Archive for the ‘Phil’s Favorites’ Category

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. 

The ETF's algorithm takes content from social media sites like Twitter and aggregates it. It then uses AI to identify patterns, trends, and changing sentiment, affecting market-based outcomes. It trades 75 US large-cap stocks with the highest degree of positive investor sentiment and bullish perception from the portfolio, which is rebalanced monthly.

Portnoy said he was approached by the people who developed the algorithm "five years ago." He said the "guys' reached back out to him after "Penn National Gaming showed up in their rankings. Penn owns a 36% stake in Barstools and has been a stock Portnoy has repeatedly pumped on social media through the pandemic. 

He told his 2.3 million Twitter followers that the team behind the algorithm showed him the interworkings. Portnoy called the new ETF, expected to launch Thursday, "brilliant," and said, "of course, it will work." 

"If you don't adapt, you die," Portnoy said. "Twitter, social media, all of it, is dictating stock prices." 

Around the 1:50 minute of what seems like a promotional video – Portnoy breaks down how BUZZ works: He said, "when you invest in BUZZ – the money putting in is redistributed across the top 75 favorable stocks on social media – according to our algorithm." 

The ETF is a revival of a former fund, the Sprott Buzz Social Media Insights ETF, which "fell out of orbit" in 2019, according to FT. It had averaged just $9 million in assets during its lifetime. That ETF drew from the Buzz NextGen AI US Sentiment Leaders Index, which the new VanEck product will also draw from.

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Will Senator Toomey Engage in Koch-Speak at Today’s Senate Confirmation Hearing?

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Senator Pat Toomey

Senator Pat Toomey

The Senate Banking Committee will convene today to conduct confirmation hearings for President Joe Biden’s nominees to fill two key Wall Street watchdog posts: Gary Gensler to Chair the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Rohit Chopra as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

As a result of Democrats taking control of the Senate, Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio, is the new Chair of the Senate Banking Committee. Curiously, however, the prior Republican Chair of the Senate Banking Committee, the mild-mannered Mike Crapo of Idaho, is not the Ranking Member of the Committee. He has been replaced by a man far more likely to engage in aggressive Koch-speak, Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. (Toomey was all set to become the new Chair of the Senate Banking Committee but then things went south in Georgia and Democrats picked up two additional seats in the Senate.)

What exactly is Koch-speak? It’s the manner in which politicians form their sentences in public when they are beholding to corporate money from the Koch network of billionaires and assorted grifters. Koch-speak is an acquired art. Crapo didn’t master it so he’s out; Toomey is in.

Koch-speak requires the ability to cloak one’s fealty to corporate greed and their lobbyists’ demands for de-regulation by sprinkling one’s sentences with words like “free markets,” “liberty,” and “limited government.”

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, over the course of his political career, Toomey’s largest donor to either his Campaign Committee and/or Leadership PAC has been the Club for Growth, which has provided more than $1.26 million to Toomey’s coffers. That’s more than 7 times the amount of Toomey’s second and third largest donors, the hedge fund Elliott Management and Goldman Sachs. Toomey served as the President of Club for Growth from 2005 to 2009.

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Only took 12 years, but Wall Street has finally gotten bullish enough


Only took 12 years, but Wall Street has finally gotten bullish enough

Courtesy of 

One of the most interesting things that happens after a big, nasty, protracted bear market is that no one wants to be accused of being bullish or upbeat about anything. In the aftermath of a crash, the bulls always look and sound dopey or complacent.

Wall Street strategists are only human. And as markets trade higher, they gradually get more and more comfortable sounding positive on stocks. The trauma of having been bullish and wrong ahead of the last crisis fades away and the recency bias takes over. Individual investors’ risk tolerances work this way too, but that’s another discussion.

Anyway, my friend Savita Subramanian has been showing us the Sell Side Indicator that she keeps for BofA and, over all this time, The Street hadn’t really gotten up to a place where the rally might be threatened by excess bullishness – until now:

Wall Street is just 1ppt shy of ‘Sell” signal

Wall Street strategists continued to increase their recommended equity allocations in February. The Sell Side Indicator (SSI), which is the average recommended equity allocation by sell-side strategists, rose by nearly 1ppt to 59.2% from 58.4%. It’s the second month in a row of an almost 1ppt jump, bringing recommended equity allocation to almost a 10 year high and just 1.1ppt shy of a “Sell” signal. The last time the indicator was this close to “Sell” was June 2007 after which we generally saw 12-month returns of -13%. We’ve found Wall Street bullishness to be a reliable contrarian indicator.

Savita notes that we’re still in Neutral territory based on the model’s inputs, and we’ve been in the Neutral zone since December of 2016. And with the indicator still at Neutral (as opposed to Bullish), we’re still looking at positive forward returns based on the historical relationship holding (which, who knows if it will).

It only took about 20,000 Dow points, a quadruple in the S&P 500 and a 500% Nasdaq rally to get The Street’s experts up to the upper end of Neutral sentiment. That’s pretty funny, in and of itself, regardless of what happens from here.


Approaching “Sell” signal
Bank of America Securities – March 1st, 2021

Will Higher Interest Rates Kill Growth Stocks?


Will Higher Interest Rates Kill Growth Stocks?

Courtesy of Michael Batnick

Interest rates are important. They’re the lifeblood of the economy. To say they’re one of several inputs instead of the only input is not to minimize their importance, but to state reality.

Ben did a post over the weekend in which he makes the argument that low interest rates do not turn investors into gamblers. For example, the average yield on the 10-year treasury was over 6% during the dot-com bubble. People piled into risky IPOs when they could have just clipped 6% and moved on with their life. Why? Because their friends and family members were getting rich quick. In that type of environment, the 10-year could have been 30% and people still would have gambled. Getting rich slow has little appeal to the average investor in a get-rich-quick market.

This brings us to today. There was an enormous move in interest rates last week.

It’s true that rates are still incredibly low on an absolute basis, but to dismiss what happened last week as trivial would be foolish, as we know that everything is relative, especially in markets.

Tracy Alloway notes that, “The 2/5/10-year butterfly — a popular trade involving two-, five- and 10-year U.S. bonds — moved by an astonishing 24 basis points (one of those events which, when measured by standard deviations, is only supposed to happen once in a billion years, etc.).”

It’s not only bond investors that are paying attention to interest rates but equity investors as well. The popular narrative these days is that growth stocks have benefited from low interest rates. If stocks are valued off of future discounted cash flows, and the discount rate is zero, then it doesn’t matter if investors see that money one month from now or 10 years from now.

This makes intuitive sense, but I’m in the camp that interest rates are still just one, albeit an important part of a complicated equation. An equation that uses more than just hypothetical future cash flows and today’s discount rate. And if this were all there was to it, that higher interest rates equal lower prices for growth stocks, then…
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Momentum Monday – The Banks and Energy? and Joe Fahmy Is Our Special Guest


Momentum Monday – The Banks and Energy? and Joe Fahmy Is Our Special Guest

Courtesy of Howard Lindzon

Happy Monday.

I promised you SPAC week, but Momentum Monday never sleeps.

I start my week off each Saturday working through The Stocktwits 25 lists. This week it the lists were filled with names I don’t care to follow or the most part. The growth names I have been following are mostly in pullback mode and the banks and energy are leading.

As always, Ivanhoff and I toured the markets to size up the field position for my favorite growth ideas and what is working. This week we had a special guest – our good friend Joe Fahmy. Joes is a great student of momentum and markets and it was fun hearing how he sees the tape right now.

Here is the episode to watch/listen and I hope you enjoy.

Here is Ivanhof’s take:

Last week started with rotation into the so-called back-to-normal (from Covid) stocks like leisure, airlines, hotels, oil & gas, and financials. While those recovery industries were rising, interest rates were quickly accelerating putting downward pressure on tech stocks. Something broke on Thursday and the entire market started to pull back. QQQ closed below its 50-day moving average. SPY closed below its 20-day moving average. Momentum stocks as measured by the ETFs – MTUM and ARKK, had their worst performance since September-October of last year. The market is currently in a correction mode.

There are two types of market correction:

Sector rotation – the indexes remain relatively unscathed in move in a wide sideways range while money constantly rotates from one group of sectors to another. This is the most common type of consolidation. Basically, a stock picker’s market.
High-correlation pullback which brings down most stocks – the price action last Thursday was a good example of this. Most breakouts are faded or find very little follow through during this market environment. Short ideas work better but they often require going through a lot more volatility, using wider stops or selling

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More than a Year Later, Americans Have No Idea Where $9 Trillion of Fed Money Went

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

Beginning on September 17, 2019 – months before there was any report of a COVID-19 case anywhere in the world – the Federal Reserve turned on its money spigot to the trading houses on Wall Street. By October 23, 2019 the Fed announced that it was upping these loans to $690 billion a week – again, months before any report of COVID-19 anywhere in the world. Earlier in October 2019, the Fed had also announced that it would be buying back $60 billion a month in Treasury bills.

Within a span of six months, the Fed had pumped out a cumulative $9 trillion in loans to Wall Street’s trading houses, according to its own spread sheets, with no peep as to which Wall Street firms were getting the bulk of that money. It’s more than a year later and the American people still have no idea what triggered that so-called “repo loan crisis” or which Wall Street firms were in trouble or remain in trouble.

The Federal Reserve, as is typical, outsourced this money spigot to the New York Fed, which is literally owned by some of the largest banks on Wall Street. We wrote at the time the New York Fed was making these massive repo loans that this action was unprecedented in Federal Reserve history for the following reasons:

No Wall Street crisis has been announced to the public to explain these massive loans and Treasury buybacks;

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ARK Omitting Some Daily Trade Updates, Burry Says Shorts Will Be “Ruthless” To Wood

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

One of the big things that has helped ARK's public image during its wild run to over $50 billion under management has been its stated commitment to transparency. Every day, at the end of the day, ARK has been emailing out its trades so that followers of the firm and investors can see which stocks "visionary" stock picker Cathie Wood and her team are moving in and out of.

Except now, after a week mired by several days of massive outflows, it appears that ARK Invest isn't exactly disclosing all of its sales anymore. In fact, it's adding numerous disclosures and disclaimers to its daily e-mail lists. 

What used to be a simple spreadsheet showing buys and sells now comes with a warning that the list of trades going out "exclude initial/secondary public offering transactions and ETF Creation/Redemption Unit activity."

In fact, the entire disclaimer can be found on ARK's site, here, admitting that trade files do not include certain trades. 

Trade notifications are for informational purposes only. ARK offers fully transparent ETFs and provides trade information for all actively managed ETFs. ARK’s statements are not an endorsement of any company or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any security. Trade notification files are not provided until full trade execution at the end of a trading day. ARK may not trade every day. The time stamp of the email is the time of file upload and not necessarily the exact time of the trades. Files of trades are not comprehensive lists of a day’s trades for the ARK ETFs and exclude initial/secondary public offering transactions and ETF Creation/Redemption Unit activity. Additional files may be posted at a later time. Most ARK ETF portfolio trades settle on a T+2 basis. These files represent an UNOFFICIAL, UNRECONCILED account, as all official accounting and custody processes for the ARK ETFs are performed by BNY Mellon resulting in a daily Net Asset Value

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Two by Two


Two by Two

Courtesy of Scott Galloway, No Mercy/No Malice@profgalloway

“The task is…not so much to see what no one has yet seen; but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees.” 

~ Erwin Schrödinger

Just as life is not about what happens to you, but about how you respond to what happens to you, insight is not a function of data, but of how you perceive the data. Plotting data in different ways is illuminating, even fun, and it can lead one to discover stories. And while “stories” often connotes fiction, stories can also be true, and can even create truth. 

The best way to predict the future is to make it. And, just as history is the stories we (i.e., the victors) tell ourselves, stories can shape the future by giving people a path, an inspiration, or a goal. One inspiration for those stories is data … and different ways of looking at the data.

Just read the last paragraph and it’s clear I’m insecure re my intellect, or have an edible hangover. The answer is yes.

Anyway, I love 2×2 matrices, and how their quadrants inspire stories. Identifying two factors that define four groups can provide insight into industry dynamics and illuminate pressures and opportunities. Often, the points on a matrix are a function of quantitative analysis; however, the real value is in the sorting, not the calibration. 

In that spirit, I’ve been thinking a lot about how tech is battling for our attention. Screens have infested our lives and we’ve become re-attached to an Orwellian umbilical cord. From fitness to

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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, unlike some of the other Covid-19 vaccines currently in use that need special freezing units and two doses. It will also require less medical personnel and should speed up the pace of he vaccination campaign considerably.

The United States has ordered 100 million doses of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine according to tracking conducted by Duke University but its rollout is set to be hindered by production shortfalls. The company committed to delivering 10 million doses by the end of February but it recently states that only 4 million are going to be ready to ship. By the end of March, the company hopes to distribute 20 million doses.

Infographic: Which Governments Ordered Johnson & Johnson's Vaccine? | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Can vaccinated people still spread the coronavirus?


Can vaccinated people still spread the coronavirus?

Vaccinated people are wondering whether they can ease social distancing and mask-wearing. AP Photo/Darko Bandic

Courtesy of Deborah Fuller, University of Washington

Editor’s note: So you’ve gotten your coronavirus vaccine, waited the two weeks for your immune system to respond to the shot and are now fully vaccinated. Does this mean you can make your way through the world like the old days without fear of spreading the virus? Deborah Fuller is a microbiologist at the University of Washington working on coronavirus vaccines. She explains what the science shows about transmission post-vaccination – and whether new variants could change this equation.

1. Does vaccination completely prevent infection?

The short answer is no. You can still get infected after you’ve been vaccinated. But your chances of getting seriously ill are almost zero.

Many people think vaccines work like a shield, blocking a virus from infecting cells altogether. But in most cases, a person who gets vaccinated is protected from disease, not necessarily infection.

Every person’s immune system is a little different, so when a vaccine is 95% effective, that just means 95% of people who receive the vaccine won’t get sick. These people could be completely protected from infection, or they could be getting infected but remain asymptomatic because their immune system eliminates the virus very quickly. The remaining 5% of vaccinated people can become infected and get sick, but are extremely unlikely to be hospitalized.

Vaccination doesn’t 100% prevent you from getting infected, but in all cases it gives your immune system a huge leg up on the coronavirus. Whatever your outcome – whether complete protection from infection or some level of disease – you will be better off after encountering the virus than if you hadn’t been vaccinated.

An electron microscope scan of the coronavirus

Vaccines prevent disease, not infection. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, CC BY

2. Does infection always mean transmission?

Transmission happens when enough viral particles from an infected person get into the body of an uninfected…
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Phil's Favorites

What's really driving coal power's demise?


What's really driving coal power's demise?

The use of coal for electric power has been declining fast in the U.S. AP Photo/J. David Ake

Courtesy of David Drake, University of Colorado Boulder and Jeffrey York, University of Colorado Boulder

The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.


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Zero Hedge

Grimes Just Made $5.8 Million In 20 Minutes Selling Digital Art

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

Elon Musk's baby-mama/love interest Grimes recently made a $6 million score in only 20 minutes by selling digital artwork in an online auction.

The art comes with a digital asset called an "NFT" that proves its authenticity, according to The Daily Mail. She told 10 items from a collection she is calling "WarNymph" (of course), which included "dramatic illustrations of winged baby goddesses battling in apocalyptic skies" (of course). 

The non-fungible token that the works come with is encrypted with the artist's signature and authenticates the art as original. It relies on blockch...

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Weak Jobs Data, Stocks And Gold

By Monica Kingsley. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Stocks gave up some of Monday‘s strong gains, but I find it little concerning in the sub-3,900 pre-breakout meandering. It‘s about time, and a play on the tech sector to participate meaningfully in the coming rally (or at least not to stand in the way again).


Q4 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Talking obstacles, what about today‘s non-farm employment change, before the really key Fri‘s release? A bad number makes it less like...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Bond Prices About To Fall Off The Cliff?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

The bull market in bond prices has steady, durable, and trustworthy. Over the past 40 years, if investors could count on anything, it was rising bonds and falling bond yields (interest rates).

But this trend / dynamic may be changing…

The post pandemic spike lower in interest rates (yields) sent bonds to all-time highs… but that quickly gave way to selling and steadily higher interest rates.

Is the bond market about to receive monster message?

As we have done many times before, today we share an “inverted” chart of ...

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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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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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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.
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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 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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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.