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TGIF – Winding Down a Weak Week

Danger ahead.

We passed the stimulus bill – that did not strenghten the market.  The Fed did not change rates and only began a very gradual tapering process – that did not strengthen the market.  Q3 earnings were better than expected – that did not strenghten the markets.  What will?

We are in a very overbought situation at the moment and, heading into the holidays – it's always a good idea to be well-hedged but the thin market trading around the holidays is the bulls' best friend at the moment as it's the high-volume days that tend to send things lower.

Still, proceed with caution in the two weeks before Thanksgiving and then, if we have made it through November – we might have a Santa Claus rally after all.

According to Indeed, there were more than 11M job openings in early November, far more than the 7.4M people who are considered unemployed.  We used to fill those jobs with immigrants but those were made illegal under the last administration so now they just sit empty – for reasons we discussed in yesterday's PSW Report.   Many of the open jobs are in Warehousing, Shipping and Consumer-Facing Retail, a trend that is likely to be supercharged by the holiday shopping season and strong consumer demand.

4.3M workers quit their jobs in August, as workers are only just beginning to exercise bargaining power for their labor.  With 11M open jobs – there's always someone willing to pay more if your boss is not and workers are starting to understand that – a condition similar to the one we had in the late 80s and 90s – when 10% annual raises and two-week bonuses were expected.  

Labor-force participation, or the share of working-age people employed or looking for work, has remained lower than normal despite strong job growth during the recovery. Employers, especially in lower wage sectors like food service, might normally hire workers who are unemployed, but are now looking to entice people to leave their current jobs for better pay or benefits.

New openings, especially seasonal ones with set end dates, are growing rapidly. The National Retail Federation, an industry group, anticipates that retailers will hire 500,000 to 665,000 seasonal workers compared with the 486,000 they hired in 2020. Target Corp. aims to hire 100,000 seasonal workers and around 30,000 warehouse employees, while Walmart Inc. wants to hire 150,000, many of which are offered as permanent positions.

Logistics companies are also staffing up and offering incentives as they race competitors to fill positions. United Parcel Service Inc. is hiring an additional 100,000 employees nationwide for seasonal positions, and they have enlisted current employees to help. Employees can earn $200 for every job applicant they steer toward the company, provided the person works through the holiday rush. Amazon plans to hire 150,000 seasonal employees starting at $18 per hour, with sign-on bonuses of up to $3,000.

Skyrocketing Inflation - The American Spectator | USA News and PoliticsThat all sounds great, of course, but it's also expensive for those companies and can impact the bottom lines as business competes for labor – even as their materials costs are also rising.  Inflationary economies are tricky to navigate, companies move ahead and fall behind on the curve in cycles – especially if the inflation is not "transitory" and one-year later – it's getting harder and harder for the Fed to make that case.  

As it's Friday, a fun play is going long on Oil (/CL) off the $80 line with tight stops below.  Oil contracts pay $10 per penny move so you risk a $50 loss by keeping a stop at $79.95 but, since oil has fallen from $85 to $80 and $80 should be a good support line, the weak bounce would be 20% of the fall or $1 back to $81 and I think we fail there but strong would be $82 and those are $1,000 or $2,000 potential gains so the reward potential greatly outweighs the risk – and that's what makes a good futures trade.

We have 4 short S&P 500 (/ES) shorts remaining and they are currently up $11,000 but it would be irresponsible not to set a stop on 2 at the $10,000 mark (about 4,660) to lock in $5,000 of our profits and then we can set stops way up at $2,500 on the remaining two – so our worst case would be making $7,500 while we still have nice profits to make should /ES slide further.  

If the Nasdaq fails that 16,000 line again, we can get more comfortable with our S&P shorts and the Dow getting back over 36,000 would be a warning sign that it's time to pack it in for the time being.  Overall, I strongly hope we have an excuse to carry all 4 shorts into the weekend – I don't see any particular reason next week would be stronger than next week and December 3rd is the Debt Ceiling nonsense again – could be a nice bonus round for the bears.  

Have a great weekend, 

- Phil


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  1. Good Morning.

  2. Good morning!

    Close call on stopping out /ES already. 

    Nas held 16,000 

    We'll let /YM break the tie.  

    Upside wheee on /CL already:

    5% Rule RULES!  Don't be brave or greedy here – a quick $500 per contract is always a gift!

  3. General Electric Plans to Break Itself Into Three Companies

  4. The Psychology Behind Meeting Overload

  5. That's definitely goaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllllll!! on Oil – nice bonus money on a Friday!

    /ES stopped out – should have taken the bonus money and ran.

    Nov. 12, 2021 10:36 AM ET

    • The growth of decentralized finance (DeFi), blockchain-based financial services that avoid the use of conventional banks, may not be quite as impressive as overall ether (ETH-USD) gains may suggest, according to analysts at JPMorgan Chase.
    • Many DeFi applications run on the Ethereum network and use its native token, ether (ETH-USD), the world's second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap. Ether's (ETH-USD) price has soared 552% so far this year, far outpacing bitcoin's (BTC-USD) 121% gain.
    • DeFi growth on the Ethereum blockchain has surged 780% this year, in dollar terms, reflecting the ether price rally, the team led by Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou said in their report. But by volume, ether (ETH-USD) tokens used in DeFi increased at a slower, yet still strong, 50% rate in 2021, they added.
    • The study also saw Ethereum's share of DeFi activity declining — to 70% currently from a near total-lock at the beginning of the year, they said.
    • “There is little doubt that DeFi is still at early stages and thus has a lot of potential to grow over time,” the report said. “But until it becomes mainstream it faces several hurdles, especially regulatory.”
    • Earlier this month, the President's Working Group on Financial Markets is looking into DeFi as well as digital asset markets for risks to market integrity and investor protection.

    BLNK +13.18%Nov. 12, 2021 10:11 AM ET1 Comment

    • Blink Charging (BLNK +16.5%) is upgraded to Buy from Hold at Roth Capital Partners after the company posted a 35% positive revenue surprise.
    • The firm notes "improving business momentum that is likely to accelerate in 2H22 on greater availability of infrastructure subsidies” and believes the company will benefit in the future from a constructive environment.
    • Roth raises its price target on BLNK to $45 from $27.
    • Elsewhere, D.A. Davidson, which maintains a Neutral rating on the stock, wrote that “charging infrastructure demand is strong, BLNK’s station utilization is increasing, and its footprint is expanding.”
    • D.A. Davidson has a price target of $31 on the stock versus the average of $34.

    AUS -1.61%Nov. 12, 2021 10:07 AM ET5 Comments

    • Wynn Resorts (WYNN -0.8%) and Austerlitz Acquisition Corporation I (AUS -1.3%) have mutually agreed to terminate the planned combination of Austerlitz I and Wynn Interactive Ltd. through a SPAC deal.
    • CEO Craig Billings says the company is still excited about WynnBet's future with the continued roll-out of product features and planned new state launches including New York. However, in light of elevated marketing and promotional spend in the sports betting industry, Wynn is pivoting its user acquisition efforts to a more targeted ROI-focused strategy and expects the capital intensity of the business to decline meaningfully beginning in Q1 of 2022.
    • Wynn Interactive has market access to 15 states covering 51% of the U.S. population, and was targeting to gain access to 77% of U.S. population near term, but analysts were warning that its lack of huge database of U.S. customers gives it a disadvantage.

    SCHW -0.09%Nov. 12, 2021 9:47 AM ET

    • Charles Schwab's (NYSE:SCHW) total client assets of $7.98T in October rises 5% from the prior month and 36% Y/Y.
    • Core net new assets brought to the company by new and existing clients totaled $36.8B, while net new assets excluding mutual fund clearing reached $35.9B.
    • Average margin balances of $83.8B in October climbs 3% from September and 74% from the same period a year ago.
    • The company notes that Y/Y comparisons are affected by the close of the TD Ameritrade acquisition on Oct. 6 of last year.
    • Shares of SCHW increase 0.7% in pre-market trading.
    • Previously, (Sep. 15) Schwab reports 17% growth in August core net new assets.

    Think about what's happening here – we have a $20Tn GDP with 4% growth ($800Bn) yet SCHW alone adds $2Tn in client assets for the year.  Something is very wrong with all this…

  6. You're welcome:  

    YETI -0.57%Nov. 12, 2021 8:17 AM ET

    • Yeti Holdings (NYSE:YETI) is slotted as the top holiday pick from the retail sector team at Bank of America.
    • "We believe YETI should trade at a premium to other high quality branded durable peers given impressive brand momentum," says analyst Robert Ohmes.
    • Yeti is expected to see the wholesale replenishment at its largest U.S. accounts to continue into 2022 as demand continues to outpace supply. BofA raises 2022 estimates and assigns a price objective of $125.
    • Shares of YETI are up 0.17% premarket after peeling off 6.39% yesterday.
    • Read what Yeti management said on the company's demand trends during the earnings call.

    Submitted on 2021/08/05 at 10:55 am

    YETI Holding (YETI) – Started out as a cooler company but have expanded into all sorts of things.  Very expensive at $90, which is close to $8Bn and they are only making $200M a year (40x earnings) but they made $50M in 2019 on about half as much revenue so we can split the baby on this one and promise to buy them if they drop 33% by selling the 2023 $65 puts for $7.50, which would net you in at $57.50, which would be down to a $5Bn market cap and that I'd love to own it at so let's sell 10 of those in our Long-Term Portfolio (LTP) for $7,500.

    • Yeti (NYSE:YETI) swings lower even after Q2 results arrived comfortably ahead of consensus expectations.
    • Direct-to-consumer revenue was up 48% to $196.9M in Q2 and wholesale revenue increased 41% to $160.8M.
    • Drinkware sales increased 69% during the quarter to $192.9M, driven in part by the continued expansion of the company's product offerings, including the introduction of new colorways and sizes and strong demand for customization. Coolers & Equipment sales increased 23% to $157.8M as a strong performance in soft coolers, bags, outdoor living products, cargo and hard coolers factored in.
    • Gross profit increased to 58.5% of sales vs. 55.7% a year ago. The 280 basis point increase in gross margin was primarily driven by a favorable mix shift to the DTC channel, product cost improvements, and lower inventory reserves, partially offset by the unfavorable impact of the non-renewal of the Global System of Preferences program on import duties and higher inbound freight.
    • Looking ahead, Yeti (YETI) sees sales growth of 26% and 28% vs 23% consensus.
    • Shares of Yeti are down 3.73% premarket to $96.00 after running up more than 45% YTD. Yeti (YETI) still trades well-above its 50-day, 100-day and 200-day moving averages.

    Submitted on 2021/08/05 at 12:30 pm

    Yeti/Stock – It's kind of like those Canadian Goose jackets – people will pay very stupid prices to be fashionable but the underlying product has to actually be high-quality.

    These guys are doing over $1Bn in sales up over 3x in 5 years.   Making $152M (because they are so expensive) and still growing nicely but $42.69 is $4.7Bn in market cap so 30x for clothing is a bit steep.

    YETI is $8.7Bn at $101 is no better though – I just think they have a more defensible niche and more ability to expand product lines to the same core audience.  Also at 1Bn in sales with $156M in profit so almost double the price of GOOS but very fast bottom-line growth as they have better mfg scale-up.

  7. SPY +0.63%Nov. 12, 2021 8:00 AM ET5 Comments

    • The latest inflation data looks set to break equity winning streaks and has the Treasury market repricing interest rate expectations.
    • An October CPI above 6% has the S&P (SP500) (NYSEARCA:SPY) and Nasdaq (COMP.IND) (NASDAQ:QQQ) down for the week after five-straight weeks of gains.
    • And the Treasury yield curve continues to flatten this morning, with 2-year and 5-year yields (NASDAQ:SHY) rising more than 10-year and 30-year yields (NYSEARCA:TBT) (NASDAQ:TLT).
    • The 5-year is making the biggest move this week, up about 20 basis points to 1.25%.
    • That's the yield that is most closely tied to fed funds rate expectations.
    • Wells Fargo now says "there is little evidence that inflationary pressures will ease in the foreseeable future" and it is looking for the CPI to stay high next year with an annual rate of 5.2%.
    • It is ratcheting up its rate hike forecast as well.
    • "With inflation likely to remain hot for the next two years and the labor market firmly on the path toward recovery, we now project an earlier liftoff for the federal funds rate," Chief Economist Jay H. Bryson and team write in a note today. "Specifically, we look for the FOMC to raise the target range for the federal funds rate by 25 bps in Q3-2022 and another 25 bps in Q4-2022."
    • "Furthermore, we expect two additional rate hikes of similar magnitude over the course of 2023."
    • They are keeping their target for the 10-year at 2.15% for the end of 2022, with tapering ending in the second half of next year.
    • Our "forecast for the Treasury yield curve is flatter in 2022, and to a lesser extent in 2023, than it was previously," Bryson says.
    • "We expect the supply chain blockages that have been hampering many parts of the economy to begin to clear up over the course of next year and be functioning more or less normally in 2023," he adds. "While the holiday season will likely be a strain in the near term, logistics networks presumably will be under far less stress as the calendar moves into 2022."
    • Dig deeper into the message of a flatter yield curve.

    VWAGY -0.64%Nov. 12, 2021 6:19 AM ET4 Comments

    • Volkswagen AG (OTCPK:VWAGY) reports October global sales slumped 33.5% to 600,900 vehicles.
    • YTD global sales up 2% to 7.55M vehicles
    • China sales slipped 37.2% to 236,500 vehicles for the month.
    • Western Europe sales down 40.2% to 167,700 vehicles.
    • Passenger car sales -30.7% and commercial vehicle sales -36.5% for the month.
    • Skoda sales -52%; Audi -39.9%; SEAT -37.1%.

    EWU -0.08%Nov. 12, 2021 6:07 AM ET2 Comments

    • The United Kingdom and European Union are back at the negotiating table today in an attempt to dodge a looming trade war. While Britain officially left the EU in January 2020, a number of hard-fought trade arrangements that have been inked since then have been criticized for disrupting trade. Specifically, the U.K. feels there are difficulties in implementing required checks on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, which lies just across the Irish Sea to the west.
    • Backdrop: Last month, the European Commission proposed to adapt certain parts of the trade deal in an effort to make it easier for these checks to take place. However, EU officials have since complained that the government of U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is not showing a willingness to negotiate and its proposals mark "a significant difference" from the original trade deal.
    • In fact, U.K. Brexit Minister David Frost feels that all checks on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland should come to an end. Businesses would instead be trusted to inform authorities if products will stay in Northern Ireland or continue to the Republic of Ireland, which is part of the EU. The European Commission does not want to leave the trust up to companies due to worries that products (that don't meet European standards) could end up in the EU's single market.
    • Tough talk: Frost has gone a step further, threatening to trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland protocol, which could lead to the suspension of part of Brexit trade deal on the basis that it's causing "economic, societal, or environmental difficulties." The EU is meanwhile preparing a package of retaliatory measures in case that scenario should play out. "Senior EU officials are extremely gloomy about the outlook and believe escalation in the form of a trade war, probably early in the new year, is now almost unavoidable," according to analysts at consultancy group Eurasia.

    TOSYY +1.42%Nov. 12, 2021 4:14 AM ET3 Comments

    • Siemens (OTCPK:SIEGY) did it. General Electric (NYSE:GE) did it. Now, Toshiba (OTCPK:TOSYY) is thinking of doing it. The once-championed diversified conglomerate is losing its sheen, with many seeing more risk than reward for sprawling companies with numerous sub-divisions. The trend has been going on for several years, as companies try to simplify their businesses with unique mission statements and let individual assets fend for themselves in the markets.
    • What caused the change? There has been a strong shift towards leaner cost structures and away from the idea that central management can never fully offset the downsides that conglomerates can bring. This is particularly strong for industrial businesses, which are no longer the talk of the town, and have market caps that come nowhere close to their technology rivals. As a result, they must have a more focused story to tell investors, especially in the current information age and investing landscape.
    • Under threat by activist investors in Japan, Toshiba (OTCPK:TOSYY) now plans to split into three independent companies. It will spin off two core businesses – energy, infrastructure and heavy engineering, as well as electronic devices, AI and quantum computing – leaving its flagship name to manage a 40.6% stake in memory chipmaker Kioxia and other assets. As for the timeline, Toshiba hopes to complete the reorganization by the second half of fiscal 2023.
    • Under fire: Turmoil at the company began with a 2015 accounting scandal and has continued this year. A report released in June found that Toshiba executives and officials at Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry had collaborated to stifle foreign shareholders' voices ahead of an annual shareholder meeting in July 2020. The new decision to split up may not fully satisfy some of those foreign investors, which have called for Toshiba (OTCPK:TOSYY) to be taken private after an offer was made by U.K.-based CVC Capital in April.

  8. Well, speaking of no-volume rallies:

    SSNLF 0.00%Nov. 12, 2021 12:53 PM ET

    • Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) is set to hold an investor forum on Tuesday, with the event taking place during an ongoing period of uncertainty over pricing issues and component shortages weighing across the semiconductor sector.
    • Memory chips, in particular, are expected to draw attention from the Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) gathering, as the company is the world's largest memory chipmaker. Bank of America Securities analyst Simon Woo said in a research report that Samsung's report to its investors will likely be company specific, but should also give some insights into the issues affecting the memory chip market and its prospects for the coming year.
    • "Tech product shipment growth will likely decelerate sharply in 2022 after [a] 2020-21 upturn," Woo said. "But memory content increase should warrant above-trend price and consequently margin[s] in our view."
    • Woo said Samsung won't give any financial guidance, but the company is expected to talk about some of its specific products such as solution memory, new displays using OLED video technology, mobile device memory and mobile networks.
    • Woo estimates that the worldwide market for DRAM and NAND memory, the most-common types of memory, will grow from estimates of $168 billion in 2021, to 206.7 billion in 2022 and 233.7 billion in 2023.
    • With regards to DRAM memory, in particular, Woo said that prices are continuing to weaken, but are approaching a bottom point and should begin to show some signs of recovery after the first quarter of next year.
    • "Memory module makers keep indicating further downside risk  due to weak PC supply chain [due to] negative impact from component shortages," Woo said. "[The first quarter] is also usually a low season. Of course, spot-price could easily rebound."
    • Both Samsung and fellow memory-chip giant Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) were the subjects of some negative views from Bernstein analyst Mark Li, who started coverage of the companies with underperform ratings. Li said he expects price declines and supply shortages to cloud the memory chip market until late 2022.

    BTC-USD -1.77%Nov. 12, 2021 12:52 PM ET1 Comment

    • J.C. Flowers Founder Chris Flowers believes Bitcoin (BTC-USD) "is really laughable as a serious alternative payment method," he told Bloomberg at a conference.
    • Bitcoin (BTC-USD) is "too slow, too expensive," Flowers said.
    • The world's largest digital token by market cap reached a record high of about $69.4K on Wednesday amid inflation fears, but has since pulled back to $63.5K so far on Friday.
    • Flowers thinks that Bitcoin (BTC-USD) "really has zero correlation with gold," though on the same day that BTC reached its new milestone, Gold (XAUUSD:CUR) and Silver (XAGUSD:CUR) also jumped in response to higher inflation prints.
    • See why billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones thinks crypto offers a great inflation hedge.

    MRNA +1.01%Nov. 12, 2021 11:22 AM ET

    • Health Canada has greenlighted the COVID-19 booster shot developed by Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) for adults aged 18 years and older.
    • According to a press release on Friday issued by the regulator, the vaccine commercially available as Spikevax is now allowed for use in the country for adults after at least six months from their initial vaccine regimen.
    • Having received the submission for approval from Moderna (MRNA) on Oct. 06, Health Canada has cleared the messenger-RNA-based booster shot at 50 mcg, half the level of the regular dose.
    • Late last month, the U.S. regulators authorized Moderna’s (MRNA) booster vaccine for individuals 65 and older and for certain categories of people between 18 – 64 years.
    • Read: Moderna (MRNA) is currently engaged in a verbal battle over the intellectual property rights for the vaccine.

    I'm getting my booster shot this afternoon – hopefully no side effects…

  9. Take this with you so you can stay up-to-date:

  10. pman – very cool! Have you used this? Thanks.

  11. Wow, thanks PMan, just what I want for Christmas!

  12. Good luck with the booster. At only 50% of the original it maybe OK. I had done 1 shot and have been sick for a month. I will NOT do another! Hope  some of you got on the BLNK rocket. Wisconsin has called on the National Guard because they are probably letting Rittenhouse walk after murdering 2 people with an illegal AR that he carried into a community he never lived in. This state is such a freaking nightmare. My daughter said NYC is gearing up for a full out war. Dumpy is MIA but his legacy lives on!! Honestly, is all of this nightmare just going to go on forever? 

  13. pirateinvestor,

    What vaccine did you receive? 

  14. Pfizer- tried to get J&J but there was nowhere within 100 miles to get it. I figured I could try to do the one and be a little more protected, but couldn't find it. Needless to say my body did not like it. I was supposed to get the 2nd, but was too ill to even consider it. Now that I am a tad better I am going to just stay the course and forget it. I do believe those of us who had "natural" immunity are better protected. My friends who have the antibodies are foregoing the shots AND are remaining healthy! A prove of positive antibodies should be the gold card in this saga. 

  15. I am still stymied on how I had this disease with NO symptoms when my family members were so ill and now have longhaul problems in recovery. And a bad bout after a shot?  Always more questions than answers BUT this is nothing to take lightly. Ugly disease for sure.

  16. pirateinvestor,

    Thanks, I did have 2x Pfizer no problems what so ever, going for the 3rd on Monday. My wife also did have the 2nd with Pfizer, no problems, strange how people react different.

  17. I had J&J in April, no problems. I just had a Moderna booster two weeks ago. No problem that day but the next night I couldn't sleep at all.

  18. Booster/Pirate – Wow, do you really think I want to hear vaccine horror stories now?  I was very sick after my second shot so fingers crossed but you know what didn't happen – I didn't die of Covid!  So I'll get my booster and if I get sick again that probably means I needed it as I wasn't immune enough to fight off the weakened version of the shot.

    That Rittenhouse thing is crazy – especially that Judge.  I have never seen a judge act as the defense attorney before.  

    Kyle Rittenhouse | claytoonz

    Well, wish me luck – I'm off to get my shot.

    Have a great weekend, 

    - Phil

  19. Yodi-Glad that you and wife came through good with the shots. I knew I would have problems as I am so dang allergic to everything. I have never had a flu shot in my life and I take no medications as my body is so touchy. Got a bad Rattlesnake bite in Fla years ago that almost killed me and since then it has been interesting of what I can tolerate and not tolerate. My Doc says I have hypersensitivity and as a former epidemiologist he is super sharp though is an internist now. Lucky me! Yes I was waking up in the middle of the night in sweats for weeks after shot. Guess my body thought I got poisoned again. Everyone is unique,.

  20. Pirate/health – pirate, please don't take this wrong, but sometimes people's medical conditions define who they are, just as in (hopefully) bygone days men were defined by their jobs (and then highest death rates for men were ages 66 to 69). I have a number of interesting conditions, starting with a rare (although you wouldn't know it to look at my family) connective tissue disorder, Ehlers-Danlos hypermobilty, I have Hashimotos thyroiditis, I have atrial fibrillation, I have controlled hypertension, and I have had some spectacular infectious diseases – typhoid fever and tuberculosis (and those bugs are still barricaded up in my lungs). But I'm a happy mid-70s guy who does karate, often with high school kids, who still dabbles in epidemiology, genealogy, Korean political history – you get the idea. There's a lot to all of us, and to you, too, I'm sure. I'm happy to know you, even through this medium.

  21. i had 2 astra zeneca shots in sydney and just a bit tired after the first. my friend ended up in hospital after the first, but ok after the second. i got a pfizer booster (well a first shot) in sept and nothing to report. means i am clinically protected, will soon get a test to see how my antibodies are!

  22. Snow, good for you to keep active. My sister-in-law has Hashimotos and I know it can be tough. I just started playing water polo with a group at a nearby college. I maybe the only 60 year old newbie. I was actually encouraged to come back last practice- they must really need bodies for substitutions to rest !

  23. I use Packed Pixels, it's a single monitor extension

  24. So I’ve been tired all weekend after getting my third Moderna shot, but no other side effects.  

  25. Opinion: The sleeping monster awakes

  26. US announces big hike in Medicare premiums