Posts Tagged ‘European Union’

Greek Sovereignty Massively Limited; You Cannot Roll Over What You Do Not Have; Railing Against the Truth; EU Seeks to Curb Big Three Rating Firms

Courtesy of Mish

Jean-Claude Junker, the man who says "When it becomes serious, you have to lie", apparently has had a sudden splash of honesty, stating Greek sovereignty to be massively limited.

Greece faces severe restrictions on its sovereignty and must privatize state assets on a scale similar to the sell off of East German firms in the 1990s after communism fell, Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said.

"The sovereignty of Greece will be massively limited," he told Germany’s Focus magazine in the interview released on Sunday, adding that teams of experts from around the euro zone would heading to Greece.

"One cannot be allowed to insult the Greeks. But one has to help them. They have said they are ready to accept expertise from the euro zone," Juncker said.

Massive Loss of Sovereignty is an Insult

If I was Greek, I would take a statement regarding massive loss of sovereignty as an insult, not help. Thus, true to form, in aggregate, Juncker’s statements are a collective lie.

EU Seeks to Curb Big Three Rating Firms 

Bloomberg reports EU Seeks to Curb Big Three Rating Firms After Portugal Downgrade.

European policy makers lashed out at rating companies after Moody’s Investors Service cut Portugal’s debt to junk, reviving calls to curtail their clout.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said the grip of the big three rating companies had to be broken when asked about Moody’s downgrade. “I have said before that we have to curb the influence of the rating agencies,” Schaeuble told reporters in Berlin today. There’s a need to “break up” the companies’ dominance, he said.

European Commission President Jose Barroso said he “deeply” regrets the timing and magnitude of Portugal’s downgrade by Moody’s and said proposals for increasing regulation of the rating companies in Europe would come out this year. The moves by Moody’s “do not provide for more clarity. They rather add another speculative element to the situation,” Barroso told reporters in Strasbourg today.

The commission, the European Union’s executive arm, “is looking into the regulation of rating agencies to determine whether there are some measures that need to be taken with regard to the prevention of possible conflicts of interest and other matters,” he said. “Developments since the sovereign- debt crisis show we need to take a further look at reinforcing our rules.”

Truth Not Appreciated

I agree with Schaeuble regarding the need to “break…
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EURUSD Takes Out Day’s Lows After Irish Opposition Says Will Vote Against EU/IMF Bailout

Courtesy of Zero Hedge 

Remember Europe and that insolvent country which Ron Insana conclusively determined does not matter? It’s back on the scene after Reuters reports that the main Irish opposition Labor party has just announced it will vote against the IMF/EU bailout package. Just what spin Olli Rehn will have to use to calm markets after his latest vassal nation continually refuses to go quietly into that good night, remains to be seen.

From Reuters:

The euro extended declines on Thursday after a spokesperson from Ireland’s centre-left opposition Labour party said the party will vote against an 85 billion euro IMF/EU bailout package when it is put before parliament for approval next week.

"Labour would vote against it because we consider it a bad deal," she told Reuters. Ireland’s governing Fianna Fail party said on Thursday it would seek parliamentary approval for the rescue funds. 

 


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GERMANY WON’T ABANDON THE EURO

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

There have been rumors lately that Germany has raised the possibility that they might leave the Euro.  But like most of the talk coming out of Berlin in recent months it’s just that – talk.  After all, why in the world would Germany ever want to leave this currency union? Although inherently flawed, there is always a great winner in single currency systems.  In this case it is undoubtedly Germany.  They have their lowest unemployment rate in 18 years, a booming economy, zero inflation, a monopoly on the export market in Europe and total control over the ECB.

Although their enviable position in the Eurozone (as the primary trade surplus nation) is highly favorable there are other reasons for Germany to fight for the Euro’s survival.  They have a vested interested in making sure that the periphery nations do not default on debt that is held largely by German bankers.  In addition, the Euro project is largely a creature of the German political regime.  As I’ve frequently mentioned there is simply too much political will invested in the Euro thus far to allow it to unravel.

Those are the primary three reasons why Germany will not abandon the Euro.  They have benefited enormously at the expense of the periphery nations.  Germany will talk tough, but do everything in their power to ensure that this German prosperity continues.  The biggest risk to the Euro and Germany is that the periphery nations begin to revolt against their German bankers & their ECB.  Thus far the Germans have played their cards well.  They have convinced the periphery nations that austerity is good for them and that Europe is here to help them.

Make no mistake.  Germany will do everything in its power to keep the poor on their knees.   After all, in a single currency system there must always be a winner and loser.  Germany knows they are the winner and they will do everything they can to ensure the losers never realize this. 

 


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Ireland’s “String and Sealing-Wax Fix”; Irish PM Loses Confidence of Own Party; European Sovereign Default Risk Hits All Time High

Mish reports on Ireland’s "String and Sealing-Wax Fix"; Irish PM Loses Confidence of Own Party; European Sovereign Default Risk Hits All Time High.

irelandCourtesy of Mish

News in Europe regarding Ireland, Spain, and Portugal is ominous. Credit Default Swaps (CDS) are soaring in Spain and Portugal. European sovereign risk jumped to an all-time high.

Lloyds TSB says "Ireland’s debt woes may spread because investors have lost confidence in policy makers".

Members of his own party are calling on Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen to resign.

The quote of the day goes to Bill Blain, a strategist at Matrix Corporate Capital LLP in London who said "“Bailouts are nothing but a short-term string-and-sealing-wax fix”.

With that let’s take a look at some specific news.

Zero Confidence in Irish Solution

Lloyds says Ireland’s Woes May Spread on ‘Zero Confidence’

“The markets currently have virtually zero confidence that the bailout in Ireland will solve the European crisis even though fiscal austerity measures in both Portugal and Spain have been severe and prima facie, sufficient to ease market concerns,” Charles Diebel and David Page, fixed-income strategists in London, wrote in an investor note today.

“With markets effectively in a position to dictate policy, the risk is that the credibility crisis shifts to more sizeable European Union countries and thereby poses a greater risk to the system as a whole,” they wrote. That may also raise “valid questions about the prescriptive policy measures being sufficient to deal with issues of such magnitude.”

Credit Default Swaps Soar in Spain, Portugal

In spite of the Irish bailout, Spain, Portugal Bank Debt Risk Soars as Traders Look South

The cost of insuring Spanish and Portuguese subordinated bank bonds soared as traders of credit-default swaps turned their focus to southern Europe following Ireland’s bailout.

Swaps on Portugal’s Banco Espirito Santo SA rose to a record while contracts on Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, Spain’s second-biggest lender, climbed to the highest in more than five months. The benchmark gauge of European sovereign risk also jumped to an all-time high, while two indexes tied to bank debt surged the most since June.

Ireland’s rescue “achieves completely the opposite of what it allegedly tries to achieve, namely to calm markets,” Tim Brunne, at UniCredit SpA said in a report.

“Instead, the credit profile of both the sovereign and the impaired financial institutions has been weakened,” the Munich-based strategist wrote.


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Hooray, ECB Saves Eurozone 2nd Time; Allied Irish Bonds Bid at 45% of Face Value, Anglo Irish SubDebt has 99.99% Default Odds;Irish Citizens “Namatized”

Hooray, ECB Saves Eurozone 2nd Time; Allied Irish Bonds Bid at 45% of Face Value, Anglo Irish SubDebt has 99.99% Default Odds;Irish Citizens "Namatized"

Courtesy of Mish 

Market participants are giddy today on the great news that Ireland will go deeper in debt in a foolish attempt to bail out the German and UK bondholders who were in turn foolish enough to lend ridiculous amounts of money to Irish banks in various real estate schemes.

The Irish government was of course foolish enough to guarantee all of this foolishness which means that Irish citizens many of whom were sucked into buying property at foolish prices are now on the hook to bail out the bondholders, rubbing salt into the wounds of Irish taxpayers, not all of whom were foolish enough to freely participate in the general foolishness.

Got that?

Here is a short video from the Wall Street Journal that explains why the bailout will not work.

Ireland Nears Bailout

Now let’s consider details of this foolishness in greater detail, starting with Crude Oil Rises From Four-Week Low as Ireland Nears Bailout

Crude oil increased from a four-week low as Ireland moved closer to a European Union-led financial bailout, strengthening the euro and boosting commodities.

Irish Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan said in an interview with state broadcaster RTE today he expects the country to ask the EU and the International Monetary Fund for “tens of billions” of euros to rescue its banks.

Desirable Outcome

“If these talks were to result in a substantial contingency capital funding” pool that didn’t need to be drawn down, that “would be a very desirable outcome,” Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said in the Irish parliament in Dublin today. He said no agreement has yet been reached.

Fairy Tale Nonsense 

Check out that fairy tale silliness from Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, then answer this question: What are the odds that a "substantial contingency capital funding” would not be drawn down?

If you answered zero percent you are a winner, which makes the Irish taxpayer a loser.

Allied Irish Bonds Have Face Value Bid of 45 Percent

Bloomberg reports Allied Irish Bonds Fall on Concern IMF ‘Bad Guy’ to Impose Loss.

Allied Irish Banks Plc’s 12.5 percent subordinated bonds due 2019 were quoted at a bid price of about 45 percent of face value, according to Jefferies International in London, down


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Could The Financial Crisis Erupting In Ireland, Portugal, Greece And Spain Lead To The End Of The Euro And The Break Up Of The European Union?

Could The Financial Crisis Erupting In Ireland, Portugal, Greece And Spain Lead To The End Of The Euro And The Break Up Of The European Union?

Courtesy of Michael Snyder at Economic Collapse 

The Irish banking system is melting down right in front of our eyes.  Ireland, Portugal, Greece and Spain are all drowning in debt.  It is becoming extremely expensive for all of those nations to issue new debt.  Officials all over Europe are begging Ireland to accept a bailout.  Portugal has already indicated that they will probably be next in line.  Most economists are now acknowledging that without a new round of bailouts the dominoes could start to fall and we could see a wave of debt defaults by European governments.  All of this is pushing the monetary union in Europe to its limits.  In fact, some of Europe’s top politicians are now publicly warning that this crisis may not only mean the end of the euro, but also the end of the European Union itself.

Yes, things really are that serious in Europe right now.  In order for the euro and the European Union to hold together, two things have got to happen.  Number one, Germany and the other European nations that are in good financial condition have got to agree to keep bailing out nations such as Ireland, Portugal and Greece that are complete economic basket cases.  Number two, the European nations receiving these bailouts have got to convince their citizens to comply with the very harsh austerity measures being imposed upon them by the EU and the IMF.

Those two things should not be taken for granted.  In Germany, many taxpayers are already sick and tired of pouring hundreds of billions of euros into a black hole.  The truth is that the Germans are not going to accept carrying weak sisters like Greece and Portugal on their backs indefinitely.

In addition, we have already seen the kinds of riots that have erupted in Greece over the austerity measures being implemented there.  If there is an overwhelming backlash against austerity in some parts of Europe will some nations actually attempt to leave the EU?

Right now the focus is on Ireland.  The Irish banking system is a basket case at the moment and the Irish government is drowning in red ink.  European Union officials are urging Ireland to request a bailout, but so far…
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CARNAGE

CARNAGE

First World War battlefield scene, 1918. A gate into the park of the chateau of Plessis-de-Roye. Defenders have made gun ports in the wall and the gate and have mown down the attacking infantry with lethal gunfire. After the painting by Francois Fla

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

The QE trade is unwinding in dramatic fashion as the market slowly realizes that QE is not in any way inflationary.  As I mentioned last week the smart money markets (fixed income and FX) were foreshadowing this as early as last week.  The air pocket created by Ben Bernanke created an incredible trading opportunity for investors who weren’t blinded by confidence in the Federal Reserve.  Just two weeks ago I said:

“Would add (to shorts) into any move over 1200. Would LOVE to see 1220″

My position is that the market is misinterpreting the economic impact of QE in the long-term. My market position has always been that we could rally to these levels and that at these levels the market has become overly optimistic. If I am wrong I will lose some money and move on. It’s part of the business.

Like clockwork the market touched 1220, bounced and sold-off.  The carnage across markets is broad.  The only things rallying are volatility, USD and US treasuries.  In essence, the leveraged QE inflation trade is collapsing.  You can thank Ben Bernanke for this.  When you create distortions in the market you get volatility, uncertainty and ultimately a collapse in prices. Keeping market prices “higher than they otherwise would be” is not a recipe for economic growth.

The most worrisome development is dissension inside the EMU.  Austria is now threatening to withhold their contribution to the Greek bailout unless Greece can prove that they have fulfilled their requirements for aid:

“The cost of insuring against default by Greece and the premium investors demand to hold the country’ bonds rather than lower-risk German Bunds jumped on Tuesday after Austria said Athens had not met aid commitments.

Five-year credit default swaps were 100 bps wider on the day at 950 bps, according to monitor Markit, while the 10-year yield spread between Greek and German government bonds was 15 bps wider at 923 bps.

Greece has not fulfilled commitments for its European Union-backed aid package, Austrian finance minister Josef Proell said on Tuesday, adding that Vienna had not yet submitted its contribution for December.”

That’s not the only concern in the markets.  Municipal bonds in the US continue to crash as a market that was priced for perfection now begins to price in some risk.  Commodity markets are…
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The Road to World War III – The Global Banking Cartel Has One Card Left to Play

The Road to World War III – The Global Banking Cartel Has One Card Left to Play

By David DeGraw (h/t ZH)

The following is Part I to David DeGraw’s new book, “The Road Through 2012: Revolution or World War III.” This is the second installment to a new seven-part series that we will be posting throughout the next few weeks. You can read the introduction to the book here. To be notified via email of new postings from this series, subscribe here.

******

Editor’s Note: The following is Part I to David DeGraw’s new book, “The Road Through 2012: Revolution or World War III.” This is the second installment to a new seven-part series that we will be posting throughout the next few weeks. You can read the introduction to the book here. To be notified via email of new postings from this series, subscribe here.

I: Economic Imperial Operations

The Road to World War III - The Global Banking Cartel Has One Card Left to PlayWhen we analyze our current crisis, focusing on the past few years of economic activity blinds us to the history and context that are vital to understanding the root cause. What we have been experiencing is not the result of an unforeseen economic crash that appeared out of the blue with the collapse of the housing market. It was certainly not brought on by people who bought homes they couldn’t afford. To frame this crisis around a debate on economic theory misses the point entirely. To even blame it on greedy bankers,…
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Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds

This is a fascinating study of Greece and how the largest of part of its bankruptcy may be in its collective conscience.  - Ilene 

Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds

Greece, Boat anchored at island

Vanity Fair’s Introduction: As Wall Street hangs on the question “Will Greece default?,” the author heads for riot-stricken Athens, and for the mysterious Vatopaidi monastery, which brought down the last government, laying bare the country’s economic insanity. But beyond a $1.2 trillion debt (roughly a quarter-million dollars for each working adult), there is a more frightening deficit. After systematically looting their own treasury, in a breathtaking binge of tax evasion, bribery, and creative accounting spurred on by Goldman Sachs, Greeks are sure of one thing: they can’t trust their fellow Greeks. 

BY MICHAEL LEWIS, Vanity Fair 

After an hour on a plane, two in a taxi, three on a decrepit ferry, and then four more on buses driven madly along the tops of sheer cliffs by Greeks on cell phones, I rolled up to the front door of the vast and remote monastery. The spit of land poking into the Aegean Sea felt like the end of the earth, and just as silent. It was late afternoon, and the monks were either praying or napping, but one remained on duty at the guard booth, to greet visitors. He guided me along with seven Greek pilgrims to an ancient dormitory, beautifully restored, where two more solicitous monks offered ouzo, pastries, and keys to cells. I sensed something missing, and then realized: no one had asked for a credit card. The monastery was not merely efficient but free. One of the monks then said the next event would be the church service: Vespers. The next event, it will emerge, will almost always be a church service. There were 37 different chapels inside the monastery’s walls; finding the service is going to be like finding Waldo, I thought.

“Which church?” I asked the monk.

“Just follow the monks after they rise,” he said. Then he looked me up and down more closely. He wore an impossibly long and wild black beard, long black robes, a monk’s cap, and prayer beads. I wore white running shoes, light khakis, a mauve Brooks Brothers shirt, and carried a plastic laundry bag that said eagles palace hotel in giant letters on the side. “Why have you come?” he asked.

That was


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Leadership To Bits In New Must-Read Essay

Leadership To Bits In New Must-Read Essay

Courtesy of Joe Weisenthal at Clusterstock 

georgesoros thinking tbiBefore you leave the office! Do check out George Soros’ just-released essay in the New York Review of Books on the crisis and the euro. Even if you disagree with his argument — which is basically that Germany has been to blame at every time — he does bring original insights to the table regarding recent history.

Why has Germany been to blame? Here’s the core.

Germany now wants to treat the Maastricht Treaty as the scripture that has to be obeyed without any modifications. This is not understandable, because it is in conflict with the incremental method by which the European Union was built. Something has gone fundamentally wrong in Germany’s attitude toward the European Union.

He goes on, citing Germany’s budget cutting, and the inevitable deflationary spiral that will occur when everyone is doing austerity at the same time.

And he notes that European monetary policy is essentially a sprocket wrench that only goes in one direction. Due to German anti-inflation paranoia, the ECB only is prepared to fight inflation. Deflation will never be considered an enemy.

Here’s Soros at his most poetic:

To be sure, Germany cannot be blamed for wanting a strong currency and a balanced budget. But it can be blamed for imposing its predilection on other countries that have different needs and preferences—like Procrustes, who forced other people to lie in his bed and stretched them or cut off their legs to make them fit. The Procrustes bed being inflicted on the eurozone is called deflation.

Read the whole thing > 


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Phil's Favorites

Climate change may scuttle Caribbean's post-hurricane plans for a renewable energy boom

 

Climate change may scuttle Caribbean's post-hurricane plans for a renewable energy boom

Courtesy of Masao Ashtine, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus

Puerto Rico lost electricity again on April 18, seven months after Hurricane Maria first knocked out the island’s power grid. For people in some remote rural areas, the blackout was more of the same. Their power had yet to be restored.

The dangerous fragility of Puerto Rico’s energy systems has put other Caribbean ...



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Zero Hedge

The War Between Public Pensioners And Tax Donkeys Is Heating Up

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

The migration is only beginning, but that's only half the story.

You know it's serious when the newspaper of record finally reports it: A $76,000 Monthly Pension: Why States and Cities Are Short on Cash (New York Times).

It's a long article but the summary is brief: corru...



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Insider Scoop

Cowen Says The Big Sell-Off In Skechers Is A Buying Opportunity

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related SKX 25 Stocks Moving In Friday's Mid-Day Session Mid-Day Market Update: Skechers USA Falls After Weak Q2 Guidance; Ericsson Shares Climb...

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Chart School

Short Opportunity II

Courtesy of Declan.

The first chance for a short play got burned but there is a second one on offer for the S&P.

The S&P tagged channel resistance and while today's reversal off resistance didn't amount to a big percentage loss it did register as a distribution day. There wasn't any significant technical change so if this short does evolve it will do so with risk measured on a move above 2,717.


The Nasdaq may match a 'bearish evening star' but if this is the case there has to be a significant move lower tomor...

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Digital Currencies

Only 0.04% Of Taxpayers Are Reporting Any Bitcoin Gains To The IRS

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

With the US tax deadline just one day away, crypto investors who traded actively during the market's run-up and inevitable meltdown should have a lot of activity to report to the IRS.

But according to a survey conducted by Credit Karma, only a handful of people who have filed their taxes using Credit Karma's tools have reported bitcoin holdings or holdings of some other cryptocurrency - fewer than 100 out of a total of 250,000 filers, or a whopping 0.04% in total.

In all likelihood, this means that (tens of) thousands of bitcoin traders are refusing to pay the IRS, either betting on the anonymity of the blockchain to conceal th...



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ValueWalk

Buffett At His Best

By csinvesting. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Bear with me as I share a bit of my history that helped me create SkyVu and the Battle Bears games. The University of Nebraska gave me my first job after college. I mostly pushed TV carts around, edited videos for professors or the occasional speaker event. One day, Warren Buffet came to campus to speak to the College of Business. I didn’t think much of this speech at the time but I saved it for some reason. 15 years later, as a founder of my own company, I watch and listen to this particular speech every year to remind myself of the fundamentals and values Mr. Buffett looks for. He’s addressing business students at his alma mater, so I think his style here is a bit more ‘close to home’ than in his other speeches. Hopefully many of you find great value in this video like I have. Sorry for the VHS...



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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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Members' Corner

Cambridge Analytica and the 2016 Election: What you need to know (updated)

 

"If you want to fundamentally reshape society, you first have to break it." ~ Christopher Wylie

[Interview: Cambridge Analytica whistleblower: 'We spent $1m harvesting millions of Facebook profiles' – video]

"You’ve probably heard by now that Cambridge Analytica, which is backed by the borderline-psychotic Mercer family and was formerly chaired by Steve Bannon, had a decisive role in manipulating voters on a one-by-one basis – using their own personal data to push them toward voting ...



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Biotech

How your brain is wired to just say 'yes' to opioids

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

 

How your brain is wired to just say ‘yes’ to opioids

A Philadelphia man, who struggles with opioid addiction, in 2017. AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Courtesy of Paul R. Sanberg, University of South Florida and Samantha Portis, University of South Florida

...

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Mapping The Market

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

Via Jean-Luc

How propagandist beat science – they did it for the tobacco industry and now it's in favor of the energy companies:

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

The original tobacco strategy involved several lines of attack. One of these was to fund research that supported the industry and then publish only the results that fit the required narrative. “For instance, in 1954 the TIRC distributed a pamphlet entitled ‘A Scientific Perspective on the Cigarette Controversy’ to nearly 200,000 doctors, journalists, and policy-makers, in which they emphasized favorable research and questioned results supporting the contrary view,” say Weatherall and co, who call this approach biased production.

A second approach promoted independent research that happened to support ...



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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.

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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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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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