Archive for 2017

Weekly Market Recap Aug 20, 2017

Courtesy of Blain.

The story of 2017 has been “lack of volatility”.  There is finally some volatility entering the market, which is nice for those out there who like to actually trade a bit rather than buy and hold.  In last week’s recaps we noted the NYSE McClellan Indicator had registered an extreme oversold reading so a “rubber band” type of snap back rally could happen.

Thursday it hit an extreme level over -80 which we don’t see very often which can lead to short term snap back rallies.  But until we get back to sustained levels over zero caution remains in order.

So that “snap back” rally happened Monday – credit given to “an ebb in pressure between North Korea and the U.S. but the real headline should have been “the market was oversold and due for a very short term bounce no matter what!”

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson over the weekend sought to play down the risk of a military conflict, writing in The Wall Street Journal that the Trump administration is seeking diplomatic solutions to achieve the “irreversible denuclearization” of North Korea.

Some consolidation Tuesday and Wednesday followed but no resumption of the rally later in the week – as we have seen relentlessly in 2017.  Hence caution was still in order as the rally Monday simply relieved some short term pressure.   Thursday saw another selloff of a good sized nature as the market was spooked by reports that Gary Cohn was planning to resign as an economic adviser to the president.

Cohn is “seen as the glue holding Trump’s pro-business agenda together,” Deutsche Bank’s strategists said. “The fears are that if he goes, you take a further step back from tax cuts and deregulation.”

Caution remains the name of the game as it has been for a few weeks now.  For the week the S&P 500 gave up 0.7%, and the NASDAQ 0.6%.

Wednesday came the Federal Reserve minutes and as expected no major fireworks and more caution as has been the case for nearing a decade!

The minutes from the Fed’s meeting in


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Opening Round NAFTA Fissures Over the Meaning of “Substantial”: What’s the Best and Worst That Can Happen?

Courtesy of Mish.

Trump is bound and determined to have his way in NAFTA negotiations whether or not anyone agrees with him. Ironically, not even the auto manufacturers do. The first round of negotiations, now underway, has hit a snag already. The meaning of “substantial” is in play.

The Wall Street Journal reports U.S., Canada and Mexico Wrap Up Nafta First Round.

Opening-round talks to remake the North American Free Trade Agreement revealed early fissures dividing the U.S. from Mexico and Canada, including a Trump administration proposal to require a “substantial” portion of autos and auto parts produced under the pact be made in the U.S.

The renegotiation of the trade deal, which was one of President Donald Trump’s main campaign promises and a key pillar of his “America First” agenda aiming to revive U.S. manufacturing and reduce the country’s trade deficit, is likely to face many hurdles. Auto makers in all three nations generally oppose the stricter rules floated by the U.S. negotiator, and pro-business lawmakers in Congress don’t want to see the pact significantly altered.

Early tensions over areas such as the so-called rules of origin—a major issue for the automotive industry—signaled the tough bargaining that lies ahead as the three nations try to wrap up a deal by early next year.

The chief U.S. negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, came into the talks Wednesday saying the U.S. would insist on tightening the rules of origin, and adding a provision covering U.S. production, an idea quickly dismissed as unworkable by Mexican and Canadian officials.

At this early stage of the talks, it is difficult to measure the depth of the disagreement. Opening rounds generally set the tone and schedule for negotiations. The U.S. has yet to release specifics on some of its most controversial positions, including measures to reduce the U.S. trade deficit, prevent currency manipulation, favor U.S. companies in government contracts, known colloquially as Buy America, and rework rules governing arbitration panels.

The U.S. feels that its most significant leverage in the talks is Mr. Trump’s threat to withdraw from Nafta if the U.S. doesn’t get the changes it wants. North American trade is far more significant to the Canadian and Mexican economies than it is for the U.S.

Mexican negotiators say they are prepared to scrap Nafta rather than accede to demands they consider harmful to


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Bungled repairs and new concerns at the tallest US dam

By PeakProsperity. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Remember the crisis earlier this year at the Oroville Dam?

The overflow from California’s winter of heavy rain threatened to overpower our country’s tallest dam. A cascading failure of the dam’s main gates, its primarily spillway AND its emergency spillway had the world watching hour by hour to see if a catastrophic breach was going to occur.

Oroville Dam

Oroville Dam By California Department of Water Resources [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Fortunately, the rains stopped long enough for the situation to be brought under control. The dam remains in place and repair crews have been working all spring and summer.

But should we breathe easy at this point? Not at all, says dam safety expert Scott Cahill. Our readers will remember Scott from the excellent technical assessment he provided in the thick of the crisis earlier this year. In our earlier podcast with him, he explained how the real tragedy at Oroville was that for many years, small and affordable maintenance projects that easily could have prevented the crisis were diverted (in his estimation, the cost of making the needed repairs was quite small — around $6 million. But for short-sighted reasons, the repairs were not funded; and now the bill to fix the resultant damage will likely be on the order of magnitude of over $200 million. Which does not factor in the environmental carnage caused by flooding downstream ecosystems with high-sediment water or the costs involved with evacuating the 200,000 residents living nearby the dam).

And the pattern appears to be continuing. In this week’s podcast, Scott details a number of concerning structural risks visible at Oroville that are again being de-prioritized, or ignored all-together. And as before, straightforward and inexpensive projects that have high potential to prevent a catastrophic failure of the dam are not being pursued:

They’ve begun the repairs on the bottom half of the spillway, but the tragedy and loss from the bottom half of the spillway failing has already been realized. No one is worried about the bottom half of the spillway. On the other hand, they’ve done nothing yet with the upper half of the spillway — which is what would cause a catastrophic failure of the dam. It’s amazing how much money they’ve already spent, and yet their priorities are such that they haven’t abated the liability


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Waiting for the Bounce – Vacation until September 3rd.

Courtesy of Declan

Friday offered the opportunity for more but in the end it was honors even between bulls and bears.

The S&P finished the week on bearish net technicals on higher volume distribution. One positive was a potential doji (and a chance for a 'bullish morning star' on Monday) which is a chance for bulls to buy the open with a stop on a loss of 2,420. Another is the very strong relative performance – when money comes into the market it's the S&P where it's going.
 

A second bite of the cherry for bulls? The prior week saw a successful support test but it didn't amount to much. Whether there is something here will depend on how markets (and the Nasdaq) open on Monday. Technicals are net negative along with weak relative performance so perhaps holding off on new positions may actually be the most prudent thing to do.
 


The Russell 2000 may be the index to take a long punt on. Friday's 'spinning top' speaks more of indecision but with the Nasdaq and S&P on support and this index heavily oversold (look at intermediate and short term stochastics) then it may be time to buy with a stop on a loss of 1,350.
 

 

The Dow had the worst of Friday's action but with the convergence of 20-day and 50-day MAs there may be something for bulls to work with. Look for a bounce off the moving averages.
 


The other index to watch is the Semiconductor Index. Friday's black candlestick is not the bearish warning such candlesticks play when they appear in a top. This time with the index at channel support it might instead be viewed as a positive pullback support retest; stops on a loss of 1,050.
 


A few opportunities to watch on Monday. Please note, I will be on vacation until September 3rd. Hopefully, Donald Trump will not have nuked the world before I return.
 





Making driverless cars safe for people on foot

 

Making driverless cars safe for people on foot

Courtesy of Michael ClamannDuke University

File 20170814 28487 15aeu8r

Is it safe to cross? Duke Humans and Anatomy Lab, CC BY-ND

Right now, there are two ways to be safe crossing a road: Wait until no cars are close by, so there’s enough time to make it to the other side of the street – or communicate with oncoming drivers. As the number of pedestrian deaths on U.S. roads climbs, up 25 percent since 2010 to more than 5,000 people in 2015, the dawn of driverless cars offers the promise of improving that sad safety record.

Whether we’re at a crosswalk, a traffic light or just walking out in the middle of the road, we’ve learned since we were young that it’s important to make eye contact with the drivers of approaching cars. But that’s not going to be possible with autonomous cars. Even if there’s someone sitting in what would be the driver’s seat, that person will be a passenger, with little – or perhaps no – control over how the car behaves. And that passenger may also be catching up on work, watching a movie or dozing off, paying no attention to what’s up ahead.

People and cars will need to communicate in some other way. With no universally agreed on method for doing this, my own research, and that of a number of tech companies, automobile manufacturers and startups, is exploring using different types of visual signals – akin, perhaps, to a driver waving a person across the street or flashing the car’s headlights to signal their yielding the right of way. Doing that turns out to be quite complicated.

Nissan is developing a system to communicate with pedestrians.

Driverless car

Part of the problem depends on how people respond when they realize an autonomous car is approaching: Scholars at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and the University of California at San Diego recently made news by operating vehicles on public roads…
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Bannon: “No Administration In History Has Been So Divided”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

"Bannon the Barbarian" has been spending a lot of time talking to reporters since being fired by President Donald Trump on Friday. During an interview with Bloomberg, his first after being relieved of his duties as Trump’s chief strategist and returning to his former leadership role at Breitbart, Bannon claimed that he was going “to war” for Trump, and that he would marshal the resources of Breitbart, the Government Accountability Institute and the power and rage of Trump's base against any establishment Republicans and Democrats who stand in the way of the president’s nationalist agenda.

He repeated his warnings against establishment Republicans during an interview with The Washington Post on Saturday, saying that the president's enemies in Congress should either fall in line or risk being targeted.

“In an interview in Washington on Saturday, Bannon warned Republican leaders to enthusiastically support Trump’s priorities on taxes, trade and funding a massive border wall — or risk the wrath of the president’s base, including Breitbart, to which Bannon returned Friday as executive chairman.”

If Republicans enthusiastically support Trump’s priorities on taxes, trade and funding a massive border wall, everything will be “sweetness and light,” Bannon said. However, he doesn’t expect moderates to capitulate so easily.

“'If the Republican Party on Capitol Hill gets behind the president on his plans and not theirs, it will all be sweetness and light, be one big happy family,’ Bannon said. But Bannon added with a smile that he does not expect “sweetness” anytime soon — and described the turbulent political moment in the Republican Party and the country as a necessary battle over Trump’s priorities.”

In what sounds like an implicit threat against Gary Cohn and the other purported “globalists” in Trump’s orbit, Bannon complained that the White House has become hopelessly divided on its priorities and agenda because of the ongoing battle between Trump’s Nationalist base and Trump’s more mainstream advisers a group that includes not only Cohn but the President’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner. 

“No administration in history has been so divided among itself about the direction about where it should go,” Bannon said, adding that Trump’s base is frustrated


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Ben Graham On The Benefits Of A Group Operation

By Rupert Hargreaves. Originally published at ValueWalk.

This is the fifth part of a series devoted to notes of Graham’s lectures between September 1946 and February 1947 at the New York Institute of Finance. The series of lectures was titled Current Problems in Security Analysis, and this fifth part focuses on the Security Analyst and why he usually fails.

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This article is devoted to Graham’s sixth lecture in the lecture series. Part six is relatively short, but it contains a valuable lesson nonetheless. Up to this point, Graham discussed Wall Street’s biggest failings, as well as the appropriate mindset a security analyst should have. A large chunk of the lectures was also devoted to the process of valuing securities, particularly calculating future earnings potential.

Security Analyst Group Operation, Valuewalk, Ben Graham, Benjamin Graham, writing, reading, books, The Intelligent Investor, Value investing, value investors, Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett, investor psychology, minimal debt, buy-and-hold investing, fundamental analysis, concentrated diversification, margin of safety, activist investing, contrarian mindsets

Ben Graham On The Benefits Of Security Analyst Failures

Part six continues with the theme of estimation runs through the lectures. Throughout the series, Graham makes it clear that the security analyst should not seek to produce a perfect set of figures for each company they are studying as these numbers will almost certainly be wrong. Instead, Graham recommends an approximation of values and averages be used to compute a company’s earnings potential over a period such as five years. Specifically, in part six he declares:

“I don’t believe any of us have the pretension of believing that by being very good analysts, or by going through very elaborate computations, we can be pretty sure of the correctness of our results. The only thing that we can be pretty sure of, perhaps, is that we are
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Large spenders, Large value

By Alex Lanoie. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Key lessons:

  • Non-traditional businesses may have hidden value as compared to traditional ones
  • Expenses, depending on their nature, can bring long-term value
  • Valuation methodology remains the same, but in-depth understanding is even more critical

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Since I’ve started to be interested in investing, I’ve always had a strong inclination towards value investing. This particular investment philosophy traditionally focuses on businesses generating an interesting cash flow, with a strong balance sheet, and which the investor understands well and can easily project its performance in the future. Obviously, there are a multitude of variances to the typical value investing approach, such as the deep-value approach, the net-net approach, etc. However, I’m more of the conventional type. The way I like to value companies is to consider how much the future stream of earnings of a firm is worth as of today – quite simple, not always easy.

ValueWalk Jeff Bezos retailers best buy, RadioShack Gymboree, Circuit City , Blockbuster, American Eagle Wal-Mart disruption moats competitive advantage FANGs FAANG FAMGA Amazon WashingtonPost billionaires world's richest people retail Apocalypse

Such an approach, applied with consistency, have led me to consider companies which operate mainly in more traditional industries, such as utilities, retail, manufacturing, and others. However, I’ve recently started to feel that there were many companies and industries which I wasn’t considering and which had incredible value, even from a value investing point of view. I felt there was something I was missing. There was a need to grow my snowball further! (The SB effect in action!) As a constant learner, I’ve therefore become interested and curious to know how companies such as Amazon could grow so much in value (market value at least) and barely make any profit. The idea that investors were banking on the fact that, one day, the company would be hugely profitable seemed over simplistic. How can you project 10 or 20 years into the future when projecting even one year…
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North Korea Threatens “Merciless Strike” As US-South Korea Wargames Begin

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Residents of Japanese coastal towns are holding evacuation drills as North Korea warned Sunday that the upcoming US-South Korea military exercises are "reckless behavior driving the situation into the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war."

Nearly 130 people took part in the drill in Kotoura, which has a population of 18,000, a town official said. Reuters reports that for 10 minutes, people ducked down covering their heads with their arms. Many of those taking part said they were worried. North Korea has in the past threatened to attack Japan, a staunch U.S. ally and host to U.S. military bases.

As sirens blared from speakers in the town of Kotoura, children playing soccer outside ran to take shelter in a school, along with their parents and their team coach.

"I've been concerned every day that something might fall or a missile could fall in an unexpected place due to North Korea's missile capabilities," said the coach, Akira Hamakawa, 38.

As a reminder, Japan is the only country in the world to be attacked with nuclear weapons, and so perhaps the threats from North Korea today are a little closer to heart than for many around the world.

Following North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's statement last week that he would "watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees," as US-South Korean military exercises begin, CNN reports that Pyongyang also declared that its army can target the United States anytime, and neither Guam, Hawaii nor the US mainland can "dodge the merciless strike."

The messages in Rodong Sinmun, the official government newspaper, come a day before the US starts the Ulchi Freedom Guardian military exercises with South Korea.

"The Trump group's declaration of the reckless nuclear war exercises against the DPRK … is a reckless behavior driving the situation into the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war," Rodong Sinmun said, using the acronym for Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the nation's official name.

It described North Korea as the "strongest possessor" of intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of striking the US mainland from anywhere.

"The Korean People's Army is keeping a


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Deep Subprime Auto Loan Delinquencies Reach 2007 Levels: The Next Big Short?

Courtesy of Mish.

Subprime auto delinquencies have staked up so much that we are back at 2007 milestone levels.

There’s a section of the auto-loan market — known in industry parlance as deep subprime — where delinquency rates have ticked up to levels last seen in 2007, according to data compiled by credit reporting bureau Equifax.

“Performance of recent deep subprime vintages is awful,” Equifax said in a slide show on second-quarter credit trends.

Analysts have been warning for years that subprime car loans pose a threat to lenders as delinquency rates have edged higher since reaching a post-recession low in 2012. But it wasn’t until last quarter that the least creditworthy borrowers started to show the kinds of late payment profiles that accompanied the start of the financial crisis.

“We’re seeing an increase in delinquencies across all credit scores, but in the highest credit quality, it’s just a basis point or two,” Chief Economist Amy Crews Cutts said in an email Tuesday. “In deep subprime, the rise is more substantial. What stood out to me was the issuers. Those that have been doing this for a decade or more were showing the ‘better’ performance, while those that were relative newcomers were in the ‘worse’ category.”

The reason for the increase, she posited, is that lenders have loosened underwriting requirements as more firms tap into a declining market for car loans, not that there are more customers with worsening credit profiles.

“It isn’t a case of chasing a larger subprime share,” Cutts said in an email Tuesday. There’s been “almost no change in median credit scores. That means they are letting other underwriting characteristics slide,” she said, referring to the lenders that issue the bulk of subprime loans — so-called monolines that specialize in one area of the credit market and dealer-finance companies that work specifically with car sellers.

“As soon as lenders (and the investors behind them) get overconfident that they have better models and can make excess profits by disrespecting credit risk, they always get their hats handed to them sooner or later,” Cutts said. “The mortgage market learned this lesson at the expense of the entire global financial system, and it is playing out now in a micro-level, in the ABS market for subprime auto loans.”

The Next


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Zero Hedge

Johns Hopkins, Bristol-Myers Face $1 Billion Suit For Infecting Guatemalan Hookers With Syphilis 

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A federal judge in Maryland said Johns Hopkins University, pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Rockefeller Foundation must face a $1 billion lawsuit over their roles in a top-secret program in the 1940s ran by the US government that injected hundreds of Guatemalans with syphilis, reported Reuters.

Several doctors from Hopkins an...



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Phil's Favorites

This Is The One Chart Every Trader Should Have "Taped To Their Screen"

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

After a year of tapering, the Fed’s balance sheet finally captured the market’s attention during the last three months of 2018.

By the start of the fourth quarter, the Fed had finished raising the caps on monthly roll-off of its balance sheet to the full $50bn per month (peaking at $30bn USTs, $20bn MBS, although on many months the (balance sheet) B/S does not actually shrink by this full amount which depends on the redemption schedule) and by end-Q4 markets also experienced some of the largest volatility and drawdowns in nearly a decade.

As Nomura&...



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ValueWalk

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...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Stock declines did not break 9-year support, says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

We often hear “Stocks take an escalator up and an elevator down!” No doubt stocks did experience a swift decline from the September highs to the Christmas eve lows. Looks like the “elevator” part of the phrase came true as 2018 was coming to an end.

The first part of the “stocks take an escalator up” seems to still be in play as well despite the swift decline of late.

Joe Friday Just The Facts Ma’am- All of these indices hit long-term rising support on Christmas Eve at each (1), where support held and rallies have followed.

If you find long-term perspectives helpf...



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Digital Currencies

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

 

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

Blockchain technologies can empower people by allowing them more control over their user data. Shutterstock

Courtesy of Ajay Kumar Shrestha, University of Saskatchewan

Blockchain has already proven its huge influence on the financial world with its first application in the form of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It might not be long before its impact is felt everywhere.

Blockchain is a secure chain of digital records that exist on multiple computers simultaneously so no record can be erased or falsified. The...



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Insider Scoop

Cars.com 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 ...

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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 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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Biotech

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 www.shutterstock.com

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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OpTrader

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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Promotions

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:

 

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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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