Archive for the ‘Appears on main page’ Category

Oh, the Conspiracies!

 

Scientist, technology consultant and best-selling author, David Brin explores the topic of conspiracies theories and how to avoid being sucked into them. He shares his "coping mechanism" and the questions he asks himself when evaluating stories to see where they fall on the continuum betwen total garbage, half-truths, and plausible accounts of actual events.

For David's latest posts, visit the Contrary Brin Blog. For his books and short stories, visit his website

 

Oh, the Conspiracies!

Courtesy of David Brin, Contrary Brin

Travel anywhere in the world, visit a bar, pub, barbecue or someone’s home or hut for dinner, and you’ll find one topic easy to spark: conspiracies. No matter what the nation, tribe or ethnicity, people will quickly and gladly rail about some group grudge and how “people like me” are being put upon by conniving adversaries who are simultaneously evil and almost-supernaturally clever.

And always: “The world may be filled with fools who believe the cover story. But not me and my brave, insightful and savvy folk. We can see right through to the truth!”  And naturally, those foes flatter themselves in exactly the same way, viewing everyone else – including you – as either patsies or diabolical plotters. 

Ah, humans. Should we be known as Homo credens (one of you suggested), the credulous ape? 

Read texts from olden times and see the same pattern across time. No wonder the age of science seems threatening to many, whose favorite fantasies might shrivel under the light of evidence. I wrote The Transparent Society in hope that more open and reciprocal accountability might show us what is true, rather than what feels so-satisfying to believe.

Alas, there truly are conspirators in this world! Moreover, they have developed a great technique to distract from their nefarious plots — by helping spread a stinging miasma of paranoid ravings – made up or inflated stories that genuine schemes can hide behind. 

(See it illustrated in this stand-alone scene from Existence.)

Indeed, while you’ll admit that this seems true, the last thing you will contemplate is that your favorite conspiracy might be part of that disinformation-distraction fog.

Methods to triage which
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Faltering Friday – Triple Trouble at 2,900 on the S&P 500

"Falling, yes I am falling

And she keeps calling


Me back again"McCartney

Here we go again.  

It's always something that stops us from making new highs as we hover around our 10% line which is the TOP of our expected range into the end of the year.  What we actually expect to happen is we settle back down around 2,700 on the S&P (/ES) but the market doesn't seem to want to correct properly so we keep getting these low-volume rallies that keep us near the top.  

That's fine with us as our Long-Term Portfolio has held up nicely so far while our Short-Term Portfolio, where we have our hedges, made some nice gains on the last dip and we were wise enough to lock them in near the bottom.  We just did an STP Review where we cashed in our Russell Ultra-Short (TZA) hedges and I think, into the weekend, we should add back a new hedge to replace them.  I don't know if rising tensions with Iran and China (who just pledged to stand behind Iran) will bring us back to our DOOM!!! line at 2,800 on the S&P but we can look at hedges similar to the ones we used on May 30th to catch the last dip:

  • Sell 10 Macy's (M) 2021 $20 puts for $3.75 ($3,750) 
  • Buy 40 SDS July $31 calls for $1.50 ($6,000) 
  • Sell 40 SDS July $34 calls for 0.55 ($2,200)

The net cash outlay on the spread is just $50 and it pays $12,000 if the S&P Ultra-Short (SDS) climbs back to $34 and, of course, stays there into July 19th expirations.  SDS is a 2x ETF and currently $31.85 so we need a $2.15 move which is 6.7% so about a 3.5% drop in the S&P should do it – to just under 2,800.  

There's also the long-term obligation to buy 1,000 shares of Macy's (M) for $20 ($20,000) so make sure you REALLY want to own them and, if not, we had a few…
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The PhilStockWorld.com Weekly Trading Webinar – 06-12-19

 

For LIVE access on Wednesday afternoons, join us at Phil's Stock World – click here.

Major Topics

  • 00:01:35 – Checking on the Markets
  • 00:02:33 – Weekly Petroleum Status Report
  • 00:10:54 – Oil Charts
  • 00:12:49 – Money Talk Portfolio Review
  • 00:17:12 – Futures
  • 00:18:35 – Compound Interest Calculator
  • 00:26:10 – IBM & Trade Techniques
  • 00:41:30 – Warren Buffet
  • 00:48:01 – AAPL
  • 00:52:58 – SQQQ
  • 01:09:40 – More Trade Techniques
  • 01:10:47 – Market News
  • 01:11:28 – Ford Motor Company (F)
  • 01:12:42 – BA
  • 01:14:20 – UBER & Lyft
  • 01:15:48 – Huawei | JP Morgan
  • 01:17:45 – FCEL
  • 01:24:09 – The Street
  • 01:29:21 – Trade Wars
  • 01:35:43 – Crude Oil Brent
  • 01:38:12 – OIH
  • 01:40:13 – CVX
  • 01:52:00 – Market Recap

Phil's Weekly Trading Webinars provide a great opportunity to learn what we do at PSW. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and view past webinars here. For LIVE access to PSW's Weekly Webinars – demonstrating trading strategies in real time – click here to join us at PSW!





$2,000 Thursday – Our Webinar Trade on Oil Pays off Big Already!

We didn't start the fire

It was always burning

Since the world's been turning

We didn't start the fire

No we didn't light it

But we tried to fight it – Billy Joel

No, we didn't start the fire…

However, we did go long on oil in yesterday's Live Trading Webinar as it tested the $51 line and now Iran has apparently attacket two tankers in the Strait of Hormuz with torpedoes, critically damaging one of them and US ships are heading in to assist and Oil (/CL) is already at $53 (up $2,000 per contract) and Gasoline (/RB) has blasted from our long position at $1.68 to $1.725 and that's up $1,890 per contract but both could squeeze higher as the shorts wake up to a nightmare scenario.  

This is a tragedy, we may end up in war and it's certainly not the way we wanted to be right (fortunately no one was hurt) - we simply bet that Oil and Gasoline had gotten way too low based on Fundamentals and the fact that they exploded higher on an incident simply proves our point.  We will keep $400, trailing stops (10% of the profit) at this point as we may end up with another $2,000 gain from here – hard to say how high the squeeze will take us at the moment.  

Another odd reaction is the stock of Frontline (FRO), whose tanker was hit.  Rather than going lower, FRO is up 8% this morning as it's an old tanker and they'll be happy to get the insurance and it's one of 61 tankers they own and, with oil higher, they'll be making more money – especially if trips get longer as tankers try to avoid Iranian waters.

In other commodity news, Soybeans have really taken off, and the September contracts (/ZSU19) which we had featured over at Seeking
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Could a weakening US economy imperil Trump’s trade war against China?

 

Could a weakening US economy imperil Trump's trade war against China?

A weaker domestic economy could limit Trump’s options. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Courtesy of Amitrajeet A. Batabyal, Rochester Institute of Technology

President Donald Trump’s trade war with China is based on two basic and complementary assumptions: the U.S. economy is strong and, perhaps more importantly, stronger than the Chinese economy.

Last summer when the war began heating up, both assumptions were certainly true. The American economy was booming, while China’s was slowing. Hence, the U.S. was in a better position to withstand any pain in a tariff war of attrition.

But the first of those assumptions, at least, is beginning to falter as signs grow of economic weakness in the U.S.

As an economist who conducts research in international trade, I believe that a weaker U.S. economy would likely affect Trump’s ability to engage in a prolonged trade war with China – no matter how much he might want to.

Signs of weakness

The U.S. economy has been expanding for a decade now, and no economy can continue to grow indefinitely. The May jobs report was the latest indicator that the party may be coming to an end.

The report showed that the U.S. economy added only 75,000 jobs that month, a significantly lower number than the 224,000 jobs added in April. Even though the unemployment rate stayed at the extremely low figure of 3.6%, worryingly, there was virtually no wage growth. In addition, another key metric, the so-called ISM Manufacturing Index, fell to its lowest level in Trump’s presidency in May.

And while GDP growth has remained fairly robust, there have been other harbingers of underlying weakness in recent months, including a bond market signal that a recession may be on the horizon and a broad measure of the health of the U.S. economy that recorded its slowest increase in more than two years.

Putting this all together, it suggests a key premise behind Trump’s trade war with China may not hold up for much longer.

Trade war’s role


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What Now Wednesday? Trump Talks Tough on Trade – Tanks Markets

Oops I Did It Again Snl GIF by Saturday Night LiveOops, he did it again

For some reason, last night, Trump decided to place more tariffs on China – again – and said he was "personally holding up a trade deal with China and that he won’t complete the agreement unless Beijing returns to terms negotiated earlier in the year."

“It’s me right now that’s holding up the deal,” Trump said at the White House before he left on a trip to Iowa. “And we’re going to either do a great deal with China or we’re not going to do a deal at all.”

I keep saying that Trump doesn't actually want a trade deal and simply wants an excuse to tax the American People (who pay for the tariffs – not China) to offset the taxes he and his rich friends are no longer paying as well as to give him Billions of Dollars to hand out to voters in the form of "tariff relief" – which is simply a way to alleviate the damage HE is causing.

Related imageTrump has already threatened to raise tariffs on China if President Xi doesn't meet with him at the G20 at the end of the month and even Trump's most loyal supporters must understand that this is not the way World leaders usually schedule appointments but the good news is Xi will be at the G20 and Trump will be at the G20, so Trump will be able to claim he "met" with Xi – regardless of what actually happens – an easy win for Trump to claim.

Meanwhile, Xi allowing Trump to be an ass and make ridiculous demands and accusations is hurting him at home and emboldening opponents, many of which would take a much harsher stance on the US than Xi, as well as protesters like in Hong Kong, where over 1M people (15% of the entire population) hit the streets.  This morning the protesters managed to delay the voting on the extradition bill, which would allow Hong Kong residents to be transported to mainland China for trials, which is like Trump passing a bill that forces you to appear before his court in Washington if he doesn't like something you
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Apple’s Prepared To Manufacture iPhones Outside Of China 

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

Apple has a contingency plan if the US-China trade war spirals out of control; they'll simply make iPhones for the US market outside of China if necessary, according to Bloomberg, citing a senior executive of Apple's primary manufacturing partner, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (a.k.a. Foxconn). 

Foxconn currently makes the majority of iPhones in the Chinese mainland. 

China is a crucial cog in Apple’s business, the origin of most of its iPhones and iPads as well as its largest international market. But President Donald Trump has threatened Beijing with new tariffs on about $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, an act that would escalate tensions dramatically while levying a punitive tax on Apple’s most profitable product. -Bloomberg

Semiconductor division chief and board nominee Young Liu made the comments during a Tuesday investor briefing in Taipei. 

"Twenty-five percent of our production capacity is outside of China and we can help Apple respond to its needs in the U.S. market," said Liu, adding that investments are now being made for Apple in India. 

"We have enough capacity to meet Apple’s demand." 

Liu also made clear that Apple has not given Foxconn instructions to move production out of China - just that they'll be able to handle it if that happens. 

The company will respond swiftly and rely on localized manufacturing in response to the trade war, just as it foresaw the need to build a base in the U.S. state of Wisconsin two years ago, he said.

It’s unclear if India will ever become a major production base for Apple’s marquee device. Foxconn is now running quality tests for the iPhone Xr series there and plans to begin mass production at a facility in the suburbs of Chennai. Older models are already assembled at a Wistron plant in Bangalore. -Bloomberg

Additionally, Foxconn will employ approximately 13,000 Americans at a new Wisconsin facility in exchange for over $4.5 billion in government incentives – however the project has taken fire over "low-paying jobs, sudden dismissals and ever-changing goals," according to the report. Company executives reiterated those goals on Tuesday, reporting that construction was still on schedule and as many as 2,000 US workers would be hired by the end of 2020. 

Foxconn will also begin making networking and server products for the US market by the end of 2020, while plans to make LCDs are also on track, according to Bloomberg





Terrific Tuesday – Up and Up We Go

Day 6 of the rally.

I'm not upset because I wanted to crash, I'm upset because we didn't get a proper correction and now, this low-volume move back up doesn't give me enough confidence to enjoy the rally or assume we'll get to higher highs than the ones that have been rejected before.  

How many times can we rally because we made progress on fixing things that weren't broken in the first place?  What's next: 

  1. Mars is invading
  2. Trump is talking to Mars
  3. Mars is not invading – market soars to new highs

Have we really gotten this stupid?  What happened to trading on earnings and performance?  I'm a Fundamental Investor so of course I don't like it when the Fundamentals are ignored – it's very annoying.  It doesn't stop us from making money, however as yesterday, right in the PSW Morning Report, I said:  "The Russell (/RTY) is lagging in the recovery and can be played long over the 1,520 line but with tight stops below because NOTHING actually happened since the Russell was at 1,620."  As you can see, we got a lovely pop off that line at the open:

Oh yes, I should clarify, that was early in the Morning Report (it's sent out to our Members while in progress) but, at the end of the morning report, I said:

We're well over all our bounce lines now so we can't make any bearish bets but what the Nasdaq 100 (/NQ) for a possible rejection at 7,500 and, of course, 2,900 on the S&P (/ES) and 26,200 on the Dow (/YM) also seems to get rejected a lot but we should still squeeze out a quick 15 points on the Russell (/RTY) at 1,535 before that happens and +$750 per contract is a great way to start the week off.

So 1,535 was our target and it was a pretty good one – as you can see from the chart.  At 12:24, in our Live Member Chat Room, we flipped bearish and played the Nasdaq Futures to go lower:

With the


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Ray Dalio Is Kinda, Sorta, Really Wrong

 

Ray Dalio Is Kinda, Sorta, Really Wrong

Courtesy of John Mauldin, Thoughts from the Frontline

“The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually slaves of some defunct economist.”
—John Maynard Keynes

***

“Nothing is more dangerous than a dogmatic worldview—nothing more constraining, more blinding to innovation, more destructive of openness to novelty.”
—Stephen Jay Gould

***

“Inequality has emerged as a major issue in the US and beyond. A generation ago it could reasonably have been asserted that the overall growth rate of the economy was the main influence on the growth in middle-class incomes and progress in reducing poverty. This is no longer a plausible claim.

The share of income going to the top 1 percent of earners has increased sharply. A rising share of output is going to profits. Real wages are stagnant. Family incomes have not risen as fast as productivity. The cumulative effect of all these developments is that the US may well be on the way to becoming a Downton Abbey economy. It is very likely that these issues will be with us long after the cyclical conditions have normalized and budget deficits have at last been addressed.”
—Lawrence Summers (in the Financial Times, February 2014)

Ray Dalio is the thoughtful, somewhat controversial founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, which he started in 1975. While much of his writing is private, I (and many others) peruse every word we can of his and the Bridgewater team’s thinking. I find it to be some of the most interesting market commentary I read.

Lately Ray (read his bio here) has been far more open with his thinking, posting books and essays. This letter is the beginning of a response to his articles, Why and How Capitalism Needs To Be Reformed, Parts 1 and 2 and a follow-up piece titled It’s Time to Look More Carefully at ‘Monetary Policy 3 (MP3)’


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Made Up Monday – Trump’s Fake Mexican Melt-Down Ends

All is well, again.

How many times are we going to fall for this BS?  Turns out Trump had already gotten concessions out of Mexico months ago and his "demands" for border security has already been agreed to so there were never going to be any tariffs on Mexico – it was just Trump stomping his feet and beating his chest in order to look like he actually accopmplished something – as well as to distract us from all the crimes he's about to be indicted for.

The Futures are up another 100+ points this morning and we're just 500 points away from a full recover – back to our record highs after a 1,000-point drop in May – and it's only June 10th.

The Russell (/RTY) is lagging in the recovery and can be played long over the 1,520 line but with tight stops below because NOTHING actually happened since the Russell was at 1,620 ($5,000 per contract higher than 1,520) – except the fact that the President has once again shows how completely unstable he is and THAT remains a bit of a concern to me – and it should to anyone who has money at risk in the markets.

We completely ignored last week's TERRIBLE Non-Farm Payroll Report and the downward adjustments to the last two reports and the ecitement over possible Fed Rate Cuts was over statements the Fed made that assumed we were placing tariffs against Mexico that would crash the economy – that's now off the table because the Fed, like us, made the mistake of believing something Trump said he would do (10,796 lies in 869 days so far).

Factory Output drops most since 2002 as boost from Brexit stockpiling evaporatesUK Manufacturing Output fell 3.9% in April and that is a REAL thing that actually happened.  GDP fell 0.4% in April and puts the entire quarter on track for a 0.3% recessionary drop – adjusted from +0.5% expected just two months ago.  These numbers may be skewed by the original Brexit deadline of March 29th, which may have pushed a lot of production and orders into Q1 – ahead of that deadline. 

Unfortuantaly, we won't know the truth until…
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Phil's Favorites

Being on the wrong side of this decade's investing mega-trend

 

Being on the wrong side of this decade’s investing mega-trend

Courtesy of 

Josh Brown and Michael Batnick discuss the recent post “I did everything I was supposed to do”, which is the story of a man whose spent his whole career working for asset management firms and now finds himself on the wrong side of the active vs passive debate. There are real world consequences of the massive outflows of cash coming from actively managed mutual funds. This was Josh’s attempt to look at the issue from the other side.

The post spread around the financial web like wildfir...



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Zero Hedge

BMO: Everything Will Change After Tomorrow's "Quad Witching"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

Don't look to the Fed to explain today's torrid, global rally: according to a controversial take by BMO's bearish technical analyst, Russ Visch, yesterday’s FOMC announcement was a non-event "as markets shrugged off the interest rate decision and follow-up presser with Chairman Powell", and today's action has an entirely different catalyst, resulting in "no change" to Visch's short-term outlook.

And in another contrarian take, Visch claims that "the quality of the rally since late May (narrow participation, extremely light volume) suggest it’s nothing more than a relief rally within an ongoing medium-term downtrend" as shown in the chart below.

...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Silver; Multi-Year Bull Market Getting Started?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Is a multi-year bull market about to start in Silver? We should find out soon!

This chart looks at Silver since the early 1970s. It has spent the majority of the past 35-years inside of rising channel (1).

It created a series of flat bottoms and lower highs in the late 1990s. When it broke out at (2), it rallied for years to come, where it gained several hundred percent.

Silver hit the top of this channel back in 2011 at $50, where a long-term bear market started. The 65% decline over the past 8-years has it testing the bottom of this mul...



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Insider Scoop

Baird Applauds Tapestry's New CFO Pick

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Tapestry Inc (NYSE: TPR) announced its new chief financial officer hire Wednesday.

The Analyst 

Baird analyst Mark Altschwager reiterated an Outperform rating on Tapes...



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Biotech

Consumer genetic testing customers stretch their DNA data further with third-party interpretation websites

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

 

Consumer genetic testing customers stretch their DNA data further with third-party interpretation websites

If you’ve got the raw data, why not mine it for more info? Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Sarah Catherine Nelson, University of Washington

Back in 2016, Helen (a pseudonym) took three different direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests: AncestryDNA, 23andMe and FamilyTreeDNA. She saw genetic testing as a way...



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Chart School

Silver Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

The folks in the federal reserve will debase the US dollar currency to an extreme degree silver will finally lift off the floor.. 

Note: Readers should re watch the silver back screen news video, here.

The following video looks at price action and Wyckoff logic.

More from RTT Tv






Chart in video

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If gold moves, silver wi...

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Digital Currencies

Cryptos Are Crashing As Asia Opens, Bitcoin Back Below $8k

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Having survived the day's bloodbath in US tech stocks, cryptos are crashing in the early Asian session, apparently playing catch-down to the day's de-risking.

While no catalyst is immediately evident, there are some reports noting 13 large global banks are preparing to launch digital versions of major global currencies next year, though we suspect this drop was more algorithmic that fundamental-driven.

...



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ValueWalk

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

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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