Archive for 2015

Debt-To-GDP Ratios Demand Debt Jubilee

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Sprott Money.

Jeff Nielson for Sprott Money

In the 1980’s, Canada was governed by (at that time) the most incompetent, fiscally irresponsible regime in the Western world: Brian Mulroney’s “Conservative” government. In a mere eight years; Canada’s national debt tripled, and its debt-to-GDP ratio soared to what was (at the time) an astronomical level above 70%.

Canada was considered to be in an official “debt crisis”. What is meant by the term debt-crisis? It’s all a function of simple arithmetic. It is where the total debt-load approaches a point where it is no longer mathematically possible for the economy to remain viable over the long term.

While the precise quantum where an economy passes “the point of no return” is somewhat dependent upon economic assumptions; a very crude standard is the 100%-level. Once an economy accumulates a mountain of debt equal to its entire, national, economic output; that economy no longer has sufficient financial/economic mass to (responsibly) “service” this mountain of debt.

In other words, once past that point-of-no-return, as a simple function of arithmetic it is inevitable that total debt (and thus total interest payments) must just continue to go higher and higher and higher, until…? Outright bankruptcy. The economic Holy Grail of a “balanced budget” is no longer even mathematically possible; maintaining the same fiscal course is nothing less than economic suicide.

With the only possible (long-term) outcome being national bankruptcy, and with every year a government continues past the point-of-no-return inflicting enormous, additional, economic harm; once past the point-of-no-return any legitimate/responsible government would immediately look to either “restructure” (i.e. reduce) its total debt-load – or simply default (i.e. declare Debt Jubilee).

In the case of Canada, its debt-crisis of the 1980’s led to a new, fiscally responsible government taking power: Jean Chretien’s Liberal government. Its harsh fiscal management produced a full decade of budget surpluses, where the debt-to-GDP ratio was roughly cut in half.

It was an example of successful “Austerity”, the only such success, anywhere in the Western world, over the past quarter-century. It was successful precisely because Canada had not yet passed that economic point-of-no-return.

Flash ahead roughly a quarter century. Canada has a new Conservative regime, meaning another woefully incompetent/grossly irresponsible government. Not only has Stephen Harper undone all of Canada’s previous debt-reduction during his “reign of error”; but Canada’s debt-to-GDP…
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Xiaomi's $64 Camera Burns GoPro, But Boosts Ambarella

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Xiaomi's $64 Camera Burns GoPro, But Boosts Ambarella

Expert: Keep An Eye On GoPro's Lesser-Known Peer
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Ambarella Expected To Report Double-Digit Q4 Gains (Investor’s Business Daily)

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GoPro Inc (NASDAQ: GPRO) stock is down more than 4 percent on Monday after Chinese smartphone company Xiaomi launched a wearable action camera that offers similar features as the GoPro Hero camera.

The new Yi Action Camera retails at $64, half the price of the GoPro Hero, which is available for $130. It features a 16-megapixel camera, which can shoot 1080p video at 60 frames per second, better than the Hero (which shoots 1080p video at 30 fps, or 720p film at 60 fps). The device also has a better image sensor than the Hero, and double the storage space.

Although the Yi will first be obtainable in China only, analysts are already speculating about an international release.

Where Does Ambarella Come In?

Ambarella Inc (NASDAQ: AMBA) shares are up more than 6.6 percent on Monday following the news of the Yi launch. Why?

The new Yi camera features an integrated Ambarella A7LS high-performance camera processor. This, and other specs are featured on the Chinese Yi site

Here are the specs, translated into English:

  • Length X width X height: 60.4mm x42mm X21.2mm
  • Body weight: 72g
  • Ambarella A7LS high-performance image processor
  • Sony 16 million pixel back-illuminated Exmor R BSI CMOS image sensor
  • HD optical glass aspherical lens / F2.8 large aperture 155 ° super wide-angle
  • ST high-performance three-axis gravity sensor
  • Professional diving depth of up to 40 meters (waterproof shell accessories sold separately)
  • Storage: Maximum support Micro SD 64G


Image credit: Public Domain

Posted-In: Sony XiaomiLong Ideas News Short Ideas Movers Tech Trading Ideas Best of Benzinga

Analyst: Abercrombie & Fitch Is 'Ripe' For A Disappointing Earnings Report

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF)'s fourth quarter consensus earnings estimate is "misguided," and the company is bound to miss expectations when it posts results Wednesday, an analyst said on Monday.

The specialty apparel retailer changed hands recently at $24.29, off $0.45, and has seen its shares fall nearly 13 percent since December.

Wunderlich's Eric Beder reiterated a Sell rating and a $17 target, and said it's "nearly impossible" for the company to meet its fourth quarter earnings forecast.

Short interest equals about 28 percent of Abercrombie's 69.3 million shares outstanding. That's down from nearly 30 percent in November.

Waning interest from teen customers, foreign exchange headwinds and "fashion issues" will conspire to force Abercrombie to take "a material step backwards" when it posts quarterly results, Beder said.

Related Link: The Top 10 Analysts On Wall Street

About 30 percent of the company's stores are in its international segment.

The Wall Street consensus for earnings growth in fiscal 2016 is "somewhat delusional," according to Beder.

Analysts on average expect 2016 earnings of $1.68 a share, up from $1.57 expected for the current year.

For the recently-ended fourth quarter, Wall Street expects earnings of $1.16 a share, while Beder is forecasting fourth quarter earnings of just $0.77 a share.

The company is "ripe once again to provide investors with a material disappointment," Beder said.

Latest Ratings for ANF

Date Firm Action From To
Feb 2015 Morgan Stanley Downgrades Equal-weight Underweight
Feb 2015 Telsey Advisory Upgrades Market Perform Market Outperform
Feb 2015 Credit Suisse Downgrades Neutral Underperform

View More Analyst Ratings for ANF
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: abercrombie & fitch Eric BederAnalyst Color Short Ideas Previews Reiteration Analyst Ratings Trading Ideas

Best Buy Q4 Earnings Preview

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE: BBY) is scheduled to report Q4 earnings Tuesday morning and the Street expected EPS of $1.35 on revenues of $14.35 billion.

If Best Buy reports in line with consensus for Q4, it will have experienced a nearly 1 percent decline in sales from the prior year period. Amid concerns of revenues being under pressure, the stock was still up 3.67 percent over the past three months and had traded in a range between $34 and nearly $40.

In January, JP Morgan issued a note projecting that comps will be in the range of flat to low negative single digits for the first half of the current fiscal year. The biggest issue for Best Buy was price competition, according to analyst Rod Hall.

In February, however, Oppenheimer analyst Brian Nagel upgraded the firm's rating from Perform to Outperform and thought "the worst is likely over" for the retailer. Nagel also set a $43 price target on the stock.

Looking ahead, consensus for Q1 EPS was $0.31 on revenues of $8.73 billion which would be a sales decline of 3.4 percent compared to the year-ago period.

Ahead of its earnings release, Best Buy closed Monday at $38.63, up 1.4 percent.

Latest Ratings for BBY

Date Firm Action From To
Feb 2015 Oppenheimer Upgrades Perform Outperform
Jan 2015 Citigroup Maintains Buy
Jan 2015 Jefferies Maintains Buy

View More Analyst Ratings for BBY
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Brian Nagel JP Morgan Oppenheimer Rod HallAnalyst Color Previews Analyst Ratings Trading Ideas

UPDATE: SunOpta Aquires Citrusource, LLC.

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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SunOpta Inc. (Nasdaq: STKL) (TSX:SOY), a leading global company focused on organic and healthy foods today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Citrusource, LLC. (“Citrusource”). The acquisition transaction closed contemporaneously with the execution of the definitive agreement.

Citrusource is a leading supplier of premium not-from-concentrate private label organic and conventional orange juice and citrus products in the United States with revenues of approximately $30 million. They operate a national sourcing and supply operation utilizing a number of processing and packaging partners to serve a variety of well-known retailer customers.

“This acquisition aligns with our core integrated two-touch strategy and leverages our vertically integrated operations as well as our Consumer Products strategy to grow our healthy beverages portfolio,” said Steve Bromley, Chief Executive Officer of SunOpta. “The acquisition of Citrusource will leverage our integrated juice operation located in San Bernardino, CA, which is now operational. In addition, the Citrusource team brings significant market, commercial and operational expertise to SunOpta, which we expect will help us to drive synergies across our current healthy beverages segment and better serve our customers.”

The business was acquired for a combination of cash on closing of $13.3 million, plus future payments based on specific performance targets, and are subject to certain post-closing adjustments. The acquisition was funded from available credit facilities and is expected to be immediately accretive.

“We are very excited to be joining SunOpta as this will allow us to better serve our customers as we leverage SunOpta’s vertically integrated business and international sourcing expertise,” said Bob Aicklen, Managing Partner at Citrusource. “Our product and process expertise will fit nicely with SunOpta’s focus on healthy and organic beverages. As a result, we will be better able to leverage our combined expertise to expand our product capabilities and customer portfolio.”

In addition to juice, SunOpta’s CPG portfolio includes products for retail and foodservice use such as aseptic beverages, fruit snacks, specialty snack bars, roasted grains, individually quick frozen (IQF) fruits and vegetables, and re-sealable pouch products.

Posted-In: News M&A Press Releases

Wedbush: Net Neutrality Developments Could Be A Positive For Netflix, Amazon

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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In a report published Monday, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter commented that the latest net neutrality developments are "positives" for both Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) and, Inc's (NASDAQ: AMZN) Instant Video.

On February 26, the FCC adopted "strong" net neutrality rules to protect the open Internet through "bright-line rules" that ban blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization by Internet providers.

Pachter noted that the developments positively impact Netflix, which has seen increasing streaming delivery expenses in recent quarters resulting in part from payments to Internet Service Providers to maintain or improve the performance of its streaming capabilities. The analyst added that it is "likely" that Amazon also experienced similar increases in delivery expenses.

However, Pachter stated that he expects the new rules will be modified or overturned by legislation, given the Republican majority in Congress. If this were to occur, Netflix shares will be "negatively impacted," while shares of Amazon will also be "negatively impacted" but at "a lesser extent."

"Ultimately, we don't expect a Republican Congress to accept greater government regulation of the Internet, and we expect a legislative solution addressing the FCC's actions," Pachter concluded.

Latest Ratings for AMZN

Date Firm Action From To
Feb 2015 Piper Jaffray Maintains Overweight
Jan 2015 Citigroup Maintains Buy
Jan 2015 Deutsche Bank Maintains Buy

View More Analyst Ratings for AMZN
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Congress FCC Michael Pachter net neutrality WedbushAnalyst Color Analyst Ratings Tech

Spirit Airlines And Alaska Air Could Make A Good Pair Trade, But The Short Side May Surprise You

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE: ALK)'s Seattle competition is overrated, while Spirit Airlines Incorporated (NASDAQ: SAVE)'s stock may get pressured by a growing rivalry in Dallas, an analyst said Monday.

Stifel's Joseph DeNardi upgraded Alaska Air to Buy with a $85 target, and said that Delta Air Lines Inc's (NYSE: DAL) move to muscle in on Alaska's Seattle market will start to slow down this year.

Alaska Air, which fell more than 3 percent in February on worries over Delta, is up 2.4 percent in Monday morning trading.

Related Link: Why This Analyst Is Bullish On Spirit Airlines

A Pair Trade?

Although not specifically referenced by the analyst, there could be a pair trade opportunity here. DeNardi also cut his rating on Spirit to Hold because of expanding capacity at Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) in Spirit's Dallas market.

Spirit's outlook reminds DeNardi of the "Alaska-Delta competition 12 months ago," when investors failed to anticipate increasing capacity in Alaska's key market.

Moreover, Spirit's expansion plans in Atlanta and Houston are likely to get answered by both Southwest and Delta.

As for Alaska Airlines, its competitive head winds from Delta will start to abate in the second quarter, with an improving trend into 2016, the analyst noted.

Alaska's investment-grade balance sheet helps prospects for stock buy-backs and its relatively favorable labor contracts should help keep costs low, DeNardi added.

Latest Ratings for ALK

Date Firm Action From To
Mar 2015 Stifel Nicolaus Upgrades Hold Buy
Feb 2015 Raymond James Upgrades Outperform Strong Buy
Jan 2015 Deutsche Bank Maintains Buy

View More Analyst Ratings for ALK
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Analyst Color Long Ideas Short Ideas Upgrades Downgrades Price Target Analyst Ratings Trading Ideas

Barclays Still Loves Berkshire Hathaway, But Notes 1 Risk

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Barclays reiterated an Overweight rating on Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B) Monday following the release of the company's annual shareholder letter.

Analyst Jay Gelb commented that the company's Q4 operating earnings were below the firm's projections and were "driven by lower-than-expected earnings in both the insurance and non-insurance businesses although quarterly results can be lumpy."

One of the items that interested analysts about Berkshire's future, however, were succession plans for CEO Warren Buffett, who indicated that "he now had the right internal person to become CEO the day after he dies or steps down, and that he or she should be relatively young," according to the analyst note.

Gelb saw BH Energy chief Greg Abel or BNSF chairman Matt Rose as potential candidates for the CEO position.

Also looking ahead, Gelb thought that upside on the stock would be limited if it moves from its current book value of 1.51x towards 2x. Buffett could, however, partner with other firms on acquisitions or establish a dividend and share repurchase program if it "is unable to attractively reinvest in the business."

Despite the Q4 operating EPS coming in 13 percent below the analyst's outlook, Gelb raised Class B 2015 EPS estimates from $7.50 to $7.70 and 2016 EPS estimates from $8.10 to $8.35. The EPS revisions were largely due to "bolt-on deals" involving Duracell and auto dealer VanTyul.

The analyst note was also positive on Berkshire's "leverage to an improving economy in its non-insurance business" and also saw "opportunities for accretive acquisitions" in the future.

In terms of risk, Gelb mentioned that insurance earnings could decline modestly but that CEO succession remained the number one risk, "although less so since Buffett's succession plans are in place."

Berkshire Hathaway Class B Shares recently traded at $146.84, down 0.39 percent.

Latest Ratings for BRK-B

Date Firm Action From To
Nov 2014 Barclays Maintains Overweight
Oct 2014 Barclays Maintains Overweight
Mar 2014 Barclays Maintains Overweight

View More Analyst Ratings for BRK-B
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Barclays Jay Gelb Warren BuffettAnalyst Color Reiteration Analyst Ratings

Credit Suisse Downgrades Sucampo Pharmaceuticals To Underperform

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Analysts at Credit Suisse downgraded Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCMP) from Neutral to Underperform.

The price target for Sucampo Pharmaceuticals has been raised from $10.00 to $13.00.

Sucampo Pharmaceuticals shares have gained 81.15% over the past 52 weeks, while the S&P 500 index has surged 14.02% in the same period.

Sucampo Pharmaceuticals’ shares fell 3.87% to close at $15.38 on Friday.

Latest Ratings for SCMP

Date Firm Action From To
Mar 2015 Credit Suisse Downgrades Neutral Underperform
Feb 2015 Cantor Fitzgerald Maintains Buy
Oct 2014 Maxim Group Upgrades Hold Buy

View More Analyst Ratings for SCMP
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Credit SuisseDowngrades Analyst Ratings

Benzinga's Top Upgrades

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Benzinga's Top Upgrades

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Analysts at Morgan Stanley upgraded United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE: URI) from Equal-weight to Overweight. The price target for United Rentals is set to $115. United Rentals’ shares closed at $93.06 on Friday.

MLV upgraded Rose Rock Midstream, L.P. (NYSE: RRMS) to Buy. Rose Rock Midstream’s shares closed at $46.38 on Friday.

Analysts at Global Hunter upgraded Superior Energy Services, Inc. (NYSE: SPN) from Accumulate to Buy. Superior Energy Services’ shares closed at $22.38 on Friday.

Analysts at Stifel Nicolaus upgraded Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE: ALK) from Hold to Buy. Alaska Air Group’s shares closed at $63.65 on Friday.

Latest Ratings for URI

Date Firm Action From To
Mar 2015 Morgan Stanley Upgrades Equal-weight Overweight
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View More Analyst Ratings for URI
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Posted-In: top upgradesUpgrades Analyst Ratings


Zero Hedge

Americans' Economic Hope Has Collapsed

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Which came first, the confidence or the stock market rally?

One thing is for sure, the crash in stocks in December has crushed the hope of Americans that their economic future is going to be better under President Trump.

Overall confidence dipped to 58.1 - a 4-month low, but, U.S. consumers this month were the most downbeat on the economy since November 2016, a third straight drop after expectations reached a 16-year high just three months earlier, as the partial government shutdown wears on toward a fourth week.


more from Tyler

Kimble Charting Solutions

Triple Breakout Test In Play For S&P 500!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Is the rally of late about to run out of steam or is a major breakout about to take place in the S&P 500? What happens at current prices should go a long way in determining this question.

This chart looks at the equal weight S&P 500 ETF (RSP) on a daily basis over the past 15-months.

The rally from the lows on Christmas Eve has RSP testing the top of a newly formed falling channel while testing the underneath side of the 2018 trading range and its falling 50-day moving average at (1).

At this time RPS is facing a triple resistance test. Wil...

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Phil's Favorites

Brexit deal flops, Theresa May survives -- so what happens now?


Brexit deal flops, Theresa May survives -- so what happens now?

Courtesy of Victoria Honeyman, University of Leeds

As the clock ticks down to March 29 2019, all of the political manoeuvring, negotiating, arguing and fighting is coming to a peak. In the two and a half years since the 2016 EU referendum, views on both sides have hardened and agreement still seems as far away as it was the day after the referendum.

With Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement disliked by all sides, and voted down by an unprecedented majority in the House of Commons, everyone is wondering what can and should be done next?


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Digital Currencies

Crypto-Bubble: Will Bitcoin Bottom In February Or Has It Already?

Courtesy of Michelle Jones via

The new year has been relatively good for the price of bitcoin after a spectacular collapse of the cryptocurrency bubble in 2018. It’s up notably since the middle of December and traded around the psychological level of $4,000... so is this a sign that the crypto market is about to recover?

Of course, it depends on who you ask, but one analyst discovered a pattern which might point to a bottom next month.

A year after the cryptocurrency bubble popped


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D.E. Shaw Investment Calls For Leadership Change At EQT

By ActivistInsight. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Elliott Management has offered to acquire QEP Resources for approximately $2.1 billion, contending the oil and gas explorer’s turnaround efforts have done little to lift the company’s share price. The company responded and said that a thorough review of the proposition is imperative in order to properly act in the best interests of shareholders, “taking into account the company’s other alternatives and current market conditions.” The news came only a month after Travelport Worldwide agreed to sell itself to Siris Capital Group and Elliott’s private equity arm Evergreen Coast Capital for $4.4 billion in cash and two months after Athenahealth was bought by Veritas and Evergreen for $5.7 bi...

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Insider Scoop

UBS Says Disney's Streaming Ambition Gives It A 'New Hope'

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related DIS Despite Some Risks, Analysts Still Expecting Double Digit Growth From Communications Services In Q4 ... 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...

Learn more About Phil >>

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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.

Market Shadows >>