Archive for 2019

Weekly Market Recap Apr 21, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

This past week was the definition of “consolidation” – a period of very little movement and volatility after a large move up to work off overbought conditions.  A slight gap up Tuesday was about it in terms of excitement for the week.  Bulls remain in full control.

We are in the midst of earnings season – it is not a great one but companies have lowered the bar enough that they will “beat”, everyone will clap and cheer, and we continue on.

The first-quarter earnings outlook has improved somewhat, according to CFRA, which said consensus estimates now call for a 2.3% fall in first-quarter operating earnings a share. That is up from the call for a 3% drop ahead of the kickoff of earnings season, but down from the 4.5% increase projected at the end of last year

“The market is completely focused on earnings,” said Eric Kuby, chief investment officer for North Star Investment Management. “Companies really lowered their guidance coming into earnings season, and we’re getting to the point where companies are doing a good job of stepping over that lowered bar.”

“It’s still much too small a sample size to generate conclusions, but the bottom line is that earnings season is not off to a very good start,” wrote Tom Essaye, president of the Sevens Report in a research note. “While stocks are looking past that courtesy of dovish Fed speak and hopes of better global growth, earnings will need to get better during the next two weeks—because so far the results, while not a disaster, aren’t that great.”

Not much on the economic front that the market cared about.  Here is some data regarding the Fed’s Beige Book:

Most of the 12 districts monitored by the Fed showed economic activity grew at a “slight-to-moderate” pace in March and early April, according to the central bank’s Beige Book compilation. However, retail and automobile sales were sluggish while the labor market remained tight, increasing upward pressure on wages, indicating conflicting views on the

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Five Reasons For The Weakness Of The Argentine Economy

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Daniel Lacalle via,

Argentina has been “printing money for the people” MMT-style for many years. Its wrongly-called “inclusive monetary policy” of the past – print money to finance massive government spending – has driven the country to massive inflation and depression.

This is the main reason why a country with an excellent education, human capital, and high economic potential has third-world inflation rates.

Argentina inflation rose to 54% annualized this week. Bonds spreads soared to 854 Bps, the two-year Credit Default Swap (CDS) is at 1094 bps; and the five-year at 948 Bps. But the country’s governments blame inflation on anything except its insane monetary policy

The Argentine economy is more fragile and vulnerable than similar ones. However, Argentina is also one of the countries with the highest economic potential. There are five essential factors to understand the weakness of the economy:

  1. The Peso. Despite the dovish policies of the Federal Reserve and the change of course in the process of normalization, the Peso is, again, the worst performing currency against the dollar in 2019. The dollar index has not moved much against its basket of currencies, therefore, it is the disastrous monetary policy that made the Peso plummet. A weak currency is a danger to the stability of the country and the successive governments only seem to want to patch up the mistaken monetary policy of the Central Bank. A weak Peso does not make the Argentine economy more competitive or export more, as reality shows. If the country does not address in a serious and determined way the error of maintaining a currency in a constant process of destruction of its purchasing power, it will simply move from crisis to crisis again.

  2. Monetary policy is also seriously inflationary. Not by mistake, but by design. Governments prefer to see high inflation and blame an inexistent external enemy than to stop financing the bloated public spending with newly printed currency. The loss of purchasing power of the currency is added to an inflation rate that should not correspond to a country with the potential and human capital of Argentina. Argentina has been, for many years, a country with the potential

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Visualizing The Happiest Country On Every Continent

Courtesy of Visual Capitalist's Imam Ghosh

The state of our world is shifting beneath our feet — economics alone no longer equate to satisfaction, let alone happiness.

Today’s visualization pulls data from the seventh World Happiness Report 2019, which ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels. We’ve previously shown the variables used to measure happiness in this report, but here, we break down rankings by continent and region for a clearer picture of where each country lies.

North America

Unhappy Americans have caused the country to tumble in rankings for a third straight year, despite evidence that things are generally looking up. The report attributes much of this erosion to a variety of addictions: opioids, workaholism, gambling, internet, exercise, and even shopping are among them.

Haiti is the least happy country in this region. The country is still struggling to rebuild sanitation infrastructure and other educational and healthcare programs, despite foreign aid.

In brighter news, Nicaragua is seeing great gains in happiness levels, as the country makes a concentrated effort to reduce poverty.

South America

In South America, the majority of countries cluster around a score of six on the happiness scale.

The one notable exception to this is Venezuela, which is faltering in both happiness rank and regional improvement. The nation’s hyperinflation and humanitarian crisis both show no signs of slowing down.


Finland comes out on top of the world for a second consecutive year, and it’s not difficult to see why. The country boasts a stable work-life balance, bolstered by a comprehensive welfare state.

Scandinavian countries appear among the happiest nations for similar very reasons — elevating the region’s score to 16% above the global average.

On the flip side, Ukraine is the unhappiest, likely intensified by the ongoing war in southeastern Donbass. Greece is the least improved, as it continues to heal from the sovereign debt crisis.

Middle East and Central Asia

Uzbekistan shows the swiftest regional improvement, as the country has launched an ambitious reform agenda for greater economic, social, and political development and openness.

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Chinese Politburo Meeting Signals “Less Dovish” Policy Stance

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

If your bullish thesis to buy stocks in recent months has been anchored by the expectation of aggressive monetary easing by China reinforcing the narrative that "bad news is good news" for the market, you may consider selling.

On April 19th, China's Politburo held a regular meeting on economic affairs, and following last week's blowout Chinese economic data and recent explosion in new loan and total social financing creation, the meeting statement emphasized that "economic performance year to date has been better than expected, market sentiment has shown visible improvement, key economic indicators are within the comfort zone, and the economy is broadly stable."

In short, as Goldman writes in a Sunday research note, the "politburo meeting signaled a less dovish policy stance."

Digging into the details of what may be one of the most important documents for the near-term outlook of the global economy – where China has clearly emerged as the marginal growth, and contraction, setter – the statement recognized that downward pressures on the economy exist but these pressures are more structural than cyclical, and the government should enhance economic and social stability by structural reform and further opening up of the economy. Incidentally, to appreciate just how critical the role China plays in creating/exporting inflation/deflation around the world, what Chinese importers will pay for their goods and how the yuan plays a role in everything is this chart from Morgan Stanley showing that "China remains at the center of the world for global economics", as the head of research at Pepperstone noted…

… while this chart from TS Lombard shows once again the only key variable for the global economy is the Chinese credit impulse, something we have discussed for years.

Back to the Politburo statement which found that proactive fiscal policy should improve effectiveness and efficiency, "while prudent monetary policy should be appropriate in terms of looseness and tightness." A notable change from the October, December and February meetings, is that there was no mention of the goal of maintaining "6 stabilizations" (on employment, trade, financial markets, investment, foreign capital, and expectations). This suggests that Beijing is now
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America’s Love Affair With Cars Nearly Finished

Courtesy of Mike Shedlock via MishTalk

At increasing rates, millennials and generation Z see no need to get a drivers license.

About a quarter of 16-year-olds had a driver’s license in 2017, a sharp decline from nearly half in 1983, according to an analysis of licensing data by transportation researcher Michael Sivak.

Whereas a driver’s license once was a symbol of freedom, teenagers are reaching their driving age at a time when most have access to ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft to shuttle them around town. At the same time, social media and video chat let them hang out with friends without actually leaving the house. When they reach their 20s, more are moving to big cities with mass transit, where owning a car is neither necessary nor practical. And of those who do buy a car, many more than in older generations opt for a used one, according to J.D. Power.

A new mind-set among many Generation Zers—roughly those born after 1997—is confounding parents and stumping auto makers at a time when new-vehicle sales in the U.S. are slowing. J.D. Power estimates that Gen Zers will purchase about 120,000 fewer new vehicles this year compared with millennials in 2004, when they were the new generation of drivers—or 488,198 vehicles versus 607,329 then.

“That freedom of getting your own wheels and a license—and that being the most important thing in life—is gone,” said Brent Wall, owner of All Star Driver Education in Michigan, a chain of drivers’-ed schools. He said the average age of students in his class is rising. “It used to be the day they turned 14 years and eight months, everybody was lining up at the door. Now I’m starting to see more 15- and 16-year-olds in class.” He frequently hears from parents that they’re the ones pushing their children to enroll.

Cooling on Cars

Cost vs Convenience

Cost is an issue. Detroit is busy churning out SUVs that cost well over $30,000. The cost of insurance is rising.

One can forgo a car but not a place to live. Housing costs have risen far more than the stated rate of inflation.…
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6 Million Euros Found Stuffed In Suitcases At Home Of Ousted Sudanese President

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Last Thursday, we reported that the 75-year-old president – or dictator, according to some – of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir stepped down after ruling the country for 30 years after a lighting fast military coup d'état, which involved very little gunfire or violence. And while as so often happens in Africa – and the rest of the world – after a dictator is toppled, investigations into corruption immediately started, this time they struck gold – both figuratively and literally – almost immediately.

According to Sky News, after investigators launched a probe for money laundering into ousted president Omar al Bashir's regime, they found large sums of foreign currency at his home. Specifically, military intelligence found cash worth 6 million euros stuffed in suitcases, as well as 351,000 US dollars. They also uncovered five million Sudanese pounds (£80,000).

A judicial source told Reuters that "the chief public prosecutor… ordered the [former] president detained and quickly questioned in preparation to put him on trial."

Bashir, who was toppled on April 11 in a military coup following months of protests against his 30-year rule, is currently held inside the high-security Kobar prison in Sudan's capital, Khartoum. He was detained at a presidential residence prior to being put behind bars.

The reason why Bashir was hoping to flee the country, cash patiently waiting in suitcases, is that he is wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity, murder, extermination, torture and rape – among other crimes – in the Darfur region in the 2000s. Once the 75-year-old president is convicted, he will almost certainly spend the rest of his life behind bars.

An estimated 300,000 people died during a military campaign to end an insurgency there over a decade ago. As Sky notes, During his decades in power, Bashir often played up his humble beginnings as the child of a poor farming family in a remote village.

Meanwhile, despite the ouster of al Bashir, protests across Sudan have continued.

Sudan protests continue. Photo: SkyNews


Smoke Seen For Miles After SpaceX Crew Dragon Suffers “Anomaly”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Amidst all of the controversy and volatility involving Tesla this year, one of the silver linings for Elon Musk was his recent successful Falcon 9 crew launch , but it now looks as though that project may have literally "gone up in smoke."

On Friday, a test version of the company's Crew Dragon suffered what SpaceX is calling an "anomaly" at the company's facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Large plumes of smoke were seen emanating from the area, according to We can't help but wonder what the fossil fuel burning equivalent would be for the amount of smoke that made its way into the atmosphere as a result, especially given the fact that Crew Dragon's engines burn "fairly toxic compounds", according to ARSTechnica, that include "hypergolic propellants—monomethylhydrazine" and "nitrogen tetroxide".

SpaceX said of the issue: "Earlier today, SpaceX conducted a series of engine tests on a Crew Dragon test vehicle on our test stand at Landing Zone 1 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The initial tests completed successfully but the final test resulted in an anomaly on the test stand."

This video, alleged, but not yet confirmed to be the "anomaly", has been making its rounds on Twitter. If it is confirmed to be the Dragon 2, it is obvious that nothing about the initial tests could reasonably be referred to as "successful."

Shown below, four pairs of SuperDraco engines power the Crew Dragon's escape system. SpaceX has been developing SuperDraco thrusters for the better part of a decade to enable human flights on board Dragon, according to ARSTechnica. But this recent incident  will have NASA scrutinizing these thrusters closely.

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Mismatch: “People Are Embracing The Bubble… As Happens In Every Bubble”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Sven Henrich via,

Oh dear. People are embracing the bubble and, as it happens in every bubble, fantastical narratives are emerging to justify the valuations and the price momentum as folks cannot square reality with non stop levitation in equity prices. Never mind that the final price spurt in any bubble is the most dangerous and most deceiving.

And with these fantastical narratives suddenly debt no longer matters because MMT. Inflation is declared dead as central bankers keep missing their inflation targets yet consumers are well aware of inflation in their daily lives, and yield curves no longer matter because they are simply a play thing of central bankers who can now prevent recessions forever:

“The Fed has the power to “prevent or quickly undo” an unwanted inversion, the BofA economists said.”

If debt doesn’t matter, inflation doesn’t exist, and yield curve inversions can be prevented by an all powerful Fed we must truly live in a world of milk and honey.

After all:

United States weekly jobless claims just hit a 50 year low. The economy is doing GREAT!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2019

Things are so awesome we are experiencing some of the loosest financial conditions in history:

And global liquidity keeps running at record levels:

No wonder stocks are celebrating and flirting with record highs, indeed record highs are already seen printed on tech and consumer discretionary:

No wonder investors are chasing after money losing IPOs like it’s 1999:

And are piling in their cash after a 24% rally off the lows:

After all Q1 GDP is flying higher to unforeseen levels.

The Atlanta Fed’s GDP forecasting model, always having an adventurous relationship with reality,…
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Watch: Shocking Video Shows Parked Tesla Spontaneously Exploding In Chinese Garage

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Karma can be quite the funny thing.

About 24 hours ahead of Tesla's coming "Investor Day" and just moments after we broke the news that Tesla had been granted a restraining order on a short seller who has been critical of the company on Twitter, stunning video has surfaced of a Tesla catching fire and exploding, while parked.

It did not appear that anyone was in the vehicle at the time of the explosion. 

A self proclaimed Tesla owner in Shanghai that Tweets under the name @ShanghaiJayIn posted video on his Twitter moments ago of what appears to be a Tesla Model S, 1st generation, catching fire spontaneously in a Chinese parking garage.

The video shows what appears to be security footage of a white Tesla that starts with smoke pouring out of the bottom of it. As people can be heard in the background talking in Mandarin, the car simply appears to spontaneously combust.

Before the video is written off as big oil conspiracy FUD, we should note that the Twitter user also has his own YouTube channel, which appears to mostly be positive content toward the brand.  

We will be following this story and updating this post with further information, as it becomes available.

“I Was The CIA Director - We Lied, We Cheated, We Stole”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Former CIA director and now Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has long accused WikiLeaks of being a “non-state hostile intelligence agency”, usually manipulated by Russia. Since Pompeo first made this claim as CIA Director in April 2017, countless major US news sources from NPR to CNN to the Washington Post have uncritically repeated the line, smearing Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as "Russian agents," and more broadly using the narrative to stifle independent journalism and government whistleblowers. 

But whether Pompeo or any other current or former CIA director makes such a bombastic claim without offering evidence — such as more recently asserting that China and Russia have "helped destroy" Venezuela through faltering investments, should anyone ever believe a high CIA official? Certainly the mainstream media routinely takes intelligence officials simply at their word, but Pompeo himself recently admitted the CIA is in the business of lying, cheating, and stealing

"We lied, we cheated, we stole" said Pompeo last week of his time in the CIA, via Getty images


Last week Mike Pompeo spoke at Texas A&M University, itself long known for being a favored recruiting ground of the CIA, considering too that one of the university's last presidents, Robert Gates, was CIA chief and later served as Bush and Obama's Secretary of Defense. 

During the Q&A session, Pompeo boasted that in the CIA both the training and culture are geared toward the following:

"We lied, we cheated, we stole."

Interestingly, a Christian religious news broadcaster was the only media that seemed to pick up on Pompeo's words last week, and described it as follows: "that's not the resume of the Secretary of State… that's the resume of Satan."

The former CIA chief and now Secretary of State said the following:

“What’s the cadet motto at West Point? You will not lie, cheat, or steal,

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Zero Hedge

Trash Wars: Duterte Orders Tons Of Garbage Shipped Back To Canada Or Dumped In Territorial Waters

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Outspoken Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered that containers carrying trash from Canada should be shipped back to the country. It is the latest chapter in a disagreement over more than 100 containers of trash that were shipped to the Philippines between 2013 and 2014, illegally, by a Canadian company. 

Canada had previously agreed to take the trash back, but has been slow in making arrangements for its return. Duterte threatened to leave the trash in Canadian waters if Ottawa refuses to take it back, according to Salvador Panelo...

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Phil's Favorites

Animal Spirits: The Absence of Stuff


Animal Spirits: The Absence of Stuff

Courtesy of 

Mention Animal Spirits to receive 20% off from YCharts (*New YCharts users only)

Stories Discussed

Best graduation ever


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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 we believe a combination of Gann Angles, ...

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Insider Scoop

55 Biggest Movers From Yesterday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

  • Obalon Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: OBLN) shares jumped 233.3 percent to close at $1.30 on Wednesday after the company reported expanded data from a large scale commercial use study that was presented at the Digestive Disease Week.
  • Ascent Capital Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASCMA) shares jumped 51.4 percent to close at $1.37 after the company announced a restructuring support agreement with Monitronics International.
  • Valeritas Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: VLRX) shares dippe... more from Insider

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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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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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


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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Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

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


This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...

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Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"



Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:


·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union


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About Phil:

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

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About Ilene:

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

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