Archive for 2017

America’s Military-Industrial Addiction

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by JP Sottile via,

Polls show that Americans are tired of endless wars in faraway lands, but many cheer President Trump’s showering money on the Pentagon and its contractors, a paradox that President Eisenhower foresaw…

The Military-Industrial Complex has loomed over America ever since President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of its growing influence during his prescient farewell address on Jan. 17, 1961. The Vietnam War followed shortly thereafter, and its bloody consequences cemented the image of the Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) as a faceless cadre of profit-seeking warmongers who’ve wrested control of the foreign policy. That was certainly borne out by the war’s utter senselessness … and by tales of profiteering by well-connected contractors like Brown & Root.

Over five decades, four major wars and a dozen-odd interventions later, we often talk about the Military-Industrial Complex as if we’re referring to a nefarious, flag-draped Death Star floating just beyond the reach of helpless Americans who’d generally prefer that war was not, as the great Gen. Smedley Darlington Butler aptly put it, little more than a money-making “racket.”

The feeling of powerlessness that the MIC engenders in “average Americans” makes a lot of sense if you just follow the money coming out of Capitol Hill. The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) tabulated all “defense-related spending” for both 2017 and 2018, and it hit nearly $1.1 trillion for each of the two years. The “defense-related” part is important because the annual National Defense Authorization Act, a.k.a. the defense budget, doesn’t fully account for all the various forms of national security spending that gets peppered around a half-dozen agencies.

It’s a phenomenon that noted Pentagon watchdog William Hartung has tracked for years. He recently dissected it into “no less than 10 categories of national security spending.” Amazingly only one of those is the actual Pentagon budget. The others include spending on wars, on homeland security, on military aid, on intelligence, on nukes, on recruitment, on veterans, on interest payments and on “other defense” — which includes “a number of flows of defense-related funding that go to agencies other than the Pentagon.”

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Vetr Upgrades Nvidia

Courtesy of Benzinga.

The Vetr crowd downgraded NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) from 4 stars to 4.5 stars.

The crowd rates Nvidia a Strong Buy with a price target of $224.29. Wall Street analysts price the stock’s value at $99.51.

See how crowdsourced ratings can help predict the market?

Nvidia shares were trading up slightly at $186.66 after Monday’s close.

For the crowd’s full analysis of the stock, click here.

Posted-In: VetrUpgrades Crowdsourcing Analyst Ratings General

Amazon’s Traffic, Mindshare Could Be A ‘Huge’ Opportunity For Aaron’s

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Amazon's Traffic, Mindshare Could Be A 'Huge' Opportunity For Aaron's

Lease-to-own retailer Aaron’s, Inc. (NYSE: AAN) could benefit from tapping into, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN)’s mindshare, offering its Progressive segment “a huge opportunity to shine,” according to Northcoast Research.

The Analyst

Northcoast Research’s Nick Mitchell maintained a Buy rating and $52.50 price target for the shares of Aaron’s

The Thesis

Aaron’s Progressive segment is by far and away the best-positioned virtual lease-to-own platform in the market, analyst Mitchell said in a Friday note. (See Mitchell’s track record here.)

Mitchell said he expects the company’s market-leading position to translate into significant growth over the next five to 10 years, as the segment strives to take advantage of a $25 billion addressable market.

The Progressive segment appears to be working to form “a scalable go-to-market strategy that would allow it to leverage Amazon’s traffic and mindshare,” Mitchell said. Amazon directly sold about $50 billion of merchandise in the U.S. over the past 12 months, with roughly 45 percent of the transactions occurring in categories in Progressive’s wheelhouse, the analyst said. 

“As such, each 100 bps of sales lift that Progressive can help generate in these departments would translate into a roughly $240 million sourcing opportunity.” 

Notwithstanding the threat posed by some obstacles, including the demographic mix, and the likely need to use personal shopping assistants, at least in the short run, Mitchell said Aaron’s value proposition could create a 100-300 basis-point sales lift across relevant categories for Amazon.

Northcoast Research estimates the e-commerce giant could conservatively represent a $240 million to $720 million inventory sourcing opportunity. This would generate incremental operating income of $45 million to $219 million and unlevered net income of…
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A Peek Into The Markets: U.S. Stock Futures Jump Ahead Of Factory Orders Data

Courtesy of Benzinga.

A Peek Into The Markets: U.S. Stock Futures Jump Ahead Of Factory Orders Data

Pre-open movers

U.S. stock futures traded higher in early pre-market trade. Data on factory orders for October will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 217 points to 24,455, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures gained 16.25 points to 2,660.25. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index rose 30.25 points to 6,376.50.

Oil prices traded lower as Brent crude futures fell 0.69 percent to trade at $63.29 per barrel, while US WTI crude futures dropped 0.99 percent to trade at $57.78 a barrel.

A Peek Into Global Markets

European markets were higher today, with the Spanish Ibex Index rising 0.89 percent, STOXX Europe 600 Index surging 0.85 percent and German DAX 30 index gaining 1.23 percent. The UK’s FTSE index was trading higher by 0.47 percent, while French CAC 40 Index rose 0.97 percent.

In Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average fell 0.49 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.22 percent, China’s Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.24 percent and India’s BSE Sensex gained 0.11 percent.

Broker Recommendation

Analysts at Barclays downgraded Charter Communications Inc (NASDAQ: CHTR) from Equal-Weight to Underweight.

Charter Communications shares rose 3.08 percent to close at $336.27 on Friday.

Breaking news

  • CVS Health Corp (NYSE: CVS) agreed to acquire Aetna Inc (NYSE: AET) for $69 billion.
  • Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) disclosed that the FDA has approved its Repatha to prevent heart attack and stroke.
  • Prysmian Group announced plans to acquire General Cable Corporation (NYSE: BGC) for $30.00 per share in cash.
  • Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM) announced plans to merge its refining and marketing divisions to ExxonMobil Fuels & Lubricants Company. The company named Bryan Milton President of the entity.

Posted-In: A Peek Into The Markets BarclaysNews Eurozone Futures Global Pre-Market Outlook Markets

32 Biggest Movers From Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga.


  • Pyxis Tankers Inc. (NASDAQ: PXS) shares surged 102.75 percent to close at $4.10 on Friday.
  • American Woodmark Corporation (NASDAQ: AMWD) shares rose 28.21 percent to close at $127.70. American Woodmark reported purchase of RSI Home Products for $1.075 billion in enterprise value and posted upbeat quarterly earnings.
  • Contango Oil & Gas Company (NYSE: MCF) shares gained 21.31 percent to close at $2.96.
  • Marathon Patent Group Inc (NASDAQ: MARA) shares jumped 18.71 percent to close at $4.95 on Friday.
  • Aeglea Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: AGLE) shares rose 18.25 percent to close at $4.73.
  • CASI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: CASI) shares gained 18.24 percent to close at $3.63 on Friday.
  • Stitch Fix, Inc. (NASDAQ: SFIX) shares jumped 17.76 percent to close at $23.60.
  • Foundation Medicine Inc (NASDAQ: FMI) shares rose 17.67 percent to close at $62.60 after the FDA approved the company’s FoundationOne CDx Diagnostic test for solid tumors.
  • Ambarella Inc (NASDAQ: AMBA) shares gained 14.3 percent to close at $62.03 after the company reported stronger-than-expected results for its third quarter.
  • Titan Machinery Inc (NASDAQ: TITN) gained 13.53 percent to close at $21.57.
  • Xunlei Limited (NASDAQ: XNET) shares rose 13.04 percent to close at $15.43 on Friday.
  • The New Home Company Inc. (NYSE: NWHM) shares gained 11.27 percent to close at $12.83.
  • Nutanix Inc (NASDAQ: NTNX) shares surged 9.94 percent to close at $36.06 after reporting a first quarter loss of 16 cents, 10 cents lower than analyst estimates. Sales came in $9 million higher than estimates at $275.6 million. The company issued better than expected second quarter earnings and sales guidance.
  • NoaBlue Apron Holdings Inc (NYSE: APRN) climbed 8.03 percent to close at $3.23 after the company announced Co-Founder Matt Salzber has stepped down as President and CEO, naming Brad Dickerson as the new CEO.
  • Plug Power Inc (NASDAQ: PLUG) shares gained 5.91 percent to close at $2.51. Canaccord Genuity initiated coverage on Plug Power with a Buy rating and a $5.00 price target.
  • Global Blood Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: GBT) rose

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The Legal System Is Failing America When It Comes To Immigration

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Scott Greer via The Daily Caller,

The illegal immigrant who fired the gun shot that killed Kate Steinle was able to beat a murder charge this week.

Jose Garcia Zarate, a five-time deportee from Mexico and convicted felon, walked away with only a gun conviction after his legal team convinced the jury their client accidentally fired a gun three times and had no intent of killing anyone.

The Steinle case has attracted national attention ever since her murder occurred in 2015 in the sanctuary city of San Francisco. The murder became the focal point in the debate over illegal immigration, showing the dangers of sanctuary city policies and how America can’t secure its borders from convicted felons with multiple deportations.

Presidential candidate Donald Trump highlighted the murder several times on the campaign trail for why America needs to get tough on illegal immigration and eliminate sanctuary city policies.

There was always a political element to the case, and that comes into play as to why a San Francisco jury sought fit to let Zarate go free without even an involuntary manslaughter charge.

The prosecution team does warrant some of the blame for why that occurred. As RedState’s Sarah Rumpf argued, prosecutorial overreach trying to get a harder to prove first-degree murder charge bears some responsibility for the exoneration of Zarate for Kate’s killing.

However, that factor can’t be solely responsible for the not guilty verdict for an illegal immigrant who somehow accidentally fired off a gun three times with no malicious intent in mind.

San Francisco is a very liberal area and jury selection, according to Zarate’s defense team, was ensured to better benefit their client.

“We are very pleased with the jury,” said Matt Gonzalez, the lead defense lawyer for Zarate, upon the completion of jury selection.

“We have such great diversity built in in San Francisco and I think we have a jury that understands a lot of the concerns about the defendant receiving a fair trial.”

That diversity was reflected in the jury consisting of three immigrants, at

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Pentagon To Deploy THAAD Anti-Missile Systems On West Coast To Protect Against North Korean ICBM Attack

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Days after North Korea launched its most advanced ICBM which reportedly can hit a target anywhere in the United States with its 8,000+ mile range, Pyongyang said the U.S. is "begging" for a nuclear war by planning the "largest-ever" joint aerial drill with South Korea, according to Bloomberg. “Should the Korean peninsula and the world be embroiled in the crucible of nuclear war because of the reckless nuclear war mania of the U.S., the U.S. will have to accept full responsibility for it,” North Korea’s state-run KCNA said Saturday, citing a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

As we previously reported, the statement came after Yonhap News reported that six U.S. Raptor stealth fighters planes arrived in South Korea on Saturday for a joint air drill named "Vigilant Ace 18" scheduled for Dec. 4 to 8. The F-22s flew into South Korea together in a show of force. The stealth fighters, however, were just a small part of the upcoming show of force: according to local media, some 230 aircraft and up to 16,000 soldiers and airmen are taking part in the drill, which is one of the biggest ever of its kind.

Meanwhile, in addition to Lindsey Graham's warning that US civilians in South Korea should evacuate ahead of "military conflict", in response to North Korea's recently enhanced capabilities, the United States is beefing up security on the West Coast.

Last week the New York Times reported that Hawaii was bringing back its Cold War-era early missile warning system designed to warn residents of an impending nuclear attack.

The Attack Warning Tone, described as a “wailing tone,” will be heard for about 50 seconds on the first business day of every month, beginning on Dec. 1. It will sound after the regular monthly test of the sirens that warn residents of hurricanes or tsunamis, the Emergency Management Agency said.

Now, according to Congressmen Mike Rogers who sits on the House Armed Services Committee along with Democrat Adam Smith, we learn that the Pentagon is also exploring locations on the West Coast for anti-missile hardware. Rogers and Smith said the Pentagon is looking to distribute the THAAD anti-missile system made by Lockheed Martin Corp at west coast

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Elon Musk’s First Payload To Mars: His “Midnight Cherry Tesla Roadster Playing Space Oddity”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

In late November, we reported on Elon Musk’s desperate attempt to boost market confidence with a shock and awe performance unveiling Tesla’s new semi-truck and roadster. While the event was a thriller, it appears the laws of physics may have finally caught up with Tesla’s stock – now in a bear-market from September highs.

Musk is undeniably the greatest snake oil salesman modern financial markets have ever seen, and that is why he is planning the next spectacular event before a further correction.

On Friday evening, Musk tweeted what the payload of the Falcon Heavy would be— his “midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity”.

But the story gets better, because the powerful Falcon Heavy rocket will launch his Tesla into the orbit around Mars. Musk added, the Tesla “will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent.”

Payload will be my midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity. Destination is Mars orbit. Will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 2, 2017

As Musk would say, the show must go on with the Falcon Heavy launch expected “next month” (January 2018) from Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. According to ARS Techinca, “a static fire test of the rocket’s three cores, and 27 engines, on the launch pad this month.”

Falcon Heavy to launch next month from Apollo 11 pad at the Cape. Will have double thrust of next largest rocket. Guaranteed to be exciting, one way or another.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 2, 2017

In simplest terms, the Falcon Heavy is three of the company’s Falcon 9 rockets strapped together. It will then create enough lift as proposed by Musk to propel his Tesla out of low Earth orbit onto a trajectory to Mars. When it comes to timing— don’t take the company seriously. Musk has pushed back Falcon Heavy’s maiden flight more than

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Cameron And Tyler Winklevoss Are World’s First Confirmed Bitcoin Billionaires

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The Winklevoss twins are officially the founding members of what we'd like to call the bitcoin billionaires boys club.

When Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss settled their lawsuit against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, the twins probably thought they had missed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become billionaires.

Nearly ten years later, the twins have reached a net worth of $1 billion thanks to a timely $11 million investment in bitcoin during April 2013, just as the world’s largest digital currency was entering mainstream consciousness.

That original $11 million was only part of a $65 million settlement they received from Facebook in 2008. Their lawsuit against the company provided much of the narrative grist for the Hollywood movie “The Social Network”.

Since the Winklevii opened their positions, the price of a single coin has risen from about $130 four-and-a-half years ago to an all-time high north of $11,000 last month.

According to City AM, the brothers’ have refused to disclose their exact return. Though it’s estimated that the size of their stake is around 100,000 bitcoins, a figure that will further cement their re-brand as bitcoin entrepreneurs. The Winklevii nearly three years ago became the first people to petition the SEC for a rule change that would effectively as

Other notable investors in the cryptocurrency include infamous entrepreneur Charlie Shrem who served a two-year stretch in federal lockup because his old company was accused of helping facilitate notorious black-market drug bazaar the Silk Road.

Furthermore, the secretive inventor of the Bitcoin currency – known only by his digital pen name Satoshi Nakamoto -has never been publicly identified.

As City AM explains, bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that is created and stored on a digital ledger known as the blockchain. The digital currency’s recent success has been widely attributed to an influx of new buyers from China, South Korea and other countries across the region.

Last year, Tyler Winklevoss told the Telegraph the currency could be worth trillions and was “like a better version of gold”.

Many investors, including hedge fund pioneer Mike Novogratz, believe the price

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Weekly Market Recap Dec 3, 2017

Courtesy of Blain.

After the NYSE McClellan Oscillator flipped back positive, we went out of our cautious stance and this week rewarded the bulls with significant gains Tuesday and Thursday.  Only the guilty plea of Michael Flynn could slow down momentum, and even that was only an hour Friday morning before the bulls stampeded right back.  With the tax reform plan looking very likely now, the market is rejoicing.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average is now at it’s longest monthly win streak (8 in a row!) in 22 years.  That said there was a bit of a hiccup in the NASDAQ Wednesday as mega cap stocks took a hit – apparently they can’t go straight to the moon forever.

Is that a potentially bearish “double top” in the Apple (AAPL) chart?  Naaah – that would be a negative thing, and negative things aren’t allowed in the Trump market.

For the month the S&P 500 gained 2.8% while the NASDAQ jumped 2.2%.  For the S&P 500 that is also 8 months of gains in a row; the last time that happened was the heady days of 2007 — right before the crash.  But no worries.  For the week the S&P 500 gained 1.5% while the NASDAQ slipped 0.6% on that mega cap tech stock weakness.

Frank Cappelleri, a technical strategist at Instinet LLC, said the tech rally was getting “long in the tooth ”with the NASDAQ 100 having gained for nine straight weeks, the longest since early 2012, and that the selloff should be viewed within the context of rotation out of large caps and growth stocks into financials, value and small cap shares.

Wonder if the Federal Reserve is scratching their head about creating a new bubble.  On Monday, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan noted concerns about potential financial imbalances, observing that the stock market has now gone 12 months without a 3% decline. “This is extraordinarily unusual,” he said.

Jerome Powell, President Donald Trump’s pick to run the Federal Reserve, testified at a Senate
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#1 Performing Global Macro Hedge Fund Sees More Shorts Opportunities Ahead As China Bursts

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Crescat Global Macro Fund update to investors on 1/19/2019

Crescat Global Macro Fund and Crescat Long/Short fund delivered strong returns for both December and full year 2018 in a difficult market. Based on ...

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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

Divisive economics


Guest author David Brin — scientist, technology consultant, best-selling author and futurist — explores the records of Democrats and Republicans on the US economy in the following post. For David's latest posts, visit the CONTRARY BRIN blog. For his books and short stories, visit his web...

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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 Explores Strategic Alternatives, Analyst Sees Possible Sale Price Around $30 Per Share

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related 44 Biggest Movers From Yesterday 38 Stocks Moving In Wednesday's Mid-Day Session ... more from Insider

Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Jan 13, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

In last week’s recap we asked:  “Has the Fed solved all the market’s problems in 1 speech?”

Thus far the market says yes!  As Guns n Roses preached – all we need is a little “patience”.  Four up days followed by a nominal down day Friday had the market following it’s normal pattern the past nearly 30 years – jumping whenever the Federal Reserve hints (or essentially says outright) it is here for the markets.   And in case you missed it the prior Friday, Chairman Powell came back out Thursday to reiterate the news – so…so… so… patient!

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reinforced that message Thursday during a discussion at the Economic Club of Washington where he said that the central bank will be “fle...

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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...

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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 >>