Posts Tagged ‘emerging markets’

Jeremy Grantham: Playing with fire, but stocks could race to old highs

Jeremy Grantham: Playing with fire, but stocks could race to old highs

Boy (7-9) holding sparkler, side view, night

Courtesy of Prieur du Plessis at Investment Postcards from Cape Town 

Jeremy Grantham has become a familiar and very popular face on this site. For those treasuring his insight, wisdom and prescient calls, the co-founder and chief investment strategist of Boston-based GMO has just published the April edition of his quarterly newsletter entitled “Playing with Fire (A Possible Race to the Old Highs)”.

Here are a few excerpts from Grantham’s newsletter.

“So what do I think will happen? That’s easy: I don’t know. We have been spoiled in the last 10 years with many near certainties – mainly that real bubbles would break – but this is definitely not one of them. Not yet anyway.  (However, I am still willing to play guessing games despite the fact that “I don’t know.” So here, as Exhibit 1, is my probability tree.)

“The general conclusion is that the line of least resistance is a market move in the next 18 months or so back to the old highs, say, 1500 to 1600 on the S&P, accompanied by an equivalent gain in most risk measures, followed once again by a very dangerous break. If that happens, rates will still be low and thus difficult to use as a jump starter, the financial system will still be fragile, and the piggybank will be more or less empty. It is remarkably silly for the Fed to allow, even encourage, this flight path. It is also remarkably silly for investors to be so carefree, given their recent experiences. Fortunately, there are several less likely outcomes that collectively,…
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WILL EMERGING MARKETS LEAD THE MARKET LOWER?

WILL EMERGING MARKETS LEAD THE MARKET LOWER?

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

MIT professor Simon Johnson says the next big down leg in the bear market will come from emerging markets:


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Free Money Thursday – 130 S&P New Highs Can’t Be Wrong!

130 S&P 500 companies hit 52-week highs yesterday.

Things must be even better than I thought in yesterday's post and there has been a conga line of pom-pom waving analysts on GE/CNBC this morning telling us how UNDER valued everything is because we just don't see the BIG PICTURE.  As Bespoke notes in their chart of the S&P and it's new highs, you want to see more and more stocks hitting new highs to sustain a rally but my question is – with the market now at 17-month highs and making new highs every day – what's up with the other 370 stocks? 

In an ordinary market, I wouldn't question it but this is not an ordinary market.  52 weeks ago we were at 666 on the S&P and stocks were making DECADE lows.  Here we are with the index up almost 80% off that bottom and we can't pull a lousy 52-week high from 2/3 of the index???  We'll be keeping an eye on this indicator to see how things pan out but notice when the market fell – there were no doubts, 80% of the stocks made 52-week lows last fall – not THAT'S a sell-off.  That's the kind of dramatic numbers you expect to see in a dramatic market move – not this wimpy 40% stuff – let's see some conviction people!

AAPL is convicted – they are up 191% from their lows and AAPL is 15% of the Nasdaq so, all by themselves, AAPL has accounted for 28% of the Nasdaq's move from 1,265 to 2,389 (89%).  TRV is also moving with conviction, up 54% since March and adding 160 much-needed points to the Dow, a great swap for C, who would have only added about 24 had they remained in the index.  CSCO replaced GM (because they are soooooo similar) and they too have been a great trade for the Dow, up 100% off the March lows and slapping 104 bonus points on the index. 

Ah, now we see how our industrials can do so well despite all the unemployment and lower cap utilization and lack of demand and high commodity input costs – we just shuffle the deck until we find a set of cards that work!   Even so, as I've pointed out this week, the Dow has been lagging the Nasdaq
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GURU OUTLOOK: FELIX ZULAUF & THE SECULAR BEAR MARKET

GURU OUTLOOK: FELIX ZULAUF & THE SECULAR BEAR MARKET

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

guruThis week’s Guru Outlook brings us the brilliance of Felix Zulauf.  Zulauf is the founder of Zulauf Asset Management based in Switzerland and is well known for his appearances in Barron’s annual roundtable.   Zulauf has nailed the secular bear market downturn and 2009 upturn about as well as anyone.  More importantly, he has been nearly flawless in connecting the dots in the macro picture.  From the de-leveraging cycle that led to the downturn to the government stimulus that led to the upturn – Zulauf has been remarkably prescient.

At the 2008 roundtable Zulauf recommended investors purchase gold and short stocks due to concerns with the consumer.  He remained bearish throughout the year.  At the 2009 roundtable Zulauf said stocks would bottom at some point in the second quarter after making a new 2009 low.  He got aggressive and said stocks would rally after that.  His recommendations to purchase oil, gold and emerging markets were home runs.

Zulauf’s macro outlook hasn’t changed all that much.  He still believes the de-leveraging bear market cycle is with us and that we’re in the early stages.  Zulauf sees a number of similarities with Japan and says the consumer is in the process of long-term balance sheet repair:

“we are in the early stages of a deleveraging process, which is marked by a shift from maximizing profits to minimizing debt. It is a multiyear process. The U.S. consumer is in bad shape, and the U.K. consumer is even worse.”

But Zulauf hasn’t turned bearish in the short-term yet.  He says the markets have another 10% of upside before concerns over the end of the stimulus begin to weigh on the markets:

“Central bankers themselves are somewhat afraid of what they have been doing. Politicians are worried about public-sector debt. Therefore, the authorities will try to step away slowly from their stimulation efforts, because this policy isn’t sustainable. That’s the risk for the markets.  The U.S. stock market has enough momentum to rise another 10% or so. But the authorities will start leaning the other way as they see signs of economic growth in the first two quarters, and possibly a jump in inflation. That could push the market down.”


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PRUDENTIAL’S 2010 MARKET OUTLOOK

PRUDENTIAL’S 2010 MARKET OUTLOOK

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

Businessman gazing into crystal ball

Strategists at Prudential are among the most bullish on Wall Street (for more very bullish outlooks please see RBC’s outlook, Merrill’s outlook & JP Morgan’s outlook).   They see further government stimulus, low interest rates and the inventory rebuild driving the S&P up to 1,350 by the end of 2010 for a full 23% rally from current prices.

They believe inflation is likely to remain low as slack in the economy, high unemployment and low capacity utilization keep prices under wraps.

They remain very bullish on equity markets for 5 primary reasons:

1) GDP rebound sustaining in Q4 and into 2010, and growth expectations being revised higher.

2) Q3 earnings surprising on the upside outlook and earnings recovering further in Q4 and 2010 with solid GDP growth, widening margins and improved pricing power.

3) Inflation moving from disinflation to low inflation with excess capacity and high unemployment.

4) Global central banks holding interest rates at crisis lows levels, long-term rates remaining low, and plenty of liquidity.

5) Continued stabilization in financial market conditions and risk appetite improving further.

How to play it?  They want to be overweight stocks and underweight bonds.  More specifically, they prefer emerging market and UK equities with a modest overweight in the Eurozone while being underweight Japan and the U.S.

In terms of sectors they prefer energy, info. tech, and materials with a modest overweight in financials and industrials.  They are neutral consumer discretionary with modest underweights in consumers staples and healthcare.  They underweight utilities and telecomm.

In the bond market they like emerging markets and Japanese debt with a modest overweight in UK debt.  They are neutral on the Eurozone and underweight US debt.

The tend is much the same in terms of forex.  They like the Euro and emerging market currencies, remain neutral on sterling & Yen with an underweight on the dollar.

Source: Prudential

 


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A Conversation with John

A Conversation with John

Courtesy of John Mauldin at Thoughts from the Frontline

Unemployment Positives

Michael Faraday (1791-

This morning’s unemployment number, though still down by 11,000, is the best we have seen in a very long time. The birth/death ratio only added 30,000 jobs, and previous months were revised upwards. Given that the ADP employment number on Wednesday was so high, and the service ISM was not good, this comes as a very pleasant and positive surprise. Is this a trend, or something seasonal because the main driver was temporary jobs? We will see in a few months. Let’s hope we see a real turnaround soon.

A Conversation with John

With Damien Hoffman of Wall St. Cheat Sheet

John Mauldin coined the incredibly popular phrase, "Muddle Through Economy." If the next few years continue to drag along as we rebuild from the greatest credit bubble in history, then John’s term may become the catch phrase used by every financial journalist and economist in the land.

John is a passionate traveler with business partners all over the world. He also puts out a free newsletter to over one million people worldwide. This reach of friends and travels give John an excellent macro view of the world economy. Further, his multidisciplinary interests offer some unique insights into economics and human behavior.

I had a chance to catch up with John and talk about his experiences as an economist, his perspective on which countries will grow the fastest in the coming decades, how he sees demographics affecting the world, and a bonus question from one of our 1400 Twitter followers …

Damien Hoffman: John, was economics part of your schooling or a passion of yours right from the start?

Rear view of Monks praying in front of a sculpture, Kanari Cave, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

John: I had a triple major in college, one of them being economics and history. So I’ve always been fascinated by history, economics, and finance. The markets are a big puzzle to me and I’m a puzzle addict. So it feeds my addiction. I started reading the Austrian economists first, in the early ’80s as I entered the investment world. That was my real introduction to economics. Over time, if you stay around long enough and read enough, you can pick up all the other schools of thought, like I did.

Damien: Based on some of your newsletters,
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Dubai’s Spruce Goose Island Ventures

Dubai’s Spruce Goose Island Ventures

Courtesy of Adam Sharp at Bearish News

Dubai’s man-made islands are stunning technological achievements. But they may end up being the poster-children for this era’s reckless real estate ventures. These projects are turning out to play a big role in the ongoing debt crisis in Dubai.

Here’s “The World” island project:

dubai-world-islands

And here’s one of the three palm tree islands, where you can see construction underway:

dubai-palm-island

I remember being struck by the scale of the project while watching a Discovery Channel documentary. What a cool concept. Unfortunately, it looks like reality is catching up to this pipe dream.

Recent revelations show that the islands’ parent company, Nakheel PJSC, is in trouble. Their attempt to delay debt payments sparked a global selloff on 11/27. Fears of a debt crisis in Dubai spreading to other emerging markets (EM) roiled stocks.

Investors collectively paused the day after Thanksgiving, “Wait a sec… I thought emerging markets were going to be the engine driving us out of this mess… Now their bubbles are popping? Uhhh-Ohhh.”

Bloomberg provides a detailed example of island building gone-wrong:

Samsung C&T Corp., builder of the world’s tallest tower in Dubai, said it stopped work on a $350 million bridge in the city after a unit of Dubai World halted payments.

Construction of the half-finished bridge, to the man-made Palm Jebel Ali island, was suspended earlier this month after Nakheel PJSC made no payments for about two months, Cho Keun Ho, a spokesman for the Seoul-based builder, said today. Calls to Nakheel’s spokeswoman Anna McGovern went unanswered.

Not all emerging markets have the same debt issues Dubai does, of course. But there are tons of risky investments lurking out there, and they’re not just in EM (hint – many are hidden off US bank’s balance sheets).

Some are speculating that Dubai’s debt problems will be a catalyst, sparking major selloffs worldwide, particularly in EM. If so, I would think those countries with stronger balance sheets, like China, will fare better than those with high debt loads. That said, I am considering reducing my personal EM holdings, but haven’t done so yet.


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After Dubai, Is Greece Next?

After Dubai, Is Greece Next?

Courtesy of Joe Weisenthal at Clusterstock

Harbor of Skiathos

After you’ve gotten your Dubai fill, take a break and check out the situation in Greece.

Here’s the Telegraph from earlier this week:

When the European Central Bank’s Jean-Claude Trichet said last week that certain sinners on the edges of the eurozone were "very close to losing their credibility", everybody knew he meant Greece.

The interest spread between 10-year Greek bonds and German bunds has jumped to 178 basis points. Greek debt has decoupled from Italian debt. Athens can no longer hide behind others in EMU’s soft South.

"As far as the bond vigilantes are concerned, the Bat-Signal is up for Greece," said Francesco Garzarelli in a Goldman Sachs client note, Tremors at the EMU Periphery.

The newly-elected Hellenic Socialists (PASOK) of George Papandreou confess that the budget deficit will be more than 12pc of GDP this year, four times the original claim of the last lot. After campaigning on extra spending, it will have to do the exact opposite. "We need to save the country from bankruptcy," he said.

Good luck. Communist-led shipyard workers have already clashed violently with police. Some 200 anarchists were arrested in Athens last week after they torched streets of cars in a tear gas battle.

Read the whole thing >

 


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China is now on the same bubble path as Japan post-1987 crash

China is now on the same bubble path as Japan post-1987 crash

James Packer's 'City Of Dreams' Casino Opens In Macau

Courtesy of Credit Writedowns

This article by Peter Tasker, a well-regarded financial analyst in Asia, comes via the Financial Times (hat tip Marshall). He sees an enormous bubble forming in China – and parallels to Japan circa 1987:

Emerging markets, it seems, have had a good crisis. In contrast to the debt-ridden G7 economies, they have quickly resumed their growth trajectory. No surprise, then, that US emerging market mutual funds are experiencing record inflows. The stellar performance of the Brics markets – Brazil, Russia, Indian and China – is due to continue into the distant future.

Such is the narrative now forming among investors. To anyone who has lived through the rise and fall of the Japanese bubble economy, it should set off alarm bells.

Remember that it was in the years following the 1987 "Black Monday" crash that Japanese assets went from being expensive to absurdly overvalued and the Nikkei’s dizzy rise to 39,000 forced the bears to throw in the towel…

But what you saw was decidedly not what you got. The crisis, far from leaving Japan unscathed, exacerbated its structural problems and laid the groundwork for a far greater disaster…

Interest rates have been far too low for far too long. If the natural interest rate is, as the Swedish economist Knut Wicksell posited, around the level of nominal GDP growth, then China’s interest rates should have been close to 10 per cent for most of this decade. Alan Greenspan, former chief of the US Federal Reserve, has been criticised for holding interest rates too low and setting off a housing and credit bubble in the US. But if US monetary policy was wrong for the US, it was even more wrong for the high-growth countries that "imported" it. The result could only be a massive misallocation of capital…

At the 2008 peak, the price-to-book ratio of the Shanghai stock exchange was over seven times, well above the five times achieved by Japanese stocks in 1989. After the turbulence of the past 18 months, the ratio has fallen to 3.3 times, still the world’s second highest after India, and residential real estate trades at multiples of income that make the US housing boom look tame…

What is scary is that the current frothiness of emerging markets,


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WSJ – Small Investors Pile into Emerging Markets, Junk Bonds, and Commodities

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WSJ – Small Investors Pile into Emerging Markets, Junk Bonds, and Commodities

crowded trade, lemmings, small investorsPosted by TraderMark at Fund My Mutual Fund

If you’ve been around these markets for a while you generally know by the time the retail investor is piling into a group, chasing huge scores – it’s generally time to run away (at the least) and for the 5% among us who short, begin to think seriously about betting against the small fry. It sounds cold, but this is just the way it tends to work … trust me, I used to be one of these people, so I learned the hard (read: expensive) way. As we read the piece below let us trust in the fact that none of these people were buying in early March, but most likely jumped in when it was "safe" a month or so later.

Contrast the lemmings running into "what’s hot" with what you’ve been reading here – about a month ago I was saying commodities is crowded and I would not want to be exposed highly there. People who heeded that thought process avoided the sand blasting that has gone on for 3 weeks running in this sector. While I do like these emerging markets for the long term, I think they are vulnerable here as well; some are beginning to roll over – Russia has already been in a "technical" bear market (down over 20% from peak). And I am saying the same thing I said in commodities a month ago, now for the latest darling – technology. It is crowded – everyone is hiding there. Beware.

I don’t really talk much bonds but while junk bonds (highest risk) has provided the most juice the past 3-4 months, its basically been a parallel to the stock market. The ‘worst of breed’ has run up the most as green shoots flower across the world. Just as with the green shoots themselves, I find the junk bond love way premature. This economy is stalled and I expect many more companies to suffer – so buying bonds of the worst seems not such a great intermediate term strategy. I’d be more interested


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Zero Hedge

"Tool Of Terror": This Killer Opioid Could Be Used As "Weapon Of Mass Destruction"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Fentanyl is so powerful that a few milligrams can be fatal. It would take about 40 pounds of fentanyl to kill everyone in New York City and 1,515 pounds to kill almost all Americans. This killer opioid is so potent, according to Bloomberg it could be used as a "weapon of mass destruction," adding that national security experts are becoming increasingly alarmed at the prospect of it being used in the next terror attack.

A sil...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Regional Banks About To Send Important Message!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Large and Regional banks have struggled this year, as both indices have declined nearly 15% in 2018.  These declines have taken place as interest rates have been moving higher, which historically is positive for banks.

The declines of late in Regional Bank ETF (KRE) has it testing 7-year rising support as well as the 2007 highs at (1).

The Power of the Pattern is of the opinion, what KRE does at (1), will send an important message to the banking industry and the broad markets.

Keep a close eye on KRE in the weeks ahead friends, this looks to be an important test of support!...



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Phil's Favorites

Walmart Testing Flippy The Job-Stealing Robot Cook

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Walmart is testing out a new kitchen robot assistant named "Flippy" at its Bentonville, Arkansas headquarters in order to see if it might make for a valuable team member in its in-store delis, according to Yahoo! Finance

While Flippy had somewhat of a rocky start at a Pa...



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Insider Scoop

52 Biggest Movers From Yesterday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Gainers
  • Sparton Corporation (NYSE: SPA) shares climbed 39.63 percent to close at $18.32 on Wednesday after the company agreed to be purchased by Cerberus at $18.50 per share in cash.
  • Astrotech Corp (NASDAQ: ASTC) shares gained 26.87 percent to close at $3.40 after the company's subsidiary, 1st Detect, announced its TRACER 1000 explosives trace detector passed the European Civil Aviation Conference's common evaluation conference.
  • LexinFintech Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ: LX) climbed...


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Biotech

Those designer babies everyone is freaking out about - it's not likely to happen

Reminder: We're available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

Those designer babies everyone is freaking out about – it's not likely to happen

Babies to order. Andrew crotty/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy A Cecile JW Janssens, Emory University

When Adam Nash was still an embryo, living in a dish in the lab, scientists tested his DNA to make sure it was free of ...



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Members' Corner

Blue Wave with Cheri Jacobus (Q&A II, Updated)

By Ilene at Phil's Stock World

Cheri Jacobus is a widely known political consultant, pundit, writer and outspoken former Republican and frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, CBS.com, CNBC and C-Span. Cheri shares her thoughts on the political landscape with us in a follow up to our August interview.

Updated 12-10-18

Ilene: What do you think about Michael Cohen's claim that the Trump Organization's discussions with high-level Russian officials about a deal for Trump Tower Moscow continued into June 2016?

...

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Digital Currencies

How low will Bitcoin now go? The history of price bubbles provides some clues

 

How low will Bitcoin now go? The history of price bubbles provides some clues

The Bitcoin bubble is perhaps the most extreme speculative bubble since the late 19th century. Shutterstock

Courtesy of Lee Smales, University of Western Australia

Nearly 170 years before the invention of Bitcoin, the journalist Charles Mackay noted the way whole communities could “fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit”. Millions of people, he wrote, “become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first”.

His book ...



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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Dec 09, 2018

Courtesy of Blain.

Bears are certainly showing the type of strength we haven’t seen in a long time.   A week ago at this time futures were surging on news of a “truce” for 90 days between China and the U.S. in their trade spat.  But the charts were still not saying lovely things despite a major rally the week prior.   And by Tuesday, darkness had descended back on the indexes, with another gut punch Friday.    A lot of emphasis was put on a long term Treasury yield dropping below a shorter term Treasury.

On Monday, the yield on five year government debt slid below the yield on three year debt, a phenomenon which has p...



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Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...



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ValueWalk

Vilas Fund Up 55% In Q3; 3Q18 Letter: A Bull Market In Bearish Forecasts

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The Vilas Fund, LP letter for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018; titled, “A Bull Market in Bearish Forecasts.”

Ever since the financial crisis, there has been a huge fascination with predictions of the next “big crash” right around the next corner. Whether it is Greece, Italy, Chinese debt, the “overvalued” stock market, the Shiller Ratio, Puerto Rico, underfunded pensions in Illinois and New Jersey, the Fed (both for QE a few years ago and now for removing QE), rising interest rates, Federal budget deficits, peaking profit margins, etc...



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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"

 

 

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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.

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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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