the cyclical rally. Below-trend growth and Europe risk support selective cyclical exposure. … Bottom-up consensus earnings estimates have been revised down ahead of earnings. While 4Q is typically the strongest quarter for earnings, estimates have fallen 9%

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Courtesy of Declan Fallon

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Weekly Market Commentary: Market Breadth Improves; Breakouts for Dow and Russell 2000

Courtesy of Declan Fallon

While indices continued their advance for the week, it was market breadth which made the biggest improvement.

The Percentage of Nasdaq Stocks above the 50-day MA rose to 62%, leaving it on course to test resistance from late 2010, currently around 70%.

The Nasdaq Bullish Percents also crossed the 50% halfway mark. Declining resistance for this index is around the 55% mark.

The NYSE Summation Index also played its role. What had looked to be a ‘bull trap’ in October has turned into a new, shallower angled decline – a bullish development. A push above 750 will break this new resistance point.

The Russell 2000 was one of the indices able to make a move as it cleared 760 resistance. The next challenge for the index is former neckline resistance at 780.

The Dow also cleared resistance of its channel, albeit on a small gain. Volume climbed to register an accumulation week.

Key for this week will be seeing the market breadth improvement convert to points on the board for indices.  The Dow and Russell 2000 have made a good start, it’s up to the S&P and Nasdaq to follow suit.


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Guest Post: American Military Pit Bulls And Their Handlers

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Ben Tanosborn

American Military Pit Bulls And Their Handlers

It is not what the few do but what the many don’t do.  That really represents what we are all about, co-conspirators in a sea of silence.  Marines who view despicable acts committed by other marines remain silent; the officers, who are well aware of this behavior, condone it, invariably following the “ethical criminal” attitude in war morality of “when in war, shit happens”; and the nation prefers to play the part of Pontius Pilates. 

Hillary Clinton, most everyone in our government, and those hypocrites at the Pentagon should not be acting surprised at the outrageous and contemptuous behavior of those four marines from Camp Lejeune desecrating the Taliban’s corpses.  The four have received no different training, or possess different brainwashed mindsets, from the other 200,000+ marines now on active duty, or the 1,600,000+ empire-warriors comprising our international police force.

No, the Marine Corps does not teach its men to do such detestable and gravely  outrageous things, none of the military services do; but neither do they teach them not to do them, or demand that honorable conduct be peer-enforced.  Therein lays the problem, honorable conduct taking a back seat to fellowship and camaraderie among fellow servicemen, particularly marines.  And not just honorable conduct but humane, moral conduct as well!

And no, these are not only isolated cases that occur; only isolated in how they come to be public knowledge, their frequency just a minuscule fraction of the instances in which they happen.  Ask any member of the military.  I have, and ‘been there myself.  If the academies do not demand, and unequivocally enforce, that honorable conduct be peer-enforced, how can such be expected to take place in the enlisted ranks? 

Human rights and dignity have never been part of the military code of ethics, not in the officer nor in the enlisted ranks.  In fact, ethics most often stands in the way of all military missions no matter how we try to rationalize soldiers’ behavior, embellish it, or try to find glory where there is none.   American citizenry, no different from that in other countries, has been content to have its military stick to vague or irrelevant terminology such as that used at the Military Academy at West Point: “Duty,…
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Corrupt Regimes Crumble When the Foot Soldiers Refuse to Carry Out The Tyrant’s Draconian Orders

Courtesy of Washington's Blog 

“Its Always When The Foot Soldiers of the Elite Won’t Carry Out the Forms of Draconian Control that These Dead Regimes Crumble”

Pulitzer prize winning reporter Chris Hedges pointed out recently (starting at 5:05):

I was in Leipzig on November 9, 1989 with leaders of East German opposition and they told me that - perhaps within a year – there would be free passes back and forth across the Berlin wall.

Within a few hours, the Berlin Wall, at least as far as an impediment to human traffic, did not exist.

Week after week, month after month, these clergy in Leipzig held these candlelit vigils. And it was slow at first … people forget. Just like the Egyptian revolution has been percolating for many many months, and even years.

And suddenly, it began to grow. [Indeed, a study of history shows over and over that people don't realize how close they may be to a positive turning point ... if they just persist.]

And Honecker – who had been in ruling East Germany since the time of the dinosaurs – sent down a paratroop division to Leipzig .. . and they won’t attack the demonstrators.

It’s always when the foot soldiers of the elite won’t carry out the forms of draconian control that these dead regimes crumble.

And that’s why its so important not to respond to police provocation.



No wonder veterans appear to have been targeted. See this and this.

No wonder returning veterans are treated as suspected terrorists.

No wonder images such as thisthis and this are so powerful.

Japan’s Prime Minister Seeks Doubling National Sales Tax; S&P Downgrade of Japan Likely; No Winning Play for Japan

Courtesy of Mish

In an effort to halt expansion of Japan's massive public debt, Japan's Prime Minister Seeks Doubling National Sales Tax.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said containing Japan’s public debt load, the world’s largest, is critical after Standard & Poor’s downgraded credit ratings on France, Austria and seven other European nations.

Europe’s fiscal situation “isn’t a house burning on the other side of the river,” Noda said on TV Tokyo Holdings Corp.’s program on Jan. 14. “We must have a great sense of crisis.”

Noda reshuffled his cabinet last week, aiming to win support for doubling Japan’s 5 percent national sales tax by 2015 to trim the soaring debt. S&P said in November Noda’s administration hadn’t made progress in tackling the public debt burden, an indication the credit-rating company may be preparing to lower the nation’s sovereign grade. 

Japan’s government, which has enjoyed borrowing costs that are around 1 percent, wouldn’t be able to manage its finances if bond yields surged to 3 percent, Noda said last week. The country risks seeing a spike in government bond yields unless it controls a debt load set to approach 230 percent of gross domestic product in 2013, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said on Nov. 28.

‘Worse and Worse’

Japan’s finances are “getting worse and worse every day, every second,” Takahira Ogawa, Singapore-based director of sovereign ratings at S&P, said in an interview on Nov. 24. Asked if this means he’s closer to lowering Japan’s credit rating, he said it “may be right in saying that we’re closer to a downgrade.”

S&P rates Japan AA- and has had a negative outlook on the rating since April. Ogawa said Japan needs a “comprehensive approach” to containing its debt burden, which the government has projected will exceed 1 quadrillion yen ($13 trillion) in the year through March as the nation pays for reconstruction costs from March’s record earthquake. 

The International Monetary Fund has said a gradual increase of Japan’s sales tax to 15 percent “could provide roughly half of the fiscal adjustment needed to put the public-debt ratio on a downward path.”

No Winning Play for Japan

If Japan hikes taxes and reduces spending, the Yen will strengthen, and Japanese exports sink.

Demographics and balance of trade issues suggest there will still be insufficient buyers of Japanese bonds that need

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“Let the Euro Die” Candidate Trails Sarkozy by Slight 2 Percentage Points; Will Sarkozy Survive the First Round Vote? Eurozone About to Become Unglued

Courtesy of Mish 

As a refresher course in French politics, presidential elections are a two-stage process. In the first round, voters select from candidates of all the political parties. The second round pits the top two vote getters against each other.

Never before in history has a sitting French president polled so low 100 days before the first round of votes.

Link if video does not play: 100 days to presidential poll 

The video is as of January 13. The first round of elections is April 22, 2012. Here is the pertinent snip.

"Sarkozy's ratings compared to previous presidents make grim readings. Sarkozy is not shown leading the first round of voting. We've never seen a president is such a weak position in terms of public opinion. If polls are to believed come May 6, the country will have a new head of state"

"Let the Euro Die" Candidate Trails Sarkozy by Slight 2 Percentage Points

Bloomberg reports Sarkozy Just Ahead of Le Pen in French Presidency Election Poll.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is just two percentage points ahead of anti-immigration candidate Marine Le Pen less than four months before the presidential election, an Ifop poll for Paris Match showed.

In the first round, to be held April 22, Socialist candidate Francois Hollande would finish first with 27 percent, followed by Sarkozy with 23.5 percent and National Front candidate Le Pen on 21.5 percent, the poll published today showed today.

The top two vote getters then go to a decisive run-off on May 6, in which Hollande would beat Sarkozy 57 percent to 43 percent, according to the poll. Ifop polled 943 voters Jan. 9- 12. No margin of error was given.

Will Sarkozy Survive the First Round Vote?

Bloomberg reporter Gregory Viscusi depicts Le Pen as "anti-immigration". Yes, that is true. However, Viscusi failed to mention Le Pen's main claim to fame.

Le Pen is running on a platform to "Let the Euro Die" as I commented on September 8, 2011.

See link for Le Pen's

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#1 Performing Global Macro Hedge Fund Sees More Shorts Opportunities Ahead As China Bursts

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Crescat Global Macro Fund update to investors on 1/19/2019

Crescat Global Macro Fund and Crescat Long/Short fund delivered strong returns for both December and full year 2018 in a difficult market. Based on ...

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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

Divisive economics


Guest author David Brin — scientist, technology consultant, best-selling author and futurist — explores the records of Democrats and Republicans on the US economy in the following post. For David's latest posts, visit the CONTRARY BRIN blog. For his books and short stories, visit his web...

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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 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 ... 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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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

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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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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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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