Archive for 2012

Is The Age of IT Outsourcing Over (For Now)?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

With the dominance of IT spend (whether consulting or outsourcing) in many of today’s investment theses, Morgan Stanley’s new forward-looking models should have more than a few long-only money managers rocking quietly in the corner of the office (especially given IBM’s dominance of the Dow). Their proprietary models (discussed below) predict decelerating revenues in both consulting and outsourcing through Q2 2013 reflecting the weak discretionary spend environment. The inflection in outsourcing is particularly notable and is far from priced in with the velocity of the fall suggesting 2009-like cutbacks. After the last recession’s drop, IT outsourcing was a key area of cost reduction that also provided additional revenues for a new sector; one has to wonder if the recovery this time would be so acute (since sooner rather than later the cutting of fat leads to lascerations in the muscle).

 

Via Morgan Stanley:

IT Outsourcing Leading Indicator Model (MSOSLI)

Similar to Consulting, the MSOSLI model enjoys a very high R-squared (0.96). The model also uses three macro economic indicators and two company-specific metrics, including:

  • Change in Euro Area Consumer Confidence
  • Change in Durable Goods Unfilled Orders
  • S&P 500 Composite One-Year Return
  • Change in CapGemini Consulting Headcount 
  • Change in Accenture Outsourcing Headcount

A summary of these factors along with their statistical measures from the univariate regressions performed in the model construction phase (see below) is shown in Exhibit 7.

 

LTM Outsourcing average revenue growth accelerated in 3Q10, at +0.4% growth, and peaked in 2Q12 at +5.2% growth. MSOSLI forecasts a deceleration beyond 2Q12 with forward four-quarter revenue growth (through 2Q13) estimated at +1.0% (excluding ~25bps of bias).

 

Recent Accenture and IBM commentary suggest this trend is beginning to materialize, for example:

  • Accenture’s constant currency growth remained strong in F4Q12 (+18% vs. +19% in F3Q12 and +20% in F2Q12). That said, management noted that it remains vigilant about understanding the impact of the evolving global macroeconomic environment. Plus, management’s expectation for 5-8% cc growth in FY13 (vs. +11% in FY12) embeds a slower than anticipated market growth (+4.8% vs. +5.6% previously) with the Technology/Outsourcing segment lower by roughly 100bps vs. the previous estimate.
  • IBM GTS 3Q12 revenue grew +1% cc (vs. +2% in 2Q12 and +3% in 1Q12). Management noted that while IBM generated revenue growth from its


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A ‘Free Dinner’ can be Quite Expensive

A ‘Free Dinner’ can be Quite Expensive

Courtesy of Paul Price of Beating Buffett

People in affluent zip codes probably receive at least two or three invitations each month to educational seminars related to social security maximization or retirement planning. These are typically followed by a complementary meal at a decent local restaurant.

I attend these once in a while just to keep up on what’s being said. I often get questions about information other people hear at these events. My latest experience was a seminar entitled ‘Maximize your Social Security’. The first speaker led off with a statement that went something like this…

“There are 72 different combinations of choices available for a couple at full retirement age regarding how to choose their SS benefits. My job tonight is to have you leave here very confused.”

He proceeded to run a power-point slide show detailing the pros and cons of taking early benefits, waiting until full retirement age (66 for Boomers) or delaying collecting until age 70. He also went into lesser-known choices such as ‘Claim and defer’ while taking spousal benefits instead of your own.

A second speaker (the closer) then took over. Each attendee was to take out the self-evaluation form handed out as you entered. In true lawyerly fashion the only questions asked were ones where the sponsors already knew the answers.

Screen Shot 2012 11 05 at 5.58.14 PM A ‘Free Dinner’ can be Quite Expensive

After everybody checked off their five’s on these forms the staff came around to collect them and schedule free personal consultations while dinner was served.

The sponsoring office called to confirm the appointments. They strongly suggested bringing tax returns, brokerage statements, 401k quarterly reports etc. to this no obligation consultation.

Wow. The friendly ‘we’re only here to give you a little friendly free advice’ had turned into a full-blown sales job. Selling long-term care insurance and especially annuities were the primary goals. Those two products are among the highest YTB products on the market.

YTB? YTB = Yield to broker.

Most agent-sold annuities pay upfront commissions of 6% to the selling brokerage. The take on a $100,000 annuity = $6,000. On a $1 million policy it’s $60,000. No wonder these firms can absorb the costs of ‘free’ dinners.

Immediate annuities are pitched as high-income vehicles you can’t outlive. Are they good deals for buyers? The November issue of Money magazine shows a photo of a smiling man next to a box that states a 65-year old man…
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Is A 15%-Plus Devaluation Coming For Spain And Greece?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Countries that have the luxury of their own exchange rate are able to eliminate any loss in competitiveness through an exchange rate depreciation, but (as is broadly recognized by now) UBS reminds that in a single currency area the only route available is an adjustment in relative wages.

In order to restore competitiveness, the periphery will have to endure a period of below-average inflation equal to the disequilibrium that an exchange rate adjustment would have delivered. While the fantasy of an orderly Greek exit is gradually being dispelled – as the market recognizes the almost instantaneous bank runs that would be exaggerated from current deposit withdrawals in Spain, Portugal, and Ireland – the euro’s survival with any status quo is simply impossible – begging the question of ‘so how do they get to the other side?’

The answer, instead of instantaneous devaluation (exit) - akin to tearing the (admittedly big) band-aid off, the devaluation will be undertaken over time to restore competitiveness, the periphery will have to endure a period of below-average inflation equal to the disequilibrium that an exchange rate adjustment would have delivered. This equilibrium ‘devaluation’ is impossible to know with certainty, but UBS estimates it is over 20% for Greece and 15% for Spain.


Via UBS:

Competitiveness pressures and inflation convergence

 

Long-run inflation trends in the eurozone will be driven by competitive pressures. Countries that have the luxury of their own exchange rate are able to eliminate any loss in competitiveness through an exchange rate depreciation, but in a single currency area the only route available is an adjustment in relative wages.

 

In order to restore competitiveness, the periphery will have to endure a period of below-average inflation equal to the disequilibrium that an exchange rate adjustment would have delivered.

 

Indeed, this is exactly the approach we adopt to estimate the long-run inflation prospects in a single currency zone – we quantify the size of the exchange rate disequilibrium and assume that the disequilibrium is eliminated gradually over a period of time.

 

Estimating the exchange rate (inflation) disequilibrium

 

The equilibrium exchange rate is impossible to know with certainty, but conceptually one can think of it as the rate consistent with a country maintaining its internal and external balance.


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Complete European Sovereign Event Calendar Until 2013

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

The following is a list of key events (and commentary) to watch over the next two months. From Germany’s voting phases for Greek aid to various national strikes and regional elections, there’s plenty here of critical importance to the future of the sovereign debt crisis.

November:

Start-November: ESM ready to make financial commitments. After the first board meeting on 8 October, ESM Director Klaus Regling said the new fund would be available to make financial commitments to Spain’s bank recapitalisation programme from the start of November.

 

3 November: Dutch PvdA (Labour) Party votes on coalition agreement with VVD (Liberal) party.

 

3-5 November: G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. Meet in Mexico.

 

5 November: Greek MoU amendments to be submitted to parliament. This are the austerity measures and structural reforms to unlock the next tranche payment.

 

6-7 November: Greek public and private sector unions hold 48 hour strike against austerity.

 

6 November: US presidential election.

 

6 November: Greece auction. Bills.

 

7 November: Greece to vote on austerity and reforms. This is required to unlock the EUR31.5bn next tranche of the second bailout programme.

 

7 November: Greek 2013 Budget to be submitted to parliament.

 

7 November: European Commission Economic Forecasts. Autumn update.

 

8 November (tbc): Special Eurogroup meeting on Greece. This will be dependent on Greece having approved the austerity and reforms.

 

8 November: ECB Governing Council meeting. We do not expect any changes, whether to standard (rates) or non-standard (liquidity, asset purchases) policies. The question for the ECB is whether the dichotomy between improving bank funding and deteriorating economy prospects merely reflects lags in the transmission of financial conditions to economic conditions or whether it reflects a more worrying break in the relationship. For now, the ECB can afford to be patient, in our view. Since the ECB Council claims to expect a ‘gradual’ recovery in 2013, we would not expect them to reject their assumptions on the back of the marginally weaken Q3 bank lending survey alone.

 

8 November: Spain auction. Bonds.

 

10 November: VVD-PvdA (Liberal-Labour) government ought to assume power in the Netherlands.

 

11 November: Greek 2013 Budget to be voted on in parliament.

 

12 November: Merkel


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Israeli War Game Does Not See Attack Of Iran Starting World War III

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

It would appear, based on the latest war games from Israel’s Institute of National Security Studies, that we should all go back to sleep and not worry about the impact of an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. The reason not to worry is simple – either it ignites World War III (which we presume means it will be all over very rapidly and we will be blissfully unaware until its too late to be capable of achieving anything) or – as they suspect (and gamed out) – there will be a focus on ‘containment and restraint’ with Iran unable to ignite the Middle East. The result is predicated on ‘actors’ motivated by rational considerations; which seems entirely irrational. All the gory details below…

War Game: The Hours following an Attack on Iran’s Nuclear Infrastructures

The Policies of the Actors and Principal Insights

The Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) held a war game (simulation) focusing on the first 48 hours after an Israeli aerial attack on Iran’s nuclear infrastructures.

The Scenario

After midnight on November 9, al-Jazeera reports that Israeli airplanes have attacked Iran’s nuclear facilities in three waves of attack. As reports multiply, Israel officially announces it has attacked Iran’s nuclear sites because it had no other choice. According to the scenario, Israel did not coordinate the attack with the United States in advance, and only informed the US once the planes were already en route to the Iranian targets. Initial assessments estimate that the Iranian nuclear program has been set back by nearly three years.

Following the successful attack, Iran decides to react with maximal force, launching  radical elements – to attack Israel. Nonetheless, it is careful to avoid attacking American targets. Israel attempts to contain the attacks and works to attain a state of calm as rapidly as possible. The international community is paralyzed, largely because Russia tries to exploit the situation for its own strategic objectives. At the end of the first 48 hours, Iran continues to attack Israel, as do their proxies, albeit to a lesser extent. At this point in the simulation, the crisis does not seem to be close to a resolution.

Main Policies of the Various Actors

Israel: After achieving its operational goals, Israel showed restraint in


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On Europe As Japan 2.0

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

With Greece and Spain (and arguably Portugal and a few others) stuck in dramatic debt-deflation spirals, the political need for maintaining these nations in the euro far outweigh the economic ‘benefits’. As UBS notes, looking at the euro area today, one cannot help but notice the parallels to Japan of the early 1990s. Europe today, as with Japan a generation ago, is an aging society with structural rigidities, pockets of corporate excellence, but wide swathes of inefficiency; but the two most striking similarities (and not in a good way) lie in the banking system (bloated from over-leveraging, under-capitalization, and bad loans); and fiscal policy (which is inherently pro-cyclical – as the politics of monetary union preclude national level stimulus – leaving ineffective monetary transmission channels unable to help fiscal failure). As UBS concludes, the current euro’s similarities to Japan are key impediments to growth – and as such we should expect sclerotic economic activity for a five-year period.

 

Via UBS: The euro as Japan 2.0

Looking at the euro area today, one cannot help but notice the parallels to Japan in the early 1990s. We expect mediocre growth in the euro zone for several years, and it is hard to see a return to trend growth within five years. Europe today, as with Japan a generation ago, represents an ageing society with structural rigidities in its markets. There are pockets of corporate excellence, of course, just as there were in Japan. There are also areas of inefficiency. The two most striking similarities with Japan lie in the banking system and fiscal policy.

  1. Japan’s banking system problems in the 1990s stemmed from bad loans. For much of the euro area the problem is more undercapitalised banks (though there are bad loans too). From an economic perspective, it is not the cause as the effect that matters. The euro is likely to experience low bank credit growth in the coming years. This constrains economic growth.
  2. The second parallel is fiscal policy. In Japan’s case, fiscal policy failed to provide much economic stimulus because the political structures of the time directed stimulus into ultimately inefficient projects. In the euro area, the bias of fiscal policy is pro-cyclical not counter cyclical, as the politics of the monetary union preclude national level stimulus. Thus, monetary policy is unable


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Treasury Yields/Mortgage Rate Update As We Enter Election Week

Courtesy of Doug Short.

I’ve updated the charts below through Friday’s close. The S&P 500 is 3.52% off its interim high set on September 14th, the day after QE3 was announced. The 10-year note closed the week at 1.75, which is 13 basis points off its interim high of 1.88, also set the day after QE3 was announced. The historic closing low was 1.43 on July 25th.

The latest Freddie Mac weekly update shows the 30-year fixed at 3.39%, three basis points above its historic low set the first week in October.



Here is a snapshot of selected yields and the 30-year fixed mortgage one week after the Fed announced its latest round of Quantitative Easing.

The 30-year fixed mortgage at the current level no doubt suits the Fed just fine, and the low yields have certainly reduced the pain of Uncle Sam’s interest payments on Treasuries (although the yields are up from their recent historic lows). But, as for loans to small businesses, the Fed strategy continues to be a solution to a non-problem. Here’s a snippet from the latest NFIB Small Business Economic Trends report:

Thirty-one (31) percent of all owners reported borrowing on a regular basis, up 1 point from August. Eight percent of owners reported that all their credit needs were not met, also up 1 point. Thirty-two (32) percent reported all credit needs met, and 50% explicitly said they did not want a loan. Only 2% reported that financing was their top business problem….

A Perspective on Yields Since 2007

The first chart shows the daily performance of several Treasuries and the Fed Funds Rate (FFR) since 2007. The source for the yields is the Daily Treasury Yield Curve Rates from the US Department of the Treasury and the New York Fed’s website for the FFR.

 

 

Now let’s see the 10-year against the S&P 500 with some notes on Fed intervention.

 

 

For a long-term view of weekly Treasury yields, also focusing on the 10-year, see my Treasury Yields in Perspective.

 

 

 

 





More Greeks Live In Poverty Than Iranians

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

The number of people in Greece classified as living below the poverty line reached 2.34 million (or over 20% of their 11.3 million population). Ekathimerini reports that the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) has released data from 2010, the first update of this frightful data series post austerity measures. Household spending has dropped dramatically in the two years since then suggesting the current picture is considerably worse. Still, comparing apples to slightly smaller apples, CIA data shows Greece now considerably more impoverished than Iran, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mexico, and the West Bank. The EUR6,591 per annum poverty line in Greece compares to average per capita income of EUR12,637 but what is perhaps most worrisome – as social unrest continues to rise – is that Greece is among the European countries with the greatest financial inequalities, as the richest 20% of the population had an annual income that was six times that of the poorest 20%.

 

CIA Poverty Stats (Population living below national poverty line %)

 

And Via the CIA World Factbook – it seems Greece is slipping below the thin red line…

 

A total of 901,190 Greek households were found to be living below the poverty line.





Did Hurricane Sandy Cause $36.5 Trillion In Damage?

Courtesy of The Automatic Earth.

Lee Angle Fort Worth Flood 1949
7th Street Theatre in Fort Worth Texas, corner of 7th Street and University, known locally as "Six Points"

First of all: the answer to the title question is, as far as I can see: no. But it's almost certainly a whole lot more than the $50 billion reported today, and that $36.5 trillion amount doesn’t come from thin air; it appears in a number of news articles about Sandy. All in all, the story raises a few more questions, allows you to play with a bunch of numbers, and leaves you puzzled, amazed and at times easily bewildered.

Here’s how: One of many things flooded by hurricane Sandy last week was a bank vault below 55 Water Street in Lower Manhattan. At first glance nowhere near the most interesting news coming out of the storm aftermath, since it doesn't involve human lives lost, or people losing their homes. Still, given the potential amount of damage in dollar terms, it does warrant a second look.

The vault in question belongs to the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation or DTCC, a clearing house for Wall Street firms, owned by Wall Street firms. On its own website , the DTCC describes itself like this:

DTCC, through its subsidiaries, provides clearing, settlement and information services for equities, corporate and municipal bonds, government and mortgage-backed securities, money market instruments and over-the-counter derivatives. In addition, DTCC is a leading processor of mutual funds and insurance transactions, linking funds and carriers with their distribution networks.

DTCC's depository provides custody and asset servicing for more than 3.6 million securities issues from the United States and 121 other countries and territories, valued at US$36.5 trillion.

In 2010, DTCC settled nearly US$1.66 quadrillion in securities transactions.

A number of things here: it's easy not to realize that if 3.6 million securities are valued at $36.5 trillion, each of these pieces of paper is on average worth over $10 million. Not exactly your average pieces of paper. Also, in what way or fashion DTCC serves as a clearing house for OTC derivatives is an interesting little riddle, but not one we can expect to get an answer to. Still,


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The 512 Permutating Paths To The White House

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Tired of pundits with black boxes and book deals telling you the election is a done deal because some statistically-sampling, biased, Garbage In, Garbage Out model “said so” (remember when the same GIGO logic made every structured piece of toxic RMBS toxic be rated AAA simply because the rating agency models couldn’t account for the improbable case of real estate prices actually going down?) Then decide for yourselves. With 48 hours left until polls close, below are the 512 permutating paths available to the two candidates on their way to the White House throne (assuming the other states vote the way they are “expected”). And with the election having crossed far beyond mere theatrical tragicomedy and now well into NCAA finals knock out fever, one can see why Florida and Ohio are really all the matter.

Full interactive infographic after the jump





 
 
 

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 ...

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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"

 

 

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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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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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