Archive for 2015

Dow Futures ‘Rally’ 150 Points Off Opening Lows Into Positive Territory On Greek Makeshift “Deal” Chatter

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

We have detailed just what a total farce of a day this has been in Brussels, but even more farcical is the reaction in equity markets in the last few minutes…

Because it wouldn’t be a stock market if buying the dip didn’t work…





China Stocks Mixed After Regulators “Bust Illicit Stock Sellers” And Unhalt Over 400 Securities

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

A modestly positive open in China quickly turned negative as regulators un-halted 408 more stocks, reducing the number suspended to just 36% of all stocks. Along with disappointing trade data (and expectations of “extreme pressure in the next 2-3 months”) and regulators cracking down on investors with multiple illegally-obtained margin trading accounts, early strength has faded (for now). Unsurprisingly, the three regions with the most exposure to the crash in stocks are Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangdong and, as Bloomberg notes, Chinese police have found their scapegoat some trading companies may have manipulated stock futures (lower we assume, as manipulating a price higher appears to be policy). Stocks are mixed with high beta ChiNext and Shenzhen higher and Shanghai and the CSI-300 lower (the latter having gone nowhere for the last 2 days).

The 24% explosion off the lows is stalling…

Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangdong dominate the nation’s equity maket exposure

Source: @KangHexin

Scapegoats are being lined up… (as Bloomberg reports)

China police investigation team led by Vice Minister of Public Security Meng Qingfeng found signs some trading cos. may have manipulated stock futures, Xinhua reported, without saying where it got the information.

The team visited China Securities Regulatory Commission head office Thursday morning to investigate what it called “malicious short-selling of stocks and stock indices”: Xinhua

The team arrived in Shanghai Friday to continue the probe

And regulators are attempting to manage the multiple margin accounts problems (as Xinhua reports)…

China’s securities watchdog announced on Sunday that it will crack down on illicit securities trading so that the market can recover steadily.

“Some institutional or individual investors hold ‘virtual’ securities accounts or trade with borrowed accounts. As real-name registration is required by the law, this illicit conduct may damage other investors’ legitimate interests,” said the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).

The commission asked local authorities to verify the authenticity of securities accounts and be more strict when supervising them.

Institutional and individual investors will be prohibited from lending their accounts to each other.

The CSRC said it will clamp down on any illicit conduct in accordance with the law, and will transfer violators to the police.

“Free” markets…

  • *NUMBER OF CHINA TRADING HALTS DROPS TO 36% OF OVERALL LISTINGS
  • *NUMBER OF CHINA TRADING HALTS DROPS BY


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Why NATO Fears ‘Grexit’

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Originally posted at SputnikNews.com,

With Greece tottering on the brink of leaving the Eurozone, experts of all stripes have been debating Grexit's security implications, including Athens' relationship with NATO. While naysayers argue that the geopolitics behind Grexit "are actually pretty boring," others warn that the implications for the bloc could be far more serious.

Over the past couple of weeks, US and European media have been busy pondering the implications of the Grexit for European security, particularly as it relates to the NATO alliance. Following an initial outburst of panic and alarm about NATO standing to lose its Mediterranean outpost to Moscow before being flooded by immigrants, NATO Secretary General Jeans Stoltenberg urged for calm, noting that the Greeks "have not linked the problems within the European Union and the euro with their strong commitment to NATO," and adding that Athens will remain "a close partner."

Influential US news and geopolitical analysis publication Foreign Policy echoed Stoltenberg's tone, brushing off security fears with a recent headline reading "The Geopolitics of a Grexit Are Actually Pretty Boring." The piece, written by former European Council on Foreign Relations Senior Policy Fellow Dimitar Bechev, argues that "those fretting that a Greek departure from the Eurozone will unleash a flood of migrants and send Athens into the arms of a waiting Putin should calm down," noting that "none of this is going to happen."

Bechev states out that the "alarmist" arguments over Greece have turned the country, a "peripheral member of the West that accounts for a mere 3 percent of the eurozone's GDP, into a pivotal country."

Moreover, dismissing arguments about the country's 'dangerous' "flirtation with Russia," Bechev posits that in actuality, the "Russian gambit," aimed at providing the Syriza-led coalition with "some space to maneuver" in relation to Brussels and Berlin, has "failed to pay off."

As far as Greece's geopolitical importance is concerned, Bechev notes that geopolitical considerations have not really given the country "much mileage in the debt talks," adding that "even if Athens wanted to foment trouble –and there are few signs that it does –it has little power to actually do so."

Ultimately, according to the analyst, Greece is and will remain unlikely to rock the boat on any of Europe's major security and foreign affairs issues, from anti-Russian sanctions, to the…
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GMO’s Montier Shifts To 50% Cash, Sees 3 “Hellish” Scenarios For Markets

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

"This is definitely the most difficult time to be an asset allocator," warns GMO's James Montier, telling conference attendees in Munich that he hasn't been this risk-averse since 2008. Having warned six months ago that "stocks are hideously expensive…in a central bank sponsored bubble," Montier sees three different "hellish" scenarios and as CityWire reports, warns investors, "I think it's best to stand a bit and hold onto some dry powder," despite the groupthink idolatry being practiced around the world.

As CityWire reports,

"This is definitely the most difficult time to be an asset allocator. It’s very hard to find value," Montier told Citywire at the Value Intelligence Conference in Munich, an event hosted by Value Intelligence Advisors (VIA).

The fund manager recently cut his equity exposure to US 'quality' names and, as such, has upped cash in his Global Real Return fund. He currently holds 20% in liquid assets, i.e. cash and derivatives, while a further 30% is invested in fixed income.

"2007 and 2008 we had about 80% of the fund in non-risky assets. This has been the first time since that we have had over 50% in very liquid assets," he said.

And various levels of hell are on their way…

Montier said he is currently breaking up his market view into three different 'hellish' situations.

Firstly, there is a kind of 'stable' hell, for Montier this is the worst and least likely situation, where rates stay low over a long period and volatility and as such entry opportunities are minimal.

Then he describes something near to purgatory, which, Montier said, is the most helpful environment for investors. This is where he sees the market still moving between a low interest rate and a rising interest rate scenario.

The final of the three scenarios is an ‘unstable’ hell, where the market goes in one direction but keeps getting back off of course.

"I can't tell you exactly how it is going to work. We may see US rates rise in the autumn but I wouldn’t take it for a given."

So where to invest?

His recent cut in US equities included exiting stocks such as Proctor & Gamble and Microsoft, which he sold on valuation grounds.

"We still see these names as a relatively good option for equity


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Immigration Policy Must Be Decentralized

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute,

Last month, the United States Supreme Court declined to take up a case involving Arizona’s and Kansas’s attempts to require proof of citizenship to vote in federal elections. The two states sought SCOTUS review in an attempt to overturn a prohibition imposed by lower federal courts. Had the two states been allowed to impose more stringent citizenship requirements, the effect on the voting population would have likely been small, but the overall legal effect of the court’s decision is significant.

The refusal of the Supreme Court to hear the case yet again sends a message to state and local governments that the federal government shall continue to centrally direct election and immigration law. As noted in The Hill:

“This is a very big deal,” Rick Hasen, a University of California Irvine law professor, wrote on his election law blog. “Kobach had the potential to shift more power away from the federal government in administering elections toward the states.”

Centrally Planning Immigration Policy

The Arizona and Kansas voting restrictions had been efforts to affect national immigration policy via state laws. But, as has been the trend over the past century, the federal government has repeatedly asserted itself as the last word in policymaking in citizenship and immigration matters.

Indeed, the Federal Courts explicitly declared the states powerless to attempt to control immigration within their own borders when Federal Judge Mariana Pfaelzer struck down California’s voter-approved Proposition 187 in 1994 and wrote:

California is powerless to enact its own legislative scheme to regulate immigration. It is likewise powerless to enact its own legislative scheme to regulate alien access to public benefits.

Naturally, this decision sent the message nationwide that states should not bother to limit access to taxpayer-funded amenities (with public education being a central issue) because the federal government will simply declare such efforts illegal.

Thus, through these cases, federal courts have made it clear that no state (or anyone other than the feds) can meaningfully prevent participation by non-citizens in political activities such as elections, nor can the states limit the ways in which immigrants can access government benefits, even when those benefits are locally-funded. 

The net effect is an imposition of a migrant subsidy scheme across all states regardless


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The Depressing Similarity Between The US and Iran

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

The share of Americans living on more than $50-a-day dropped from 58% in 2001 to just 56% in Pew Research Center's latest report. The dubious disctinction of this depressing reality is 'exceptional' America is the only developed nation to see its standard of living drop… a narrative not even Greece suffered (but Iran did!!)

As Bloomberg reports,

 The retreat in the U.S.'s share puts the world's largest economy in the same league as Iran, the pariah state with whom it's trying to broker a nuclear deal,  and a handful of other countries: Nicaragua, the Philippines, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Bulgaria and Serbia.

Even Greece saw its share more than double to 23 percent in 2011 (although this improvement will almost certainly be less impressive if the data stretched out to more recent years, given the continued contractions in Greece's economy).

So what happened?

The report says: "The lack of movement up the income ladder in the U.S. is the result of two recessions over the period of 2001 to 2011 —the first in 2001 and the second from 2007 to 2009. The median annual household income in the U.S. fell from $53,646 in 2001 to $50,054 in 2011."

*  *  *





The Latest Out Of Europe: “Pretty Steady Level Of Shittiness”

Greece is still the story of the weekend, alhough China maintains a close second in newsiness. 

 

The Latest Out Of Europe: "Pretty Steady Level Of Shittiness"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Moments ago, after yet another weekend in which Europe was said to have given Greece yet another "absolutely final" deadline in which to agree to deal terms, terms which now Europe can't agree on, when after five years of recovery we found out that the Greek economy is so bad it will have to put in escrow some €50 billion in assets to preserve the ECB's financial lifeline of its banks which just in October of 2014 passed the same ECB's "stress test" with flying colors, we had a revelation:

Turns out, we weren't too far off. This is how Sky News' Ed Conway summarized the events to date:

So for those who still care, where do we stand now? Before answer that, here is a rather florid visual of what happened just last night, when Germany's Schauble, seemingly pushed into a demonic fit of existential rage with Greece, decided to unilaterally tear apart the Eurozone just to teach Athens a lesson.

 

[Tweet added by Ilene]

According to Reuters, what happened during last night's Eurogroup finmin meeting which concluded without a deal, is that in a "tough, even violent" atmosphere, in the words of one participant, after an overnight break…
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How Fascist Capitalism Functions: The Case Of Greece

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Authored by Eric Zeusse,

There is democratic capitalism, and there is fascist capitalism. What we have today is fascist capitalism; and the following will explain how it works, using as an example the case of Greece.

Mark Whitehouse at Bloomberg headlined on 27 June 2015, “If Greece Defaults, Europe’s Taxpayers Lose,” and presented his ‘news’ report, which simply assumed that, perhaps someday, Greece will be able to get out of debt without defaulting on it. Other than his unfounded assumption there (which assumption is even in his headline), his report was accurate. Here is what he reported that’s accurate:

He presented two graphs, the first of which shows Greece’s governmental debt to private investors (bondholders) as of, first, December 2009; and, then, five years later, December 2014. This graph shows that, in almost all countries, private investors either eliminated or steeply reduced their holdings of Greek government bonds during that 5-year period. (Overall, it was reduced by 83%; but, in countries such as France, Portugal, Ireland, Austria, and Belgium, it was reduced closer to 100% — all of it.) In other words: by the time of December 2009, word was out, amongst the aristocracy, that only suckers would want to buy it from them, so they needed suckers and took advantage of the system that the aristocracy had set up for governments to buy aristocrats’ bad bets — for governments to be suckers when private individuals won’t. Not all of it was sold directly to governments; much of it went instead indirectly, to agencies that the aristocracy has set up as basically transfer-agencies for passing junk to governments; in other words, as middlemen, to transfer unpayable debt-obligations to various governments’ taxpayers. Whitehouse presented no indication as to whom those investors sold that debt to, but almost all of it was sold, either directly or indirectly, to Western governments, via those middlemen-agencies, so that, when Greece will default (which it inevitably will), the taxpayers of those Western governments will suffer the losses. The aristocracy will already have wrung what they could out of it.

Who were these governments and middlemen-agencies? As of January 2015, they were: 62% Euro-member governments (including the European Financial Stability Facility); 10% International Monetyary Fund (IMF), and 8% European Central Bank; then, 17% still remained with private investors; and 3% was owned


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Russia Readies Fuel Deliveries To Athens, Will Support Greek “Economic Revival”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Russia and Greece have a ”special relationship of spiritual kinship and religious and historical affinity,” Vladimir Putin said yesterday, following the BRICS summit in Ulfa. 

Over the course of the unfolding crisis in Greece, Athens has at various times gone out of its way to remind Angela Merkel that allowing the country to crash out of the currency bloc may force the Greeks to turn to their other international “friends” (to use Nigel Farage’s words) for assistance. Facing economic sanctions from the EU in connection with its alleged role in destabilizing Ukraine not to mention a spiteful anti-trust suit against Gazprom, the Kremlin has been more than happy to use the rising tensions between Athens and Brussels to its geopolitical advantage. 

So far, discussions between Russia and Greece have revolved primarily around energy, and several months back, when negotiations between Athens and creditors began to deteriorate in earnest, reports began to surface that Moscow may consider advancing Greece some €5 billion against the future proceeds from the Greek portion of the proposed Turkish Stream natural gas pipeline.

Although the loan never materialized, the agreement on the pipeline did, and it was held up last week as proof that Greece is “no one’s hostage.”

Now, that contention will be put to the test as Greece faces the prospect of a “swift time-out” from the eurozone if PM Alexis Tsipras can’t convince parliament to agree to a new term sheet from creditors which seeks the implementation of a number of draconian measures in exchange for a third bailout. Of course, as we noted earlier today, a “time-out” is a polite way of saying “get the hell out,” and in the event of a messy exit and forced redenomination, an acute cash and credit crunch will likely mean a shortage of critical imports and, in short order, a humanitarian crisis.

Given the mood in Brussels over the weekend, Greece could be forgiven for not putting much faith in Jean Claude-Juncker’s “humanitarian plan”, but that’s ok because as AFP reports, Russia is ready to help

Russia is considering direct deliveries of fuel to Greece to help prop up its economy, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Sunday, quoted by Russian news agencies.

“Russia intends to support the revival of Greece’s economy by broadening


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U.S. Must Come To Its Senses About Russia

By Polina Tikhonova. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Apparently, Secretary of State John Kerry “doesn’t agree” with Marine Gen Joseph Dunford’s opinion that Russia poses an ‘existential threat’ to the U.S. national interests, a senior department official said Friday.

Russia, Pres. Putin

Pres. Vladimir Putin at the opening of the International Military-Technical Forum ARMY-2015.

During his appointment hearing to become the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen Dunford told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that if they “want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I’d have to point to Russia. And if you look at their behavior, it’s nothing short of alarming.”

As it became later known, the General’s opinion is not in line with John Kerry’s opinion. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that the Secretary of State “doesn’t agree with the assessment that Russia is an existential threat to the United States, nor China, quite frankly.”

However, Toner acknowledged the fact that Dunford is “expected to provide his views, his assessment on which nations or entities pose a threat to the United States. And that’s his job.”

Putin’s erratic policy vs. Obama’s weak policy

Apparently, Mr Kerry seems to forget the kind of strategy Russian President Vladimir Putin follows. Putin’s strategy is sudden and irrational. And the proof of that is his decision to order Russian troops to take over Crimea in 2014 as well as his ongoing efforts to tear apart Ukraine with the help of Russian troops in eastern Ukraine.

This kind of erratic policy raises certain concerns as well as poses direct threats not only to the neighboring states but also to Europe as a whole. It is also worrisome that the remarks by Mr Toner might serve as a ‘confirmation’ for the Russians that the White House still sticks to the ‘soft’ diplomatic strategy in handling Russian threats. And while the strategy is widely called as too ‘weak’, this kind of ‘confirmation’ might encourage Putin to not change the direction and keep threatening the U.S. as well as the entire Europe with its nuclear weapons.

Mr Kerry also seems to forget Russia’s plans to add 40 intercontinental ballistic missiles to its nuclear arsenal, which Vladimir Putin announced at the opening ceremony of Russia’s military ‘Disneyland’ almost a month ago.

Mr Kerry


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ValueWalk

#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

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"

 

 

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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