Archive for the ‘Phil’s Favorites’ Category

Is the omicron variant Mother Nature’s way of vaccinating the masses and curbing the pandemic?

 

Is the omicron variant Mother Nature’s way of vaccinating the masses and curbing the pandemic?

Preliminary research suggests that the omicron variant may potentially induce a robust immune response. Olga Siletskaya/Moment via Getty Images

Courtesy of Prakash Nagarkatti, University of South Carolina and Mitzi Nagarkatti, University of South Carolina

In the short time since the omicron variant was identified in South Africa in November 2021, researchers have quickly learned that it has three unique characteristics: It spreads efficiently and quickly, it generally causes milder disease than previous variants and it may confer strong protection against other variants such as delta.

This has many people wondering whether omicron could act as a vaccine of sorts, inoculating enough people to effectively bring about herd immunity – the threshold at which enough of the population is immune to the virus to stop its spread – and end the COVID-19 pandemic.

As immunology researchers at the University of South Carolina who are working on inflammatory and infectious diseases, including COVID-19, we find the characteristics of omicron in the pandemic setting particularly intriguing. And it is these characteristics that can help answer that question.

Some 4.73 billion people across the globe – about 61.6% of the world’s population – have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. In the United States, 63.4% of the population is fully vaccinated with two doses as of late January 2022, while only 39.9% of Americans have received the booster dose. Such low levels of vaccination resulting from vaccine hesitancy and the complexities of the global vaccine supply chain cast doubt on reaching herd immunity through vaccination anytime soon.

How does omicron mimic a vaccine?

All vaccines work on the principle of training the immune system to fight against an infectious agent. Each vaccine, regardless of how it is made, exposes the human or animal host to the critical molecules used by the infectious agent – in this case, the SARS-CoV-2 virus – to gain entry into the host’s cells.

Some vaccines expose the host only to select portions of the virus. For example, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna…
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Why do you need a Bitcoin ETF when they already made you one?

 

Why do you need a Bitcoin ETF when they already made you one?

Courtesy of 

Chart via Piper Sandler’s new note on Coinbase. They don’t think it’s trading as a proxy for Bitcoin but I know it is. Here’s their take:

COIN shares have performed in-line with bitcoin since reaching an all-time closing high on 11/9/21. COIN shares and the price of bitcoin (which we use as a proxy for broader cryptocurrency prices) have fallen 46.4% & 45.5%, respectively, since COIN reached a record closing high on 11/9/21. While this is certainly a significant move to the downside, we believe it has more to do with investors pricing in future rate hikes across fintech/growth investments as a whole and less to do with the expected trajectory of cryptocurrency/digital asset adoption.

Anyway, here’s my take: There is absolutely no chance that Coinbase works as a stock so long as crypto prices, BTCUSD in particular, remain in a 50% drawdown. And – obviously! – a Bitcoin rally back the highs virtually guarantees a much higher COIN price. It also works the other way – if Coinbase finds itself in a massive regulatory problem, Bitcoin prices will feel that pressure. If there’s a big data breach or hacking event for Coinbase, Bitcoin will fall out of fear for the security of crypto in general.

So yes, I understand it’s not literally a Bitcoin ETF. But it’s close enough, no?

Source:

A Top Pick Among Those Impacted By The Risk Asset Pullback
Piper Sandler – January 25th, 2022





“Financial Conditions”

 

“Financial Conditions”

Courtesy of 

The Fed will be focused on “financial conditions” to the extent that they impact the outlook for employment and prices.

What does that mean? What “financial conditions” are they watching for?

In the simplest terms, bonds and stocks. The bond market is a hundred trillion dollars. The stock market is thirty five trillion dollars. Problems in these markets can create problems in the real world if they’re left to fester and spill over.

As the Fed drives toward the end of emergency stimulus and “normalization” of interest rates, the institution will have to monitor how its policies affect stocks and bonds and whether these effects will have economic ramifications that run counter to the dual mandate of “maximum employment, stable prices” originally established in 1977.

In the 70’s and 80’s, stock price movement was seen as a symptom of what was happening in the “real” economy. It was a sideshow. We had a stock market crash in 1987 that did not lead to a recession.

A generation later, in 2000, this was no longer true. Stocks had become important enough in the psyche of the middle and upper classes that the next crash did cause a recession. By organizing the nation’s retirement around self-directed, defined contribution retirement accounts reliant upon stock mutual funds, we’ve done this deliberately.

Consumers in the “real” economy behave according to how well off they may feel at any given time. This is called the “wealth effect” and it has been very well documented. The number one driver of this wealth effect had historically been home prices. Now stock market wealth has supplanted home prices for the upper class and upper middle class because of how large the market has become. The prevalence of stock-based compensation has been a big part of this. The proliferation of corporate and small business 401(k) plans and high employee participation rates too. There was $5.3 trillion in private equity assets in 2013. Now it’s $11 trillion.

In fact, I would say that after wages, the stock market wealth effect has actually become the leading driver of home price appreciation in


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Robinhood Craters To New Record Low After Another Catastrophic Quarter

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

Unlike last quarter, we didn't need to look at Robinhood's 606 filings ahead of earnings. We had a feeling that the results would be ugly (as we predicted last quarter), and we were wrong: they were disastrous and absolutely horrific.

As a reminder, in its dismal guidance last quarter, when the stock imploded, Robinhood slashed its outlook seeing 4Q revenue of just $325M, a huge miss to consensus est. $500.7M, and predicted funded accounts of about 660,000. Well, had RH missed its own guidance, the stock would probably have to collapse to $0. And while it at least managed to come above its own bogey, it once again missed virtually every sellside consensus. Here is what the company reported:

  • Net revenue $362.7 million, missing the estimate $370.9 million
  • Transaction-based revenue $263.9 million, missing the estimate $269.3 million
  • Crypto revenue $48 million, -5.9% q/q, missing the estimate $55.0 million
  • Net Interest revenue $63.4 million, missing the estimate $66.3 million
  • Monthly active users 17.3 million, a slowdown of 8.5% Q/Q, and missing the estimate of 19.9 million

While crypto trading has been a core strategy of Robinhood, and its zero-commission transactions have helped it enlist new users, making it a major competitor to cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase, this particular revenue stream has imploded. After peaking at $233 million in crypto-trading revenue in Q2 as retail investors plowed into digital assets like Bitcoin, In the third quarter, crypto revenue — 40% of which was made up from Dogecoin trading — plunged to $51 million. It has since dropped again to just $48 and if cryptos continue to tumble, it will only get worse.

But while the numbers were dreadful, the company's own charts – which inexplicably are in green when they should be in red – speak much louder. Starting with MAU, we see that the "growth" company is now slowing for a second consecutive quarter…

… going to Assets under custody, which at least flat were flat…

… ARPU was an unmitigated disaster, dropping to the lowest level in the past year.


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Apple Soars After Smashing Expectations In Record Revenue Quarter

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

Two days day after Microsoft barely avoided a collapse into the hawkish Powell abyss, and one day after Tesla reported earnings that sent its stock crashing, investors held on to hope that at least the world's largest company and one of the very few gigacaps generals still standing, Apple, would somehow pull a rabbit out of its magic hat of tricks and report solid earnings pulling the Nasdaq out of what appears to be an almost certain bear market.

It won't be easy: while the holiday quarter is always Apple’s largest, this time it’s also expected to be Apple’s largest in its history. On the Q4 earnings call, CEO Tim Cook said Q1 2022 revenue would top Q1 2021 revenue of $111.4 billion. So, at the very least, Apple needs to hit that mark to appease investors (any miss here and welcome Nasdaq bear market). But that may not be enough, since Wall Street consensus is even more aggressively, calling for Apple to report revenue of $119.05 billion, clearly an all-time record (Cook said in Q4 that Q1 earnings will have been even $6 billion stronger if not for the ongoing impact of the global chip shortage).

The bullish case is that if Apple beats Wall Street expectations on the iPhone, Services Mac, and Wearables/Home/Accessories, it would be reporting new all-time highs in terms of revenue for those categories. Surely that would be something Apple will tout heavily in its remarks. On the other hand, even the smallest weakness will be hammered by a market that so far has shown zero forgiveness now that the Fed is in hike it till you break it mode.

So with that in mind, was Apple able to save the Nasdaq from freefalling after hours and potentially starting the next bear market?

It appears that – at least at first glance – the answer is a resounding yes as Apple has done it again, and after reporting not only a record quarter that was up 11% Y/Y, but also a big beat on the top and bottom line, its stock is rising sharply after hours and pulling the Nasdaq along with it.

Here are the details from the just concluded holiday quarter:


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Federal Reserve plans to raise interest rates ‘soon’ to fight inflation: What that means for consumers and the economy

 

Federal Reserve plans to raise interest rates ‘soon’ to fight inflation: What that means for consumers and the economy

All eyes are on Fed Chair Jerome Powell as the central bank prepares to raise rates for the first time in three years. Brendan Smialowski/Pool via AP

Courtesy of Alexander Kurov, West Virginia University and Marketa Wolfe, Skidmore College

The Federal Reserve signaled plans to begin raising interest rates “soon” in a bid to tamp down inflation before it poses a serious risk to the U.S. economy. A hike would be the first time the central bank has increased its benchmark lending rate in over three years.

Lifting the borrowing costs consumers and businesses pay for loans has the effect of slowing economic activity, which in turn could curb inflation. But there are also concerns that it could put on the brakes too quickly. We asked Alexander Kurov, a finance professor at West Virginia University, and Marketa Wolfe, an economist at Skidmore College, to explain what the Fed is doing and what it means for you.

1. Why is the Fed raising interest rates?

Short-term interest rates in the U.S. are now essentially zero.

The Fed quickly cut rates to zero at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in March 2020 in an attempt to soften the blow of the sharp recession that began that month as the U.S. went into lockdown. As a reminder of how bad things were back then, over 40 million workers – a quarter of the American workforce – filed for unemployment in the first few months of the pandemic, a staggering number with no precedent in the job market.

Although the recession was short-lived – lasting only two months – and the economy has mostly recovered, the Fed has kept rates at rock bottom because many workers and businesses still need support as the pandemic continues to rage.

The big problem for the Fed now is that U.S. consumer prices have surged. For 10 months in a row, inflation has been above the Fed’s 2% target and reached an annual pace of about 7% in December. This…
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Clips From Today’s Closing Bell

 

Clips From Today’s Closing Bell

Courtesy of 

Market is moving where the Fed needs them to go, says Ritholtz CEO Josh Brown from CNBC.





Indiscriminate selling

 

Indiscriminate selling

Courtesy of 

There are a few green stocks in the market today, and by “a few”, I mean you can count them on two hands and still have a few fingers left over. To gag yourself with. Those green stocks are things like Kohl’s (a special situation takeover story) and then it’s like grocery stores and shoe cobblers. That’s really it. Tesla is being absolutely mangled, which tells you which type of mutual funds and ETFs are being redeemed (liquidated?) today.

I have some buy limit orders in at completely outrageous prices, as per my post this weekend (The Rules). In my personal accounts, I’m bidding for Moderna, Netflix and Disney at lower levels – and if the selling pressure continues, I may get one or two of them.

This week we’ll hear from the Federal Reserve and get earnings from Microsoft and Apple. It’s a big moment. The reaction (or lack of reaction) to these events will be telling.

Today feels like capitulation in a lot of areas. There are some folks who want to sell and some who have to sell. You can’t discern the difference by watching the action in any particular stock. Red is red, doesn’t matter why. But one thing you know for sure is that the speed of these corrections has become breathtaking. Like nothing you’ve ever seen before. In the Slack channel Ben is saying it’s “instant repricing” which I think is a great way of phrasing it.

The action in Tesla (and its most bullish shareholder’s ETF) is looking particularly puke-y today…

The thumbs are flying furiously across Robinhood screens on millions of phones right about now…

Ironically, this all started over concerns about inflation, the Fed moving quickly and bond yields ripping higher. But bonds will always catch a bid eventually when the stock market acts savagely enough. And that’s exactly what happened Friday morning. Bond prices are higher again today, with yields lower, as money looks for safety somewhere, anywhere. See the opening gaps on the most popular Treasury bond ETFs below:

Read The Rules for surviving this thing if you haven’t already.

Image via Pixabay





How 5G puts airplanes at risk – an electrical engineer explains

 

How 5G puts airplanes at risk – an electrical engineer explains

The FAA raised concerns that new, full-speed 5G cellphone services near airports could interfere with aircraft operations. Bernal Saborio/Flickr, CC BY-SA

Courtesy of Prasenjit Mitra, Penn State

New high-speed cellphone services have raised concerns of interference with aircraft operations, particularly as aircraft are landing at airports. The Federal Aviation Administration has assured Americans that most commercial aircraft are safe, and AT&T and Verizon have agreed to hold off on installing their new cellphone antennas near airports for six months. But the problem has not been entirely resolved.

Concerns began when the U.S. government auctioned part of the C-band spectrum to wireless carriers in 2021 for US$81 billion. The carriers are using C-band spectrum to provide 5G service at full speed, 10 times the speed of 4G networks.

The C-band spectrum is close to the frequencies used by key electronics that aircraft rely on to land safely. Here’s why that can be a problem.

Keeping order on the spectrum

Wireless signals are carried by radio waves. The radio spectrum ranges from 3 hertz to 3,000 gigahertz and is part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The portion of the radio spectrum that carries the signals from your phone and other wireless devices is 20 kilohertz to 300 gigahertz.

If two wireless signals in the same area use the same frequency, you get garbled noise. You hear this when you are midway between two radio stations using the same or similar frequency bands to send their information. The signals get garbled and sometimes you hear one station, at other times the other, all mixed with a healthy dose of noise.

Therefore, in the U.S., the use of these frequency bands is tightly regulated by the Federal Communications Commission to ensure that radio stations, wireless carriers and other organizations are assigned “lanes,” or frequency spectra, to use in an orderly fashion.

Bouncing radio waves off the ground

Modern airplanes use altimeters, which calculate the time it takes for a signal to bounce back from the ground to determine a plane’s altitude. These altimeters…
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How mRNA and DNA vaccines could soon treat cancers, HIV, autoimmune disorders and genetic diseases

 

How mRNA and DNA vaccines could soon treat cancers, HIV, autoimmune disorders and genetic diseases

Nucleic acid vaccines use mRNA to give cells instructions on how to produce a desired protein. Libre de Droit/iStock via Getty Images

Courtesy of Deborah Fuller, University of Washington

The two most successful coronavirus vaccines developed in the U.S. – the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines – are both mRNA vaccines. The idea of using genetic material to produce an immune response has opened up a world of research and potential medical uses far out of reach of traditional vaccines. Deborah Fuller is a microbiologist at the University of Washington who has been studying genetic vaccines for more than 20 years. We spoke to her about the future of mRNA vaccines for The Conversation Weekly podcast.

Below are excerpts from that conversation which have been edited for length and clarity.

How long have gene-based vaccines been in development?

This type of vaccine has been in the works for about 30 years. Nucleic acid vaccines are based on the idea that DNA makes RNA and then RNA makes proteins. For any given protein, once we know the genetic sequence or code, we can design an mRNA or DNA molecule that prompts a person’s cells to start making it.

When we first thought about this idea of putting a genetic code into somebody’s cells, we were studying both DNA and RNA. The mRNA vaccines did not work very well at first. They were unstable and they caused pretty strong immune responses that were not necessarily desirable. For a very long time DNA vaccines took the front seat, and the very first clinical trials were with a DNA vaccine.

But about seven or eight years ago, mRNA vaccines started to take the lead. Researchers solved a lot of the problems – notably the instability – and discovered new technologies to deliver mRNA into cells and ways of modifying the coding sequence to make the vaccines a lot more safe to use in humans.

Once those problems were solved, the technology was really poised to become a revolutionary tool for medicine. This was just…
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Kimble Charting Solutions

Lumber Price Peak Would Raise Concerns For Equities!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

The supply chain has dealt with several issues over the past couple of years, as consumers and businesses have been forced to navigate a tricky “COVID” landscape.

Commodity prices (in general) have risen, while enduring some big swings.

Today we look at a commodity that plays an intricate role for consumers, and perhaps the equities market as well. Lumber. When lumber prices are high, new homes and buildings cost quite a bit more.

Above is a “weekly” chart of lumber prices. As you can see, there have been times when a lumber peak/bottom have be...



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ValueWalk

How To Buy Gold

By Eric Gozenput. Originally published at ValueWalk.

If you’re looking for an asset that protects against inflation, buy gold!  Take a look at our helpful guide below for some tips on purchasing this precious metal.

Q4 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Wondering How to Buy Physical Gold? Consider The Different Types: Gold Bars and Rounds

Gold bars are one of the most popular gold buying options for investors. B...



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Zero Hedge

Canadian 'Freedom Convoy' Receives First GoFundMe Payment After Temporary Halt

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Update (Friday 0711ET): Organizers of the "Freedom Convoy" have "received confirmation that GoFundMe has released our first batch of funds" following reports Thursday, the c...



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Phil's Favorites

Is the omicron variant Mother Nature's way of vaccinating the masses and curbing the pandemic?

 

Is the omicron variant Mother Nature’s way of vaccinating the masses and curbing the pandemic?

Preliminary research suggests that the omicron variant may potentially induce a robust immune response. Olga Siletskaya/Moment via Getty Images

Courtesy of Prakash Nagarkatti, University of South Carolina and Mitzi Nagarkatti, University of South Carolina

In the short time since...



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Biotech/COVID-19

Is the omicron variant Mother Nature's way of vaccinating the masses and curbing the pandemic?

 

Is the omicron variant Mother Nature’s way of vaccinating the masses and curbing the pandemic?

Preliminary research suggests that the omicron variant may potentially induce a robust immune response. Olga Siletskaya/Moment via Getty Images

Courtesy of Prakash Nagarkatti, University of South Carolina and Mitzi Nagarkatti, University of South Carolina

In the short time since...



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Digital Currencies

Why do you need a Bitcoin ETF when they already made you one?

 

Why do you need a Bitcoin ETF when they already made you one?

Courtesy of 

Chart via Piper Sandler’s new note on Coinbase. They don’t think it’s trading as a proxy for Bitcoin but I know it is. Here’s their take:

COIN shares have performed in-line with bitcoin since reaching an all-time closing high on 11/9/21. COIN shares and the price of bitcoin (which we use as a proxy for broader cryptocurrency pric...



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Politics

5 things to know about why Russia might invade Ukraine - and why the US is involved

 

5 things to know about why Russia might invade Ukraine – and why the US is involved

Courtesy of Tatsiana Kulakevich, University of South Florida

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Jan. 19, 2022, that he thinks Russia will invade Ukraine, and cautioned Russian president Vladimir Putin that he “will regret having done it,” following months of building tension.

Russia has amassed an estimated 100,000 troops along its border with Ukraine over the past several months.

In mid-January, Russia began moving ...



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Chart School

Bitcoin Swings Down to Support

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Come on! Seriously do you think a 400% rally for Bitcoin was going to be given to the public easily. Without any pain! Come on muppets!



The uniformed (public) buy when price is rising or breaking new highs, the informed buy when price is falling or breaking lows.



The informed have to do it this way as they are large volume players and the only way they can buy large volume is to create chaos. The chaos brings to the market the weak holders and a forced sell. Price is moved to where the volume can be accumulated, in a bull trend that is down to critical support.



Of course if price is in a true bull market the 'chaos' created should not break critical long term trend signals, ...



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Promotions

Phil's Interview on Options Trading with TD Bank

TD Bank's host Bryan Rogers interviewed Phil on June 10 as part of TD's Options Education Month. If you missed the program, be sure to watch the video below. It should be required viewing for anyone trading or thinking about trading using options. 

Watch here:

TD's webinar with Phil (link) or right here at PSW

Screenshots of TD's slides illustrating Phil's examples:

 

 

&n...



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Mapping The Market

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

 

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

Courtesy of Marcus Lu, Visual Capitalist

The Suez Canal: A Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

On March 23, 2021, a massive ship named Ever Given became lodged in the Suez Canal, completely blocking traffic in both directions. According to the Suez Canal Authority, the 1,312 foot long (400 m) container ship ran aground during a sandstorm that caused low visibility, impacting the ship’s navigation. The vessel is owned by Taiwanese shipping firm, Evergreen Marine.

With over 2...



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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





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. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.