Archive for 2019

PBOC Fixes Yuan Dramatically Stronger Following Gold Spike

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

PBOC fixed the yuan dramatically stronger against the dollar overnight, sending offshore yuan surging to its strongest against the dollar in six months.

While the Chinese currency is reportedly strengthening on the heels of trade talks optimism (which is entirely the opposite of the rhetoric coming out of Washington), we note that this was the biggest positive shift in the yuan fix in 19 months…

Notably, the yuan is strengthening considerably more against the dollar than it is against the broad basket of trade partner currencies…Shanghai Accord 2.0?

And coincidentally, the surge in yuan comes the day after gold prices broke out higher…

Perhaps the PBOC's aggressive action was prompted to manage the Yuan peg against gold back into balance?

Stunning Footage Of Deadly Russian Hypersonic Bomber Crash Surfaces Online

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A horrific video of a Russian Tu-22M3 hypersonic strike bomber in Murmansk – a crash that left two of the fighter's crew members dead and two badly injured – was caught on video.  And the footage has now emerged online.

Highlighted by RT, the video shows the strategic bomber’s approach to an air base in near-zero visibility and the moment it slammed into the airstrip and burst into flames. The video was recorded by a Russian serviceman at the base, which is located near the city of Olenegorsk, and was recently leaked online.

The video shows the heavy fog that was covering the area during the incident, which took place on Jan. 22.

During the crash-landing, the bomber literally broke apart, with its cabin engulfed in flames while tumbling on the ground.

The plane crashed during what the Russian Ministry of Defense said was a routine training mission. Though initially the ministry said there were no weapons aboard the jet at the time of the crash, later reports indicated that it had been armed with one Kh-22 long-range anti-ship missile and several hundred rounds aircraft cannon ammo. The bomber that was involved in the crash was built 33 years ago, but underwent an overhaul in 2012.

Chemical, TCF Banks To Merge, Creating ‘Largest Midcap Bank In The Midwest’ With Detroit HQ

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Chemical, TCF Banks To Merge, Creating 'Largest Midcap Bank In The Midwest' With Detroit HQ

Two Midwest banks are joining forces: Chemical Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: CHFC) and TCF Financial Corporation (NYSE: TCF) announced Monday they are merging in a deal that will create a top-30 bank headquartered in Detroit.

The announcement sent shares of both companies surging. The new bank, which will be called TCF Bank, will have more than 500 branches in nine states and $45 billion in assets and $34 billion in deposits.

‘Largest Midcap Bank In The Midwest’ 

Chemical Bank said previously it is building a new headquarters in downtown Detroit that will be open in two years and have about 500 employees. That building will be the headquarters for the new TCF operation.

Chemical Bank is the largest in Michigan and the acquisition of Wayzata, Minnesota-based TCF will make the bank the 27th-largest in the nation.

“The combination of TCF and Chemical creates the largest midcap bank in the Midwest, poised to deliver double-digit EPS accretion for each set of shareholders, significant cost synergies, top-tier return metrics, a more diversified balance sheet and a lower risk profile,” Chemical Chairman Gary Torgow said in a statement released by both companies.

The transaction is expected to deliver 17-percent earnings per share accretion to Chemical shareholders and 31-percent accretion to TCF shareholders, the companies said.

Stocks Rise On M&A Announcement 

Both banks said the merger increases lending capabilities and opportunities for growth better than either company had alone. They also said the combined bank would have a more diversified deposit mix and more balanced loan portfolio.

Shares of Chemical Financial were up 4.47 percent at $44.37 at the time of publication Monday, while TCF’s stock was up 4.82 percent at $22.62. 

Related Links:

Chemical Bank Relocates HQ to Detroit

Are Big Banks A Buy Before Earnings Season?

Posted-In: News M&A Best of Benzinga

Wait Out Zillow’s ‘Transitional’ Phase, Raymond James Says

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Wait Out Zillow's 'Transitional' Phase, Raymond James Says

Zillow Group Inc Class C (NASDAQ: Z)(NASDAQ: ZG) traded down 43 percent over the last six months, but one Street expert doesn’t expect the pressure to let up soon.

The Rating

Raymond James analyst Justin Patterson maintained a Market Perform rating on Zillow.

The Thesis

Zillow’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) faces near-term pressure from a tough housing market, reinvestment in payroll and technology, the expansion of Homes and the slow recovery of Premier Agent.

“We see risk to Premier Agent’s 1H19 recovery, as existing home sales remain weak and it takes time to prove out ROI of phone versus email leads,” Patterson wrote in a note.

He cut his 2019 and 2020 EBITDA estimates by 9 percent and 4 percent, respectively, and expects execution pressure and the rough housing market to stunt earnings.

“Neither of these are short-term fixes, and we continue to see risk to Street 2019E and 2020E EBITDA,” Patterson wrote. “Until consensus resets and housing shows signs of stability, we continue to see shares range-bound.”

Raymond James assures improvements will follow after the Street resets estimates.

“The silver lining amid the near term noise is that traffic (via Google Trends) appears fine,” the analyst wrote. “Zillow is still the destination for real estate, and that will eventually be monetized.”

Regarding recent insider purchases, he suspects no impending cost cuts.

Price Action

At time of publication, Zillow Class C shares traded around $32.50.

Related Links:

Bank Of America: Zillow Falls On ‘Concerns About Homes, Entry Into Originations’

Morgan Stanley: Zillow Offers Attractive Entry Point For A High-Quality Asset

Latest Ratings for Z

Date Firm Action From To
Jan 2019 Needham Initiates Coverage On Hold
Nov 2018 Craig-Hallum Upgrades Hold Buy
Nov 2018 Standpoint Research Initiates Coverage On Buy

View More Analyst Ratings for Z

View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Justin Patterson Raymond JamesAnalyst Color Reiteration Analyst Ratings Best of Benzinga

Insider Buys Of The Week: GTT Communications, Dish Network, Heico

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Insider Buys Of The Week: GTT Communications, Dish Network, Heico
  • Insider buying can be an encouraging signal for potential investors.
  • A 10% owner, a director and another executive made notable purchases this week.
  • One of these buyers has been making frequent purchase lately.

Conventional wisdom says that insiders and 10 percent owners really only buy shares of a company for one reason — they believe the stock price will rise and they want to profit from it. So insider buying can be an encouraging signal for potential investors, particularly during periods of uncertainty.

Here’s a look at a few notable insider purchases reported in the past week.

GTT Communications

Beneficial owner Spruce House Partnership added to its GTT Communications Inc (NYSE: GTT) stake again last week. The 229,000 shares purchased, at $27.46 to $29.40, came to more than $6.42 million altogether. The private investment fund’s stake was said to be around 12.22 million shares, while about 50.66 million shares were outstanding.

The company is a leading global cloud networking provider to multinational clients, and last week it announced the expansion of its services to a tennis-focused broadcaster. Shares closed Friday trading at $29.49, just above the top of the purchase price range. Shares have changed hands as high as $62.32 apiece in the past year.

See Also: Starbucks CEO Says A Cannabis-Infused Drink Is ‘Not On The Roadmap’

Dish Network

A DISH Network Corp (NYSE: DISH) executive vice president purchased added another 20,000 shares of this pay-TV provider early last week. At prices that ranged from $28.99 to $29.59 a share, the transactions totaled more than $588.800. The executive also made purchases earlier in the month and at the end of December, pursuant to a 10b5-1 trading plan.

Competitor Netflix, Inc. (NYSE: NFLX) recently announced price hikes and posted mixed quarterly results. Dish shares closed most recently at $30.08, which is above the executive’s purchase prices. The stock has traded as low as $23.22 and as high as $47.64 in the past 52 weeks. The consensus price target was last seen at $48.18.


Heico Corp (NYSE: HEI) saw a director step up to the buy window. At per-share prices that averaged $79.59, the fewer than 1,500 shares reportedly acquired cost him around

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Japan Data Scandal: Tokyo Admits 40% Of Its Economic Data Is “Fake News”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

When it comes to the biggest monetary experiment in modern history, namely Japan's QE which has seen the BOJ buy enough Japanese bonds to match the GDP of Japan, there is nothing more important than the BOJ having accurate metrics to determine if its "inflation targeting" is working, i.e., if wages and broader inflation are rising. Alas, the recent news that Japan's labor ministry published erroneous statistics for years, has raised doubt about not only the accuracy of economic analysis released by the Bank of Japan, but prompted investors to doubt absolutely every economic report published by Tokyo.

For those who are unfamiliar with the latest economic fake news scandal, on Wednesday Japan's labor ministry revised its monthly labor survey for the period between 2012 and 2018 admitting it had overstated nominal year-on-year wage increases by as much as 0.7 percentage point between January and November of last year, to take just one example.

Unfortunately, there are many other examples, and according to an Internal Affairs Ministry report released late Thursday, nearly half of Japan’s key economic government statistics need to be reviewed with 22 discrete statistics, or roughly 40% of the 56 key government economic releases, turning out to be "fake news" and in need to be corrected.

This is a major problem for Kuroda and the Bank of Japan which uses statistics from the labor ministry to compile two key pieces of economic data, in making its ongoing decisions whether to continue, taper or expand QE.

One, according to Nikkei, is the quarterly output gap which compares the nation's supply capacity with total demand. Supply capacity is derived from elements such as labor and capital spending. Data from the labor ministry survey, such as the number of hours logged by the workforce, is used to compute the output gap.

Japan's output gap has climbed further and further into positive territory. That has partially informed the BOJ's judgement that "Japan's economy is expanding moderately." The gap is also considered a leading indicator for inflation. A sustained positive reading could lead companies to raise prices and lift wages.

Meanwhile, even as Japan's consumer price index that excludes fresh foods continues to…
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This Week’s Three Scenarios For US-China Trade Talks

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

This week will mark another round of talks between the United States and China in an attempt to resolve the ongoing trade war, after President Donald Trump and China's Xi Jinping ordered their officials to hammer out a deal by March 1 on "structural changes" to China's economic model.

Failure to reach an agreement will result in Trump raising the tariff rate on $200 billion in Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent, and would "dash hopes of a lasting truce that would remove one of the darkest clouds hanging over the world economy," reports Bloomberg

Starting Wednesday, US Trade Representative Robert Lightnizer will meet with Vice Premier Liu He in Washington for two days, building on negotiations ranging from soy beans to subsidies Beijing provides to various state-owned companies. 

And while a final deal isn't likely this week, negotiators will hopefully produce a package of proposals to bring back to both administrations, said former Clinton Commerce official William Reinsch. 

"Everybody’s divided, because President Trump is so unpredictable," said Reinsch.

"It’s probably 50-50 whether he’ll accept it."

Here are the good, the bad and the ugly scenarios according to Bloomberg


Base Case

Even if Lighthizer and Liu reach an agreement this week, it will probably take time to brief the two presidents, then for Trump and Xi to decide if they’re satisfied. Don’t expect much in the way of explanation from either Liu or Lighthizer, who rarely say much to the packs of reporters staking out the talks.

That leaves vague official statements as the best way to determine how much progress was made. Following the last meetings in Beijing, the two sides put out separate statements. The U.S. acknowledged progress on issues such as purchases of U.S. products, but added that any deal would need to include “ongoing verification and effective enforcement.” The Chinese has called the talks “extensive, in-depth and detailed.”

The broad outlines of a deal are clear at this point. The Chinese will probably agree to buy more American goods, Beijing may promise to stop stealing intellectual property, and the two sides could develop a workable enforcement system to give the deal teeth.

If officials…
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The Fall Of Facebook Has Only Just Begun

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Via 13D Research,

The fall of Facebook has only begun. The platform is broken and neither human nor machine can fix it.

Even after losing roughly a third of its market cap, it still may prove one of the great shorts of all time.

“There’s no mental health support. The suicide rate is extremely high,” one of the directors of the documentary, “The Cleaners” told CBS News last May. The film is an investigative look at the life of Facebook moderators in the Philippines. Throughout his 2018 apology tour, Mark Zuckerberg regularly referenced the staff of moderators the company had hired as one of two key solutions?—?along with AI?—?to the platform’s content evils. What he failed to disclose is that the majority of that army is subcontractors employed in the developing world.

For as long as ten hours a day, viewing as many as 25,000 images or videos per day, these low-paid workers are buried in the world’s horrors?—?hate speech, child pornography, rape, murder, torture, beheadings, and on and on. They are not experts in the subject matter or region they police. They rely on “guidelines” provided by Facebook?—?“dozens of unorganised PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets with bureaucratic titles like ‘Western Balkans Hate Orgs and Figures’ and ‘Credible Violence: Implementation standards’,” as The New York Times reported last fall. The rules are not even written in the languages the moderators speak, so many rely on Google Translate. As a recent op-ed by John Naughton in The Guardian declares bluntly in its headline, “Facebook’s burnt-out moderators are proof that it is broken.”

As we noted in last week’s issue, 41 of the 53 analysts tracked by Bloombergcurrently list Facebook as a buy, with “the average price target… $187, which implies upside of nearly 36%.” That optimism springs from a basic assumption: the company’s monopolistic data dominance means it can continue extracting more from advertisers even if controversy after controversy continues to sap its user growth. Given the depth and intractability of Facebook’s problems, this is at best short-sighted.

The platform’s content ecosystem is too poisoned for human or machine moderators to cleanse. Users are fleeing in droves, especially in the company’s most valuable markets. Ad buyers are already shifting dollars to competitors’ platforms. Governments are stepping…
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Escape from Venezuela

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

A host of foreign powers including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and over a dozen Latin American states were quick to recognize Juan Guaido as Venezuela's president earlier this week. The opposition leader declared himself interim president in a move embattled President Nicolas Maduro labeled a U.S. orchestrated coup. As well as having the support of Venezuela's military, Maduro still has widespread international backing including support from Russia, China and Mexico, amongst others, according to Bloomberg

Infographic: Who Stands Where On Venezuela?  | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

The declaration from Guaido comes after two nights of protests in the country which have led to the deaths of at least 14 people.

As Statista's Martin Armstrong notes, Venezuela's problems are extensive and varied, with political, social and economic crises making life in the country very difficult. As Statista's infographic shows, this has led to a huge increase in migration out of the country.

Infographic: Escape from Venezuela | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

In 2015, there were almost 700,000 Venezuelans living in other countries. Fast forward to July 2018 and this figure has risen to 2.3 million – representing 7 percent of the country's population. These are only the official figures, too. The actual number that have fled the country is thought to be much higher.

Morgan Stanley: “The Past Two Months Will Go Down As Some Of The Most Fascinating On Record”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Matthew Hornbach, head of global interest rate strategy at Morgan Stanley

When the history books are written on central banks and markets, the past two months will go down as a couple of the most fascinating on record. From its December high on the first day of the month to its low on the 24th, the S&P 500 fell 16%. That dramatic drop, among the declines in other risky asset prices, prompted the Federal Reserve to assuage investor concerns in the first week of January by invoking the word “patient”. Analysts of Fedspeak knew that meant inaction at the next two FOMC meetings, effectively taking the March rate hike off the table. Since then, the S&P 500 is up about 8% as of Thursday’s close.

On that nervous January 4th, when Chair Powell first used the word “patient”, he also said that “if [the FOMC] ever came to the conclusion that any aspect of our normalization plans was somehow interfering with our achievement of our statutory goals, we wouldn’t hesitate to change it, and that would include the balance sheet certainly”. Throughout the rest of January, investors would send a clear message: If the Fed wanted financial conditions to help in achieving those statutory goals then, at a minimum, holding off on further hikes would be a good place to start.

To many market observers, including those on the FOMC, January’s price action may have suggested something else as well: What happened in 4Q18 was not about balance sheet normalization. However, we think that jumping to such a conclusion will not serve investors well in 2019, nor will trying to pin the blame for what happened in 4Q on any single factor. By our measures, financial conditions were on a tightening path through most of 2018 and one that began, importantly, after the balance sheet began to normalize. Coincidence? We think not.

As we discussed in our recent note, Insight into the Balance Sheet, we believe the shrinking of the Fed’s balance sheet, in conjunction with higher risk-free rates, causes private sector portfolios to rebalance away from risky assets and toward US Treasuries and agency MBS. This portfolio rebalancing – known as the portfolio balance channel effect – has been taking place all year in…
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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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