Archive for 2016

Employment Railroad Tracks Formation Epitomizes the Rigged US Economic Data and Markets

Courtesy of Lee Adler of the Wall Street Examiner

I’m not here to argue whether the July report was lousy or not. The US economy may well be spawning big numbers of crappy low paying jobs. Withholding tax collections were huge in the last 4 weeks of July. We know that that didn’t come from big wage gains by existing workers. They’re running at about a 2.5% annual growth rate. So when tax collections increase by a significant margin over a similar period a year ago, it suggests that there were new jobs, maybe a lot of them.

I’m also not here to argue that the headline number bears any semblance of reality. The headline number is the seasonally adjusted month to month gain in the estimated number of jobs. The whole process of seasonal adjustment is a bogus attempt to smooth a jagged trend with peaks and valleys into a continuous modified moving average. The number is a fiction. Because it’s based on a moving average it has a built in lag, for which statisticians try to compensate with a bunch of statistical hocus pocus. That includes constantly revising the number based first on subsequent surveys, and then on benchmarking the data with actual tax collections in the 5 subsequent years. Not only is the number revised twice after the first month it’s issued, but it’s then fit to the curve of actuality for the next 5 years until the reading is finalized. July’s reading won’t be final until July 2021. The process is really “seasonal finagling.” It’s abstract impressionism. It’s a joke.

What I have come to argue here is that the not seasonally adjusted (NSA) numbers, which I have always relied upon in my analysis of the jobs trend, is probably also a joke. Look at this chart. Do those railroad tracks look like the real world to you, or are these some kind of computer generated auto-numbers that merely make a pretense of reality. Law of Large Numbers or not, I have never seen any other economic series behave with such regularity.

This is a farce, a sham. But it doesn’t matter because the economy doesn’t matter. The world’s central banks have attempted, and largely succeeded, in rigging the financial markets. One of the consequences, intended or unintended, is that the bulk of the benefit

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New Twist in Global Warming Madness: Olympic Records Won’t Come Easy

Courtesy of Mish.

Bloomberg writer Jessica Shankleman is willing to push global warming silliness up another notch with “politically correct” nonsense that Olympic Records Won’t Come Easy in Rio Because of Climate Change.

Athletes at the Olympic Games may struggle to break world records as they compete with Brazil’s rising temperatures caused by climate change.

Marathon runners, swimmers, volleyball players and even soccer referees will succumb to extreme heat and lose concentration during the games, in some cases risking their lives to heatstroke, according to a report released Monday by Observatorio do Clima, a Brazilian civil society group.

“Because of warming, sport will never be the same again,” the report said. Brazil heated up faster than the global average, warming 1 degrees Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) in the last 54 years, and four cities smashed new heat records in 2015, according to the report. If countries don’t deliver on goals to limit global temperature rises to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius, 12 Brazilian cities may have to limit play in similar games by the end of the decade, it said.

Even though the games are taking place during Brazil’s winter, the heat may still impede performance, particularly in the marathon where Olympic records have only been broken in temperatures below 12 degrees Celsius. Runners perform best between 8 degrees and 11 degrees, well below the level expected this month in Brazil, it said.

The heat is likely to be particularly painful for athletes from colder climates, says Brazilian tennis player Fernando Meligeni. He reckons European players won’t be used to the humidity, which will make them sweat more than usual.

Math Lesson for Jessica

The alleged ideal temperate range is 8-11. That’s a range of four degrees.

The stated assumption is that global warming pushed up temperatures by 1 degree in Brazil, faster than average.

This process took 54 years (assuming of course it happened, and global warming is to blame).

If the range 8-11 is “well below” expected temperatures, the problem (assuming there is a problem) isn’t global warming, it’s picking the summer Olympics in a place too likely to be too hot and too humid.

The article shows the ridiculous lengths writers and editors are willing to go to promote their social agendas.

[Originally published at Mish Talk]

America’s Dangerous Game Of Intrigue Inside International Organizations

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Wayne Madsen via,

From the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Washington has been playing a dangerous game of intrigue and deception with regard to steering these organizations in a pro-American direction. The Obama administration has decided that the halls, offices, and conference rooms of international organizations are acceptable battlefields to wage propaganda and sanctions wars.

The first American target of note was the international football association, FIFA. Not content with trying to sully the reputation of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics with issues of gay rights and doping of athletes, the US disinformation boiler rooms began a full-scale attack on FIFA. The major reason is Russia’s hosting of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The US Justice Department, in a major move toward the internationalization of domestic US law, began unsealing indictment after indictment of FIFA officials for financial crimes. The actual target of these indictments was Russia.

The United States, continuing its economic and political pressure on Venezuela, decided to pressure its three right-wing allies in Latin America – Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay – to deny the chair of the Mercosur customs union to Venezuela. After Uruguay, whose term was expiring, the next country in alphabetical order to assume the chair of the Latin American customs union was to be Venezuela. However, two countries where the Central Intelligence Agency arranged for constitutional coups to oust progressive presidents – Brazil and Paraguay – joined Argentina, ruled by a right-wing president narrowly elected in a dubious electoral process, in denying the chair to Venezuela.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez said that what Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay were doing to Venezuela was the restoration of the CIA’s Operation Condor against Venezuela. Condor was a 1970s operation concocted by Henry Kissinger, the CIA, and fascist governments in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay to target leftists throughout the Condor participants with assassination and torture. In a display of ultimate hubris, Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay refused to recognize Venezuela as the chair of Mercosur, citing Venezuela’s economic, political and social crises, all of which were hatched by the CIA and its surrogates inside Venezuela.

If Washington wanted

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Breaking News And Best Of The Web

Courtesy of John Rubino.

Oil price jumps on rumors of output cap. Stocks, gold and silver mostly unchanged. China trade data disappoints. US debt now has negative yield for foreign investors. Most Americans worse off today than in 2005. More good earnings reports from precious metals miners. A major bitcoin hack throws crypto-currency world into turmoil. The Trump campaign may be collapsing.

Best Of The Web

Priced out of the ‘open society’ – SAXO Group
Updating government finance quasi-capitalism – Credit Bubble Bulletin
A global derivatives expert shines the light on systemic risk – Garret Galland
What happens when rampant asset inflation ends? –
Bernanke’s “enrich-thy-neighbor” doctrine now in “full bloom” – FRA
Impermanence and full-cycle thinking – Hussman Funds
Minsky’s moment – Economist
Weekly commentary: Bubble battles – Credit Bubble Bulletin
Jim Grant is bullish on gold, bearish on Craft – Barron’s
Negative interest rates: necessary evil or symbol of greed? – Telegraph
IMF admits disastrous love affair with the euro – Telegraph
Biggest companies in the S&P 500 use made-up earnings numbers – MarketWatch
This is how independent central banks are – Gold Republic


Breaking News

The Economy

8/08    Bond market’s big illusion revealed as US yields turn negative – Bloomberg

8/08    Disappointing China July imports suggest cooling domestic demand – Yahoo!

8/08    Shrinking imports and exports – David Stockman

8/08    Oil rises 2% on fresh calls for production freeze – CNBC

8/08    Irish banks most vulnerable in stress tests – GoldCore

8/08    BLS railroad tracks epitomize rigged US economic data & markets – David Stockman

8/08    Earnings beats are concealing bad results – MarketWatch

8/08    We’re in a low-growth world. How did we get there? – New York Times

8/08    Musical chairs – International Man

8/08    McKinsey study shows 81% of US worse off than in 2005 – Mish

8/08    Globalization and its new discontents – Project Syndicate

8/08    Markets may soon face “jump conditions.” Here’s why – MunKnee

8/08    Bond market compromised by central bank buying – Talk Markets

8/08    95 million Americans not in the labor force – My Budget 360

8/08    UK consumer spending picks up in July, bucking signs of slowdown – Reuters

8/07    Majority of countries have increased debt

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Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Blame Trump…?

Is it just us, or are cartoonists the only ones left in the mainstream media capable of even questioning the adminstration’s newspeak?


The Indexing End Game: The Wilshire 5000 Only Has 3,607 Stocks

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Daniel Drew via,

Numbers and false advertising have a long history: 4.9% unemployment, 2.5% GDP growth, 72 virgins. Now we can add the Wilshire 5000 to the list.

What started with good intentions ended with embarrassment as American economic dynamism collapsed in a cascade of falling profit margins, financial engineering, labor devaluation, and lopsided “free trade” agreements. In 1974, Wilshire Associates created the Wilshire 5000, an index of 5,000 stocks that represented nearly the entire stock market. As new companies went public, the index expanded over the years, reaching a peak of 7,562 on July 31, 1998. Since then, the number of companies has been cut in half to 3,607 as of March 31, 2016. Wilshire notes, “The last time the Wilshire 5000 actually contained 5,000 or more companies was December 29, 2005.”

Wilshire 5000

The Wilshire 5000 is now 5000 in name only. Ben Carlson of the Common Sense blog calls it the “shrinkage effect” and blames it on the lackluster IPO market, which is a shadow of its former self. He notes, “From 1980 to 2000 there was an average of more than 300 companies every year that went public. Since then that number has dropped to an average of around 150 a year.” It’s yet further evidence of what I pointed out last year: The Stock Market Is Disappearing In One Giant Leveraged Buyout. The relentless pace of share buybacks and new highs in the S&P 500 point to nothing less than a slow-motion buyout of the entire market, which will widen the gap between the uber-rich and everyone else.

Index investing was supposed to be the last hope of the small investor. Even Warren Buffett, the Baghdad Bob of capitalism, pitches index funds to the average investor, specifically the S&P 500. The premise is that a diversified portfolio will go up over time, and so far, it has worked for anyone who has stayed fully invested. However, there is one simple problem:

What happens when we run out of stocks to index?

Today, it’s the Wilshire 5000 that runs out of stocks. In 10 years, the S&P 500 investment committee will be grasping for shares, urging Larry Page and Mark Zuckerberg to issue D shares and F shares of Google and Facebook just to maintain the facade of diversification in an increasingly undiversified world.

News You Can Use From Phil’s Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

Bond Markets Big Illusion Revealed as U.S. Yields Turn Negative (Bloomberg)

For Kaoru Sekiai, getting steady returns for his pension clients in Japan used to be simple: buy U.S. Treasuries.

There will be 'no medal winners' in the stock market because everything is too expensive (Business Insider)

Goldman Sachs' David Kostin is not enthusiastic about the stock market right now.

"In the next three-months we expect negative price returns in Asia (-3%), Japan (-6%), US (-10%), and Europe (-11%)," said Kostin."

Dollar Gains Ground After Payrolls as Asian Futures Signal Gains (Bloomberg)

The dollar cemented its advance, while Asian index futures signaled gains, after U.S. jobs data both burnished sentiment toward the world’s biggest economy and bolstered bets on an interest-rate hike this year. Gold extended its losses as oil edged higher.

'They are hurting right now': The oil patch and has been decimated (Business Insider)

Oil prices have dropped over 20% since June.

Hedge funds have done a terrible job at picking stocks this year (Business Insider)

Hedge funds are not doing too hot in 2016.

Why China Can't Solve Its Debt Problem (Bloomberg View)

For a long time, there was a recurring stereotype about China's economy: If growth started to slow significantly, the argument went, prudent technocrats in Beijing could always prop it up with fiscal stimulus and keep the country's financial institutions afloat. Combined with optimistic official data about deficits, this argument sounded reassuring for a while.

World's Least Miserable Live in Asia, Thanks to Disinflation (Bloomberg)

The Land of Smiles really is the happiest place in the world, at least in terms of holding a job and keeping the rising cost of goods in check.

Why corporations are hiring even though U.S. growth
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CNN Host Slams America’s Greatest Olympian Ever For Not Being Black, Muslim Woman

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Michael Phelps may be the greatest Olympian the world has ever known but for CNN host W. Kamau Bell, he is just a “tall, successful, rich white guy” who clearly didn’t “need the honor” of being chosen by his athlete peers as America’s flag-bearer. Instead, Bell exclaims, Ibtihaj Muhammad, a woman, an African-American and a Muslim to boot, should have been chosen because “right now America has enough tall, successful, rich white guys hogging the spotlight trying to make America great.”

After Phelps was chosen by his fellow Olympians, the U.S. Olympic Team tweeted proudly….

.@MichaelPhelps is HONORED to be #TeamUSA‘s flag bearer in the #Rio2016 Opening Ceremony ??????

Just 24 hours away! ?

— U.S. Olympic Team (@TeamUSA) August 5, 2016

But, as reports, liberals wanted U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps to give up the honor of carrying the American flag and leading his country’s athletes at the opening ceremony for the Rio Olympic games Friday night.

He’s the wrong color and the wrong sex.

W. Kamau Bell, host of CNN’s “United Shades of America,” described the swimming sensation as a “tall, successful, rich white guy” who clearly didn’t “need the honor.”

“With 22 Olympic medals, you are already the most decorated athlete in Olympic history,” he said.

But American fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad is a different story…

…a woman, an African-American and a Muslim to boot.

“Muhammad carrying the flag would be much bigger than your one moment,” Bell writes. “It would be a symbol for our country in this moment when we are mostly known for one of the most contentious, controversial, scandal-ridden, hateful, xenophobic, jingoistic, and just generally unlikable presidential elections in recent memory. This is at a time when we could use some more symbols of unity and togetherness.”

Bell referred to Muhammad as “a one-stop inclusion shop due to her race, sex and religion. Phelps, on the other hand was something else entirely.

“No offense, but right now America has enough tall, successful, rich white guys hogging the spotlight trying to make America great,” he said, in an obvious reference to Donald Trump.

“No offense”… but sadly it appears the supposedly apolitical Olympic

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The Trick To Staying Sane In The Market’s New Normal Ponzi Narrative

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Mark St.Cyr,

Just as there’s a scheme to pay old investors with new investors money (aka a Ponzi.) There’s another part of the scheme that rarely gets talked about: i.e.,The narrative that fuels the scheme to begin with.

Much like the original structure which involves money, this too needs an ever-growing amount of gullible, willing participants. However, the currency here is narrative.

And just like any Ponzi scheme once you lose the narrative – you’ve lost everything. One can not survive without the other. Yet, it is the narrative more often than not that is needed to drive the scheme ever higher. Without it, the scheme implodes via its own weight. The narrative regardless of how outlandish, bizarre, or full of nothing but outright lies must be maintained and vociferously defended by those who are already caught in the scheme.

In my view the reason why many are finding the greatest confusion, as well as complete consternation is this: Too many are forgetting the “investors” in this scheme are governments (or proxy) with unlimited funding resources, as well as: they also control the narrative. i.e., any data point they wish to convey as what “is” good or bad. I would imagine if Charles Ponzi were alive today he’d argue “And you sent me to jail for?” But I digress.

Why the scheme of today is far more troubling than those of any bygone era is as I iterated: the access to unlimited funds.

As has been stated ad infinitum – central banks have the ability to print money ex nihlo. And what people forget is that ability retards the process for the scheme to collapse under its own weight. Remember: a Ponzi scheme works until you begin running out of suckers. And it’s in that math of exponentiation where once you see “a crack” the crumbling comes with near immediacy. There are only so many people, with enough money to swindle.

However, if one has access to unlimited fund? “Cracks” can be repaired, hence the scheme can continue. The game is the same. The only difference with this one is the physical reality of needing more “bodies” with wallets is no longer a requirement. i.e., One central bank with the gumption to print equals how many investors wallets of yesterday? 10? 100? 10,000?

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The S&P Is Now Set To Report Its Second Consecutive Annual Earnings Drop Since The Financial Crisis

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

With 86% of the companies in the S&P 500 reporting earnings to date for Q2 2016, Q2 earnings season is almost over. 69% of companies have reported earnings above the mean estimate and 54% have reported sales above the mean estimate. Still, despite the beat (on the back of what may be Reg-FD busting leakage of company earnings to sellside analysts just so companies can beat EPS in the last moment as described on Friday), earnings growth, or lack thereof, for Q2 2016 is expected to be -3.5%. This will make the first time the index has recorded five consecutive quarters of year-over-year declines in earnings since the financial crisis.

As the chart below shows, the forward PE of the S&P500 has now been flat for two years, even as the actual index has surged to record highs on the back of even greater multiple expansion, as both the economy and profit growth has slowed down: a Finance 101 paradox.

How lofty is that? Moments ago Goldman said that “The median S&P 500 stock trades at a forward P/E of 18.2x, ranking in the 98th percentile since 1976.” It’s also the reason why Goldman unveiled a tactical sell on stocks one week ago.

It gets worse. Whereas one week ago, Q3 consenus earnings for the first time dipped negative, as of Friday sellside analysts now expect third quarter earnings to decline a substantial -1.7% Y/Y as every sector has seen its forecast earnings drop substantially.

Which means that earnings growth is now not expected to return until Q4 2016, and also means that if consensus is accurate, S&P500 EPS are on pace to decline for a record 6 consecutive quarters.

A few months ago, when Q3 consensus EPS was still well in the green, we predicted that Q3 would ultimately be revised to negative. It was. Now we predict that over the next 2-3 months Q4, EPS which is currently expected to grow 5.7% will likewise be dragged into negative territory.

Finally, as a result of the recent cuts to Q3 earnings consensus, and the slowdown to Q4 EPS growth, one can forget about 2016 full year earnings growth. According to Factset, year-over-year earnings are now set to decline -0.3% for the full year, after starting off the

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Phil's Favorites

Trump and the problem with pardons


Trump and the problem with pardons

Courtesy of Andrew Bell, Indiana University

As a veteran, I was astonished by the recent news that President Trump may be considering pardons for U.S. military members accused or convicted of war crimes. But as a scholar who studies the U.S. military and combat ethics, I understand even more clearly the harmful long-term impact such pardons can have on the military.

My researc...

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Zero Hedge

Cryptos Are Exploding Higher, Bitcoin At 12-Month Highs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The cryptocurrency market cap surged above $260 billion in early Asian trading tonight as the entire space legs to a new cycle high, led by Litecoin with Bitcoin hitting 12-month highs.


Litecoin is up around 12% in the last hour and the rest of the crypto-space is up 7-8% suddenly...


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Insider Scoop

Jefferies Sees 60-Percent Upside In Aphria Shares, Says Buy The Dip

Courtesy of Benzinga.

After a red-hot start to 2019, Canadian cannabis producer Aphria Inc (NYSE: APHA) has run out of steam, tumbling more than 31 percent in the past three months.

Despite the recent weakness, one Wall Street analyst said Friday that the stock has 30-percent upside potential. 

The Analyst

Jefferies analyst ... more from Insider

Kimble Charting Solutions

DAX (Germany) About To Send A Bearish Message To The S&P 500?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Is the DAX index from Germany about to send a bearish message to stocks in Europe and the States? Sure could!

This chart looks at the DAX over the past 9-years. It’s spent the majority of the past 8-years inside of rising channel (1), creating a series of higher lows and higher highs.

It looks to have created a “Double Top” as it was kissing the underside of the rising channel last year at (2).

After creating the potential double top, the DAX index has continued to create a series of lower highs, while experiencing a bearish divergence with the S...

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Chart School

Brexit Joke - Cant be serious all the time

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Alistair Williams comedian nails it, thank god for good humour! Prime Minister May the negotiator. Not!

Alistair Williams Comedian youtube

This is a classic! ha!

Fundamentals are important, and so is market timing, here at we believe a combination of Gann Angles, ...

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Digital Currencies

Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream - the battle is on to bring them under global control


Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream – the battle is on to bring them under global control

The high seas are getting lower. dianemeise

Courtesy of Iwa Salami, University of East London

The 21st-century revolutionaries who have dominated cryptocurrencies are having to move over. Mainstream financial institutions are adopting these assets and the blockchain technology that enables them, in what ...

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DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

A map of DNA with the double helix colored blue, the landmarks in green, and the start points for copying the molecule in red. David Gilbert/Kyle Klein, CC BY-ND

Courtesy of David M. Gilbert, Florida State University


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More Examples Of "Typical Tesla "wise-guy scamminess"

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Stanphyl Capital’s letter to investors for the month of March 2019.

rawpixel / Pixabay

Friends and Fellow Investors:

For March 2019 the fund was up approximately 5.5% net of all fees and expenses. By way of comparison, the S&P 500 was up approximately 1.9% while the Russell 2000 was down approximately 2.1%. Year-to-date 2019 the fund is up approximately 12.8% while the S&P 500 is up approximately 13.6% and the ...

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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...

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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism


The threat to America is this: we have abandoned our core philosophy. Our first principle of this nation as a meritocracy, a free-market economy, where competition drives economic decision-making. In its place, we have allowed a malignancy to fester, a virulent pus-filled bastardized form of economics so corrosive in nature, so dangerously pestilent, that it presents an extinction-level threat to America – both the actual nation and the “idea” of America.

This all-encompassing mutant corruption saps men’s souls, crushes opportunities, and destroys economic mobility. Its a Smash & Grab system of ill-gotten re...

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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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