Archive for the ‘Members’ Corner’ Category

Trump supporters seeking more violence could target state capitols during inauguration – here’s how cities can prepare

 

Trump supporters seeking more violence could target state capitols during inauguration – here's how cities can prepare

The FBI says armed protests are planned at all 50 state capitols ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Courtesy of Jennifer Earl, University of Arizona

Americans witnessed an alarming and deadly failure in planning and policing at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

The FBI failed to sound intelligence alarms, including about dozens of targets on the terrorist watch list traveling to Washington, D.C.

U.S. Park Police, D.C. police and the National Guard, who collectively policed the “Save America” rally that preceded the riot, deviated from common crowd-control techniques by allowing rallygoers to bring flagpoles and other items that were later used as weapons. Capitol Police also failed to take seriously threats from white supremacists and other Trump supporters. They lacked contingency planning, proper staffing and adequate equipment.

As an expert on the policing of protest and political violence in the U.S., I understand why D.C. agencies are embarrassed by their lapses and feel pressure to take intelligence on threats of violence at President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20 more seriously.

The inauguration is a national special-security event, an official designation that means the event gets more resources and interagency planning.

Other cities across the country, however, also face a risk of violence.

Risks to other cities

The FBI says it has intelligence on threats of violence at state capitols throughout the U.S. over the next week. It expanded its warnings to include other government buildings and even legislators’ homes.

State capitols were already attacked multiple times in 2020. Armed anti-maskers stormed the Michigan Statehouse in April to protest COVID-19 safety measures. Right-wing rioters in Oregon, who were allegedly let into the Statehouse by a sympathetic legislator, attacked officers and damaged Capitol property. And, of course, there was the foiled plan by members of a white militia to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and overthrow the Michigan state government.

These risks outside of D.C. may be…
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The far-right rioters at the Capitol were not antifa – but violent groups often blame rivals for unpopular attacks

 

The far-right rioters at the Capitol were not antifa – but violent groups often blame rivals for unpopular attacks

Protesters who claimed to be members of the far-right Proud Boys gather with other Trump supporters outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

Courtesy of Mia Bloom, Georgia State University

Some Republican congressional leaders, including U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz, Mo Brooks and Paul Gosar, along with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, joined President Trump in trying to pin the violent siege of the U.S. Capitol building on antifa, a loose movement of left-wing, anti-racist and anti-fascist activists.

The FBI negated the baseless claims, and people have recognized the conspiracy theory as a false flag – an act designed to disguise the actual source or responsible party and implicate another.

In contrast, members of extreme right-wing groups like the boogaloo movement and the Proud Boys did in fact infiltrate the George Floyd protests this summer, trying to spark violence between Black Lives Matter protesters and police.

And at the Capitol, it appears Proud Boys members hid their affiliation to better blend in with the crowd.

As an expert on terrorist tactics and propaganda, I am well acquainted with the idea that far-right militants sometimes try to hide their own identities.

Terrorist deception is an age-old tactic. Deception helps terrorist groups innovate by allowing them to learn, master and experiment with new tactics while protecting their identities and reputation.

The guise of mimicry

The most obvious form of deception – mimicry – is emulating the specific tactics and strategies of other groups.

The history of suicide terrorism, for example, is replete with examples of contagion and mimicry. Suicide terrorism spread from Iran to Lebanon to Sri Lanka to the Palestinian territories. It has been used by at least 58 different groups in 35 countries.

Just as plants and animals mimic other species to lure prey or hide from predators, mimicry enables violent groups to portray themselves in a variety of guises for…
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The Confederate battle flag, which rioters flew inside the US Capitol, has long been a symbol of white insurrection

 

The Confederate battle flag, which rioters flew inside the US Capitol, has long been a symbol of white insurrection

A historic first: the Confederate battle flag inside the U.S. Capitol. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Courtesy of Jordan Brasher, Columbus State University

Confederate soldiers never reached the Capitol during the Civil War. But the Confederate battle flag was flown by rioters in the U.S. Capitol building for the first time ever on Jan. 6.

The flag’s prominence in the Capitol riot comes as no surprise to those who, like me, know its history: Since its debut during the Civil War, the Confederate battle flag has been flown regularly by white insurrectionists and reactionaries fighting against rising tides of newly won Black political power.

Four flags of the Confederacy

An 1897 lithograph shows changes in Confederate flag design. The ‘Southern Cross’ design, chosen to visually distinguish Confederates from Union soldiers in battle, became a symbol of white insurrection. Library of Congress via National Geographic

The infamous diagonal blue cross with white stars on a red background was never the Confederacy’s official symbol. The Confederacy’s original “stars and bars” design was too similar to the U.S. flag, which led to confusion on the battlefields, where troop positions were marked by flags.

The official flag went through a series of changes in attempts to distinguish Confederate from Union troops. The Confederacy would ultimately adopt the “Southern Cross” as its battle flag – cementing it as a symbol of white insurrection. While it is technically the battle flag, it has been used the most, and therefore has become known more generally as the Confederate flag.

The battle of Franklin

The Confederate battle flag figures prominently in this depiction of the 1864 battle of Franklin, Tennessee. Kurz and Allison, restoration by Adam Cuerden, via Wikimedia Commons

The original emblem

Six decades before the Nazi swastika became an instantly recognizable symbol of white supremacists, the Confederate battle flag flew over the forces of the insurgent Confederate States…
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QAnon is an Attack on Democracy and Must Be Eliminated

 

[Jim posted a detailed Tweet-thread to follow up on the characters mentioned in the graphic below. I've added his tweet at the end of the article.]

QAnon is an Attack on Democracy and Must Be Eliminated

Courtesy of Jim Stewartson@jimstewartson

[Originally published 12-17-20, updated 1-12-21.]

This is a chart developed over several months of investigation. It shows the individuals, functions and relationships of the top leadership of QAnon as currently understood.

This is not a historical review—it is only concerned with the people running QAnon now.

Update: January 12, 2021

I will write a full update soon. But the recent events at the Capitol emphasize the urgency of understanding this operation and shutting it down immediately.

Twitter has done a good job of dismantling most of the major QAnon accounts but the cult has not disappeared. It is moving into the shadows in small alt-right social media networks. In our estimation there are at least thirty million people who believe at least part of the QAnon fiction.

There is a serious danger of violence through the Inauguration and thereafter. Please consider your personal risk factors and plan accordingly.

If you are interested in helping or need help with loved ones, we are building a movement. please DM: https://twitter.com/jimstewartson?s=21

Investigation and Process

This investigation began in early August 2020 by Jim Stewartson who has joined hundreds of fellow patriots in exposing and suppressing this dangerous group. Here is an article summarizing some of our activities.

Where the F*CK is Q?

TL;DR [too long; didn't read]:

  • We have collected thousands of pieces of hard evidence including emails, DMs, Discord chats and other comms between these parties.
  • We have conducted an extremely thorough review of the available relevant material online, including on Tor and other dark web networks.


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At impeachment hearing, lawmakers will deliberate over a deadly weapon used in the attack on Capitol Hill – President Trump’s words

 

At impeachment hearing, lawmakers will deliberate over a deadly weapon used in the attack on Capitol Hill – President Trump's words

A video screen displays Donald Trump’s face as he prepares to address a crowd of his supporters. Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Courtesy of Kurt BraddockAmerican University School of Communication

Five days after supporters of President Donald Trump attacked the Capitol building, the House of Representatives introduced a single article of impeachment against the president.

The article accuses Trump of incitement of insurrection for his continued propagation of lies and conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, as well as his violent rhetoric immediately preceding the attack on Capitol Hill. The article contends that Trump’s lies and rhetoric directly led to violence with the goal of undermining the counting of electoral votes.

The president, says the impeachment article, “willfully made statements that, in context, encourage – and foreseeably resulted in – lawless action at the Capitol, such as: ‘if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to…
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FBI Memo Warns Pro-Trump Extremists Plan Armed Insurrections in State Capitols Across US

 

FBI Memo Warns Pro-Trump Extremists Plan Armed Insurrections in State Capitols Across US

An agency memo states that "if Congress attempts to remove POTUS via the 25th Amendment, a huge uprising will occur."

By Brett Wilkins at Common Dreams

A scene from last week's violent mob attack on the U.S. Capitol. (Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images)

Pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on January 6, with at least five people dying in the ensuing violence. (Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images) 

The FBI on Monday warned law enforcement agencies across the United States that armed protests by Boogaloo Boys and other far-right groups are possible at state Capitols throughout the nation starting later this week, and that an unnamed militant group is planning a "huge uprising" if President Donald Trump is removed from office for inciting last week's deadly mob invasion of the U.S. Capitol. 

"The FBI received information about an identified armed group intending to travel to Washington, D.C. on 16 January," the FBI bulletin—which was reported by ABC News and other outlets—read. "They have warned that if Congress attempts to remove POTUS via the 25th Amendment, a huge uprising will occur."

According to ABC News, the FBI has also received information that an unnamed right-wing extremist group is calling for "storming" federal, state, and local courthouses and other government buildings in the event that Trump is removed from office before his term expires on January 20.

The group is also planning on invading government offices in every state, regardless of whether Trump or President-elect Joe Biden won it in the 2020 presidential election, the FBI memo said. 

NBC News reports the memo includes information provided by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the DEA; Defense Department; Park Police; and the U.S. Marshals, among other agencies. 

Another FBI memo from December 29, 2020 obtained by Yahoo News states that members of the Boogaloo movement planning protests scheduled for January 17 "indicated willingness to commit violence in support of their ideology,…
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Federal leaders have two options if they want to rein in Trump

 

Federal leaders have two options if they want to rein in Trump

President Donald Trump gestures during a Jan. 6 speech in Washington, D.C. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Courtesy of Kirsten CarlsonWayne State University

As the world reacts to the Jan. 6 armed attack on the U.S. Capitol encouraged by President Donald Trump, many Americans are wondering what happens next. Members of Congress, high-level officials and even major corporations and business groups have called for Trump’s removal from office.

Prominent elected and appointed officials appear to have already sidelined Trump informally. Vice President Mike Pence was reportedly the highest-level official to review the decision to call out the D.C. National Guard to respond to the assault on the Capitol.

Informal actions like this may continue, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s reported request that Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, restrict Trump’s ability to use the nuclear codes. But political leaders are considering more formal options as well. They have two ways to handle it: impeachment and the 25th Amendment.

A scene of the Senate voting in Trump's impeachment trial in 2020

Donald Trump has already been impeached once, but was not convicted. Senate Television via AP

Impeachment

Article II of the U.S. Constitution authorizes Congress to impeach and remove the president – and other federal officials – from office for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The founders included this provision as a tool to punish a president for misconduct and abuses of power. It’s one of the many ways that Congress keeps the executive branch in check.

Impeachment proceedings begin in the House of Representatives. A member of the House files a resolution for impeachment. The resolution goes to the House Judiciary Committee, which usually holds a hearing to evaluate the resolution. If the House Judiciary Committee thinks impeachment is proper, its members draft and vote on articles of impeachment. Once the House Judiciary Committee approves articles of impeachment, they go to the full House for a vote.

If the House of Representatives…
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After a record 22 billion-dollar disasters in 2020, it’s time to overhaul US disaster policy – here’s how

 

After a record 22 billion-dollar disasters in 2020, it's time to overhaul US disaster policy – here's how

In a year tied for the warmest on record globally, the U.S. was hit with costly hurricanes, wildfires, storms and drought. AP Photo/Noah Berger and Gerald Herbert

Courtesy of A.R. Siders, University of Delaware; Allison Reilly, University of Maryland, and Deb Niemeier, University of Maryland

The year 2020 broke disaster records across the country in destructive and expensive ways. The Atlantic had so many hurricanes, meteorologists ran out of tropical storm names for only the second time. Across the Midwest, extreme storms flattened crops and tore up buildings. Western states repeatedly broke records for their largest wildfires on record. Globally, it was tied for the hottest year on record.

All told, in 2020 the U.S. had 22 climate and weather disasters with losses exceeding US$1 billion dollars each, six more than any previous year. Together they cost over $95 billion, NOAA announced on Jan. 8. Such disasters affect millions of Americans and are particularly devastating for low-income communities and communities of color. They destroy homes, schools and businesses. They put lives at risk.

Families, communities and taxpayers are paying the price, yet many of these losses could be avoided with smart policies.

Map of disasters

NOAA’s billion-dollar disaster list for 2020. NOAA

For example, the National Institute of Building Sciences estimates that updating and improving building codes alone could save $4 for every $1 spent and create 87,000 new jobs. Similarly, reforming land use and zoning rules can help avoid putting families at risk. An estimated 41 million Americans currently live in homes at risk of flooding and millions more are at risk from wildfires.

And yet, these actions are rarely taken. Local governments – which have authority over zoning and building codes – have a strong financial incentive to keep on building, even in risky places. The federal government – which has the greatest financial incentive to prevent damage before it occurs – has little to no authority over building codes or…
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Why Trump’s challenges to democracy will be a big problem for Biden

 

Why Trump's challenges to democracy will be a big problem for Biden

Just because he’s leaving office doesn’t mean Donald Trump will stop being a threat to democracy. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Courtesy of James D. Long, University of Washington and Victor Menaldo, University of Washington

When a mob attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and stopped Congress from certifying Joe Biden as the nation’s next president, it was scary – and fatal for at least five people.

But it did not pose a serious threat to the nation’s democracy.

An attempt at an illegal power grab somehow keeping Donald Trump in the Oval Office was never likely to happen, let alone succeed. Trump always lacked the authority, and the mass support, required to steal an election he overwhelmingly lost. He didn’t control state election officials or have enough influence over the rest of the process to achieve that goal.

Nevertheless, over his term as president, he repeatedly violated democratic norms, like brazenly promoting his own business interests, interfering in the Justice Department, rejecting congressional oversight, insulting judges, harassing the media and failing to concede his election loss.

However, as scholars who study democracy historically and comparatively, we predict that the biggest threats to democracy Trump poses won’t emerge until after he exits the White House – when Biden will have to face the Trump presidency’s most serious challenges.

Donald Trump and Joe Biden

Just because he’s leaving office doesn’t mean Donald Trump will stop being a danger to democracy. Joe Biden will have to deal with Donald Trump’s legacy. Brendan Smialowski, Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

It wasn’t a coup

Trump never really threatened a coup, which is a swift and irregular transfer of power from one executive to another, where force or the threat of force installs a new leader with the support of the military. Coups are the typical manner in which one dictator succeeds another.

A coup displacing a legitimately elected government is quite rare; prominent examples from the past 100 years…
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US Capitol mob highlights 5 reasons not to underestimate far-right extremists

 

US Capitol mob highlights 5 reasons not to underestimate far-right extremists

A man wearing a T-shirt alluding to the QAnon misinformation campaign walks through the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 incursion. AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Courtesy of Alexander HintonRutgers University – Newark

In the wake of the mob incursion that took over the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, it’s clear that many people are concerned about violence from far-right extremists. But they may not understand the real threat.

The law enforcement community is among those who have failed to understand the true nature and danger of far-right extremists. Over several decades, the FBI and other federal authorities have only intermittently paid attention to far-right extremists. In recent years, they have again acknowledged the extent of the threats they pose to the country. But it’s not clear how long their attention will last.

Clearly the U.S. Capitol Police underestimated the threat on Jan. 6. Despite plenty of advance notice and offers of help from other agencies, they were caught totally unprepared for the mob that took over the Capitol.

While researching my forthcoming book, “It Can Happen Here: White Power and the Rising Threat of Genocide in the U.S.,” I discovered that there are five key mistakes people make when thinking about far-right extremists. These mistakes obscure the extremists’ true danger.

A KKK march in Tennessee in 1986

In this Jan. 18, 1986, photo, a KKK group marches in Tennessee to protest the first national observance of Martin Luther King Jr.‘s birthday. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

1. Some have white supremacist views, but others don’t

When asked to condemn white supremacists and extremists at the first presidential debate, President Donald Trump floundered, then said, “Give me a name.” His Democratic challenger Joe Biden offered, “The Proud Boys.”

Not all far-right extremists are militant white supremacists.

White supremacy, the belief in white racial superiority and dominance, is a major theme of many far-right believers. Some, like the Ku Klux Klan and…
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Phil's Favorites

The Texas blackouts showed how climate extremes threaten energy systems across the US

 

The Texas blackouts showed how climate extremes threaten energy systems across the US

Electric service trucks line up after a snow storm in Fort Worth, Texas, on Feb. 16, 2021. Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Courtesy of Roshanak (Roshi) Nateghi, Purdue University

Pundits and politicians have been quick to point fingers over the debacle in Texas that left millions without power or clean wate...



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Biotech/COVID-19

COVID-19 revealed how sick the US health care delivery system really is

 

COVID-19 revealed how sick the US health care delivery system really is

Many U.S. hospitals and clinics are behind when it comes to sharing information. Teera Konakan/Moment via Getty Images

Courtesy of Elizabeth A. Regan, University of South Carolina

If you got the COVID-19 shot, you likely received a little paper card that shows you’ve been vaccinated. Make sure you keep that card in a safe place. There is no coordinated way to share information about who has been vaccinated and who has not.

...

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Zero Hedge

Barstool's Dave Portnoy Puts His "Face Behind" New Social Media Sentiment ETF

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

Barstool Sports' Dave Portnoy made an "emergency press conference" at the beginning of the US cash session Tuesday about a new ETF he is "part of." He said he's putting his "face behind," his "reputation behind," and everything he represents behind this new social media sentiment ETF.

Portnoy is referring to VanEck's new "Social Media Sentiment" ETF (something we previewed to readers weeks ago), which will trade stocks that are being talked up the most on social media. 

...



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ValueWalk

Scientifically Realizing Our Hope for Unity

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

President Joe Biden has ushered in our new administration with a call for unity; a noble aspiration which cynics among us have dismissed as unlikely.

Q4 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Achieving Unity: A Daunting Task

As a nation, we face a daunting task: uniting our country in the midst of a raging pandemic with its resulting economic devastation and societal discord, even as a large portion of our population still refuses to accept the clear results of our past election. All this is overshadowed by the recent specter of ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Semiconductor Stocks Looking To Trigger Bullish Breakout Signal

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

After years of underperformance, the Semiconductors Sector (SMH) turned the tables in 2016, becoming a market leader.

And today, the Semiconductors are looking to further cement that leadership role.

Today’s long-term “monthly” chart highlights the ratio of Semiconductors Sector (SMH) to Nasdaq 100 (QQQ), showing how the Semis have taken the lead in the past 5 years… as well as an important breakout test going on today!

Line (1) was support twice in the 2000s. When that failed, it le...



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Mapping The Market

Which Governments Ordered Johnson & Johnson's Vaccine?

 

Which Governments Ordered Johnson & Johnson's Vaccine?

Courtesy of Niall McCarthy, Statista

On Wednesday, U.S. regulators announced that Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine being developed by its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals in Belgium is effective at preventing moderate to severe cases of the disease. The jab has been deemed safe with 66 percent efficacy and the FDA is likely to approve it for use in the U.S. within days.

The Ad26.COV2.S vaccine can be stored for up to three months in a refrigerator and requires a single shot, ...



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Digital Currencies

Crypto - It Is Different This Time

 

Crypto – It Is Different This Time

Courtesy of Howard Lindzon

?I have been astonished as you know by the growth of crypto.

I remember back in 2017 when I noticed that Stocktwits message volume on Bitcoin ($BTC.X) surpassed that of $SPY. I knew Bitcoin was here to stay and Bitcoin went on to $19,000 before heading into its bear market.

Today Bitcoin is near $50,000.

Back in November of 2020, something new started to happen on Stocktwits with respect to crypto.

After the close on Friday until the open of the futures on Sunday, all Stocktwits trending tickers turned crypto. The weekend messages on Stocktwits have increased 400 percent.

That has continued each weekend...



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Politics

What is fascism?

 

What is fascism?

A Donald Trump supporter wears a gas mask and holds a bust of him after he and hundreds of others stormed the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

Courtesy of John Broich, Case Western Reserve University

Since before Donald Trump took office, historians have debated whether he is a fascist.

As a teacher of World War II history...



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Chart School

The Fastest Money

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

The fast money happens near the end of the long trend.

Securities which attract a popular following by both the public and professionals investors tend to repeat the same sentiment over their bull phase. The chart below is the map of said sentiment.
 


 

Video on the subject.


 

Charts in the video



 



 



Changes in the world is the source of all market moves, to ...



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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

http://www.insidercow.com/ more from Insider

Promotions

Free, Live Webinar on Stocks, Options and Trading Strategies

TODAY's LIVE webinar on stocks, options and trading strategy is open to all!

Feb. 26, 1pm EST

Click HERE to join the PSW weekly webinar at 1 pm EST.

Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

This week, we also have a special presentation from Mike Anton of TradeExchange.com. It's a new service that we're excited to be a part of! 

Mike will show off the TradeExchange's new platform which you can try for free.  

...

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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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