Archive for 2018

Hong Kong Money Markets Explode ‘Most Since Lehman’ As Carry Trade Unwinds

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

After more than five months of trading at or near the lower band of its currency peg (prompting repeated interventions by the city’s de facto central bank), the Hong Kong Dollar exploded stronger last week, imploding short-HKD carry traders and the carnage is for all to see tonight as HK liquidity markets are in crisis.

As Bloomberg reports, a shock jump in Hong Kong’s currency is signaling a decade-long liquidity party is coming to an end. That may be bad news for the city’s housing market.

The chance of local banks raising the so-called prime rate for the first time since 2006 is “extremely high,” Financial Secretary Paul Chan said.

Interbank rates from overnight to 3-months, have exploded higher as banks scramble for liquidity… overnight rates are now four times as high as they were last week…

(We note that liquidity also tends to tighten as banks hoard cash ahead of holidays this week and in early October.)

The Hong Kong dollar’s one-month interbank borrowing costs jumped the most since 2008, as the Lehman crisis escalated.

“The market has underestimated the pace of interest rate increases in Hong Kong,” said Kevin Lai, chief economist for Asia ex-Japan at Daiwa Capital Markets Hong Kong Ltd.

This “will bring pressure to the property market and leveraged home buyers.”

“We expect banks to hike prime rate twice this year by a total of 50 basis points, as Hibor rises with a shrinking liquidity pool and Fed hikes,” said Frank Lee, acting chief investment officer for North Asia at DBS Bank (HK) Ltd.

“It will hurt property market sentiment.”

And the narrowing spread with U.S. Libor (green) is making a previously profitable trade of selling Hong Kong dollars to buy higher yielding U.S. assets less appealing.

“The short-Hong Kong dollar carry trade has come to an end,” said Ken Peng, an investment strategist at Citi Private Bank in Hong Kong. “Friday’s move suggests borrowing costs in Hong Kong have tightened a lot and will tighten further.”





New Policy Proposal Would Deny Green Cards To Immigrants On Welfare

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The Trump administration is moving to fulfill another of President Trump's campaign promises by implementing more restrictions on legal immigration by deporting green-card holders who rely too heavily on federal government programs like food stamps. According to the Associate Press, the Department of Homeland Security published a 447-page proposal on Saturday outlining its plans to expand restrictions that would disqualify legal immigrants from obtaining a green card if they rely too heavily on Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers and other forms of public assistance. According to US law, applicants must prove they won't become a "public charge" – that they wouldn't derive more than half their income from government programs – to achieve green-card status. Under the proposal, the federal government would begin factoring in non-monetary benefits like food stamps and Section 8 housing benefits.

Nielsen

The rule would also require public officials to take into account factors like mental health issues, cancer and heart disease, since all these factors could increase the likelihood of a person becoming a public charge.

According to the Department of Homeland Security proposal, current and past receipt of certain public benefits above an expanded threshold would be "a heavily weighed negative factor" in granting green cards, as well as temporary visas. The proposal has yet to be entered into the Federal Register – but it will be entered into it at some point during "the coming weeks", at which point a 60-day comment period will begin.

If enacted, the rule could impact about 382,000 people a year, according to government estimates. However, opponents have said it could have a much wider impact as current green-card holders will avoid using badly needed benefits, according to the LA Times.

"Those seeking to immigrate to the United States must show they can support themselves financially," Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a Saturday statement, adding that the new rule would "promote immigrant self-sufficiency and protect finite resources by ensuring that they are not likely to become burdens on American taxpayers."

The rule would not need to be approved by Congress following the comment period. Unsurprisingly, immigration advocates are already gearing up for a fight.

Immigrant…
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JPM Is Worried That Trump Is Getting So Cocky, He Is About To Make A “Major Miscalculation”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

It has been one of the pronounced paradoxes of this market: the harder Trump pushes and escalates trade wars with various opponents – mostly China – the more the market rewards him by setting new all time highs, leading the president to believe he is "winning" and resulting in even more aggressive future escalations. Perhaps as a result, earlier today Goldman said that following Trump’s threat of further escalation in the trade war with China, the bank now thinks the probability that all imports from China will ultimately be subject to tariffs has risen to 60%.

And, in a note from JPMorgan's strategists over the weekend, the bank expressed a similar – if even more nuanced – concern, warning that it is starting to make "forecast and strategy changes" around issues emerging from the US-China conflict.

One is the growing possibility that the US-China trade war enters Phase III in 2019, resulting in tariffs on all +$500bn of imports from China, similar to Goldman's conclusion. The bank notes that without more policy easing, this scenario implies weaker China growth, which directly impacts the commodity complex’s incipient recovery. And depending on the weight authorities give to monetary versus fiscal measures over the next 6 to 12 months, the renminbi could depreciate sufficiently to pull EM Asia and the non-oil commodity complex lower.

The other, and more interesting, concern is that US economic and equity market resilience – despite tariffs – will embolden the President on all geopolitical fronts – autos, NAFTA and particularly Iran – and thus risk a major miscalculation from sanctions that are tough to calibrate.

This possibility is the driver behind JPM’s revised oil price forecast for the next several quarters, from a previous average price forecasts for Brent of the low $60s (mid-$50s on WTI) in Q4 2018 and Q1 2019 to $85/bbl (WTI $76/bbl) over the next six months, with even a spike to $90/bbl increasingly likely. As a reminder, some analysts still believes sthat it was oil's superspike in the summer of 2008 that ultimately catalyzed the collapse of Lehman. Incidentally, the main driver of this upward price revision is the higher estimate of how much Iranian crude exports might decline due…
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Beware The Zombies: BIS Warns That Non-Viable Firms Are Crippling Global Growth

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Ten years after central banks unleashed a period of record low interest rates, the central banks' central bank is warning that this may not have been the smartest move.

In the latest quarterly review from the Bank of International Settlements, the Basel-based organization that oversees the world's central banks warned that decades of falling interest rates have led to a sharp increase in the number of “zombie” firms, rising to an all time high since the 1980s, threatening economic growth and preventing interest rates from rising.

Zombie firms are defined as companies that are at least 10 years old, yet are unable to cover their debt service costs from profits, in other words the Interest Coverage Ratio (ICR) is less than 1x for at least 3 consecutive quarters. These types of companies, which first gained attention in Japan decades ago and have since gained prevalence in Europe and, increasingly, the United States.  According to a second definition, a requirement for a "zombie" is to have comparatively low expected future growth potential. Specifically, zombies are required to have a ratio of their assets’ market value to their replacement cost (Tobin’s q) that is below the median within their sector in any given year.

According to authors Ryan Banerjee and Boris Hofmann, zombie firms that fall under the two definitions are very similar with respect to their current profitability, but qualitatively different in their profitability prospects, which may be a function of how central banks have "broken" the market.  Graph 1 below shows that, for non-zombie firms, the median ICR is over four times earnings under both definitions. As the majority of zombie firms make losses, the median ICRs are below minus 7 under the broad measure and around minus 5 under the narrow one, so this is hardly a surprise.

A striking difference between the broad and narrow zombie measure emerges, however, with respect to expected future profitability, as measured by Tobin’s q. Under the broad measure, the median Tobin’s q of zombie firms is higher than that of non-zombies. That means that investors are optimistic about the future prospects of  many of these zombie firms, more so than that for the non-zombies! As this group includes such
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Futures, Yuan Slump At Open After China Cancels US Trade Talks

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Having rallied 800 points last week on hopes that US-China trade tensions were on a path to de-escalation, Dow futures are opening down just 100 points (and Yuan is lower) after China escalated and canceled two planned trade talk visits.

After President Trump slapped a fresh round of tariffs on Chinese goods, targeting 10 percent duties on $200 billion of goods; the two camps were scheduled to meet in order to dial back tensions.

That was what sparked hope that this was just a trade skirmish (as Jamie Dimon attempted to play down), sending stocks soaring all week.

However, that is all over now.

The Journal just reported on Friday that, according to sources, China has rescinded the proposals to send two delegations to Washington.

Chinese officials have said such pressure tactics wouldn’t induce them to cooperate.

By declining to participate in the talks, the people said, Beijing is following up on its pledge to avoid negotiating under threat.

“Everything the U.S. does hasn’t given any impression of sincerity and goodwill,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a press briefing Friday.

“We hope that the U.S. side will take measures to correct its mistakes.”

And the result at the Sunday night futures open… Dow futures are opening down…

As are the rest of the US equity futures markets…

And Yuan is down modestly also after ramping for four days on trade hopes…

Meanwhile, WTI futures are up over 1% following OPEC's tepid response to President Trump's demands to lower the oil price…

The timing of this trade tension news, after the exuberant equity week, is also noteworthy as it follows Ray Dalio's, founder of Bridgewater, warnings that the current trade tensions mirror those of the 1930s:

"I think that the 1935-40 period is most analogous to the current period and that it is worth reflecting on what happened then when thinking about US-Chinese relations now. 

To be clear, I’m not saying that we are on a path to a shooting war, but I am saying that we have to watch what path we are on, given these cause-effect relationships that history has taught us and that are described in the template. This excerpt describes how the economic and political conditions of the late 1930s evolved into the wars that followed. "

Read more here…

We have discussed this case-effect relation before…





Understanding The Volatility Storm To Come, Part 1: Fragility In The Market’s Medium

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Christopher Cole via Artemis Capital Management,

What Is Water In Markets? Volatility and the Fragility of the Medium

There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys, how's the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?”.

-David Foster Wallace, This is Water (2005)

“This is Water” is the title of a commencement speech delivered by David Foster Wallace that has become a masterpiece of meta-thinking. If you haven’t listened to it, put down this paper and do so now. It is worth 20 minutes of your life.

The Foster Wallace parable of two young fish ignorant of the medium that defines their reality is so important on many levels. Foster Wallace contends that we swim in a world defined by self-centered thoughts, that serve to make reality visible, but should never be mistaken as fundamental truth. 

In capitalism the medium that defines reality is fiat money. To this point, does money exist? This seems silly to ask but it is very important philosophically. Yes, money exists in the sense that you can purchase goods and services with it. At the same time, money is only important because of a collective belief in it, and is worthless without that. This is true of any human construct: markets, words, brands, and nation-states… all abstract mediums that have meaning because we collectively believe they do, and hence they give form to reality, but are not real independent of our thoughts.

In markets and in life, we swim in mediums of thought abstractions… the same way a fish swims in water. When the medium collapses, so does the reality… causing us to question the nature of both. As Foster Wallace eloquently explains, “The immediate point of the fish story is that the most obvious, ubiquitous, important realities are often the ones that are the hardest to see and talk about.”  

Volatility is
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Andy Xie: Change Is Coming & With It, A Reckoning

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Andy Xie, op-ed via The South China Morning Post,

Andy Xie says both China and the US have built their economies on financialisation while ignoring the people’s concerns, and the trade war will hasten the reckoning both countries need…

The door for compromise and restoring a functional relationship between the United States and China appears to have closed. The 10 per cent tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese goods, rising to 25 per cent from January 1, is the final straw. There will be more negotiations to come. At some point, there may be announcements of compromises and a positive outlook. But, for now, the reality is that China and the US have gone into rivalry mode – a rivalry that will define the 21st century.

The dispute began with US President Donald Trump’s complaints about the bilateral trade balance and access to China’s market. It then morphed into a dispute on intellectual property rights violations and China’s economic model of subsidising technology development. Now, it is about global strategic rivalry.

The US’ contention is that China makes money from the US and is using it to push America out of Asia and elsewhere. It is difficult to see how the US could climb down from this position. To follow its rhetoric, it will try to cut off China from its market and block technology exchanges.

This rivalry may bring short-term pain to both nations, and to the world, but it may prove beneficial to all in the long run.

The lack of external checks has led to rising internal imbalances in both countries. Since the end of the cold war, the US has been marred by surging inequality, while bubbles and ignorant hubris have come to occupy the central ground in China’s economic management and political thinking.

Financial speculation and corruption have become normalised around the world. The titanic rivalry between the world’s No 1 and No 2 economies will put all on their toes. Some of the most egregious trends could be reversed.

The short-term pain is quite visible in China. Its stock marketis plummeting. And the property market is on edge and may soon…
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China for the Trade Win?

 

China for the Trade Win?

Courtesy of John Mauldin, Thoughts from the Frontline

With all the trade war talk, we all ask the obvious question: Who will win? President Trump says the US will win. Chinese business leaders say no, we will win. Free-traders on both sides say no one will win. Few stop to ask, “What does a ‘win’ look like?”

This makes discussion difficult. People are chasing after a condition they can’t even define. Victory will remain elusive until they know what they want. Regardless, you can score me on the “no one wins” side. I believe, and I think a lot of evidence proves, that free trade between nations is the best way to maximize long-run prosperity for everyone.

However…

As Keynes famously said, we’re all dead in the long run. Trade war may end with no winners, but the parties will be better and worse off at various times as it progresses. So we have to distinguish between “winning” and “holding a temporary lead.”

On that basis, I think the US will have the upper hand initially, and could hold it for a year or two. This is because, for now, our economy is relatively strong and we can better withstand any Chinese retaliation. Beyond that point I think our current policies will begin to backfire, maybe spectacularly.

Remember, too, China has growing trade surpluses with much of the world. One Chinese insider told me that within four years China can replace lost US exports via increased trading with the rest of the world. I can’t verify that but looking at general statistics it certainly seems plausible. That doesn’t mean lost US trade won’t be felt, but China is not entirely helpless.

When watching a fight, we ask metaphorically, “Who will blink first?” In this case, that’s the wrong question. Neither side will blink but one may eventually fall to the floor, unconscious. So the better question might be, “Who will faint first?”

Next week we will deal with the tariff situation, as I get that question a lot. But let me state right here: I hope President Trump is engaged in a trade bluff and not a trade war. The market seems to think…
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Is The Oil Burden A Rising Problem?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Daniel Lacalle via DLacalle.com,

While markets become increasingly bullish, oil prices are close to a “warning zone” where the barrel could be one -if not the only- catalyst of a major slowdown.

In my book “Escape from the Central Bank Trap”, I explain the concept of the “Oil Burden”. It is the percentage of global GDP spent on buying oil. It is often said that when the oil burden reaches 5-6% of GDP it can be a cause of a global slowdown.

The mistake that many make is to think that the oil burden is a cause and not a symptom.

In the past, we have seen that a period of abrupt increases in oil prices was followed by a recession or a crisis. However, not because oil prices rose rapidly, but because the dramatic increase in commodities’ prices was caused by a bubble of credit and excess monetary stimuli.

In reality, the oil burden is perfectly manageable at 5% of GDP because the energy intensity of GDP growth is diminishing. We are less dependent on energy to create growth in the economy.

Global energy intensity (total energy consumption per unit of GDP) declined by 1.2% in 2017, slightly below its historical yet unstoppable trend (-1.5%/year on average between 2000 and 2017 and -1.8% in 2016). In fact, global energy intensity is down 54% since 1990.

So the problem is not the oil burden by itself but the cause of the price spike.

When oil prices rise abruptly we should be concerned, because they can cause a domino effect on the real economy. When the reason for the price increase is not fundamental, we have a major problem.

Why are oil prices rising abnormally in recent months?

  • Supply manipulation.  Despite inventories falling, OPEC has maintained a tight grip on supply, unjustified from the premise of an oil glut that is inexistent or from the premise of “low” prices, which are comfortably above $70 a barrel. By being greedy and keeping supply tight, OPEC is hurting its customers -mainly Europe- and creating the foundations of a forthcoming bust


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Bank Of America Calls It: “The Peak In Home Sales Has Been Reached; Housing No Longer A Tailwind”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Bank of America is ringing the proverbial bell on the US real estate market, saying existing home sales have peaked, reflecting declining affordability, greater price reductions and deteriorating housing sentiment. In the latest weekly report from chief economist Michelle Meyer, the bank warned that "the housing market is no longer a tailwind for the economy but rather a headwind."

"Call your realtor," the BofA note proclaimed: "We are calling it: existing home sales have peaked."

BofA's economists believe the peak was seen when existing home sales hit 5.72 million, back in November 2017. From this point on, sales should trend sideways, as this moment in time is comparable to the rate the economy witnessed in the early 2000s before the bubble inflated.

And while BofA believes existing home sales have plateaued, they do not think the same for new home sales. The reason: new home sales have lagged existing in this "economic recovery" – leaving homebuilders some room to flood the market with new single-family units before a turning point in the entire real estate market is realized.

The deterioration in affordability can mostly explain the peak in existing home sales. This is due to the Federal Reserve reinflating real estate prices back to levels last seen since before the 2008 crash. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) affordability index prints 138.8, the lowest since August 2008.

Chart 1 (below) shows there is a leading relationship between the trend in affordability and in home sales — a simple regression suggests the lead is about three months. In major cities, affordability continues to be a significant problem for many Americans amid a rising interest rate environment and elevated home prices, existing home sales should remain under pressure for the foreseeable future.

Chart 2 (above right) indicates that the share of properties with price discounts is on the rise, suggesting that sellers are unloading into weakening demand. The data from Zillow reveals that 15 percent of listings have price reductions, the highest since mid-2013 when home sales tumbled last.

The University of Michigan survey (Chart 3 below) reveals a worsening mood in the perception of buying conditions for homes. Respondents noted that home prices have become…
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Zero Hedge

Auto Shares Surge As Fiat, Renault Confirm Merger Talks

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

With President Trump in Japan for a state visit and most of Europe headed to the polls to vote in the quinquennial EU Parliamentary elections, there was enough news to keep market watchers occupied during what was supposed to be a quiet holiday weekend in the US. 

But on top of these political headlines, on Saturday afternoon, the news broke that Italian-American carmaker Fiat Chrysler had approached France's Renault with a merger proposal that would leave the shareholders of each carmaker with half of the combined company, in a tie-up that would create the world's third-largest au...



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Phil's Favorites

Trump and the problem with pardons

 

Trump and the problem with pardons

Courtesy of Andrew Bell, Indiana University

As a veteran, I was astonished by the recent news that President Trump may be considering pardons for U.S. military members accused or convicted of war crimes. But as a scholar who studies the U.S. military and combat ethics, I understand even more clearly the harmful long-term impact such pardons can have on the military.

My researc...



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Insider Scoop

Jefferies Sees 60-Percent Upside In Aphria Shares, Says Buy The Dip

Courtesy of Benzinga.

After a red-hot start to 2019, Canadian cannabis producer Aphria Inc (NYSE: APHA) has run out of steam, tumbling more than 31 percent in the past three months.

Despite the recent weakness, one Wall Street analyst said Friday that the stock has 30-percent upside potential. 

The Analyst

Jefferies analyst ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

DAX (Germany) About To Send A Bearish Message To The S&P 500?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Is the DAX index from Germany about to send a bearish message to stocks in Europe and the States? Sure could!

This chart looks at the DAX over the past 9-years. It’s spent the majority of the past 8-years inside of rising channel (1), creating a series of higher lows and higher highs.

It looks to have created a “Double Top” as it was kissing the underside of the rising channel last year at (2).

After creating the potential double top, the DAX index has continued to create a series of lower highs, while experiencing a bearish divergence with the S...



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Chart School

Brexit Joke - Cant be serious all the time

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Alistair Williams comedian nails it, thank god for good humour! Prime Minister May the negotiator. Not!


Alistair Williams Comedian youtube

This is a classic! ha!







Fundamentals are important, and so is market timing, here at readtheticker.com we believe a combination of Gann Angles, ...

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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

DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

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

 

DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

A map of DNA with the double helix colored blue, the landmarks in green, and the start points for copying the molecule in red. David Gilbert/Kyle Klein, CC BY-ND

Courtesy of David M. Gilbert, Florida State University

...



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ValueWalk

More Examples Of "Typical Tesla "wise-guy scamminess"

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Stanphyl Capital’s letter to investors for the month of March 2019.

rawpixel / Pixabay

Friends and Fellow Investors:

For March 2019 the fund was up approximately 5.5% net of all fees and expenses. By way of comparison, the S&P 500 was up approximately 1.9% while the Russell 2000 was down approximately 2.1%. Year-to-date 2019 the fund is up approximately 12.8% while the S&P 500 is up approximately 13.6% and the ...



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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:

 

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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