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?





 
 
 

Phil's Favorites

Brexit identities: how Leave versus Remain replaced Conservative versus Labour affiliations of British voters

 

Brexit identities: how Leave versus Remain replaced Conservative versus Labour affiliations of British voters

Courtesy of Geoffrey Evans, University of Oxford and Florian Schaffner, University of Oxford

British politics was relatively stable in the post-war decades, and voters’ strong party loyalties were influenced by their place in society. More recently, there has been a marked decline in the number of people identifying with a political party, and in the strength of that attachment.

Now, our new research for a repor...



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Zero Hedge

Stocks Jump On Kudlow Denial: "There Is No Cancellation. None. Zero."

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

"There are no cancellations. None. Zero. Let's put that to rest."

Hours after a headline from the FT about the US cancelling a round of trade talks with two senior Chinese ministers send stocks reeling to their lows of the day, the administration has dispatched Larry Kudlow (who apparently had to wait until 20 mins before the close thanks to CNBC's wall-to-wall Davos coverage) to jawbone the markets back into the green by...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

S&P and Crude both testing key breakout levels!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

The correlation between Crude Oil and the S&P 500 has been rather high over the last 100-days, as each looks to have peaked at the same time around the 1st of October at (1).

After peaking together in October, Crude fell over 40% and the S&P nearly declined 20%, with both bottoming on Christmas Eve at each (2).

Both have experienced counter-trend rallies since the lows, as Crude is up 23% and the S&P 13%.

These rallies have both testing dual resist...



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Insider Scoop

Cowen Suits Up With Nike, Looks To Outperform

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related NKE Consumer Discretionary Q4 Earnings: U.S. Consumer Appears Strong Amid Heightened Global Uncertainty Golf Equipmen...

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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Jan 20, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

After entering the week quite overbought, indexes took a small retreat Monday before hurling back upwards.  This is typical of the “V” shaped moves up after any significant selloff, we’ve seen most of the past decade and watching them unfurl is quite amazing actually.  Thought maybe this time would be “different” but not so much.  So two week’s ago we asked “Has the Fed solved all the market’s problem in 1 speech?” – and thus far the market has answered resoundingly yes.  The word of the year thus far in 2019 is “patience” as that simple insert into a speech change the whole complexion of everything.

China has also been busy stimulating; on Tuesday:

An announcement from the People’s Bank of China that ...



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ValueWalk

Everyone Else Is Selling Stocks, So Is It Time To Buy?

By Michelle Jones. Originally published at ValueWalk.

After a difficult few trading days in the beginning of the year, U.S. stocks are bouncing back with meaningful gains on Monday following Friday’s strong rally. The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq 100 were all up by more than half a percent by midday. It looks like investors could be taking advantage of the end-of-the-year declines, but is this a wise time to be buying?

Trying to time the bottom of the market will almost always be a fool’s errand, but one firm suggests equities could have much farther to fall before they hit bottom in 2019.

...



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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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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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