Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Inside SoftBank’s Big Bets – Fortune

 

Inside SoftBank’s Big Bets – Fortune

Courtesy of ValueWalk

Few in the investment world today have made moves as large and aggressive as SoftBank. It has poured billions into some of business’ biggest deals—Uber, ARM Holdings, Nvidia, WeWork, DoorDash, GM Cruise, Katerra, and more. Check out the interview with Lydia Jet below.

Brainstorm Tech 2018: Lydia Jet – Inside SoftBank's Big Bets

 





How to Dodge the Debt Train

 

How to Dodge the Debt Train

Courtesy of John Mauldin, Thoughts from the Frontline

Standing in front of a speeding train is rarely a good idea, but most investors are doing it right now. They survive only because the debt train is still way down the tracks. It is nonetheless coming, and you will want to move before then. But which way?

While I think we have a few years, I see little chance we can escape some kind of painful reckoning which I believe will culminate towards the middle to the end of 2020s. The opportunities to change course are behind us now. Yes, there are things many countries can do to put things back on track, but most are not politically possible in this fractured world. It will require a crisis to muster the political will to fix this.Over the last two months I made the case (summarized here) for a coming worldwide debt default/restructuring/financial engineering. Call it whatever you want but it won’t be good.

While we can’t do anything about that—and the people who can do something are choosing not to—we can take steps to protect ourselves and maybe even profit from this approaching train crash. Many of you have asked for specific advice. I’m somewhat limited in what I can say, both for legal reasons and because we have readers in many different situations. Not everything is suitable for everyone. But I can give you some general ideas and rules to follow. Today, we will start with the smallest investors and then move on up.

Some of my Mauldin Economics colleagues also have ideas, which I hope you read in the special reports we’ve featured in the last few days. More on that below. But now, let’s consider how to dodge the train. I have four rules to follow, all of which would be good practice even if we weren’t in front of a speeding train.

Rule #1: Get Active

Remember when fund managers were Masters of the Universe? Few qualify these days, and not because they are any less talented. It is because the last decade’s generally rising markets favored passive “buy and hold” investment strategies. Why pay a manager when you can


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What Hollywood gets right and wrong about hacking

 

What Hollywood gets right and wrong about hacking

File 20180718 142435 176mlrj.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Gone phishin’. www.shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Catherine Flick, De Montfort University

Spoiler warnings for Mr. Robot, Arrow and Blackhat

Technology is everywhere we look, so it’s no surprise that the films and TV we enjoy are similarly obsessed. That’s not to say they manage to get it right when it comes to portraying tech accurately however – and one of their worst areas is computer hacking.

I’ve been a Linux system administrator in and out of industry for 20 years. That means I ensure all kinds of internet services such as email, websites and news systems run smoothly, and preferably don’t get hacked. My current job is to research the ethics and social impact of technology, so I love seeing anything tech-related come up in pop culture.

The operating system that only seems to exist in movies (let’s call it “MovieOS”) is fascinating – the constant beeping, the clicking with every key pressed, the impossibly long progress bars, the helpful warning alerts, not to mention the ability to zoom in forever on digital images without losing clarity.

But it’s the hacking scenes that get me. Every single time.

Expectations versus reality

Hacking is most often portrayed as a frantic exercise, with fast-paced music to raise the tension while boxes flash up on screen. In one episode of the fantasy series Arrow however, the protagonists are able to continue “hacking” despite not being able to see their screens, and eventually this ridiculous hack-war turns into a tennis match with both hackers sending power surges back and forth until the antagonist’s computer is blown up.

It’s pretty far-fetched but hacking as a means of destruction isn’t fictional and it has been portrayed better in the tech drama series Mr. Robot. In one episode, the protagonist Elliot uses a planted device to upload software onto back-up energy storage devices owned by the shadowy corporation, ECorp. This software is then used to trigger explosions – entirely reasonable as these gadgets usually use lead acid batteries which can emit explosive hydrogen gas when overcharged.

Most of the time though, MovieOS capabilities don’t accurately reflect…
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How rising inequality is stalling economies by crippling demand

 

How rising inequality is stalling economies by crippling demand

File 20180713 27018 1kewy4g.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Aggregate demand is being hit by the concentration of income growth among the top earners and is now a drag on economic growth. Shutterstock

Courtesy of Stephen Bell, The University of Queensland

Rising inequality is a concern across the developed economies, including Australia where top earners’ pay has soared to a 17-year high while ordinary workers’ wage growth has been the lowest on record. And that’s ultimately bad news for economic growth. This is longer than the usual Conversation article, so allow some time to read and enjoy.

In the last decade or more, economic growth has slowed across the Western world, although a belated though weak recovery has been under way since around 2017. In the US, for example, growth in gross output per capita averages around 1% a year this century. That’s about half the average rate during the second half of the 20th century.

The Captured Economy. OUP

American economist Arthur Okun famously argued there was a trade-off between equality and economic efficiency, implying little chance of high inequality and sluggish economic growth occurring together. Yet this is exactly what is happening in the US. What has gone wrong?

In The Captured Economy, Brink Lindsey and Steven Teles explore US economic sectors such as finance, land use, occupational licensing and intellectual property rights. They argue powerful interests have captured these sectors and are using the state to distort markets to their advantage. This kind of rent-seeking is weakening growth and driving up inequality. As the authors put it:

Across a number of sectors, the US economy has become less open to competition and more clogged by insider-protecting deals … Those deals make our economy less dynamic and innovative, leading to slower economic growth … At the same time, they redistribute income and wealth upwards to elites in a position to exploit the political system to their favour.

This special dealing is but one facet of a much wider problem of competing claims for economic resources increasingly damaging Western…
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There Are 3 Main Theories That Explain Trump’s Approach to Putin and Russia-Which One Makes the Most Sense?

Theory Time – What do you think?

Thom Hartmann suggests that the "Manchurian Candidate theory" is the least likely explanation for Trump's pro-Russia behavior in "There Are 3 Main Theories That Explain Trump’s Approach to Putin and Russia—Which One Makes the Most Sense?" (below).  disagrees and suggests that Putin probably has "the goods" on Trump in "Trump’s Plot Against America". (To be fair, Hartmann acknowledges that his three theories are not mutually exclusive.) Jonathan Chait argues that Trump has been a Russian asset for over three decades in "Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart — Or His Handler?". Taking a different view from Chait, , in "A Theory of Trump Kompromat", argues that the most likely explanation for Trump's servility towards Putin is that Trump is beholden to Putin due to years of shady financial dealings with Russian actors. ~ Ilene

There Are 3 Main Theories That Explain Trump’s Approach to Putin and Russia—Which One Makes the Most Sense?

Time for Occam’s Razor

By Thom Hartmann, Common Dreams

"If Mueller exposes financial fragility on Trump’s part, it may tip the first domino that then causes the entire Trump empire to collapse." (Photos by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

"If Mueller exposes financial fragility on Trump’s part, it may tip the first domino that then causes the entire Trump empire to collapse." (Photos by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

There are three general theories to explain Trump’s behavior toward Russia (and other hard-right broadly autocratic regimes), and for unknown reasons the two most likely ones are almost entirely absent from our electronic media. The three theories, in ascending order of likelihood, are:

  • The Manchurian Candidate: He’s being blackmailed or has been a Russian asset for years.
  • The Wannabe Dictator: He believes that countries should be run like companies—essentially autocracies.
  • The Deadbeat: He’s not only not rich, but he’s badly in debt, and Russian billionaires are among his main creditors.

The Manchurian Candidate theory was largely the one Democrats implied during the election, and most have implicitly embraced since then, along with many commentators on MSNBC and CNN. It’s the least likely, although if it’s true Robert Mueller will probably be letting us all know soon. But there’s little in Trump’s past


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The professor of the future: Digital and critical

 

The professor of the future: Digital and critical

File 20180625 19385 17l2ddq.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Giving a TED talk and/or tweeting are becoming expected parts of an up-and-coming digital professor’s job. (William Saito), CC BY-NC-ND

Courtesy of Markus Giesler, York University, Canada

You have heard the tune. Great minds, we are told, no longer just publish top-tier research and teach, because the traditional model of scholarship has become too narrow and insular. Great minds become proselytizers of big ideas.

They captivate the public as influential research bloggers and attract new stakeholders like donors and media journalists through attractive digital translations of their scholarship. They manage thriving Twitter presences, and design popular MOOCs (massive open online courses).

All of this happens because universities and professors experience the fundamental disruption brought about by the fourth industrial revolution: Digital transformation.

According to “Digital Transformation in Higher Education,” a 2017 study by global education provider Navitas, 78 per cent of all participating universities have begun to digitize some elements of their course delivery and are also creating new digital models.

Five years ago, I began asking myself what the digital transformation could mean for me as a professor at the Schulich School of Business at York University.

Over time, I “digitized” my research agenda, created a research blog with 250,000 monthly readers, designed an MBA course around my research on consumer sociology, and founded a thriving and well-funded research institute called the Big Design Lab.

In this article, I would like to reflect on what I’ve learned.

Digital professors as thought leaders

Most discussions about the digital transformation in higher education take a decidedly pro-market view. As the old models of intellectual contribution are being disrupted, their authors argue, professors must proactively use social media technology to become powerful thought leaders.

It is easy to see how this makes perfect sense. Digital professors can do much more for their universities because they manage bigger platforms and can attract more students, practitioners, donors and journalists to their institutions.

Fully fledged digital professors are not only good researchers and teachers. They are also fundraisers, student recruiters, career consultants and social media influencers —…
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Bloody uprising in Nicaragua could trigger the next Central American refugee crisis

 

Bloody uprising in Nicaragua could trigger the next Central American refugee crisis

File 20180718 142411 15qe06i.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Militias guard a barricade after police and pro-government militias stormed a rebel-held neighborhood in Masaya, Nicaragua, on July 17, 2018. AP Photo/Cristibal Venegas

Courtesy of Jose Miguel Cruz, Florida International University

Central American migrants have long been at the center of what consecutive U.S. administrations have called the immigration “crisis.”

Each year, thousands of Central Americans are caught attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border unlawfully. According to the Migration Policy Institute, the vast majority are asylum-seekers from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, fleeing the region’s brutal gang violence and societal chaos.

Typically, only a tiny fraction of migrants come to the U.S. from the neighboring Central American nation of Nicaragua. Their numbers are so small that Nicaraguans are rarely even mentioned in Customs and Border Protection reports.

But Nicaragua has been in turmoil for months, as an uprising against the authoritarian regime of Daniel Ortega and his Sandinista party grows ever bloodier. Last weekend, three college students were killed during a 15-hour clash at a church on the campus of the National University of Nicaragua, in Managua, which had been occupied by anti-government protesters since April.

At least 350 people have been killed so far, most at the hands of pro-government forces.

This violence may prompt many Nicaraguans to start fleeing their country soon, too.

Central America’s ‘safest country’

Nicaragua, home to approximately 6.2 million people, is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere.

But it has largely avoided the widespread crime and instability that for decades has dogged this corner of the world. Nicaragua’s 2017 homicide rate of seven killings per 100,000 was the lowest in Central America.

Neighboring El Salvador’s murder rate was 60 per 100,000 in 2017, and Honduras’s was 43 per 100,000.

When Nicaraguans migrate, typically they are seeking better-paying jobs.

Rather than travel all the way to the United States, economic migrants from Nicaragua mostly head to neighboring Costa Rica, the stablest and most prosperous country in Central America. An estimated…
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Donald Trump’s fight with his own intelligence services will only get worse

 

Donald Trump's fight with his own intelligence services will only get worse

Courtesy of Dan Lomas, University of Salford

Even before his meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki’s presidential palace, Donald Trump had predicted that talks would be much easier than those with NATO and Theresa May. This he did in remarkably sympathetic tones, taking to Twitter hours before to proclaim that America’s “relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of US foolishness and stupidity”. “We agree,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry replied.

Those wanting a robust response to Russian foreign policy in Europe and the Middle East were worried. But the worst was yet to come: in an extraordinary 46-minute joint news conference after the two men met, Trump refused to support the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia had intervened in the 2016 US presidential election.

In his answers to reporters’ questions, Trump derided Special Council Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election as a “disaster for our country” and a “witch hunt” claiming Washington was just as much to blame as Moscow for a determination in relations. Despite “great confidence” in America’s spies, Trump castigated the community-wide belief that Russia had interfered in the 2016 campaign.

“They said they think it’s Russia,” he said. “I have [asked] President Putin; he just said it’s not Russia.” Trump went on: “I don’t see any reason why it would be … I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”

Trump’s assessment came just days after the Grand Jury for the District of Columbia charged 12 Russian intelligence officers with conspiring to “gain unauthorised access … into the computers of US persons and entities involved in the 2016 US presidential election”, targeting “over 300 individuals” affiliated with the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. It also came the same day that the FBI charged Russian national Maria Butina, a pro-gun activist who infiltrated the National Rifle Association, with trying to influence Republican Party politics, having set up “back channels” to Russian officials. Prosecutors said that Butina was “developing relationships with US persons and infiltrating organisations … for the purpose of advancing the interests of the…
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Why Trump has made Europe more fearful of a possible Russian attack

 

Why Trump has made Europe more fearful of a possible Russian attack

Courtesy of Jean S. Renouf, Southern Cross University

US President Donald Trump’s eyebrow-raising visit to Europe has confirmed Europeans’ worst fears: if another “Crimea-like” take-over by Russia occurs somewhere on the continent, they will likely be on their own.

Trump had made it abundantly clear that European leaders can no longer rely on the US for its protection. He was not only harshly criticised by his own party for being too conciliatory with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their Helsinki summit, he also lashed out at US allies once more, going so far as to call the European Union a “foe”.

The US may have more than 60,000 troops stationed in Europe, but a recent report stating the Pentagon is assessing the impact of a possible reduction of troop numbers, coupled with Trump’s unpredictability, has made America’s traditional allies nervous.

Indeed, by initiating trade wars and continuously attacking his closest allies, Trump has weakened the entire West.

Another war in Europe remains possible

Despite his reassurances last week that the US still values NATO, Trump’s divisive visit to Europe may embolden Putin in his assessment that occupying more European land may not be met with much military resistance.

Poland is so concerned, it has recently offered to pay the US up to US$2bn to permanently deploy an armoured division on its soil.

The on-going conflict in Ukraine, coupled with Putin’s increased emphasis in recent years on Russia’s “right” and “obligation” to “protect” ethnic Russians and Russian speakers beyond its borders, contribute further to the unease between Moscow in the West. This is particularly being felt in the Baltic states, two of which (Estonia and Latvia) have sizeable Russian minorities.

It certainly doesn’t help when Russia conducts military drills or dispatches warplanes on the borders with the Baltics, giving a real sense that military escalation in this part of Europe is entirely plausible.

Tensions are building in Eastern Europe

The focus of any possible Russian military incursion could be a thin stretch of land between Poland and…
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Germany in decline? I beg to differ

 

Germany in decline? I beg to differ

File 20180718 142417 z0r5bb.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

EPA/Omer Messenger

Courtesy of Ingo Cornils, University of Leeds

Looking at a recent cover of the German news magazine Der Spiegel, one might be forgiven for thinking that all is lost for the Fatherland.

A dismal performance of the German national football team (Die Mannschaft) is seen as the consequence of a general malaise. “Haggard”, “exhausted”, “tired” are not only words used to describe the football coach Joachim Löw but also Germany’s long-serving chancellor, Angela Merkel.

In the Der Spiegel article, Merkel is depicted as a spent force. She is blamed for a serious upset to the years of plenty by her morally laudable but politically disastrous decision to allow 1.5m refugees into the country. She is seen as a mere shadow of the woman named Time Magazine’s person of the year in 2015. Does she even remember that glorious year 2014, when she celebrated with the World Cup-winning German team in Brazil?

There are plenty of reasons to buy into this narrative of decline. The right-wing populist Alternative für Deutschland has risen to prominence as a response to immigration, causing a political upset at the latest election that meant it took six months to form a government (Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff of the German Marshall Fund chose the words “paralysed nation”).

The ongoing scandal about car emissions has embroiled not only Volkswagen (Das Auto), but also the other big German car manufacturers. The German construction industry appears unable to deliver major infrastructure projects such as the new Berlin Airport or the Stuttgart 21 train station. And, most excruciating to watch, Horst Seehofer, Merkel’s pugnacious minister for the homeland, is holding her to ransom over his “masterplan” for transition centres that are supposed to stem the flow of asylum seekers.

But are the prophets of doom right? Or is it just part of the more general negative mood music we are hearing this summer, with observers dancing to the tune of Trump and Brexit, yet holding on to an impossible expectation that Germany, “the strongest remaining bastion of liberal democracy”, should somehow solve the world’s problems?

Yes, Germany is the…
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Phil's Favorites

Does China Have A Secret Weapon In The US-China Trade War?

 

Does China Have A Secret Weapon In The US-China Trade War?

Courtesy of ValueWalk

geralt / Pixabay

Friday, US President Donald Trump said he would be willing to impose tariffs on all goods imported from China. Chinese government officials have been insisting US tariffs will have little impact on the Chinese economy, but President Trump&rsquo...



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ValueWalk

Does China Have A Secret Weapon In The US-China Trade War?

 

Does China Have A Secret Weapon In The US-China Trade War?

Courtesy of ValueWalk

geralt / Pixabay

Friday, US President Donald Trump said he would be willing to impose tariffs on all goods imported from China. Chinese government officials have been insisting US tariffs will have little impact on the Chinese economy, but President Trump&rsquo...



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Zero Hedge

"Worst Case Scenario" Looms As Chinese Overwhelmingly Ready To Boycott US Goods In Trade War

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Despite soaring trade policy uncertainty and a collapsing yuan, "the equity market has largely looked through the marginal risk from tariffs", according to Goldman's David Kostin who recently wrote:

No clear relationship exists between reliance on imports from China and recent industry performance. Among at-risk industries, Computer & Electronic Products, which include Semiconductors, have lagged the Russell 3000, while Electrical Equipment stocks have outperformed. As our Tech Hardware and Retail analysts have noted, trade headlines may overstate fundamental risk, as companies have many tools at th...



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Chart School

Gann Angles on Dow and Gold

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Gann Angles measure price moves relative to time.

The Dow is moving up the red Gann 1x1 line, so far the recent trend challenge has been over come. As price is near upper green dotted channel Gann angle from Oct 2007 price is now over bought. We can also see the very obvious Elliot 5 wave count from March 2009 lows, and a new Dow high would complete the 5 waves up.

The red line indicator below the Dow price chart is readtheticker.com RTT Flow Index.


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Gold (GLD) could not get over $130, so a reaction back to minor support at $115 was to be expected.  Support should be found here, an...

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Members' Corner

There Are 3 Main Theories That Explain Trump's Approach to Putin and Russia-Which One Makes the Most Sense?

Theory Time - What do you think?

Thom Hartmann suggests that the "Manchurian Candidate theory" is the least likely explanation for Trump's pro-Russia behavior in "There Are 3 Main Theories That Explain Trump’s Approach to Putin and Russia—Which One Makes the Most Sense?" (below).  disagrees and suggests that Putin probably has "the goods" on Trump in "Trump’s Plot Against America". (To be fair, Hartmann acknowledges that his three theories are not mutually exclusive.) Jonathan Chait argues ...



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Insider Scoop

BofA Points To Yum China's Earnings Downside Risk In Downgrade

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related 31 Stocks Moving In Friday's Mid-Day Session Benzinga's Top Upgrades, Downgrades For July 20, 2018 ...

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

Digital Currencies

Citadel CEO Says Bitcoin Still A "Head Scratcher" But Billionaire Lasry Sees $40,000 Soon

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Ken Griffin, the CEO and founder of the Citadel hedge fund, has reiterated his negative stance on Bitcoin (BTC) in an interview with CNBC this morning.

Speaking at the Delivering Alpha Conference in New York, ...



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Biotech

How summer and diet damage your DNA, and what you can do

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

 

How summer and diet damage your DNA, and what you can do

Bright sun and fatty foods are a bad recipe for your DNA. By Tish1/shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Adam Barsouk, University of Pittsburgh

Today, your body will accumulate quadrillions of new injuries in your DNA. The constant onslaught of many forms of damage, some of which permanently...



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Mapping The Market

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

Via Jean-Luc:

Famed investor reflecting on his mistakes:

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

One that stands out for me:

Instead of focusing on how value factors in general did in identifying attractive stocks, I rushed to proclaim price-to-sales the winner. That was, until it wasn’t. I guess there’s a reason for the proclamation “The king is dead, long live the king” when a monarchy changes hands. As we continued to update the book, price-to-sales was no longer the “best” single value factor, replaced by others, depending upon the time frames examined. I had also become a lot more sophisticated in my analysis—thanks to criticism of my earlier work—and realized that everything, including factors, moves in and out of favor, depending upon the market environment. I also realized...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

The Stock Bull Market Stops Here!

 

The Stock Bull Market Stops Here!

Courtesy of Kimble Charting

 

The definition of a bull market or bull trends widely vary. One of the more common criteria for bull markets is determined by the asset being above or below its 200 day moving average.

In my humble opinion, each index above remains in a bull trend, as triple support (200-day moving averages, 2-year rising support lines, and February lows) are still in play ...



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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

NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!

 

We have a great guest at today's webinar!

Bill Olsen from NewsWare will be giving us a fun and lively demonstration of the advantages that real-time news provides. NewsWare is a market intelligence tool for news. In today's data driven markets, it is truly beneficial to have a tool that delivers access to the professional sources where you can obtain the facts in real time.

Join our webinar, free, it's open to all. 

Just click here at 1 pm est and join in!

[For more information on NewsWare, click here. For a list of prices: NewsWar...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

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

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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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.

Market Shadows >>