Phil's Newsletter

Throwback Thursday – Testing our Tops from Above

"How long, how long will I slide?
Separate my side, I don't
I don't believe it's bad
Slit my throat it's all I ever
"Turn me on, take me for a hard ride
Burn me out, leave me on the other side
I yell and tell it that it's not my friend
I tear it down, I tear it down

And then it's born again" – RHCP

Well, you can see why we remain skeptical with these low-volume rallies as we've now given up 50 S&P points since Tuesday's hign along with a whopping 500 Dow points and now we are testing 2,800 from above on /ES Futures and 25,600 from above on the /YM Futures.  During yesterday's Live Trading Webinar, we called for shorting the Russell (/RTY) at 1,560 and that's down 20 points, to 1,540 and that's good for gains of $1,000 per contract but we took a quick $750 and ran into yesterday's close.  

We also shorted Gasoline Futures (/RB) at $1.915 and, of course, we always go long on July Coffee Contracts (/KCN19) at $97 and Natural Gas (/NG) is getting to be playable again as a long at $2.80 (with tight stops below) but, since it's close to expiration on April Contracts (6 days), I'd go with /NGK19, which are the May contracts at $2.815 though even a stop at $2.80 would cost $1,500 per contract – so be very careful with those!  

The Fed was very doveish, as expected but what spooked investors in the end was their overall downgrade of the economic picture as Trump's Tax Cuts simply are not boosting the economy and his Trade Wars are hurting it.  The Fed keeps dropping subtle hints that such things are our of their hands to fix and their $4Tn balance sheet makes it very difficult for them to add any new programs to boost the economy – the best we can hope…
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Which Way Wednesday – Fed and FedEx Move the Markets

FedEx (FDX) is tumbling and you should care.  

Though smaller in volume than UPS, FedEx ships over 13M packages per day, which means they have their finger right on the pulse of business and, this morning, they missed earnings by 2.5% – but that was after they drastically lowered guidance last quarter (sending the stock 32% lower) and now they are lowering guidance yet again, sending the stock down 7% pre-market.

Weakness in International Shipping is the major problem but FDX says the Government shut-down also contributed to giving them a very poor Q1 – though that's not the excuse for taking down Q2 as well.  Nonetheless, we think this news was already baked in in December and, in fact, on Dec 14th, we sold FDX 2021 Jan $180 puts for $22.22 to net in for $157.78 in our Long-Term Portfolio and it's likely you can do better than that this morning – if you are brave enough. 

Why Did FedEx Cut Its Fiscal 2019 Earnings Outlook?Just because the economy is weak doesn't mean FDX is suddenly a bad company – so it's a great play for long-term investors on a $47Bn company ($45Bn this morning!) that dropped $4.5Bn to the bottom line last year but, even adjusting for one-time tax breaks – they should still be netting about $3Bn in profits in 2019 so $45Bn ($170) is very fair.

FDX is also still working through their $4.8Bn acquisition of TNT Express in Europe – and it was pretty bad timing as the economy began turning down last year as the Brexit fears grew.  

Still, it's not FDX we're worried about but what it says about the broader market, which has mostly ignored the troubles in Europe and the damage that was caused by the Government Shutdown, as well as all the nonsense in Europe and, let's not forget, the continuing trade battle between the US and China.  FDX is down $90 (33%) since Sept and about 40% as of this morning – it's the companies that haven't corrected yet that I'm worried about.  

That brings us to the Fed, who are very likely not to raise rates today (2pm) and we'll be discussing it in today's Live Trading Webinar, which…
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Terrific Tuesday (as usual) – Markets Up, Up and Up!

Wow, what a rally!  

Up 40 points in 3 days on the S&P (/ES) is 1.42% so Everything is Awesome - just like it was before the last crash because it's very dangerous to pin the Awesome Indicator and then something bad comes along and everyone is SHOCKED that things may not be as awesome as they were led to believe.

Today we are waiting on the ever-wise Federal Reserve to come up with yet another excuse not to raise rates (the last Jobs Report comes to mind) or unwind their still $4,000,000,000,000 Balance Sheet.  Keep in mind that these Fed Fund Rates and this Balance Sheet are at emergency crisis levels and keeping the rates this low and the balance sheet this high means the Fed still thinks we are in an emergency of some sort – no matter what market traders may believe.  

All the Fed has done so far is unwind $500Bn (11%) out of $4.5Tn that's on their books – and the market freaked out about that…  

We're not "wrong" in our positioning, just a bit too cautious at the moment, considering the rally.   We reviewed our Money Talk Portfolio, which we trade live on BNN's Money Talk, two weeks ago (3/7) as it stood at $125,790 (up 151.6%) and we couldn't change it because we weren't on the show this month but, even left alone, that well-balanced portfolio is now $130,260 (up 160.5%) gaining almost 10% off our $50,000 basis in 12 days while the S&P went from 2,765 to 2,850, which is up 85 points (3%) so we're certainly keeping up with the gains – it's just that we COULD do much better if we were willing to be more aggressive.  

The Money Talk Portfolio is hedged and our SQQQ hedge lost $800 and our TZA hedge lost $780 as the rest of the portfolio gained $6,050 but that's exactly how hedges are supposed to work – you give up a little of your upside in order to protect yourself if there's ever a downside – though that doesn't seem possible the way this market has been going

The "big" news moving the markets this…
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Monday Market Movement – Another Week at the Top

Up and up we go – so far. 

As I said two weeks ago: "Notice how well the 5% Rule is being obeyed.  That also tells us that 2,835 is the 1.25% line but we haven't made that and we are finding resistance at the 0.625% line, which is 2,817.50.  We don't usually bother at that level but it is ineresting that that's exactly where we topped out yesteday, which indicates there is a LOT of technical resistance over 2,800 and it's going to take a lot more than promises of trade progress to get us over that hump."    

So here we are, two weeks later, finally up to the goal line we set way back on March 5th after exactly nailing our downside goal of 2,730, or, as I said at the time:

As you can see, almost all the rejections sent us down 100-200 points so let's not get too bullish as all we got yesterday was a bounce off the fall from 2,820 on Monday to 2,770 yesterday so that's 50 points and that means, per the Fabulous 5% Rule™, that we can expect 10-point bounces to 2,780 (weak) and 2,790 (strong) so now we're watching 2,790 as the fail line and, if we can't hold that, we'll be back to 2,770 and likely on the way to a full 1.25% pullback from 2,800 to 2,765 and, failing that, the next stop is the 2.5% line at 2,730, which we last tested on 2/15.  

Image result for stock market crystal ballRemember, I can only tell you what is likely to happen and how to make money playing it – the rest is up to you!  

So it's taken one month to cycle from 2,730 (2/15) to 2,920 (3/4) back to 2,730 (3/8) and now 2,835 and there's very little data this week and little earnings and the Fed is meeting on Weds but they can't possibly be more doveish so what's the catalyst going to be?  On the other hand – there's not likely to be a downside catalyst either so maybe we'll drift along at the top – which might be bullish – but any move below 2,800 on /ES would be a
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TGIF – Terrific Week Ends with a Bang

Up and up we go! 

It's been an all bull week after Monday's weak start and we're up 600 points (2.4%) on the Dow (despite BA falling apart), to 25,900 though that's nothing compared to the S&P 500's 5.5% rise from 2,730 on Friday to 2,825 at yesterday's close.  

Are things 5.5% better than they were last Friday?  What can you think of that's changed for the better?  If you can't think of 3 things – or at least one really good one – you have to question WTF the market is doing…

The Nasdaq was at 6,975 last Friday and this morning we're looking at 7,310, which is up 335 points and that's 4.8% while the Russell bottomed out at 1,520 and is now 1,560 – that's just 2.6% and we can't blame Boeing for that one, can we?  And, let's not forget that a 2.5% gain in the Dow still doesn't get us back to where we were at February Expiration Day (15th):

Still, without BA dragging the Dow, we'd be up 5% on the majors and that's a pretty good week though today is Options Expiration Day so it's not over yet.  We do have strong-looking Futures at the moment (8:30) and I don't see any news likely to derail things though there was a terrorist attack against 2 New Zealand Mosques where 49 people were killed and dozens more injured by explosions.  

Not that the market cares about such things – especially when they happen far away to people we don't know but it should remind us that the World is still a bit unstable and we shouldn't be pricing stocks as if we don't have a care in the World about the future…

Despite our doubts, we can't fight the tape on this one as the indexes are all over their 200 dmas (except the Russell) and we'll probably come down to test them again but, if we pass that test and the Russell gets back over 1,585 and holds that – then we may be looking at a brand new rally.  

Still, we haven't found a Top Trade Idea all
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Thrilling Thursday – The View From the Top

Here we are again.

For the past year we've been topping out around 2,800 on the S&P 500 (/ES) and yesterday we closed over at 2,820 and, if we can hold it through the weekend, we may be looking at a real move above the line and the top of the range may become the new bottom BUT, I don't see the economic data to support that yet – so I remain a bit skeptical.

Fortunately, not too skeptical and our Long-Term Portfolio added $42,172 (8%)  since our 2/15 Review while our Short-Term Portfolio (where we keep our hedges) has remained fairly flat and that's exactly what we like to see in our paired portfolios.  

There's not much going on and not much news – well, no new news so we'll just have to see how the indexes hold up at this critical juncture but just being over the 200 dmas (all but the Russell) is a nice, bullish sign as we head into expiration day tomorrow.

With the NYSE holding the 200 dma (pretty much) on the last pullback – these are very strong charts and the rising 50 dmas almost guarantee a bullish cross is coming and, for the Dow – if not for BA's troubles this week – it would have already come so, for purely technical reasons (which I hate), we're going to have to stay bullish – even at these lofty levels.

 





Why Worry Wednesday – Market Continues to “Soar and Ignore”

No Brexit deal again.

Not that the markets seem to care but, at the moment, Britain is scheduled to leave the EU on March 29th and, as you can see from yesterday's vote, they are nowhere close to agreeing on a divorce settlement with the EU.  

Without a deal, the UK must depend on the EU to simply give them an extention and restart negotiations but, if the EU plays hardball – the UK could be cut adrift, with no trade agreements with ANY country.  Since all the EU nations have negotiated as a block for the last 30 years, the UK doesn't have any individual trade deals with any nation so, effectively, they can't trade.  

EU President, Donald Tusk, said that the 27 EU governments would consider a “reasoned request” from the U.K. for an extension, noting they would need to agree unanimously. The leaders, he said, “will expect a credible justification for a possible extension and its duration.”  Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, said: “The government has been defeated again, they must accept that their deal…is clearly dead,” adding the U.K. should stay in a customs union with the EU.

View of Caracas during the partial power outage on March 9.This is total chaos in the UK, one of the World's largest economies and Venezuela is still blacked out and Maduro has accused the United States of waging cyber warfare and attacking his grid in order to carry out President Trump's wishes to have him removed from power.  Sadly, there's nothing about that accusation that sounds out of the question.

Meanwhile, all this is a distraction as we await the Meuller Report but, even after all this waiting, it's only a prelude to long-delayed House Investigations into: Russian contacts, obstruction of justice, abuse of power and a scheme to buy the silence of a pornographic film actress(es) who claimed an affair(s) with President Trump.  

So, at the moment, we have as much political uncertainty as the UK or Venezeuela.

Be carfeful out there!

 





Testy Tuesday – Trouble at 2,800 – As Usual

Here we go again.

We made it back to our favorite shorting line yesterday as the S&P 500 (/ES) once again tested the 2,800 mark, failing to cross it into the very fake, Fake, FAKE close and already down 14 points this morning but still up 35 from the 2,750 open so we'll have to see how things go on the first real day's trading of the week.

Boeing (BA) came all the way back to $400 at the day's end, down "just" 5% after being down 12.5% at the open but we're not bottom-fishing BA as there remains an open question as to whether their primary plane is safe enough to fly and it probably is, but BA is no bargain at $400, which is $225Bn for a company making $10Bn a year so p/e about 22.5 and I'm certainly more than 10% less sure BA will be able to justify that multiple than I was last week.  Other investors seem to feel differently but there's no way I'd take that risk right now.

As noted, this is a political issue as much as a corporate one and we can't really trust the FAA under Trump to make an impartial decision so we can expect a lot of countries (who don't trust Trump either – see why we watch those polls?) to ground 737 Max planes until their own agencies can re-certify the aircraft.

To some extent, the behavior of BA stock is very similar to the behavior of the S&P 500 and the other major indexes.   We made it to all-time highs and, despite numerous new risk factors popping up – the indexes keep recovering back towards the highs – as if that's where they belong – despite all the problems we are now seeing in the Global Economy.  Apparently we've learned nothing at all since 2008.

Image result for 2008 crash vs todayCertainly investors haven't learned NOT to buy stocks on margin as Margin Debt is 25% higher than it was in 2007 – despite being drastically reduced over the past quarter.  First Margin Debt contracts and then the Indexes contract is pretty much the market norm –
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Monday Market Madness – Boeing’s 2nd Crash Since October Takes The Dow Down With It

Is China over-reacting or are we under-reacting?

Aviation safety is one of those things you would hope don't get politicized but that's what we're getting this morning as an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max crashed on take-off, killing all 157 on board less than 6 months after Indonesia's Lion Air 737 Max crashed on take-off, killing all 189 on board that plane.   The FAA was supposed to be looking into the matter in January but, you know – the Government shut-down and the investigation was delayed.

It's POSSIBLE (nothing is proven) that the 737 Max has problems with it's software automation and that means China and Ethiopia are right to ground the fleet immediately but it's also possible that China and their trading partner are sticking it to Trump and BA, using America's largest exporter as a negotiating chip – exactly the same way Trump has been using Huawei to put pressure on China.  

That's how dysfunctional and unstable the World has become – we have no way of knowing if Governments are acting in the people's best interest or if they are simply playing Cold War-style Economic Brinksmanship.  

Image result for boeing crashIn the Lion Air crash, investigators have indicated the pilots fought the MCAS system as it strongly and repeatedly pushed down the plane’s nose, but didn’t follow an existing procedure to deactivate it.  On MAX 8 models, under certain conditions, pilots may be unable to pull the plane out of a dive unless they react quickly and proceed to the most relevant portion of their emergency checklist. Outside safety experts have questioned how the FAA gave the green light for such a design lacking redundant software or hardware safeguards.

One malfunctioning sensor or a single stream of faulty signals—called a “single point failure” in engineering lingo—can lead to a catastrophic dive, if pilots react improperly, so China may have a very good point and maybe it's the US who is politicizing the issue by NOT grounding the 737 Max's pending a full investigation – who the F knows anymore???

There's a lot at stake here as Boeing is a large part of US Exports and, while only…
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TGIF – Stocks Slide into the Weekend – What’s Next?

Wheeeee!  

I love a good sell-off – especially when we called it and we're well-prepared.  We were skeptical of the market rally on Monday and, in our PSW Morning Report (which can be delivered to you pre-market for a small fee), I said:

"We'll see if the market is ablfe to get excited about more Trade Talks and we still haven't cracked 1,600 on the Russell (/RTY) but as long as the S&P (/ES) is over 2,800 – all is technically well in the markets…  7,200 on the Nasdaq (/NQ is a good shorting line for today as is 1,590 on /RTY, since that's the 200 dma – tight stops above!"  

30 points is a 1% pullback on the S&P Futures (/ES) and, at $50 per point per contract, it pays $1,500 – making it an excellent portfolio hedge (using $6,600 of margin per contract).  What makes Futures Trading such a valuable tool is that you don't have to wait for the market to open to make an adjustment.  Also, there's very little friction cost (the cost of entering or exiting the trade, including fees) so you can use it to very quickly adjust your portfolio at a moment's notice.  

Generally, at PSW, we don't like to enter a Futures trade unless there is a significant support or resistance line we can use as a stop because Futures contracts tend to move quickly and erratically EXCEPT when they run into significant support or resistance, where they slow down enough for you to catch your breath and see what's real.  Since we are not technical traders but Fundamental ones – having the time to check the news flow is critical in deciding when to get in and out of a Futures trade.  In fact, we took the quick $1,500 gain on Monday and we concentrated on the Russell (/RTY) shorts on Tuesday as I said in that Morning Report:

/RTY 1,568 should be support but, if not, could see 1,550.   Tight stops in any case but I'm happy with these gains!

As you can see, almost all the rejections sent us down 100-200 points so let's


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Phil's Favorites

Britain has its first new deep coal mine in decades - a result of pretending climate change isn't political

 

Britain has its first new deep coal mine in decades – a result of pretending climate change isn't political

Oscar Johns / shutterstock

Courtesy of Rebecca Willis, Lancaster University

The UK is widely seen as a climate leader. Its Climate Change Act, which passed into law ten years ago, is the envy of the world. It has targets for carbon reduction enshrined in law, and recently, the government hinted that it would adopt a target of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (the current target is an 80% reduction). Four years ago, the government, with cross...



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ValueWalk

The Future Of National Beverage Corp. (FIZZ) Stock; Cannabis Webinar

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Whitney Tilson’s email to investors discussing the LaCroix maker National Beverage Corp. (FIZZ)’s stock; Tesla; Cannabis webinar; question 3; Jamaica.

1) I’m still sniffing around National Beverage Corp, best known for its LaCroix brand of flavored sparkling water, which I wrote up as my Stock Idea of the Day in my ...



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Zero Hedge

"It Feels Eerily Like 2007" - DoubleLine's Gundlach Blasts Fed's "Unprecedented Reversal"

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

As the whipsaw in stocks and the dollar sank in today - while the bond market remains unimpressed by the machine's liftathon today - market participants are still shaking their heads at what just happened.

One of the more outspoken of those market participants is DoubleLine CEO Jeffrey Gundlach who took to Twitter this morning to express his disdain...

Three months ago the Fed predicted totally different policy than where they are now. How can they predict 2020 policy with a straight face?

— Jeffrey Gundlach (@TruthGundlach) March 21, 2019

 

But he was not done, in a brief i...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Interest Rates Sputter... Is U.S. Economy Next?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

The Federal Reserve wasn’t quite as hawkish as investors expected. The result: Treasury bond yields (interest rates) fell sharply.

In today’s chart of the 10-Year US Treasury Yield, we highlight the reversal in rates that occurred late last year.

This wasn’t just any old reversal, though. It occurred along the same long-term downtrend line that produced reversals in the years 2000 and 2007.

A closer look at the chart and it appears that 10-year yields are breaking short-term support. This is also occurring as monthly momentum rolls over fr...



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Chart School

Silver is cheap vs Gold

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Metal investors will be paying attention to how out of favor silver is relative to gold. And it is hard to wonder why with the well forecast boom of electric cars expected over the next 10 years. Who owns all the silver? JM Bullion has a series of charts here. Notice the stock pile held by JPM. They will do will if silver gets to $30 USD an once!

Chart up to April 2017



As of the 20th of March 2019 the US Federal Reserve has switched to dovish...

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Insider Scoop

Wells Fargo Expects FedEx Margins To Remain Under Pressure From Market Woes

Courtesy of Benzinga.

FedEx Corporation (NYSE: FDX) reported disappointing third-quarter results Tuesday and lowered its fiscal 2019 guidance.

The flexibility of the company’s network allows it to respond more quickly to competitive threats and a tough supply chain environmen...



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Biotech

Marijuana is a lot more than just THC - a pharmacologist looks at the untapped healing compounds

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

 

Marijuana is a lot more than just THC - a pharmacologist looks at the untapped healing compounds

Assorted cannabis bud strains. Roxana Gonzalez/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of James David Adams, University of Southern California

Medical marijuana is legal in 33 states as of November 2018. Yet the federal government still insists marijuana has no legal u...



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Digital Currencies

Facebook's cryptocurrency: a financial expert breaks it down

 

Facebook's cryptocurrency: a financial expert breaks it down

Grejak/Shutterstock

Courtesy of Alistair Milne, Loughborough University

Facebook is reportedly preparing to launch its own version of Bitcoin, for use in its messaging applications, WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram. Could this “Facecoin” be the long-awaited breakthrough by a global technology giant into the lucrative market for retail financial services? Or will...



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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:

 

·       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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