Archive for 2018

Crude Capitulation Continues: WTI Hits 6-Week Lows After Russia, Saudi Comments

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

WTI Crude futures plunged in early Asia trading – touching a $65 handle for the first time in over a month – after Saudi Arabia and Russia proposed easing output curbs.

As Bloomberg notes, oil earlier this month rose to the highest level in more than three years after President Donald Trump’s decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran and plunging Venezuelan output fueled supply concerns. With OPEC and allies achieving a key goal of eliminating the global surplus despite record production in the U.S., traders now are weighing whether Saudi Arabia and Russia will go ahead with their plan to revive output without reaching consensus with allies. The group are set to meet in June to decide its next steps.

The drop was accompanied by relatively heavy volume suggesting some capitulation from the extreme long crude speculative positioning. July WTI futures volume already tops 70,000 contracts — more than 420% of the 10-day average for this time of day -- a feat even more impressive given that it's a public holiday in both London and New York.

“The latest signal from OPEC and Russia cooled down expectations for the group’s cuts, which have been a major factor boosting crude price since late last year,” Satoru Yoshida, a commodity analyst at Rakuten Securities Inc., said by phone from Tokyo.

“If OPEC and allies decide at the June meeting to maintain their production cuts through December and ease anxiety among investors, crude prices may rebound.”

What is perhaps even more impressive is the spread between Brent (geopolitical risk premia) and WTI (domestic 'over'-supply) is now well over $9 – the highest since March 2015…





Hong Kong Women Left Unsatisfied By “Grass-Eating” Sexless Nerds

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Last month we told you about China's record-low fertility rate and social stigma around having a large family. Today, we bring you another aspect of that equation; lame, feminized Chinese men who refuse to step up their game and get laid

Yes, Hong Kong is suffering from an army of loners – estimated at 20,000 to 40,000 strong - usually in their 20's and 30's, who are choosing video games, anime and internet porn over wives, sex and the inevitable children that follow.

We can blame the prevalence of smartphones, laptops, computers, tablets and other electronic devices. We can even blame it on e-sports, a new pseudo sport that is sweeping the city with government backing. It can also be interpreted as another excuse for people to submerge themselves in the digital world rather than experience the real word. -SCMP

These sexless men are known as "otaku," – a Japanese term for socially awkward gents who have isolated themselves from their families and romantic prospects alike. "[T]hese “geeks” tend to be diehard anime and manga fans who have little interest in dating," writes Luisa Tam in the South China Morning Post

Taking it one step further are the "soshoku danshi," which translates to "grass-eating men" or "herbivore men" – a term coined by Japanese columnist Maki Fukasawa who describes these particular isolationists as having a "monk-like approach to life and relationships," which of course includes no sex

Studies in Japan estimate that this class of men, normally in their 20s and 30s, account for around 60 per cent to 70 per cent of the male population. Obviously, their reluctance to procreate is a major cause for concern. Japan has had one of lowest birth rates in the world for nearly a decade now. -SCMP

Hong Kong has seen a sharp rise in the number of "grass-eating men," according to Dr. Paul Wong Wai-ching, associate professor of the Department of Social Work and Social Administration at hte University of Hong Kong. 



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Base Building Continues

Courtesy of Declan.

Another Day inside the trading range, another day of waiting. Not a whole lot to say about Friday. The S&P remained tightly bound and confined to a narrow horizontal range. On-Balance-Volume switched to a ‘sell trigger’ as other technicals remained positive. The preferred trade is still an upside breakout from the hande.






The Nasdaq almost delivered a handle ‘breakout’ but wasn’t able to put some distance from the handle. Any additional upside should be enough to deliver the breakout. Unlike other the S&P, supporting technicals are all positive.





Contributing to Nasdaq strength is the near 1% gain in the Semiconductor Index. It’s close to challenging the ‘bull trap’ as it delivered the handle breakout the Nasdaq was so close to creating.







The Russell 2000 is still protecting its breakout and is the index best placed to reward momentum traders. Look for further upside.





The Dow Industrial Average is also working a minor breakout of its own. This is a better value play as it looks to shape a right-hand-side base up to January’s highs.







The relationship to the Transports also looks positive with a fresh breakout in the ratio; buy the strength.





For tomorrow, continue to look for bullish handle breakouts from indices which have yet to deliver.




You’ve now read my opinion, next read Douglas’ blog.




I trade a small account on eToro, and invest using Ameritrade. If you would like to join me on eToro, register through the banner link and search for “fallond”.




If you are new to spread betting, here is a guide on position size based on eToro’s system.









“Progressive” Labor Law Is Forcing Government Contractors To Accept Wages From The 1980s

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

In dozens of counties around the US, contractors bidding for government projects have encountered an unusual problem. Thanks to a quirk in a Depression-era federal labor law, firms handling government contracts for truck driving to forklift operation to carpentry are essentially forced to pay their employees minimum wage, as Bloomberg points out in a recent report. 

Six letters sent by the Department of Labor confirmed that pay for certain jobs created through government contracts has stagnated around $7.25 per hour, the federal minimum wage. The pay is far below average wages for those jobs in the private sector, despite the fact that the Davis Bacon Act, a Depression era law meant to ensure that pay for government contractors stayed level with the private sector, was specifically intended to prevent just such an outcome.

While this phenomenon probably won't make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things, they're one reason why the Federal Reserve has been unable to figure out exactly why falling unemployment hasn't managed to impact wages in a positive way. Unsurprisingly, government intervention and incompetence is to blame.

Wages

Wages for these jobs are meant to be determined by a government survey that hasn't been conducted regularly since the 1980s.

Thanks to a web of loopholes and limits, the federal government has been green-lighting hourly pay of just $7.25 for some construction workers laboring on taxpayer-funded projects, despite decades-old laws that promise them the "prevailing wage."

Over the past year, the U.S. Department of Labor has formally given approval for contractors to pay $7.25 for specific government-funded projects in six Texas counties, according to letters reviewed by Bloomberg. Those counties are among dozens around the nation where the government-calculated prevailing wage listed for certain work—like some carpenters in North Carolina, bulldozer operators in Kansas and cement masons in Nebraska—is just the minimum wage.

That’s in part because, according to publicly available data from the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division, the agency is relying on wage survey data in more than 50 jurisdictions that’s from the 1980s or earlier. Experts said that’s a far cry from what Congress intended when, starting with the Depression-era Davis Bacon Act, it


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How Identity Politics Is Changing Universities

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by William Anderson via The Mises Institute,

Ours is a politicized age from the college campus to the corporate boardroom, a situation in which things that once were personal now are utterly political.

The hard left now controls not only higher education, but also much of scientific research upon which the future of humanity as we know it depends. What began in 1969 as the establishment of a single course in Women’s Studies at Cornell University and similar courses elsewhere in what then were called Black Studies has metastasized into a monster that almost completely dominates higher education in the United States and Canada. Today, it is rare to find a college or university that does not have majors and programs in Identity Studies.

This long march of feminists and racialists from near-obscurity to absolute-dominance is compared to the rise of Snopes family created by author William Faulkner in his 1940 novel, The Hamlet. In Faulkner’s book, the Snopeses move into the Mississippi community of Frenchman’s Bend and slowly take over nearly all aspects of life. Even though the locals seem to understand what is taking place, they are seemingly helpless because they heard the rumor that people that made a Snopes unhappy would have their barns burned to the ground.

In campus politics, the activists did not threaten to burn only the barns but rather the entire college campus. Anyone in higher education that might allegedly say or write something that offends someone in a politically-protected group is likely to be the focus of the infamous Twitter Mob, and even a distinguished career and something as prestigious as a Nobel Prize offers no cover, as Tim Hunt found out.

For that matter, truth itself is no defense, as we found out in the infamous Duke Lacrosse Case.

All that matters is identity politics, and the Duke case demonstrates just how powerful – and destructive – such politics have become.

In March 2006 at Duke University, a black stripper falsely claimed that three members of the Duke men’s lacrosse team beat and raped her at a team party…
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10 Effective Habits Of The Fiscally Fit

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Richard Rosso via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

We wonder how they do it.

Those who make handling money look effortless.

I have documented and monitored the money habits of fiscally-fit people for years.

The following ten appear prominently on the list.

1 – The fiscally-fit crowd considers “paying yourself first” sacrosanct.

They passionately believe that saving is equally as important as paying fixed expenses like rents or mortgages. This rule has been a part of their lives early on. Back to their youth. They never compromise this habit.

The “pay yourself” mindset is the foundation to their overall financial success. Whether a specific dollar amount or a percentage of income is directed monthly into savings or investments, the action is as important as the money itself. It represents a display of control which in turn enhances confidence.

2 – Thinking in monthly payments is detrimental to long-term financial health.

The fiscally-fit are not compelled to take on recurring obligations because they can afford the payments. The long-term financial impact of the liability is a deciding factor. For example, a $30,000 auto loan at 3% interest for 3 years results in a monthly outlay of $872.44. A 5 year loan calculates to $539.06. Many consumers gravitate towards lower payments. This crowd is motivated to pay less in total interest charges. With a saving of $937 over the life of the loan, the 3-year obligation is favored.

3 – Money is a consistent and healthy “worry.”

Like a low hum in the background of their lives, worry is a factor that resonates throughout the minds of the fiscally fit. A dose of worry is perceived as healthy since it fosters discipline, encourages patience and prevents this group from becoming complacent when it comes to monitoring financial progress. Professionals who preach a “don’t sweat it I’ll make the investment decisions,” mantra and come across as overconfident are dismissed. Financial advisors especially are sought as partners and sounding boards. Decisions are not made in haste.

4 – Unforeseen risk is right around the corner.

These individuals anxiously plan for risks that can hurt their financial standing no matter how remote the possibilities. They perceive…
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In 1995, Steve Jobs Explained Exactly How Apple Will Fail

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

With Apple's share price hitting record highs as the mainstream media, asset-gatherers, and commission-takers once again reflect on it as a "no brainer" investment that everyone and their pet rabbit should own, we are reminded of none other than Steve Jobs 'lost interview' from 1995 on how tech monopolies die

"I have my own theory about why the decline happens at companies like IBM or Microsoft.

The company does a great job, innovates and becomes a monopoly or close to it in some field, and then the quality of the product becomes less important.

The company starts valuing the great salesmen, because they're the ones who can move the needle on revenues, not the product engineers and designers. So the salespeople end up running the company."

Summarized more succinctly…

"Once you have a monopoly, new products don't help you, only better marketing. Soon, marketing people are running the company, and what made them great is gone…"

h/t @DavidBCollum

Sound familiar?





 
 
 

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The guts of an Apple iPhone show exactly what Trump gets wrong about trade

 

The guts of an Apple iPhone show exactly what Trump gets wrong about trade

The components of an iPhone add up to a different cost than the phone itself. Poravute Siriphiroon/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Jason Dedrick, Syracuse University; Greg Linden, University of California, Berkeley, and Kenneth L. Kraemer...



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Zero Hedge

Bonds, Bitcoin, & Bullion Jump; Stocks Dump On Powell-Pullback, Trade-Talk

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A stunned equity market could not believe that Batman Powell and Doveboy Bullard dared to talk down the odds of a 50bps rate-cut in July...

Ugly day in China overnight after Monday's snoozefest...

Mixed bag in Europe with a weak open but France and Spain rallying into the close (still red on week)...

Ugly ...



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ValueWalk

Beyond Meat vs Impossible Burger: Comparing The Vegan Meat Burgers

 

Beyond Meat vs Impossible Burger: Comparing The Vegan Meat Burgers

Courtesy of Vikas Shukla, ValueWalk

Pexels / Pixabay

The trend of vegan food has been gathering momentum in the last few years as people become more health conscious. They have also begun to realize the environmental impact of raising meat for human consumption. According to PETA, it takes an estimated 1...



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Insider Scoop

Wedbush Steps To The Shopify Sidelines

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Shopify Inc (NYSE: SHOP) ha introduced multiple new initiatives to spur growth, but the stock's valuation is already full at current levels, according to Wedbush.

The Analyst

Wedbush's Ygal Arounian downgraded Shopify from Outperform to Neutral with a 12-month price target lifted from $270 to $305.

The Thesis

Shopif...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Wilshire 5000 Creating A Triple Top? An Important Breakout Test Is In Play!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

The stock market has been on fire of late, rallying up to the edge of price resistance on several indexes. Today, we look at one of those stock market indexes: the Wilshire 5000.

The Wilshire 5000 tracks all of the stocks in the US market, so it is a broad-based index that carries significant importance when gauging the health of the overall US stock market.

Looking at the long-term “weekly” chart above, it is pretty clear that the index is at an important price juncture.

The Wilshire 5000 spent the last 25 years trading within a rising price channel (1)...



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Chart School

Formula for when the Great Stock Market Rally ends

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

When valuations for the boring water company or the boring electric company is trading like your Facebook, Apple, Amazon or Netflix or Google (ie FANG) you know something is wrong.

This is when a seriously over valued market is screaming at you.

Of course the reader must understand in a world where money printing goes super nuts (Zimbabwe style) the stock market may go hyper inflationary and picking a time frame for a top is never a good idea, but we are not there yet. There is no Ben Bernanke helicopter money to the masses yet (ie MMT). 

To see when water company's (and such like) are nearing the crazy FANG like valuations a review of the Dow Jones Utility Index channel shows us how history can repeat. The c...

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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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Biotech

Consumer genetic testing customers stretch their DNA data further with third-party interpretation websites

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

 

Consumer genetic testing customers stretch their DNA data further with third-party interpretation websites

If you’ve got the raw data, why not mine it for more info? Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Sarah Catherine Nelson, University of Washington

Back in 2016, Helen (a pseudonym) took three different direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests: AncestryDNA, 23andMe and FamilyTreeDNA. She saw genetic testing as a way...



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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

Excerpt:

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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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:

 

·       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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