Archive for 2016


Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.


What Most Syrians See Of Their War

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Eric Zuesse, Investigative historian and author of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

What Most Syrians See of Their War

Here is a video of what most Syrians are seeing and experiencing of the war, and it’s titled “Living in the crosshairs, May 29th 2016 ENG SUBS” (the “ENG SUBS” means “English subtitles”).

Aleppo. Living in the crosshairs May 29th 2016 by frontinfo-info

It refers to attackers being the “Free Syrian Army” (who were founded by Riad al-Asaad, no relation to Bashar al-Assad — and spelled and pronounced differently — and he was a proponent of a fundamentalist Sunni Syrian constitution). It also refers to (and shows victims of) the “canisters” which the FSA is firing westward, from the Aleppo city area that the FSA controls, into the city’s “Midan District,” which is controlled by the Syrian government.

The FSA is America’s chosen group of fighters (Barack Obama’s terms for them are ‘the moderate opposition’ and ‘moderate rebels’, but they’re just the people that the U.S. government overtly back — not back covertly like Syria’s branch of Al Qaeda and some other groups). All these groups are trying to overthrow the Syrian government, and, though they often cooperate with one-another, like with Al Qaeda in Syria (called “Al Nusra”), and ISIS (also called “ISIL” and “Daesh”), the groups also occasionally attack each other, because each of the groups is trying to increase its territory and wants to emerge victorious to control all of Syria, or of as much of Syria as possible, in the final settlement.

Virtually all members of each one of these groups are jihadists, but different foreign countries are backing different ones of these groups, and America’s preferred group happens to be the FSA — the group that’s firing these “canisters.”

At 1:46 in the video, the flag of the “Sultan Murad Faction” is being flown; at 1:50  it’s the flag of Al Nusra. So, this time the groups are all working together, because of their shared goal of conquering the Syrian government in the Midan District, which they’ve apparently just done here, at least for the time being. The Sultan Murad group are backed by Turkey (which,

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Major Libertarian Victory Coming In November

Courtesy of John Rubino.

No, not the presidential election. That’s a libertarian nightmare no matter how you slice it.

But on that same day, California is apparently going to legalize marijuana. Here’s the LA Times’ coverage of the ballot measure when it got the required number of signatures back in May:

California voters getting chance to fully legalize marijuana

A measure to legalize marijuana for recreational use in California appears headed for the Nov. 8 ballot.

A coalition that includes former Facebook President Sean Parker on Tuesday said it has collected 600,000 signatures, more than enough to qualify the initiative.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and other supporters of the measure plan to kick off a campaign for voter approval of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act on Wednesday in San Francisco.

The measure would allow adults ages 21 and older to possess, transport and use up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational purposes and would allow individuals to grow as many as six plants.


“This November, California voters will finally have the opportunity to pass smart marijuana policy that is built on the best practices of other states, includes the strictest child protections in the nation and pays for itself while raising billions for the state,” Newsom said in a statement.

The coalition, which includes some law enforcement and civil rights leaders, needed to collect 365,880 signatures of registered voters to qualify the initiative, which would also place a 15% tax on retail sales of the drug.

The use of marijuana in public and while driving would remain illegal. Parker, a billionaire who also co-founded the file-sharing service Napster, donated more than $1 million to the campaign to collect signatures and qualify the initiative.

More than 55% of California voters allowed the use of marijuana for medical purposes in 1996 when they approved Proposition 215.

Despite the defeat of a 2010 legalization initiative, a poll last year by the Public Policy Institute of California found that 55% of likely voters in California favor full legalization.

Newsom, who is running for governor in 2018, formed a blue ribbon commission on marijuana policy that made recommendations, many of which were incorporated into the initiative.

And here’s some more recent polling data:

Poll: 60 percent of California voters support marijuana legalization

(Sun Times) – Latest polling numbers show California

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Goldman Finds That China’s Debt Is Far Greater Than Anyone Thought

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

When it comes to China’s new credit creation, at least the country is not shy about exposing how much it is. To find the credit tsunami flooding China at any given moment, one just has to look up the latest monthly Total Social Financing number which include both new bank loans as well as some shadow banking loans. As we reported in April this amount had soared to a record $1 trillion for the first quarter …

… although as we followed up last month, it tumbled in April as suddenly Beijing slammed the brakes on uncontrolled credit expansion. It is unclear why, although the following chart may have had something to do with it: increasingly less of credit created is making its way into the broader economy.

No matter the reason for these sharp swings in credit creation, one thing that was taken for granted by all is that unlike China’s GDP, or most of its “hard” macroeconomic data, at least its credit creation metrics were somewhat reliable, and as such provided the best glimpse into Chinese economic inflection points.

That appears to no longer be the case.

In an analysis conducted by Goldman’s MK Tang, the strategist notes that a frequent inquiry from investors in recent months is how much credit has actually been extended to Chinese households and corporates. He explains that this arises from debates about the accuracy of the commonly used credit data (i.e., total social financing (TSF)) in light of an apparent rise in financial institutions’ (FI) shadow lending activity (as well as due to the ongoing municipal bond swap program).

Tang adds that while it is clear that banks’ investment assets and claims on other FIs have surged, it is unclear how much of that reflects opaque loans, and also how much such loans and off-balance sheet credit are not included in TSF. By the very nature of shadow lending, it is almost impossible to reach a conclusion on these issues based on FIs’ asset information.

Goldman circumvents these data complications by instead focusing on the “money” concept, a mirror image to credit on FIs’ funding side. The idea is that money is created largely only when credit is extended—hence an effective gauge of “money” can give a good sense of the size

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Spotlight Italy: 5-Star Candidate Ahead in Battle for Rome; Expected and Unexpected Regional Vote Totals

Courtesy of Mish.

Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi is not having a good day. His candidate for mayor of  Rome is getting trounced in election returns.

Projections show 5-Star candidate Virginia Raggi has about 37% or the vote.

Renzi’s center-left Democratic Party and far-right candidate Giorgia Meloni were vying for second place with around 22 percent each.

Reuters reports Italy’s Anti-Establishment 5-Star Flourishes in Rome, Challenging Renzi

The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement looked set to take charge of Rome following municipal elections on Sunday that saw it make gains in other Italian cities and pile pressure on Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Projections based on partial counts put the 5-Star candidate in Rome, Virginia Raggi, ahead with around 37 percent of the vote, while Roberto Giachetti, from Renzi’s center-left Democratic Party (PD), and far-right candidate Giorgia Meloni were vying for second place with around 22 percent each.

If no-one wins more than 50 percent, run-offs between the top two candidates will be held on June 19, with second-round ballots expected in the major cities up for grabs.

Unlike other non-traditional parties that have flourished across Europe since the 2008 financial crisis, the 5-Star Movement straddles ideological divides, focusing its anger on rampant graft in Italy more than austerity or immigration.

Victory in Rome, which has been battered by corruption scandals, would represent a major step forward for the party, which was founded in 2009 by comedian Beppe Grillo. Success in governing the Eternal City could prove a spring board to winning power in general elections that are due in 2018.

“The wind is changing, this is the moment,” Raggi told her supporters in the early hours of Monday.

“We are facing a historic moment,” said the 37-year-old lawyer. “The Romans are ready to turn a page and I am ready to govern this city and to restore Rome to the splendor and beauty that it deserves.”

Projections suggested that in Turin, historical home of carmaker Fiat, the incumbent center-left mayor Piero Fassino led the field but was likely to face an unexpectedly tough run-off against a 5-Star candidate.

Naples looked set to be held by leftist incumbent Luigi de Magistris, an independent former prosecutor who has declared the city a “Renzi-free zone”.

Renzi played little part in the municipal election campaign until the final

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Despite White House Denials, FOIA Documents Prove Snowden Did Try To Voice Concerns With The NSA

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Edward Snowden’s story is one that most know by now – the NSA contractor who went rogue and instead of going through available channels to voice his concerns, leaked sensitive government documents that revealed how the US surveillance state operates for all the world to see.

Or at least, that’s what the government’s version of the story is.

In a Vice News exclusive, based on over 800 pages of newly released documents from the NSA and countless interviews, Vice News finds that there is much more to the story that the public isn’t being told. Snowden, according to Vice News, did have both email and face-to-face contact with compliance over concerns, and the available options for Snowden may not have been adequate during the time Snowden was actually working as a contractor at the NSA.

At a bare minimum, Vice News provides valuable insight into the fact that while the NSA and other government agencies put on a public face that they were “sure” only a single email sent by Snowden, the investigation missed a lot of correspondence over time, and even a critical face-to-face interaction that wasn’t documented until much later.

The following helps walk through what Vice News found, however we encourage readers to read the full piece at Vice News.

We’ll start by pointing out a quick aside, and that is that Vice News also found as it received the FOIA documents, that the NSA admitted that it altered emails related to its discussions about Snowden – “unavoidably” of course.

In a letter disclosed to VICE News Friday morning, Justice Department attorney Brigham Bowen said, “Due to a technical flaw in an operating system, some timestamps in email headers were unavoidably altered. Another artifact from this technical flaw is that the organizational designators for records from that system have been unavoidably altered to show the current organizations for the individuals in the To/From/CC lines of the header for the overall email, instead of the organizational designators correct at the time the email was sent.”

* * *

The single email theory that the government trotted out is a bit more complex, as it involved multiple people from different departments as an answer was formulated. Everything was set in motion when Snowden clicked the “email us”

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Top Democrats Are Plotting To Oust Sanders, Convince His Followers To Vote Hillary

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Claire Bernish via,

In an election already fraught with controversy akin to a political soap opera, a report on Friday revealed top Democrats have begun plotting ways to force Sen. Bernie Sanders to exit the race without offending his loyal fandom to somehow align Democratic voters behind Hillary Clinton.

Though it might be an impossible task, politicians coordinating the effort don’t want to appear as if they’re trying to ‘strong-arm’ Sanders from the race, according to CNN. Citing “interviews” with unnamed “senators, House members, and senior party officials,” CNN reported the planners would attempt to convince the Vermont senator he stands no statistical chance at the presidency — and should thus persuade his legions of supporters to vote for Hillary.

Sanders’ fans — and a number of analysts — might beg to differ on his chances at actually winning the White House, considering both Clinton and Trump continue to poll at record-breaking rates of disapproval — and more voters say they’ll vote for either only because they dislike the other more. In fact, this plot stretches the bounds of sensibility — in several polls, Clinton runs nearly neck and neck with Trump, while Sanders trounces the billionaire.

Predictions run the gamut for who will ultimately take this election, but rumors persist that Clinton had somehow been ‘pre-selected’ for the role — and as tin-foil as that may appear at cursory glance, the theory isn’t devoid of evidence…

Hillary almost magically wins primaries where the vote had appeared too close to call.

Voters mysteriously find themselves ousted from rolls or have their party switched in an astonishing number of states.

A “Hillary for Nevada” logo emblazoned the sign-in sheet for at least one location in the state’s caucus, and Hillary supporters were allowed to participate without registering first — in flagrant violation of electoral law.

And those examples comprise just a fraction of the mountain of evidence.

Democratic establishment leaders have adamantly pushed for a Clinton nomination through the entire election cycle, despite a now-thunderous call for the former secretary of state to be prosecuted for a plethora of questionable — and probably criminal — activities.

Nevermind Clinton’s noticeable lack of support on social media platforms — the exact places both Sanders

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This Is Where US Adults Get Their News From

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As social media continues to become a larger part of many people’s everyday lives, it’s not surprising to see that users are now more than ever getting news from the social media platforms.

A survey by Pew Research found that 62% of US adults get their news on social media, which is up from 49% reported in 2012. Of the 62%, 18% responded that they often get news from social media, 26% said sometimes, and 18% said hardly ever.

The leading social media platforms where users get their news are Reddit, where 70% of users get news, 66% of Facebook users, and 59% of Twitter users.

From 2013, all platforms have grown the percent of users who receive news from the sites, with Facebook experiencing the biggest increase.

When looking at each sites’ total reach, and the proportion of users who get news on each site, Facebook leads the way – Facebook reaches 67% of US adults, and 44% get their news on the site. Twitter only reaches 16% of adults, but 9% get news from the platform.

Users of Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube users are more likely to get news by chance, while LinkedIn, Twitter, and more likely to be looking for news.

Here is how the demographics break down for each social networking site.

Social media users also consume news through other news platforms, with local television being the most popular overall, and print newspapers being the least popular alternative news source.

* * *

It’s evident that social media is becoming an increasingly popular way for people to consume news, although recent revelations about Facebook’s suppressing of news raises cause for concern for those scanning the site for newsflow. Also, as Facebook usage and reliance for news explodes, one should keep in mind another thing: Facebook is watching, and listening.

The Startling Truth About How Working Families Are Truly Faring In This Economy

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Michael Snyder via The End of The American Dream blog,

It is hard to live the American Dream when the deck is stacked against you.  Our politicians stood idly by as millions of good paying jobs were shipped overseas, our economic infrastructure was absolutely gutted and multitudes of small businesses were choked to death by miles of red tape.  Now, we are reaping the consequences.  In America today, nobody has a job in one out of every five families, and there are more than 100 million working age Americans that are currency not working.  And thanks to our transition to a “service economy”, many of those that are actually working are deeply struggling too.  According to the Social Security Administration, 51 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year.  And the Federal Reserve says that 47 percent of all Americans could not pay an unexpected $400 emergency room bill without borrowing the money from somewhere or selling something.  That means that about half the country is flat broke, and things get even more precarious for working families with each passing day.

Of course the plight of working families is not something that is new.  Back in the 1950s and 1960s, wages and salaries earned by workers accounted for around half of all gross domestic income.  But since 1970 there has been a precipitous decline, and during the Obama administration we hit an all-time low.  In other words, the share of the pie being enjoyed by working families just keeps getting smaller and smaller and smaller.

Share Of Gross Domestic Income

All over the country, median incomes have been falling for years.  This is putting an incredible amount of financial stress on working families, and we have seen poverty grow explosively in the United States during the last couple presidential administrations.  According to one study, median incomes have fallen in over 80 percent of the major metropolitan areas in this nation since the year 2000…

A major new analysis of income in America published by Pew earlier this month found that more than

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Who Has Donated The Most Money To Bernie Sanders: The Unemployed

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The grassroots support Bernie Sanders has amassed throughout his campaign to become the Democratic presidential nominee is undeniable. Sanders has been supported by small-dollar contributions throughout his campaign, and since donors who give $200 or less don’t have to have names publicized, little has been known about the donors. More than 1 million small-donor contributors gave nearly two-thirds of Sanders’ funding.

However, since Sanders relies on a fundraising tool called ActBlue, all donors must be disclosed regardless of the size of contribution. This has allowed the LA Times to perform an analysis on the donors behind the man who has given (and continues to give) Hillary Clinton so much trouble, and the result is stunning.

The study found that many donors resemble Emily Condit, 40 of Sylmar, who has contributed three times, $5 each. Condit, who has several physical disabilities, is among the largest single group of Sanders’ donors – those who don’t have a job. Out of the $209 million given to the senator’s campaign, about one out of every four dollars came from those not in the workforce, who include the unemployed or retired.

For the last 15 years since Condit left a job at NASA, her ailments have kept her from working. She depends on Social Security and lives on a tight budget but has found money for Sanders because she was drawn to his populist message. “I know very well now what it’s like to be a have-not, both financially and physically, and to fall through the cracks of society. Bernie Sanders is running on a platform to lift up the have-nots and to

improve the system of government we have, so that no one will ever be

left behind.” Condit said.

The study also found that Sanders received just 2% from Wall Street, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. Because Sanders’ backers tend to donate multiple times, the average donar gave a total of $96 – the typical donor gave three times, but some gave far more frequently.

Not all were small however. Jeremy Abramowitz, a recent graduate from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, gave Sanders’ campaign more than $5,000 in more than 200 separate donations. Abramowitz said he started sending money after reading negative posts about Sanders on Facebook, and lost

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Zero Hedge

Enemy Of The People?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Via The Zman blog,

There has never been a time when normal people did not know the media was biased and biased in a predictable direction. For every non-liberal in the media, there were at least ten liberals. The ratio was probably higher, but then, as now, some lefties liked to pretend they were independents or some third option.

The media used to invest a lot of time denying they had a bias and an agenda, but the only people who believed them were on the Left, which had the odd effect of confirming they had a bias and an agenda.


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Phil's Favorites

A 2019 Earnings Recession?


A 2019 Earnings Recession?

Courtesy of 

Shout to Leigh!

On the new Talk Your Book – Josh Brown is joined by Leigh Drogen of Estimize, one of the leading providers of crowdsourced financial and economic data to talk about the trend in corporate profits that could potentially lead to an earnings recession later this year.

What is the thing that Leigh is seeing in the data that Wall Street isn’t yet picking up on? What segment of the stock market is most at risk? Why is the crowd smarter than the narrow consensus of Wall Street analysts?

Check out Estimize ...

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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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Kimble Charting Solutions

Gold & Silver Testing Important Breakout Levels!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Gold and Silver from a long-term perspective have created a series of lower highs over the past 8-years. Will 2019 bring a change to this trend? A big test is in play!

Gold since the lows in 2016 has created a series of higher lows, while Silver may have created a double bottom.

Gold & Silver are currently facing break attempts a (1) and (2). These falling resistance lines have disappointed metals bulls for the past few years.

The direction of Gold and Silver weeks and months from now should be highly influenced by what each does as they are attempting to break above important resistance levels.

To become a member of Kimbl...

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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

Digital Currencies

Russia Prepares To Buy Up To $10 Billion In Bitcoin To Evade US Sanctions

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

While the market has been increasingly focused on the rising headwinds in the global economy in general, and China's economic slowdown in particular, while the media is obsessing over daily revelations that Trump may or may not have colluded with Russia to get elected, a far more critical, if underreported, shift has been taking place over the past year.

As we reported in June, whether due to concerns over draconian western sanctions and asset confiscations following the poisoning of former Russian military officer Sergei Skripal, or simply because it wanted to diversify away from the dollar, Russia liquidated virtually all of its Treasury holdings in the late spri...

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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 failure based on his personality, which was evident years ago. This article, written in 2017, references a prescient article Bill wrote before Trump became president, in July, 2016, 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 >>