Archive for July, 2013

Comment by zeroxzero

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  1. zeroxzero
    July 31st, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    I just completed a western U.S. swing [not Cali] on some real estate matters and it really is blowing up all over.  When I woke up this morning in a Miami [rented] condo, there was a notice under the door offering cash to buy the place.  And down in an obscure part of the Carib, I sold three out of four small apartments in the last two weeks, cash.  It's like a virus.

Sector Detector: Revenue growth and raised guidance are critical for bulls

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Scott MartindaleOverall, earnings reports have continued to beat the low bar of expectations. The Financial sector started earnings season with strong reports, and now Technology has been the leader this week. Note that these two have dominated the top of Sabrient’s forward-looking SectorCast ETF rankings for several months. But as earnings season progresses, investors have been watching intently for companies to report increased revenues as well as earnings, with the greatest rewards going to those firms confident enough to raise their forward guidance.

As July comes to a close, the forward P/E of the S&P 500 is 15.7x projected earnings estimates, which reflects some inflation in the multiple since the start of the year, as price growth as outpaced earnings growth, which of course is unsustainable longer term. Of course, the markets are no longer burdened so much by the earlier threats of European insolvencies and China’s growth slowdown. But still, earnings growth will be a prerequisite for further growth in equity prices — and it will have to be led by top-line growth, as cost cutting and productivity improvements have been just about maxed out (at least in the private sector, that is).

If you have been following my stock ideas the past couple of weeks, you noticed a couple of big winners this week in CommVault Systems (CVLT) and Harris Corp (HRS). Both beat earnings estimates and boasted impressive top-line growth. CVLT revenue rose +21%, while HRS revenue rose +26%.

Besides faring well in Sabrient’s quantitative ratings algorithms, each of these two companies also displays a solid score in our new Earnings Quality Rank (EQR), which is a pure accounting-based risk assessment signal that has proven valuable for both fundamental screening and as an orthogonal alpha factor for quant models. The model was co-developed by Sabrient and subsidiary Gradient Analytics, a forensic accounting firm.

As a reminder, Sabrient’s annual Baker’s Dozen portfolio of top stocks for 2013 continues to perform. It is up +25.6% from the portfolio’s inception on January 11, while the S&P 500 is up only +14.5% over the same timeframe. In fact, all 13 stocks are solidly positive, and 12 are comfortably up by double digits, which we largely attribute to the presence of EQR as a key scoring factor in the underlying multifactor model to help avoid meltdowns that can ruin…
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Comment by jmm1951

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  1. jmm1951
    September 12th, 2011 at 6:45 pm
    I think it depends on what you mean by evidence-based. Theodore is opinionated but his opinion derive directly from his personal experience of working as a prison psychiatrist, and his description of his experiences coincides closely with mine, which is why I agree with him.
    As an example in one of his books he cites the example of interviewing men who have beaten their wives and then quickly inflicted some superficial injury to themselves and claimed to be suicidal so that when the police come the guy is put in a mental ward for assessment instead of in the slammer. These guys then say something  like "I don’t know why I did it (i.e. beat the wife). She was nagging me and something just came over me and I lost control." Theodore remarks that these same guys never lose control in the same way when nagged by prison or police officers, or anyone who could beat the shit out of them.
    Just look at the behavior of two-year-olds. Children are little savages (see Lord of the Flies, a novel and film about a group of shipwrecked upper class choirboys who go feral and end up as killers) unless they are socialized into society by learning how to behave, partly by coping their elders and partly by the threat of punishment. The people who grow up to be (so-called) psychopathic are the ones who never had a conscience (call it superego if you like) beaten into them. It is nothing to do with biochemistry except in the sense that all human behavior--rage, anger, unhappiness, happiness--is a biochemical event.
    Of  course most people with antisocial personality disorders are men, and probably testosterone is a contributing factor, but you do find some females. But people are like dogs--the males in general are more aggressive and less considerate of others  than the females.

To Save Spain’s Housing Market, It Must First Be Destroyed

Note: Phil's Favorites may not be reposted without permission from Phil's Stock World ( and articles in the Favorites section may not be reposted without the permission of the original guest author. Links embedded in titles and bylines may not be removed. 

To Save Spain's Housing Market, It Must First Be Destroyed

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

About a decade ago, Spain set off to "grow" its economy by launching an unprecedented homebuilding campaign. Several years later the campaign backfired, when the global housing bubble popped, and hundreds of thousands of houses ended up underwater, vacant or simply incomplete while millions of people lost their jobs, resulting in possibly the worst depression in Spanish history. Fast forward to today when Spain is about to set off to "grow" its economy by launching an unprecedented counter-homebuilding campaign, one in which the housing excesses of the last "growth" campaign will be literally demolished. And thanks to the magic of modern Keynesian math, both construction and destruction will result in growth for Spain.

Bloomberg explains:

Demolition man Daniel Anka had a staff of 450 in Spain preparing for new developments before the property crash. With about a 10th of that workforce left, he’s now waiting for a call from the country’s bad bank so his trimmed-down crew can start knocking down half-built homes that aren’t worth completing.

Anka may not have long to wait as Sareb, the unit holding soured real estate assets from Spain’s nationalized banks, orders work to stop on about 160 of the 650 partially-completed building projects on its books and decides which ones are worth completing. A small number of them may be demolished, said two people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified by name because it isn’t public.

“We expect the bad bank will start to seek bids for some demolition projects starting this summer,” said Anka, chairman of Madrid-based Anka Demoliciones and vice-chairman of the Spanish Association of Demolition Businesses.

Here by "small" they mean "large", if not all. Because once the demolitions begin the implicit acceptance that houses have a value of €0…
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Elliott Management: “The Entire Developed World Is On A Slippery Slope”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Elliott Management’s 22-page letter to investors has something for everyone as Paul Singer ascribes his uniquely independent wisdom. From the fragility of the financial system to the hubris of academic pretenders; from inflation’s various devious impacts on assets and reality to the floundering of the world’s bankers; from America’s “cooked data” to the pending social unrest in Europe and the perils of centralized power, Singers stresses “the temptation to debase fiat currencies… means owning claims on paper money is an act of either faith or denial.” Recent market movements, Singer warns “indicate a world on life-support,” and “for every day, month and year that policymakers try to substitute failed, inappropriate and risky QE policies for pro-growth policies, the debt mounts, as does resentment among middle-income families that their situation is not improving.” The fact of the matter is that “no government has ever reached fiscal ‘nirvana,’ yet our central bank (and its peers) continues to push the envelope of risk, confidence and inflation.” Despite the confident and brave words in which they are wrapped, central bank actions currently seem underscored by quiet panic.

On recent market volatility:

…the markets’ dramatic response underlines the fragility of the world’s economic and financial systems, as well as its dependence on the artificial stimulants of QE, ZIRP and extreme deficit spending, all of which are still active (or even increasing) five years after the financial crisis. The stronger growth that was supposed to be ignited by all this financial and fiscal caffeine is not present or anywhere in sight.

On the Un-Taper after any Taper:

…governments in the major developed countries are determined not to be caught by a renewed deflationary credit and banking collapse… such an event would be met by another cascade of money-printing and governmental guarantees.

On inflation:

It is more difficult to make judgments about whether and when the torrent of freshly-minted QE money will create widespread price increases that everyone would recognize as “serious inflation” (as distinguished from the “asset-price inflation” currently underway, which policymakers argue is not the same thing)


…bond prices have dropped (depending on their duration) by anywhere from 3 to 15 points or more. It is

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Guest Post: China’s Housing – Living In A Bubble

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Mu Chunshan via The Diplomat,

Rising home prices, especially in major cities, are prompting a growing chorus of discontent among ordinary Chinese. My Japanese friends would no doubt feel more than hint of nostalgia should they visit Beijing. For just like the famous Japanese “bubble economy” of the late 1980s, Beijing has been virtually turned into one big construction site with constantly changing streetscapes.

Certainly, China’s housing market has been amazingly bullish for many years. Official figures for Beijing homes put the average price at $3,800 per square meter, up from around $500 per square meter in 1989 (incidentally, the peak of the Japanese real estate froth).

But don’t try telling Chinese real estate developers it’s a bubble. In their eyes, the local real estate market is no such thing. Prices will only continue to rise, they argue.

Ren Zhiqiang and Pan Shiyi are general managers of two well-known real estate companies. They successfully "predicted" the housing bull market, making them opinion leaders on Sina Weibo (China's Twitter), where they each boast about 15 million fans. While young people in other countries might admire Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, or other famous entrepreneurs, Chinese netizens are starry eyed about two real estate developers. It is as good an indication as any of the tremendous influence that real estate has on Chinese society.

For their part, Ren and Pan have been harshly critical each time the Chinese government unveils measures in yet another bid to control the runaway market. And indeed, the government has not been hesitant about expressing its concerns, former Premier Wen Jiabao noting publicly that real estate prices were unreasonable, and tighter regulations were needed.

In 2006, a friend of mine bought a house in central Beijing. He paid about 10,000 yuan per square meter. Six years later, the price had risen to 60,000 yuan per square meter. That, of course, far outstrips any increase in the average wage over the same period. No wonder, then, that Chinese like to joke, “When it comes to house prices, the premier has no say, as it depends on the general managers."

For young Chinese owning your home is part of the “Chinese Dream.” The traditional view is that the house you live in ought to be your own. If

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The U.S. Military Has Awarded Contracts To Al-Qaeda In Afghanistan

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Michael Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

I suppose it just wasn’t enough that our allies, “the rebels” in Syria, have significant Al-Qaeda elements to them. No, we are the USA! USA! Best country ever. Defender of human rights. City on a hill. We must do far more than that. So we did.

This story below from Bloomberg, highlights a 236-page report by the U.S. Army Suspension and Debarment Office, which shows that military contracts have been granted to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Yep, this is exactly what happens when an empire gets too big, too corrupt, and ends up in the hands of a bunch of sociopaths. From Bloomberg:

Supporters of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan have been getting U.S. military contracts, and American officials are citing “due process rights” as a reason not to cancel the agreements, according to an independent agency monitoring spending.


“I am deeply troubled that the U.S. military can pursue, attack, and even kill terrorists and their supporters, but that some in the U.S. government believe we cannot prevent these same people from receiving a government contract,” Sopko said.


The 236-page report and Sopko’s summary provide one of the watchdog agency’s most critical appraisals of U.S. performance in helping to build a stable Afghanistan as the Pentagon prepares to withdraw combat troops by the end of next year.


The U.S. has 60,000 troops in Afghanistan, with plans to reduce the number to 34,000 by February. President Barack Obama hasn’t decided how many to keep in the country after 2014 to train Afghan forces and engage in anti-terrorist missions.

“Anti-terrorist missions.” Like what, rewarding them lucrative contracts?

An audit showed that after 16 months, none of the agency’s essential program objectives have been reached and the money spent has mostly financed workshops and training sessions. The project is aimed at bolstering Afghanistan’s government before troop withdrawals planned for next year.


“It’s troubling that after 16 months, this program has not issued its first community grant,” Sopko said. “Rather, it has spent almost $50 million, about a quarter of the total program budget, on conferences, overhead and workshops.”


Regarding the 43 cases of contractors with militant connections, Sopko said the

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Comment by zeroxzero

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  1. zeroxzero
    February 16th, 2011 at 11:47 pm
     I don’t agree.
     The phony investment boom was the crime, and it was created by the U.S. government as a means of maintaining higher U.S. living standards than would otherwise obtain if Americans actually were on a pay-as-you-go plan of resource consumption.  But the U.S. economy has been one, long, government-sponsored Ponzi scheme since U.S. GDP  peaked out as a percentage of the global total in the 1960s.
    Since then, the governments, elected by the people, have permitted a sequence of income-boosting schemes, or, failing that, consumption price-reduction schemes [cutting import tariffs, lowering taxes, outsourcing jobs to cheaper venues] to prop up American living standards that began to evaporate in the 1970′s as Japan, Europe and China began to recover from the devastation of the last World War.
    This sequence of living standard maintenance" maneuvers led inevitably to leverage.  When it was no longer possible to sell off any more of America’s former competitive advantages, the U.S. government, on the request of its citizens, decided to borrow from the future.
    Medicare, Medicaid, a defense establishment far larger than required, [that amounted to a giant jobs and industrial support program], and the extension of Social Security benefits to an overfed generation of baby boomers, who hadn’t saved for their own retirement, were already in place.  
    But jobs were scarce and social security wouldn’t pay enough.  So the U.S. embarked on the Original QE, which involved permitting the mass securitization of mortgages in order to sponsor a housing boom.  Half of all new jobs created were real estate agents and mortgage brokers.  And a perfectly democratic method of spreading the wealth was adopted:  anyone could borrow and own a house.  Down to the dog with a credit card over the internet.
    And, like all Ponzis, it worked for awhile and collapsed under its exponential need for fresh funds. 
    Ever since then, recrimination has been hurled thick and fast in the direction of the likes of Blankfein, Wall Street, the "Banksters", the SEC, ratings agencies — the whole superstructure of institutions erected to protect the citizens from the financial excesses of markets and the irrational exuberance of crowds.
    This is fantastically hypocritical calumny against these fine professionals.  They did exactly what they were asked to do, and

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China Bucks AsiaPac Trend With ‘Miraculous’ Rise In Its PMI

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Following Japan’s disappointing PMI last night, and after some ‘hope’ in June,  Aussie PMI collapsed from an almost ‘recovering’ 49.6 to 42.0 with only 1 in 12 industries expanding and production, employment, and new orders all falling further into contraction. Then came a formerly consistent bellwether of the global recovery (until of course it started to fall when it became irrelevant) – South Korea’s PMI tumbled to 47.2 (from 49.4) – its lowest since Sept 2012 (and falling for the 3rd month in a row) and employment down the fastest in 17 months. Then after the early Flash HSBC PMI printed at 11-month lows (final HSBC PMI shortly) and firmly in contraction, China’s official PMI just arrived at a perfectly ‘reasonable’ 50.3 (highest in 2 months) and well ahead of a contractionary 49.8 expectation. Remember this is the same data whose subsets were temporarily (and then permanently) removed last month. This is the widest disparity from HSBC’s measure in 15 months.



Aussie PMI


South Korea PMI


China PMI


10 of the 12 sub-indices rose – of course they did – well – China earlier said it will withhold industry specific data from the PMI report (due to time constraints)!

 Notice what happened the last time HSBC and the ‘official’ data was so far apart… the official data cratered back to reality

This does not bode well for all those hoping for moar from the PBOC after last night’s repo treat… as Citi’s chief economist noted, “As long as the economy is within the range they set, the priority of the government is still to restructure the economy and reform.”

Of course, the real question is – if an AsiaPac economy collapses but the S&P 500 hits all-time highs, would anyone hear it?


Charts: Bloomberg and Markit Economics

NSA Admits: ‘We Do Store All Your Data But We Don’t Look At It All’

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

The Director of National Intelligence released three declassified “in the interests of transparency” documents this morning that authorized and explained the bulk collection of phone data – one of the secret surveillance programs that Snowden revealed. As Reuters reports, much of what is contained in the documents has already been divulged in public hearings by intelligence officials but the National Security Agency’s “Bulk Collection Program,” carried out under the U.S. Patriot Act, is now in the open. Have no fear though, “Although the programs collect a large amount of information, the vast majority of that information is never reviewed by anyone in the government,” the report said. As Senator Patrick Leahy commented, “what has to be of more concern in a democracy is whether the trust of the American people is beginning to wear thin.”


Via Reuters,

As Congress increasingly scrutinizes U.S. surveillance programs, the government on Wednesday released declassified documents on the mass collection of telephone data in a rare glimpse into the world of intelligence gathering.


The U.S. Director of National Intelligence released three declassified documents that authorized and explained the bulk collection of phone data, one of the secret surveillance programs revealed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.


The declassification was made in the “interest of increased transparency,” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a statement.



The documents released on Wednesday include 2009 and 2011 reports on the National Security Agency’s “Bulk Collection Program,” carried out under the U.S. Patriot Act.


In addition, they include an April 2013 order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which directed communications company Verizon to hand over data from millions of Americans’ telephone calls and described how that data should be stored and accessed.



“Although the programs collect a large amount of information, the vast majority of that information is never reviewed by anyone in the government, because the information is not responsive to the limited queries that are authorized for intelligence purposes,” the 2009 report said.



“The patience of the American people is beginning to wear thin,” said Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont. “What has to be of more concern in a democracy is whether the trust of

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Phil's Favorites

The dysfunctional debt ceiling and why we should kill it: 5 questions answered


The dysfunctional debt ceiling and why we should kill it: 5 questions answered

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin is taking ‘extraordinary measures’ to avoid busting the debt ceiling. AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Courtesy of Steven Pressman, Colorado State University

Editor’s note: The U.S. government maxed out its national credit card in March and has been moving money around ever since to avoid running out of cash. Very soon the Treasury Department ...

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Zero Hedge

This Is Where The Next Recession Will Start: An Epidemiological Study

By Nicholas Colas of DataTrek

(Published at ZeroHedge)

US recessions are like epidemics: they all begin somewhere, and the “tell” is state-level unemployment data. For example, the end of the 2000 dot com bubble hit Connecticut and Massachusetts first – two hubs for the financials services industry with lots of affluent investors to boot. The end of the 2000s housing boom predictably impacted Florida and Nevada before the rest of the country. This time around, the data shows the manufacturing-heavy states of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana are most at risk. No wonder “Dr. Fed” wants to inoculate the region with lower interest rates.

When medical professionals study epidemics, they look for the source of the ou...

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Digital Currencies

Cryptos Suddenly Panic-Bid, Bitcoin Back Above $10k

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Following further selling pressure overnight, someone (or more than one) has decided to buy-the-dip in cryptos this morning, sending Bitcoin (and most of the altcoins) soaring...

A sea of green...

Source: Coin360

Bitcoin surged back above $10,000...

Ethereum bounced off suppo...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Silver ETF (SLV) Testing Dual Breakout Resistance

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Silver (NYSEARCA: SLV) has been in a bit of a slumber when compared to the price action for Gold (NYSEARCA: GLD).

Precious metals bulls hope that this about to change, as bullish action from Silver is necessary to confirm any bull market / move in metals.

Today’s chart takes a closer look at the Silver ETF (SLV) on a weekly basis. As you can see, Silver is up 5 percent this week alone.

This is good news for metals bulls. But this rally isn’t confirming a breakout just yet.

As you can see in the chart below, SLV has been trading between support (1) ...

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Insider Scoop

Analysts Weigh In On Netflix's Rocky Quarter

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) reported second-quarter results highlighted by an uncharacteristic decline in U.S. subscribers while international subscriber adds missed expectations. Here is a summary of how some of the Street's top analysts reacted to the print.

The Analysts

Mor... more from Insider


DNA testing companies offer telomere testing - but what does it tell you about aging and disease risk?

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


DNA testing companies offer telomere testing – but what does it tell you about aging and disease risk?

A telomere age test kit from Telomere Diagnostics Inc. and saliva. collection kit from 23andMe. Anna Hoychuk/

Courtesy of Patricia Opresko, University of Pittsburgh and Elise Fouquerel, ...

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Professor Shubha Ghosh On The Current State Of Gene Editing


Professor Shubha Ghosh On The Current State Of Gene Editing

Courtesy of Jacob Wolinsky, ValueWalk

ValueWalk’s Q&A session with Professor Shubha Ghosh, a professor of law and the director of the Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute. In this interview, Professor Ghosh discusses his background, the Human Genome Project, the current state of gene editing, 3D printing for organ operations, and gene editing regulation.


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Chart School

Gold Gann Angle Update

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Charts show us the golden brick road to high prices.

GLD Gann Angle has been working since 2016. Higher prices are expected. Who would say anything different, and why and how?

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing.

The GLD very wide channel shows us the way.
- Conservative: Tag the 10 year rally starting in 2001 to 2019 and it forecasts $750 GLD (or $7500 USD Gold Futures) in 10 years.
- Aggressive: Tag the 5 year rally starting in 1976 to 2019  and it forecasts $750 GLD (or $7500 USD Gold Futures) in 5 years.

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if ima...

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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...

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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism


The threat to America is this: we have abandoned our core philosophy. Our first principle of this nation as a meritocracy, a free-market economy, where competition drives economic decision-making. In its place, we have allowed a malignancy to fester, a virulent pus-filled bastardized form of economics so corrosive in nature, so dangerously pestilent, that it presents an extinction-level threat to America – both the actual nation and the “idea” of America.

This all-encompassing mutant corruption saps men’s souls, crushes opportunities, and destroys economic mobility. Its a Smash & Grab system of ill-gotten re...

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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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