Archive for 2018

Bin Laden’s Son Marries Lead 9/11 Hijacker’s Daughter, Says Family

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The son of the late al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden has married the daughter of the lead hijacker in the September 11th terror attacks, Mohammed Atta, according to a recent interview the family gave to The Guardian

The union was confirmed by Osama bin Laden’s half-brothers during an interview with The Guardian. Ahmad and Hassan al-Attas said they believed Hamza had taken a senior position within al-Qaeda and was aiming to avenge the death of his father, shot dead during a US military raid in Pakistan seven years ago.

Hamza bin Laden is the son of one of Osama bin Laden’s three surviving wives, Khairiah Sabar, who was living with her husband in a compound in Abbottabad, near a large Pakistani military base, when he was killed. He has since made public statements urging followers to wage war on Washington, London, Paris and Tel Aviv and is seen as a deputy to the terrorist group’s current leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri. -The Guardian

 

Hamza bin Laden. Photograph: AP

“We have heard he has married the daughter of Mohammed Atta,” said Ahmad al-Attas. “We’re not sure where he is, but it could be Afghanistan.”

“When we thought everyone was over this, next thing I knew was Hamza saying I am going to avenge my father,” said his brother, Hassan al-Attas. “I don’t want to go through that again.

 

Ahmad al-Attas, brother of Osama bin Laden. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

Western intelligence agencies have been trying to track Hamza bin Laden's whereabouts for the past two years, according to The Guardian, as he is suspected to have become a "central hub of al-Qaida" as the organization itself "continues to be organised around Osama bin Laden's legacy," and may become galvanized around Hamza. 

Another son of Osama bin Laden, Khalid, was killed in a US raid in Abbottabad, while a third, Saad, was killed in a 2009 drone strike in Afghanistan. Letter seized from bin Laden's compound suggest Hamza had been chosen as his father's successor. 

Bin Laden’s wives and surviving children have returned to Saudi Arabia, where they were


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Here’s what we know about CRISPR safety – and reports of ‘genome vandalism’

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

 

Here's what we know about CRISPR safety – and reports of 'genome vandalism'

File 20180727 106505 1s3j5di.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

A standee of the movie ‘Rampage’ at a theater in Bangkok, Thailand. Scientists in the film used CRISPR to create a monster. By Sarunyu L/shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Jianhua Luo, University of Pittsburgh

A movie just recently released called “Rampage” features Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson using a genetic engineering technology called CRISPR, to transform a gorilla, among other animals, into a flying dragon-monster with gigantic teeth. Though this is science fiction, not to mention impossible, the movie captures the imagination of the public and their recent interest and fascination with CRISPR.

CRISPR, which stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, was originally part of bacterial defense system that evolved to destroy foreign DNA that entered a bacterium. But this system was also capable of editing DNA – and now geneticists have honed the technology to alter the DNA sequences that we specify. This has generated enormous excitement and great expectations about the possibility of using CRISPR to alter genetic sequences to improve our health, to treat diseases, improve the quality and quantity of our food supplies, and tackle environmental pollution.

But a few recent scientific papers suggest that CRISPR is not without its problems. The research reveals that CRISPR can damage DNA that is far from the target DNA we are trying to correct. As a cancer biologist at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, I use CRISPR in my lab to study human cancers and develop ways to kill cancer cells. Although the new finding appears significant, I don’t think that these revelations rule out using the technology in a clinical setting, but rather, they suggest we take additional cautionary measures as we implement these strategies.

Treating human diseases

CRISPR/Cas9 is being used to edit DNA in plants, animals, and in humans. But new studies are casting doubts about whether the technology is safe to use for human therapies. By TotallyMJ/shutterstock.com

Using genome editing…
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US GDP Turbocharged After Record Saving Rate Revision: Why That Could Be A Problem

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Last week, the US Bureau Economic Analysis unleashed some statistical goalseek magic that would make Beijing thoroughly fabricated economic "data" blush for days: as part of the comprehensive GDP revision carried out every five years by the Commerce Department’s BEA, US economic history was rewritten and in a shocking development, the annual saving rate was revised higher by 1.6% on average since 2010, with the 2017 US savings rate doubling overnight, from 3.4% to 6.7%.

Putting these revisions into context, the last comprehensive revision conducted in July 2015 only produced an upward revision of 0.3% per year. In fact, this revision to the saving rate over the prior 6 months is the largest on record, according to real-time data available from the St. Louis Fed since 1997.

Major revisions to national income (and consequently the saving rate) came from 3 sources of income: proprietors', dividend and interest income, as well as a tiny increase in employee compensation.

As BofA notes, the BEA incorporated the tabulations of sole proprietorship and partnership tax returns for 2016 which included new research by the IRS showing significant underreporting of income by nonfarm proprietors over time, causing a sizeable upward revision for proprietors' income starting in 2010. It wasn't immediately clear if this also meant a sizeable upward revision in tax audits by the IRS.

In addition, newly available IRS income data boosted dividend income in 2016 and 2017 by roughly $113bn and $143bn, respectively, shifting savings from corporations to households while the entire interest income series was revised higher due to changes in the way BEA calculates state and local employers' contribution to pension plans. Last, the saving rate got an additional boost in 2017 due to the integration of revised employment and wage data from QCEW which added $98bn to wages and salaries.

Unfortunately none of these statistical revisions actually mean anything, because both before and after the BEA revision, some 50% of Americans still don't have a single dollar in savings, and the only ones affected are those in the top percentiles of US society which means that – you guessed…
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Putin Appoints Steven Seagal To Strengthen US-Russia Ties

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Saturday that Hollywood action star Steven Seagal would be the country's new representative for Russian-US humanitarian ties, according to Reuters

The role was designed to "deepen cultural, art and youth ties" between the two nuclear superpowers. 

The Russian Foreign Ministry likened Seagal’s new role to that of a U.N. goodwill ambassador and said that the actor, who is known for his martial arts prowess, would receive no salary.

“It’s a case of people’s diplomacy intersecting with traditional diplomacy,” the ministry said. -Reuters

US-Russia relations have been under seige since Russian President Vladimir Putin made the executive decision to annex Crimea in 2014 – stoking tensions with the West, which claims the Russian president acted above the law. 

Out for justice, the US and others imposed harsh sanctions against Russia, while the Ukrainian army has found itself on deadly ground facing off with Russian forces throughout the disputed region.

Last year, Seagal was banned from entering Ukraine for five years, after the Ukrainian security service (BSU) deemed him a security threat and placed him on a blacklist. No word if he was marked for death by an attack force, or if they just don't like a guy who was born to raise hell. We're sure he would have received the maximum conviction had he set foot in the country, but for now he remains out of reach and hard to kill. 

Apart from a black belt, I have a black list now,” -Steven Seagal

In 2016, Putin presented Seagal with a Russian passport – while apparently finding something humorous during the ceremony, an exchange which was clearly a big moment for Seagal. 

Seagal – a frequent guest on Russian state TV and a regular visitor to the country for over a decade, was cited by RT as welcoming the appointment: 

“I’ve always had a very strong desire to do all I can to help improve Russian-American relations,” RT cited Seagal as saying. “I have worked tirelessly in this direction for many years unofficially and I am now very grateful…
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Black Chicagoans Blast “Con Man” Mayor Emanuel Amid Record Shooting Spree, Ask Trump For Help

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

77 people were shot last week in Chicago, 9 fatally, but the rate of shootings has accelerated aggressively today as 'HeyJackass' reports "30 shot in 3 hours is the most shot in the least amount of time we’ve recorded in 5+ years. The previous record was July 4-5, 2016 w/ 29 shot in 6 hours."

Amid this carnage, ABC7Chicago reports that, police said there was a "trauma lockdown" at Stroger Hospital with only immediate family members of victims are being allowed in the emergency room. A spokeswoman for Stroger Hospital disputes the police account.

"Over the past 24 hours, Stroger's trauma unit received an unusually high volume of patients. At no time did Stroger go on bypass or 'lockdown' its trauma unit," the spokeswoman said. "We are asking the families of trauma patients to limit visitation at this time to immediate family members only so staff may focus on patient care. "

This comes just days after Superintendent Eddie Johnson visited ABC7 and talked about decreasing crime numbers and overall violence in Chicago.

"I think some of our more challenging, communities, it's just imperative that police and the community work together to reduce this gun violence," Superintendent Johnson said. "We just have too many guns on the streets of Chicago."

But, judging by the protests this week – that will shock the mainstream media narrative out of much of America – Chicagoans (particularly black inner city citizens) are furious at Mayor Rahm Emanuel's impotence and are asking President Trump for help.

VIDEO: Mayor Rahm Emanuel busts a move at South Side music festivalhttps://t.co/oyld95UDz8

(like he's dancing on the graves of the children that have been gunned down. look at me mommy, look at me!)

— SnorkyJr (@SnorkyJr) August 5, 2018

As Fox News reports, demonstrators took to the streets of Chicago this week to call for the resignation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D), blasting his administration for failing to curb the city's gun violence epidemic.


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Ryan Cooper Rages “Ban Share Buybacks…Immediately”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Ryan Cooper via TheWeek.com,

American corporations are simply raking in profits. Some are so bloated and cash-rich they literally can't figure out what to do with it all. Apple, for instance, is sitting on nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars — and that's down a bit from earlier this year. Microsoft and Google, meanwhile, were sitting on "only" $132 billion and $63 billion respectively (as of March this year).

However, American corporations in general are taking those profits and kicking them out to shareholders, mainly in the form of share buybacks. These are when a corporation uses profits, cash, or borrowed money to buy its own stock, thus increasing its price and the wealth of its shareholders. (Big Tech is doing this as well, just not fast enough to draw down their dragon hoards.) As a new joint report from the Roosevelt Institute and the National Employment Law Project by Katy Milani and Irene Tung shows, from 2015 to 2017 corporations spent nearly 60 percent of their net profits on buybacks.

This practice should be banned immediately, as it was before the Reagan administration.

The most immediately objectionable consequence of share buybacks is they come at the expense of wages. Milani and Tung calculate that if buybacks spending had been funneled into wage increases, McDonald's employees could get a raise of $4,000; those at Starbucks could get $8,000; and those at Lowes, Home Depot, and CVS could get an eye-popping $18,000.

Some economists are skeptical of this reasoning, arguing that wages are set according to labor market conditions. But if you set aside free market dogmatism, it is beyond obvious that this sort of behavior is coming at workers' expense. Wall Street bloodsuckers are not at all subtle about it, screaming bloody murder and tanking stocks every time a public company proposes paying workers instead of shareholders. Indeed, it provides a highly convincing explanation for something that has been puzzling analysts for months: the situation of wages continuing to stagnate or decline while unemployment is at 4 percent. The answer is that wages are low in large part because the American corporate structure has…
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China Is Now Left With Just Three Options, And They Are All Equally Bad

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Last Friday's forceful intervention by the PBOC, in which the central bank hiked the reserve requirement for FX forwards trading from 0% to 20%, was a warning shot at the gathering yuan shorts who managed to briefly send the Chinese currency below 6.90 against the dollar last week, after losing 4% of its value in the past month, and bringing the cumulative decline against the dollar to 10% since April, a far steeper drop than seen during the 2015 devaluation.

The yuan slide had come amid growing speculation that Chinese authorities are more willing to let their currency weaken along with market forces and an escalating trade war, at least for as long as they felt any capital account leakages are contained and manageable.

And yet, despite China's long overdue intervention – after all, once capital flight begins as new holes in the capital account are uncovered, it would be too late to prevent a repeat of the 2015 scenario – the debate about Chinese currency depreciation and what happens next with Chinese policy gathered pace, with ING last week proposing that this latest attempt to "nuke the shorts" is doomed to failure, just like previous unilateral FX interventions.

Over the weekend, JPMorgan echoed ING's skepticism, writing that despite Friday's PBoC announcement and despite the cumulative depreciation over the past two months, "the pressure on the Chinese renminbi to decline further against the dollar is unlikely to go away if trade tensions with the US escalate further from here."

Meanwhile, in a move that puzzled many China watchers, at the same time that the PBoC announced an increase in the reserve requirement ratio for fx forwards trading, China announced that it would implement tariffs on $60bn of imports in response to a threat by the US earlier this week to raise the tariff rate from 10% to 25% on $200bn of Chinese exports to the US, prompting some to speculate that the FX intervention was merely implemented to prevent a collapse in the yuan beyond 7.00 vs the dollar as the market freaked out about the latest Chinese retaliation.

Of course the escalating tit-for-tat dynamic – which we have discussed extensively in the…
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Safe-Havens Are For Suckers: Specs Have Never Been More Short Bonds & Gold

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

With stocks at record high (price and valuations), and US macro data rolling over hard, it seems – based on speculators' positioning – that only a sucker would worry about downside risks right now

Markets shrugged off a weaker than expected employment report (and constantly weaker than expected macro data) this week..

With VIX Futures and options speculative positioning is now at its most net short since Dec 2017…

As it seems investors have throw in the towel on worry.

Speculators have added to their aggregate Treasury short positions for 4 of the last 5 weeks, with this week showing the biggest addition to shorts since Nov 2017…

And hedge funds have never been so short gold… having added to shorts for seven weeks running…

But no matter how much speculators pile into USD longs, the greenback refuses to rise any further…

What could go wrong?





Polish “Vagina Beer” Contains “Essence” Of Two Smoking Hot Models

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A Polish brewery has produced a unique concoction; beer with vaginal lactic acid from two smoking hot models, Paulina and Monika, whose "essences" are caputured by a gynoecologist and treated by a laboratory in the city of Poznan in order to isolate the specific bacteria required for production, according to CEO Wojciech Mann. 

"When you drink this beer, you realize that originally there was a beautiful woman who was maybe taking a shower, dancing or laughing at the very moment. You feel a close connection with this woman,” the owner of the brewery Wojciech Mann told Sputnik.

The brew, made by "The Order of Yoni" (Yoni being the Sanskrit word for vagina) boasts 8% alcohol by volume and comes in two versions; Bottled Lust and Bottled Passion. Lust contains a "subtle nutmeg aroma and is produced using Paulina's vaginal bacteria," while Passion is a "classic light beer made from the essence of Monika's vagina." 

Once the beer “containing the quintessence of femininity,” was introduced to the wider public on the brewery’s social media accounts, with a very hot advertising campaign involving Paulina and Monique, users from across the world were drawn to the Facebook page. -Sputnik

If you're wondering about STD's, fear not – "While a female netizen wondered whether the models had been tested for sexually transmitted diseases before contributing to the production of the beer, “The Order of Yoni” quickly replied that they had undergone gynecological examinations, and then the material was double-checked in the Poznan lab to make sure that the lactic acid bacteria were isolated from the smear." 


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The Blowback Begins: Ohio Farmer Vents On Trade War

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Via Global Macro Monitor,

Hope you all take the time to read this piece by an Ohio soybean farmer caught up in Trump’s trade wars.

Tariffs hurt the many and help the few.  The “tyranny of the minority,” if you will, and that is before taking into account the casualties of tit-for-tat retaliation.

Let me tell you a riddle.

“I slept with a billionaire because he said he loved me. I expected to make love, but in the morning I realized I was getting screwed. When I went to tell the world, I was offered cash to keep my mouth shut.”

Who am I? No, I’m not a model or someone named Stormy. I’m the American farmer.

In the mid-1980s we were awash with over production in the corn and soybean sectors. Agriculture got busy, boarded planes, trains and automobiles and started building markets around the world, one handshake and one relationship at a time. We used our own funds through our check off dollars and trade associations to build markets in Mexico, Canada, Latin America and the Pacific Rim. And we didn’t stop there. In partnership with the U.S. taxpayers, we built an ethanol industry to ensure another renewable energy source for U.S. consumers. 

–  Christopher Gibbs, Sidney Daily News

Hat Tip:  @Noahpinion

Politics

Big special election in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District on Tuesday.   President Trump was stumping today for the Republican candidate.   The seat has been held by Republicans since 1920, except for an eight-year stretch in the 1930s and a two-year term in 1980.    It’s tight, folks

Monmouth University poll released this week shows a tight race, with Balderson receiving 44% support to O’Connor’s 43%, with 11% of respondents saying they are undecided.  – CNN

Stunning given the Republican beat the Democrat in the 2016 general for this seat,  66.6 percent to 39.8 percent,  a whopping spread of 36.8 percent.

If the Dems take this one, the Republicans and the president are in deep-deep trouble. Even if it comes anywhere near to as close as the polls suggest, it still spells doom
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ValueWalk

#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

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.

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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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