Archive for 2015

Bernie Sanders Ramps Up Call for Political Revolution

Courtesy of Pam Martens.

On Friday, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont spoke before the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C., calling the United States an oligarchy and reasserting his call for a “political revolution.”

Sanders said that “In the last election, last November, 63 percent of the American people didn’t vote, 80 percent of young people didn’t vote, and today, millionaires and billionaires are buying the election. Is that what democracy in this country is supposed to be about? I think not…We need a political revolution.”

Sanders said his campaign has already made political history, earning the support of 750,000 donors with an average contribution of $30 each. He said that number of contributions at this point in a campaign sets a new historical record. Sanders said his plan for winning the White House is to “rally millions of working class people who have given up on the political process.”

One day later, Sanders was in Iowa, speaking at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner on Saturday night. Sanders used the occasion to distance himself from positions taken by Hillary Clinton as a Senator and her husband, Bill Clinton, during his presidency.

Sanders told the huge crowd in Iowa that he is the “only Democratic candidate for President who does not have a super PAC.” Sanders also attacked prior trade deals, like NAFTA, which Bill Clinton signed into law. Sanders said “in the last 14 years, this country has lost 60,000 factories and millions of decent paying jobs. And let me be clear about the current trade deal that we are debating in Congress, the Trans Pacific Partnership. That agreement is not now, nor has it ever been the gold standard of trade agreements. I did not support it yesterday, I do not support it today, and I will not support it tomorrow.”

On the Iraq war, Sanders said corporate media and overwhelming majorities in the House and the Senate were in favor of the war.  Sanders said he “listened carefully to what Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld had to say and I said ‘no, they’re not telling the truth.’ And I was right…I came to the fork in the road and I took the right fork even though it was not popular at that time.” Hillary Clinton voted for the Iraq war resolution in 2002 as a Senator from New York.

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The Death Of Europe

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Daniel Greenfield via,

How The Mohammed Reitrement Plan Will Kill Europe

European leaders talk about two things these days; preserving European values by taking in Muslim migrants and integrating Muslim migrants into Europe by getting them to adopt European values.

It does not occur to them that their plan to save European values depends on killing European values.

The same European values that require Sweden, a country of less than 10 million, to take in 180,000 Muslim migrants in one year also expects the new “Swedes” to celebrate tolerance, feminism and gay marriage. Instead European values have filled the cities of Europe with Shariah patrols, unemployed angry men waving ISIS flags and the occasional public act of terror.

European countries that refuse to invest money in border security instead find themselves forced to invest money into counterterrorism forces. And those are bad for European values too.

But, as Central European countries are discovering, European values don’t have much to do with the preservation of viable functioning European states. Instead they are about the sort of static Socialism that Bernie Sanders admires from abroad. But even a Socialist welfare state requires people to work for a living. Maine’s generous welfare policies began collapsing once Somali Muslims swarmed in to take advantage of them. Denmark and the Dutch, among other of Bernie Sanders’ role models, have been sounding more like Reagan and less like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.

Two years ago, the Dutch King declared that, “The classic welfare state of the second half of the 20th century in these areas in particular brought forth arrangements that are unsustainable in their current form.” That same year, the Danish Finance Minister called for the “modernization of the welfare state.”

But the problem isn’t one of modernization, it’s medievalization.

27% of Moroccans and 21% of Turks in the Netherlands are unemployed. It’s 27% in Denmark for Iraqis. And even when employed, their average income is well below the European average.

Critics pointed out in the past that a multicultural America can’t afford the welfare states that European countries have. Now that those same countries are turning multicultural, they can’t afford them either.

Europe invested in the values of its welfare state. The Muslim world invested in large families. Europe expects the Muslim world to bail out its
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The Mechanics Of The Fed As Seen By The Eurodollar Curve

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

For a while, in that brief period between the August flash crash and the terrible September jobs report, it seemed that things may revert back to normal: bad news are bad news, good news are good news, and the economic cycle – as in the recession - is allowed to make a long-overdue repeat appearance from under the suffocating pressure of central banks.

Alas, it was not meant to be.

This is how DB’s Alekandar Kocic explained it:

Last week’s developments in Europe (more QE, negative rates) and Asia (China cutting interest rates) are further reducing the probability of Fed liftoff. In all likelihood, we are one weak number away from a full relent and the market is already on the way to pricing it. But, to fully embrace this scenario, the market will likely wait for an explicit statement from the Fed. We continue to believe that repricing of the curve will follow a two step procedure with initial bull steepening followed by a bull flattening. This rates and macro view is roughly consistent with the curve approaching its shape of the late 2011, post low-for-long and operation twist, environment.

And while many – mostly those with no money on the table – debate daily what, how and when the Fed should move, for a specific subset of massively levered traders, even more so than the HFT algos who frontrun the equity market, every hiccup, stutter and vomit by Janet Yellen can mean the difference between early retirement and suicide (we hope this is a joke).

We are talking of course about Eurodollars, and it is Eurodollar traders who have been carted out feet first, year after year, having positioned (year after year), for a Fed rate hike that just doesn’t come, and doesn’t come, and doesn’t come, etc in perpetuity.

In this case, the Eurodollar curve is also a useful barometer of what the market’s consensus take is on what the Fed will do (at least until proven wrong by the Fed). And so, courtesy of DB, here is a quick primer on…

The mechanics of the Fed as seen by the Eurodollar curve

Eurodollar curve captures the mechanics of Fed expectations in a simple way. Away from the very front end, the curve dynamics is displays a…
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Chinese Stocks Rise To 2 Month High Following PBOC’s Rate, RRR Cut But Copper, Crude Struggle

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

As largely expected, following Friday’s unexpected rate cut by the PBOC (which may have been mostly driven by 5th CCP Plenum considerations), and today’s drop in the onshore Yuan which traded down 0.13% vs the Dollar to 6.3554, China’s stocks opened solidly in the green, led by construction names, with recently troubled Vanke shares jumping 7.4% in early trading, the most since July 10, to their highest level since Aug. 11. Peers such as Longfor, CR Land and China Overseas Land, also jumped by 6.9%, 1.9% and 1.4%, respectively.

China’s indices were solidly green in early trading, with the Shanghai Composite +0.9%, Shenzhen Comp +0.8%, and CSI 300 +1.3%.

Hong Kong was likewise euphoric, with several key names standing out:

  • Tencent +1.3%; biggest contribution to HSI’s gains
  • Banks such as Agricultural Bank +0.6%, ICBC +0.8%, and Bank of China +0.8% were all stronger after China removed the deposit rate ceiling
  • Citic Securities +2.3%; seeks bond payment from Baoding Tianwei
  • China Reinsurance +2.2% on its debut

Elsewhere in the Asian region, early sentiment was also a broad, if somewhat tame, bullishness.

  • MSCI AP Index +0.7% to 136.71; health care, consumer discretionary rise most
  • Nikkei 225 +1.2%; Topix +1.1%; yen +0.3% to 121.17/USD
  • Hang Seng Index +0.7%, HSCI +0.7%, HSCEI +1.1%
  • Shanghai Composite +0.9%,
  • ASX 200 +0.2%
  • Kospi +0.3%
  • Straits Times Index +1.0%
  • KLCI -0.2%
  • TWSE +0.7%
  • Philippines Composite +1.6%
  • Australian dollar +0.4% to $0.7242
  • NZ dollar +0.1% to $0.6760
  • Dollar Index -0.1% to 96.98
  • Asia dollar index +0.1% to 108.57

As for China’s key index, the Shanghai Composite, it is up over 1%, or 40 points in early trading, to 3,450 – the highest level in 2 months, a gain which however is well below Friday’s pre-rate cut gain…

… and if prior rate cut history is any indication, not to mention the weak reaction by commodities on Friday (continuing into today, where WTI turned green by the smallest of margins just seconds ago…

… not to mention copper which is down for the second day in a row…

…  we would not be surprised to see China’s stocks sliding back into the red very shortly as “sell the news” concerns return, and as the increasingly more addicted “markets” demand even more liquidity from central banks just to stay unchanged, let alone rise to new all time highs.

Chinese Malls Hit With Low Traffic, Rising Vacancies, Plunging Rent, Massive Overcapacity

Courtesy of Mish.

Judging from mall traffic, sinking rent, and rising vacancies, the effort by China to hand off growth from fixed investment to consumer consumption is not going well.

Reuters asks Why are Chinese Malls Closing if Consumption is Rising?

Rising vacancy rates and plummeting rents are increasingly common in Chinese malls and department stores, despite official data showing a sharp rebound in retail sales that helped the world's second-largest economy beat expectations in the third quarter.

The answer to that apparent contradiction lies in the rising competition from online shopping and government purchases possibly boosting retail statistics. Add poorly managed properties into the equation and the empty malls aren't much of a surprise.

More importantly, the struggles of Chinese brick-and-mortar retailers amplify a policy conundrum; these malls, built to reap gains from rising consumption, are instead adding to China’s corporate debt problem, currently at 160 percent of GDP – twice as high as the United States.

Less foot traffic means cash flow of mall owners and developers are getting squeezed – a potential hazard for an economy growing at its slowest pace in decades.

Major listed mall operators are also feeling the pain. Dalian Wanda, a big property developer, said in January it would close or restructure 30 of its retail venues and in August said more adjustments were underway.

Malaysia-based Parkson (3368.HK), which operates more than 70 department stores in China, closed several of its stores in northern China last year following a 58 percent drop in China net profit in 2013. 

"As growth in retail sales slows because of the country's lower GDP growth, and in cities where mall space is abundant, vacancy rates have risen substantially," said Moody's analyst Marie Lam in a research note.

In its latest efforts to reenergize the economy, China's central bank on Friday cut interest rates for the sixth time in less than a year.

Tim Condon, an economist at ING in Singapore warned that investors should not read China's official retail figures as exclusively reflective of rising household consumption, noting that the data also capture some government purchases.

Shopping Overcapacity

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Picture from Pixabay.

Paul Craig Roberts Slams Western Press-titution

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

The Western media has only two tools.

One is the outrageous lie. This overused tool no longer works, except on dumbshit Americans.

The pinpoint accuracy of the Russian cruise missiles and air attacks has the Pentagon shaking in its boots. But according to the Western presstitutes the Russian missiles fell out of the sky over Iran and never made it to their ISIS targets.

According to the presstitute reports, the Russia air attacks have only killed civilians and blew up a hospital.

The presstitutes fool only themselves and dumbshit Americans.

The other tool used by presstitutes is to discuss a problem with no reference to its causes. Yesterday I heard a long discussion on NPR, a corporate and Israeli owned propaganda organ, about the migrant problem in Europe. Yes, migrants, not refugees.

These migrants have appeared out of nowhere. They have decided to seek a better life in Europe, where capitalism, which provides jobs, freedom, democracy, and women’s rights guarantee a fulfilling life. Only the West provides a fulfilling life, because it doesn’t yet bomb itself.

The hordes overrunning Europe just suddenly decided to go there. It has nothing to do with Washington’s 14 years of destruction of seven countries, enabled by the dumbshit Europeans themselves, who provided cover for the war crimes under such monikers as the “coalition of the willing,” a “NATO operation,” “bringing freedom and democracy.”

From the Western presstitute media you would never know that the millions fleeing into Europe are fleeing American and European bombs that have indiscriminately slaughtered and dislocated millions of Muslim peoples.

Not even the tiny remnant of conservative magazines, the ones that the neocon nazis have not taken over or exterminated, can find the courage to connect the refugees with US policy in the Middle East.

For example, Srdja Trifkovic writing in the October issue of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, sees the refugees as “the third Muslim invasion of Europe.” For Trifkovic, the refugees are invaders who will bring about the collapse of the remnant of Western Christian Civilization.

Trifkovic never mentions that the Europeans brought the millions of Muslim refugees upon themselves, because their corrupt political bosses are Washington’s well-paid vassals and enabled Washington’s wars for hegemony that displaced millions of Muslims. For Trifkovic and every other conservative,…
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“How Would One Position For One Final Melt-Up On Wall Street”? – Here Is BofA’s Answer

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

In the past month, now that stocks have stabilized on the hope, and at least one confirmation of easing by the ECB, BOJ, and PBOC and even the Fed, we have seen quite a few comparisons of the current market to that encountered during the post-LTCM bailout halcyon days of late 1998/early 1999. From Ice Farm Capital, to BofA, now that the early-2008 chart comparisons have taken an indefinite hiatus (at least temporarily), suddenly analogs to pre dot-com bubble mania are all the rage.

And sure enough, for the technicians out there all else equal, the following chart overlay screams Nasdaq at 6000 in 4-6 months.

This is how BofA summarizes it:

It could simply be 1998/99 all over again. After all, a “speculative blow-off” in asset prices is one logical conclusion to a world dominated by central bank liquidity, technological disruption & wealth inequality.

Back then, as could be the case today, a bull market & a US-led economic recovery was rudely interrupted by a crisis in Emerging Markets. The crisis threatened to hurt Main Street via Wall Street (the Nasdaq fell 33% between July-Oct 1998, when LTCM went under). Policy makers panicked and monetary policy was eased (with hindsight unnecessarily). Fresh liquidity combined with apocalyptic investor sentiment very quickly morphed into a violent but narrow equity bull market/bubble in 1998/99, one which ultimately took valuations & interest rates sharply higher to levels that eventually caused a “pop”.

The 1998-2015 analogy, for what it’s worth, is working for the Nasdaq (see chart above), which is currently bouncing hard, and leading the rally, after an 18% plunge. (Although it is not yet working for biotech which is consolidating after a 35% crash).

So if this is merely a rerun of the well-known pre-dot com bubble episode, what should one be positioned? This is how BofA would trade the “final melt-up on Wall Street.

What worked back then? What rose from the rubble of 1998? How would one position for one final melt-up on Wall Street? Table 1 illustrates it was an “überbarbell” of über-growth stocks (e.g. internet) and über-value (e.g. EM/Russia) that significantly outperformed in 1998-99. Why? Because 1999 started as a year of “max liquidity, scarce growth & distressed value” and ended with an internet bubble

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KiM JoNG JuaN…

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by williambanzai7.


Crisis Alpha & Why Volatility Is The ‘Only’ Asset Class

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Excerpted from Artemis Capital Management letter to investors,

There is a tiresome debate as to whether or not volatility is an asset class. Let me end that debate… Volatility is the ONLY asset class. We are all volatility traders and the only question is whether we realize it or not.  If you disagree do me a favor and imagine you are an alien that just landed on earth and you know nothing about investing. Stocks, bonds, what are those? All you have to look at are numbers.

Most investments will show upward growth in a steady and seductive line until they experience horrific drawdowns: classic value investing, credit, real estate, and carry trades all fit this profile and are akin to shorting volatility, correlation, and dispersion. Other investments exhibit negative to flat returns with huge profit jumps that occur infrequently. Examples include global macro funds, trend-following CTAs, and tail-risk funds.

Most of what we think of as alpha is actually short volatility in sheep’s clothing. To prove this point we took a cross section of popular hedge fund strategies and compared their returns against selling naked put options on the S&P 500 index. The results speak for themselves and the average hedge fund strongly resembles a simple short volatility position.

I find it puzzling why institutions focus on superficial asset buckets but fail to categorize investments by what really matters… return profile. This is akin to categorizing a blue and green parakeet as two entirely different species of animal, but putting an alligator and the green parakeet in the same bucket. Diversification is futile if you do not categorize by return style.

Many investors assemble a varied portfolio of asset classes and hedge funds thinking there is safety in diversification… but all that is achieved is concentrated short convexity exposure. In a crisis the portfolio is revealed for what it really is – majority short volatility with no diversification at all.

Very few investments maintain a dedicated long convexity return profile. It can be hard to hang out with the designated driver when everyone else is getting drunk from the global monetary punchbowl. Many great investors understand that having a convex asset in their portfolio allows them to buy when everyone else is selling, stick with their investment plan in times of duress,…
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“The Distress Is Showing Up” Credit Managers Index Plunges To Recessionary Levels

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

While even the mainstream media is now aware of the 'turn' in the credit cycle and the decoupling of high-yield credit markets from equity (and equity protection) markets, there is a lot going on under the surface of the broad lending (and borrowing) markets that warrants serious concern.

As The National Association of Credit Managers notes,

So much for that hoped for pattern of one bad month followed by a good one. This month’s CMI is as low as it has been in more than a year and this time the problem is in the non-favorable categories—a bigger concern than if the favorable had been the issue. When the unfavorable factors are showing stress, it is an indication that companies are feeling the pinch and may be starting a long downward trend.

There was considerable distress noted in the unfavorable factors as well. These are the factors that usually suggest that creditors are getting in trouble. For the last several months, the good news has been that current credit was in decent shape, that the economic issues of the day had yet to really impact, but this no longer seems to be the case. The distress is showing up.

Now we have a month when almost all the categories have weakened.

This is signaling an abundance of caution going into what is supposed to be strong selling season and this is worrying.

It would seem that many of the triggers that usually promote growth are not working out – unemployment is relatively low, there is no inflation in the energy sector and there has been improvement in the housing data – nothing seems to be able to shake the lethargy and concern.

More problematic still is the resurgence in the bankrutpcy index..

In addition, the 'amount of credit extended' index has tumbled to its lowest since October 2010, the same level it had dropped to before the collapse began in 2008.

Comparing September 2015 to September 2014, thus far, the trend is far from a happy one. Nearly all the readings are down from where they were a month ago and significantly down from a year ago. There will have to be a big rebound just to get back to where the readings were in October and November of 2014.…
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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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