Archive for 2015

What Comes After Paper Money, Part 1: Fiat’s Obvious Failure

Courtesy of John Rubino.

Business Insider just posted a Deutsche Bank chart that illustrates the difference between life under the Classical Gold Standard and today’s “modern” forms of money. It’s for the UK only but is a pretty good representation of the world in general:

UK inflation 1500 to 2010

For the first four hundred years depicted here, money was gold and silver — the quantity of which rose at roughly the same rate as the human population. Prices during that time fluctuated, but only modestly by today’s standards, and they always returned to more-or-less the same level. In other words, money held its value for not just years but centuries. It was a fixed aspect of the financial environment and was therefore not a tool of economic policy. Governments and individuals had to adapt to unchanging money rather than forcing money to adapt to political circumstances.

A phase change occurs in the 20th century when the US created the Federal Reserve and World Wars I and II placed survival above monetary stability for most of Europe and Asia. Violent swings in the value of money became the norm, and with the subsequent worldwide adoption of fiat currencies — which governments can create at will — volatility has soared.

Clearly, something bad has happened — and just as clearly something really bad is coming. The question is what. Inflation and deflation both have their articulate proponents, many of whom (adding yet another layer of complexity) expect both but disagree on the order in which they’ll occur. See here, here, here, and here. This is a fascinating debate, with huge implications for personal financial planning. We all have to choose a side with our investments, and the risks and potential rewards have never been higher.

The follow-on question is also fascinating: What do we use for money once fiat currencies inevitably fail? Will central banks adopt some version of Milton Friedman’s computer that increases the supply of base money by a pre-set amount each year, removing the temptation to inflate? Will cyber-currencies like bitcoin turn out to be secure enough to gain worldwide acceptance, eliminating the need for underlying physical reserves? Is a high-tech gold standard possible, in which physical bullion backs an electronic currency…
continue reading

Swing trading portfolio – week of February 2nd, 2015

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


Swing trading virtual portfolio

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.</p></body></html>


Solar Stocks Up Following DOE Report, Higher Crude Oil Prices

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Raymond James Sees SolarCity Shares Benefiting From Lease Ban Lift; Shares Rally
Elon Musk Announces Building Of Hyperloop Test Track
Utility Stocks: Frothy Valuations Signal Opportunity To Take Profits (Seeking Alpha)

Related FSLR
First Solar Is Approaching A Key Technical Level
First Solar, SunEdison Buck Trend In Solar Short Interest
Solar stocks jump amid oil/energy stock rally (Seeking Alpha)

Shares of solar stocks surged Monday following a report on solar energy issued on Friday by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The report noted a 1,200 percent growth in solar capacity since 2008 and projected continued growth in the years ahead.

SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ: SCTY) showed the most strength among U.S. solar companies, trading at $52.18, up 7.35 percent.

First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) was also putting in a strong performance and recently traded at $45.14, up 6.66 percent.

SunEdison Inc (NYSE: SUNE) was up 5.13 percent Monday to $19.69 and SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ: SPWR) also traded higher, up 5.06 percent to $25.34.

China-based Daqo New Energy Corp (NYSE: DQ) soared 15.85 percent to $22.80 by Monday afternoon.

Investors may also be buying solar stocks due to Monday’s increase in crude oil prices. WTI traded at $49.35, up 2.30 percent and Brent traded at $54.50, up 2.85 percent. Deutsche Bank, however, claims that oil has little impact on solar demand.

Posted-In: Department of Energy Deutsche BankNews Intraday Update Movers

Credit Suisse Downgraded 3 Mortgage REITs On Compression In Yield Curve, Widening Of Agency MBS Spreads

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related ARR
Worst Performing Industries For February 2, 2015
MLV & Co Downgrades ARMOUR Residential REIT
Aggressive/Defensive Investing And Market Timing: How To Profit From A Shift In Market Sentiment (Seeking Alpha)
Related CYS
Benzinga's Top Downgrades
Maxim Group Downgrades Cypress Sharpridge Investments To Hold
Credit Suisse downgrades three mortgage REITs (Seeking Alpha)

With a compression in the yield curve and a widening of Agency MBS spreads, Credit Suisse sees strong challenges for mortgage REITs ahead for 2015.

In a report published Monday, research analysts Douglas Harter, Sam Choe and Matthew Freedman look into the sector, which, despite the backdrop, still offers attractive investment options like PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust (NYSE: PMT), Two Harbors Investments Corp (NYSE: TWO) and New Residential Investment Corp. (NYSE: NRZ). However, the firm decided to trim its target prices for the sector by an average of 4 percent.

In addition, a “challenging new investment environment” led to a downgrade of three stocks to Underperform as analysts expect “these names to underperform the mortgage REIT peers from a total return viewpoint.” The demoted stocks are: Armour Residential REIT (NYSE: ARR) and Cypress Sharpridge Investments Inc (NYSE: CYS) and New York Mortgage Trust, Inc. (NASDAQ: NYMT).

Credit Suisse’s analysts cite the following reasons for the downgrades:

Armour Residential REIT: “The combination of a negative duration and relatively long dated hedges lead to book value underperformance in a flat curve environment. This combined with a below average historical risk-adjusted return profile lead us to a lower valuation.”

Cypress Sharpridge Investments: “With above average economic return volatility we expect CYS to continue to have one of the lower price to book multiples among the Agency-only REITs leading us to believe the total return will underperform peers.

New York Mortgage Trust: “The continuation of a tight credit spread and low yield environment will make it challenging for NYMT to meaningfully…
continue reading

Keefe Bruyette & Woods Upgrades Fifth Third Bancorp To Outperform

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related FITB
Compass Point Lowers Price Target On Fifth Third Bancorp As Bumpy Ride Continues
UPDATE: Fifth Third Bancorp Q4 Earnings Beat Views

Analysts at Keefe Bruyette & Woods upgraded Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ: FITB) from Market Perform to Outperform.

The price target for Fifth Third Bancorp is set to $20.

Fifth Third Bancorp shares have dropped 15.61% over the past 52 weeks, while the S&P 500 index has gained 14.53% in the same period.

Fifth Third Bancorp’s shares fell 0.92% to close at $17.30 on Friday.

Latest Ratings for FITB

Date Firm Action From To
Feb 2015 Keefe Bruyette &amp; Woods Upgrades Market Perform Outperform
Jan 2015 Citigroup Maintains Buy
Jan 2015 FBR Capital Downgrades Outperform Market Perform

View More Analyst Ratings for FITB
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Keefe Bruyette & WoodsUpgrades Analyst Ratings

UBS Downgrades Laboratory Corp. of America To Neutral

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related LH
Morgan Stanley Previews Earnings For Cardinal Health, Quest Diagnostics
Benzinga's Top Upgrades

Analysts at UBS downgraded Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (NYSE: LH) from Buy to Neutral.

Laboratory Corp shares have surged 30.64% over the past 52 weeks, while the S&P 500 index has gained 14.53% in the same period.

Laboratory Corp. of America’s shares fell 1.15% to close at $114.78 on Friday.

Latest Ratings for LH

Date Firm Action From To
Feb 2015 UBS Downgrades Buy Neutral
Jan 2015 Evercore ISI Upgrades Hold Buy
Jan 2015 Baird Upgrades Neutral Outperform

View More Analyst Ratings for LH
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: UBSDowngrades Analyst Ratings

Morgan Stanley Downgrades Cardinal Health To Equal-weight

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related CAH
Earnings Scheduled For January 29, 2015
Morgan Stanley Previews Earnings For Cardinal Health, Quest Diagnostics

Analysts at Morgan Stanley downgraded Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE: CAH) from Overweight to Equal-weight.

The price target for Cardinal Health is set to $86.

Cardinal Health shares have jumped 26.51% over the past 52 weeks, while the S&P 500 index has gained 14.53% in the same period.

Cardinal Health’s shares fell 1.92% to close at $83.19 on Friday.

Latest Ratings for CAH

Date Firm Action From To
Feb 2015 Morgan Stanley Downgrades Overweight Equal-weight
Jan 2015 Deutsche Bank Maintains Hold
Jan 2015 Citigroup Maintains Neutral

View More Analyst Ratings for CAH
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Morgan StanleyDowngrades Analyst Ratings

Credit Suisse Lowers Price Target On Moog As Macro Issues Weigh On Guidance

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Earnings Scheduled For January 30, 2015
Earnings Scheduled For October 31, 2014

In a report published Monday, Credit Suisse analyst Robert Spingarn reiterated a Neutral rating on Moog (NYSE: MOG-A), but lowered the price target from $74.00 to $67.00.

In the report, Credit Suisse noted, “Moog reported FQ1’15 EPS of $0.86 which missed consensus by $0.01 despite including ~$0.04 of tax help (from the reinstatement of the 2014 R&D tax credit), by our math. While management described FQ1 as “a slow start to the year,” it classified it as being in-line with guidance, and actually slightly ahead of plan with respect to EPS. However, low oil prices and an associated reduction in exploration ($0.13) activity, slowdown in industrial markets ($0.13), higher tax and other macro effects ($0.07), and the FQ1 high yield bond issuance netted against share repurchases ($0.07) combined to drive a $0.30 (~9.4%) reduction to EPS guidance from $4.25 to $3.85, which excludes future share repurchases (MOOG notes in today’s release that completion of the remaining 9M authority in FY’15 would be worth an incremental $0.10).”

Moog closed on Friday at $70.30.

Latest Ratings for MOG-A

Date Firm Action From To
Nov 2014 Credit Suisse Maintains Neutral
Jan 2014 KeyBanc Downgrades Buy Hold
Jul 2013 DA Davidson Maintains Neutral

View More Analyst Ratings for MOG-A
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Credit Suisse Robert SpingarnAnalyst Color Price Target Analyst Ratings

Benzinga's Top #PreMarket Gainers

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related BLUE
Why Drug Pricing Could Bring Volatility To The Biotech Sector This Year
10 Biotech Stories You Might've Missed This Week
Bluebird's LentiGlobin BB305 a Breakthrough Therapy for blood disorder (Seeking Alpha)

Related CAMT
Benzinga's Top #PreMarket Gainers
Morning Market Movers

Camtek Ltd.(NASDAQ: CAMT) shares rose 10.97% to $3.44 in pre-market trading. Camtek received a conditional purchase order from Bay Area Circuits for a Gryphon system.

bluebird bio, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLUE) shares jumped 7.63% to $100.00 in pre-market trading following announcement of the FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation for LentiGlobin.

Kamada Ltd. (NASDAQ: KMDA) gained 4.22% to $4.20 in pre-market trading after the company reported encouraging interim data from its Phase 1/2 extension study.

Hawaiian Holdings Inc.(NASDAQ: HA) shares gained 4.17% to $20.25 in the pre-market trading session after tumbling 26.97% on Friday.

Energy XXI Ltd. (NASDAQ: EXXI) shares surged 3.74% to $3.05 in pre-market trading after rising 2.80% on Friday.

Posted-In: PreMarket GainersNews Pre-Market Outlook Markets Movers

Presidio Acquired By Funds Affiliated With Apollo Global Management From American Securities

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related APO
Credit Suisse Takes Neutral Position On 4 Asset Managers
Credit Suisse Downgrades Apollo Global Management Due To 'Challenging' Investment Environment

Presidio Holdings, Inc. (“Presidio” or the “Company”) announced that effective today, the previously announced acquisition of the Company by funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management, LLC (NYSE: APO) (together with its consolidated subsidiaries, “Apollo”) from affiliates of American Securities, LLC has been completed. In accordance with the terms of the definitive agreement, which was announced on December 1, 2014, funds affiliated with Apollo have acquired all outstanding common stock of Presidio. Going forward Presidio Holdings, Inc. will continue to do business as Presidio. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We are pleased to complete the acquisition and begin moving forward with a new partner. We believe Apollo is a great partner for Presidio, and we are excited about the opportunities this will bring us to continue to scale and grow our business,” commented Bob Cagnazzi, Presidio’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are in an excellent position to build on our industry leadership in advanced IT solutions and services.”

Matthew Nord, Partner at Apollo, said, “Presidio is a world-class business led by an outstanding management team that has consistently delivered for its partners and clients. We are eager to support the Company in its growth initiatives and strategic investment opportunities.”

LionTree Advisors served as financial advisor to Apollo. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz served as legal counsel to Apollo. Barclays Capital and Credit Suisse Securities served as financial advisors to Presidio. Weil, Gotshal & Manges served as legal counsel to Presidio.

Posted-In: News M&A Press Releases


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...

more from Tyler


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...

more from ValueWalk

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...

more from Ilene

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...

more from Kimble C.S.

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...

more from Bitcoin

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...

more from Chart School

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 (...

more from Our Members


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.


more from Biotech

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...

more from M.T.M.


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 ...

more from OpTrader


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


more from Promotions

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...

Learn more About Phil >>

As Seen On:

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.

Market Shadows >>