Posts Tagged ‘Investing’

DAVID ROSENBERG: IS DOW 5,000 REALLY POSSIBLE?

DAVID ROSENBERG: IS DOW 5,000 REALLY POSSIBLE?

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

A Syrian Brown Bear stands in the water as she cools down at Jerusalem's Biblical Zoo June 22, 2010. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (JERUSALEM - Tags: ANIMALS ENVIRONMENT)

Some deep thoughts from David Rosenberg on the likelihood of a secular bear market and potential new lows:

Well, well, so much for consensus views.  Like the one we woke up to on Monday  morning recommending that bonds be sold and equities be bought on the news  of China’s “peg” decision.  As we said on Monday, did the 20%-plus yuan appreciation from 2005 to 2008 really alter the investment landscape all that much? It looks like Mr. Market is coming around to the view that all China managed to really accomplish was to shift the focus away from its rigid FX policy to Germany’s rigid approach towards fiscal stimulus.

What is becoming clearer, especially after the latest reports on housing starts, permits, resales and builder sentiment surveys, is that housing is already double dipping in the U.S.  The MBA statistics just came out for the week of June 18 and the new purchase index fell 1.2% – down 36.5% from year-ago levels and that year-ago level itself was down 22% from its year-ago level. Capish, paisan? So far, June is averaging 14.5% below May’s level and May was crushed 18% sequentially, so do not expect what is likely to be an ugly new home sales report for May today to be just a one-month wonder.  Meanwhile, the widespread view out of the economics community is that we will see at least 3% growth in the second half of the year: fat chance of that. What is fascinating is how the ECRI, which was celebrated by Wall Street research houses a year ago, is being maligned today for acting as an impostor — not the indicator it is advertised to be because it gets re-jigged to fit the cycle.

From our lens, there is nothing wrong in trying to improve the predictive abilities of these leading indicators.  Still — it is a comment on how Wall Street researchers are incentivized to be bullish because nobody we know criticized the ECRI as it bounced off the lows (not least of which our debating pal, James Grant).  For a truly wonderful critique of the ballyhooed report that was released yesterday basically accusing the ECRI index as fitting the data points to the cycle


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Rosenberg On Reality Vs Propaganda, a Realistic Outlook, and Capital Allocation

Rosenberg On Reality Vs Propaganda, A Realistic Outlook, And Capital Allocation

Courtesy of Zero Hedge, Tyler Durden

Some terrific insight from Rosie on the future:

THE OUTLOOK IS ONE OF…

  • Deflation: own income-generating securities, which include dividend yield and dividend growth.
  • Corporate balance sheet strength and liquidity: own corporate bonds with liquidity, marginal refinancing needs and stable cash flows.
  • Intense volatility: invest in classic hedge funds — true long-short strategies that preserve capital and minimize fluctuations in the portfolio.
  • Ongoing sovereign credit concerns and recurring rounds of currency depreciation: ensure the portfolio has a core holding in precious metals (gold and silver). These are effective hedges against lingering concerns over the stability of the global monetary system.

I realize that I am viewed as a perma-bear, but it’s my forecast that is bearish, not my personality. I’m bullish on my kids. I’m bullish on my friends — the few I have. I’m bullish on the New York Yankees — please don’t hold it against me. And I’m bullish on my firm. Look — if I really believed that cash was where investors should be, I’d be working at a bank, not a wealth management firm.

… On the present:

Double-dip risks in the U.S. have risen substantially in the past two months. While the “back end” of the economy is still performing well, as we saw in the May industrial production report, this lags the cycle. The “front end” leads the cycle and by that we mean the key guts of final sales — the consumer and housing.

We have already endured two soft retail sales reports in a row and now the weekly chain-store data for June are pointing to subpar activity. The housing sector is going back into the tank — there is no question about it. Bank credit is back in freefall. The recovery in consumer sentiment leaves it at levels that in the past were consistent with outright recessions. By our estimates, the diffusion index on the Conference Board’s leading economic indicator (LEI) in May came in at a disconcerting 40% for the second month in a row. Jobless claims are one of the 10 components of the LEI and last year’s improvement not only stalled out completely, but at around 460k is consistent with stagnant to negative jobs growth. And exports, which had been a


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Betting Does Not Equal Investing

Lesson: While hatred may FEEL good, it’s not the best premise for a winning investment strategy. – Ilene 

Betting Does Not Equal Investing

Courtesy of Jake at Econompic Data

According to Dilbert creator Scott Adams (via an interesting WSJ piece ‘Betting on the Bad Guys’):

When I heard that BP was destroying a big portion of Earth, with no serious discussion of cutting their dividend, I had two thoughts: 1) I hate them, and 2) This would be an excellent time to buy their stock. And so I did. Although I should have waited a week.

People ask me how it feels to take the side of moral bankruptcy. Answer: Pretty good! Thanks for asking. How’s it feel to be a disgruntled victim?

But the danger of buying out of hatred can be seen with how long people have already "hated" BP (details of the hatred launch date):

On April 20, 2010, a semi-submersible exploratory offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded after a blowout and sank two days later, killing eleven people and causing a massive oil spill threatening the coast of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, and Florida.

At the point of the initial explosion, the stock hung in there. Once details of the spill became known… down ~15%. Once details of the spill became even more known… down ~20%. Once details became even more known… ~30%, then ~40%, then ~50%.
 
 
This of course is due to the complete lack of transparency. While I know for sure that I truly hate BP, does that mean BP is now (at a 50% discount) a good buy? No clue.

It is very possible they are, but I can also see a situation where things get much worse in the gulf and for BP, which brings me to my next point. Buying purely out of hatred is 100% not an investment decision, but rather (as the title of his article says) betting. I personally love betting, but I keep that to non-investment related matters (anyone think the Celtics are winning the series?).

But don’t say Scott didn’t warn you:

This would be a good time to remind you not to make investment decisions based on the wisdom of cartoonists.

And this:

Again, I remind you to ignore me.

Source: Yahoo  


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Marc Faber’s Must Watch 2010 Presentation

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

As someone once said, the only man who can tell a room full of people they are doomed and get a standing ovation, Marc Faber, gives a terrific hour long presentation to the Mises Circle in Manhattan on May 22, discussing the economy, interest rates, markets, why having massive output gaps (see previous post for Bernanke’s most recent dose of lunacy on the matter) and hyperinflation can easily coexist, why the Fed will never again implement tight monetary policy, why Greenspan is a senile self-contradictor, why Paul Krugman is a broken and scratched record, and the fact that pretty much nothing matters and we are all going to hell. Little new here for long-term economic skeptics, but a must watch for all neophytes who are still grasping with some of the more confounding concepts of our dead-end Keynesian catastrophe and not only why the world can not get out of the current calamity absent a global debt repudiation, but why gold is the asset to own, even though one must not be dogmatic and shift from asset class to asset class in times of tremendous currency devaluation (i.e., such as right now). 2010′s must watch Marc Faber presentation.

One thing we disagree with Mr. Faber on, is that Asian banks did not buy CDOs during the housing bubble – this is patently wrong. As a detailed perusal through the Goldman discovery will confirm, Goldman looked increasingly eastward, first to Europe, and then to Korea, Japan and Taiwan, when finding the dumbest money around to invest in monstrosities such as Timberwolf, Abacus and others. If Mr. Faber is investing based on the assumption that Asian banks are free of this relic of the credit boom, we urge him to promptly reevaluate his investment thesis as he will certainly lose money here.

 


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Memes, Money, Madness

Memes, Money, Madness

Courtesy of Tim’s THE PSY-FI BLOG

New York Subway Train

Meme Machines

The appearance and disappearance of investment themes over time is a fact of life – remember “you can’t lose with the railways”? Me, neither, but in the 1840’s it was a guaranteed winner until it wasn’t.

Other dubious ideas have more legs, like the Efficient Market Hypothesis and the theory that most analysts can figure out which shoe goes on which foot. All of these ideas influence markets and participants and help move prices, sometimes with startling synchronicity. A popular theory of how this happens is based on the idea of the meme, a cultural equivalent of the gene, propagating itself through human brains and influencing group behaviour. So are we meme machines, buying stocks at the whim of transient ideas?

The Selfish Meme

Richard Dawkins introduced the idea of the meme in his book The Selfish Gene : 30th Anniversary edition in which the gene is imagined as a selfish replicator of itself, using the human body as a way of achieving its sole goal of continued existence. The idea of the selfish gene is a metaphor – genes don’t actually behave in mean, grasping and directed ways but the overall effect of natural selection at the genetic level is pretty much the same. By analogy the meme is an equivalent mechanism for spreading cultural ideas, so memes propagate using human brains and have a life of their own.

The idea of memes was elaborated into the broader subject of memetics, the study of how memes actually work. There’ve been lots of popular works covering the subject but the idea is, in fact, curiously hard to get a handle on. At root the memetic approach is an attempt to use Darwin’s Big Idea – that evolution occurs through natural selection and random mutation – to culture and thus argues that culture is itself a complex, adaptive system. This is not uncontroversial.

Econbiology and Memetics

However, the attraction for financial scholars is obvious. There’s a fair amount of work going on in the world of econobiology which also sees the financial ecosystem as a complex, adaptive system altering itself in response to both changes in its environment – interest rates, central bank liquidity, etc – and its internal state – securities prices, investor confidence levels, etc. So it’s not a particularly surprising leap to find that…
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The Future of Public Debt

The Future of Public Debt

Courtesy of John Mauldin at Thoughts From The Frontline

Greeks Protest Austerity Cuts In May Day Rallies

There Had to Be a Short
How Should Our Institutions Invest? 
The Future Of Public Debt 
The Future Public Debt Trajectory 
Debt Projections 
Montreal, New York, Connecticut, and Italy

Everyone and their brother intuitively knows that the current government fiscal deficits in the developed world are unsustainable. They have to be brought under control, but that requires some short-term pain. Today we look at a rather remarkable piece of research from the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) on what the fiscal crisis may morph into in the future, how much pain will be needed, and what will happen if various countries stay on their present courses. Some countries could end up paying north of 20% of GDP just on the interest to serve their debt, within just 30 years.

Of course, the markets will not allow that to happen, long before it ever gets to that level. And what makes this important is that this is not some wild-eyed blogger, it’s the BIS, a fairly sober crowd of capable economists. We will pay some attention. Then I’ll throw in another few paragraphs about Goldman.

But first, I want to bring a very worthy cause to your attention. For my Strategic Investment Conference last weekend, Jon Sundt and I bought some mighty fine wine for our guests. That of course, is to be expected. But each of those bottles also bought a wheelchair for someone in a most needy part of the world. Here’s the story.

Gordon Homes at Lookout Ridge Winery in Napa Valley has gotten five cult winemakers to create special wines for him. These are winemakers whose production is sold out well in advance  – they’re the all-stars of wine (like Screaming Eagle). And while they can’t sell them from their own wineries, they blend these special signature wines for Lookout Ridge.

Each bottle sells for $100, well below what it would take to get one of these cult artists’ bottles – even if you could get them. And then Lookout Ridge donates the entire amount to buying a wheelchair for someone who can’t afford one in a less-developed country. Attendees at our conference bought enough to send 200 chairs to people desperate for mobility all over the world. Part of it was, I am sure,…
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Rick Bookstaber: Hedge Funds Are Pumping The Gold Bubble And Luring Investors Off A Cliff

Rick Bookstaber: Hedge Funds Are Pumping The Gold Bubble And Luring Investors Off A Cliff

Courtesy of Gus Lubin at Clusterstock/Business Insider  

Flock Of Sheep

The SEC’s Rick Bookstaber can hardly watch as sheep-like investors chase the gold bubble straight off a cliff.

Although his employer doesn’t give market advice, the SEC’s senior policy adviser shows his personal frustration in a post on Roubini Global Economics. First, he drops this great line about how people don’t even pretend that gold isn’t a bubble:

Even if a guy is just after sex, he at least has the decency to act like there is some substance behind his interest.

Second, Bookstaber thinks hedge funds managers like John Paulson have a pump and dump scheme on gold.

RGE:

Given that “hedge fund” and “highly secretive” are usually said in the same breath, don’t you get suspicious when so many of the top managers are so vocally out there about their gold investments? And when their positions are structured in a way that make them open to view? Paulson and Soros have huge positions in gold ETFs. We know that, because if you buy ETFs, they show up in your 13-F filing. Granted, with an equity investment you can’t help putting that information out into the market, but with an asset there are plenty of ways to take the position without signaling it.

That they are taking a highly visible route to their positions suggests the game that is being played is one of leading the herd. The 13-F reports positions with a big lag, so no one will notice if they quietly slip out the side door while the party is still hopping. And how about when the view is backed up by none other than Goldman Sachs? Will they let everyone know when they think it has gone too far before they get out. Or before they go short? Maybe they already have. 


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Charles Schwab: US Investors Are Still Worry-Wart Savers Who Avoid Risk And Spending

More evidence that the public is not drinking the proverbial Kool Aid.  See also my recent article, Volume – Hiding in Plain Sight. - Ilene 

Charles Schwab: US Investors Are Still Worry-Wart Savers Who Avoid Risk And Spending

Courtesy of John Carney and Gregory White at Clusterstock/Business Insider 

Chales Schwab

Charles Schwab has released their latest survey of independent investment advisors and it points towards an across the board increased conservatism on the part of most clients. 

While hedge funds and investment banks might have made a killing on distressed and risky asset classes, the retail investor isn’t chasing those particular rabbits.

In fact, the report make a good case for continuation of the "new normal," with retail investors focused on savings over spending, security over risk, debt reduction over accumulation.

Of course, you never can tell whether the retail sector is an indicator of things to come or a contrary indicator pointing in the wrong direction.

Check Out The Trends On The Minds Of Investment Advisors Across The U.S. >>>

Image: Charles Schwab


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Research Shows How Chinese Stocks Kill Unsuspecting Investors

Research Shows How Chinese Stocks Kill Unsuspecting Investors

Chinese Stocks Plunged 6.31 Percent Amid Regional Declines

Courtesy of Vincent Fernando at Clusterstock/Business Insider 

A new research paper called "Do All Individual Investors Lose by Trading?", written by Wei Chen, Zhuwei Li and Yongdong Shi, by shows how retail investors, who account for 90% of trade volume, are taken to the cleaner by large institutional investors on China’s Shenzen stock exchange.

They used complete trading data for all 68.4 million individual and institutional accounts and came out with some pretty damning numbers:

In aggregate, individuals lose at an average annualized rate of 7.2% over the sample period, equaling 1.36% of China’s GDP and 3% of total personal income. Sources of this loss are gross trading performance (32% of loss), broker transaction fees (34% of loss) and government transaction taxes (34% of loss). * Institutions capture part of this loss, realizing an average annualized gain of 2.63% after broker costs and government transaction taxes. Each category of institutions exhibits raw profitability.

Institutions always win and retailers always lose: 

Chart

To make matters worse, the most wealthy retail investor accounts perform far better than smaller accounts:

Individuals with mid-size and large accounts (representing only 3% of individual trade value) realize an average net annualized gain of 0.57% from trading.

We feel this has to be due to trading on inside information. Trading on inside information is pretty rampant in many emerging markets including China, and we can imagine it’s an issue in Shenzen. Big players, whether they be rich individuals or institutions, tend to have inside knowledge through private company meetings. Thus we don’t feel like we’re going out on a limb by saying that the above research results must due to this insider problem.

Which means that this Shenzen research sheds light on the fact that blind investors are taken to the cleaners in emerging markets, whether they realize it or not.

So think twice before throwing money into emerging market index funds and ETFs, you’re just setting yourself up to be quietly picked off over time by savvy local traders. If anything, go with an active manager with focused positions rather than index funds or even closet-indexer funds who hold giant portfolios of ‘actively selected’ emerging market stocks. Else you’ll be just like the unsuspecting Shenzeners. 


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‘Low Cost’ ETFs Actually Cost Investors More Than Some Hedge Funds

‘Low Cost’ ETFs Actually Cost Investors More Than Some Hedge Funds

Courtesy of Vincent Fernando at Clusterstock/Business Insider

Devil Fire Costume

ETFs bill themselves as low-cost alternatives to standard mutual funds or even hedge funds. The idea is that their management fees are lower and trading costs are low since you can simply buy and sell them easily through a discount online broker. 

But here’s the problem --  it’s only true if ETFs are actually tracking their benchmarks effectively. Unfortunately they aren’t.

WSJ:

In 2009, ETFs missed their targets by an average of 1.25 percentage points, a gap more than twice as wide as the 0.52-percentage-point average they posted in 2008, according to a study of ETF returns released this week by Morgan Stanley.

Part of this so-called tracking error stems from the recent proliferation of ETFs targeting exotic investments or areas where trading is less frequent, such as emerging-market stocks and junk bonds.

Last year, 54 ETFs showed tracking errors of more than three percentage points, up from just four funds the prior year. And a handful of the 54 missed by more than 10 percentage points.

1.25% is more than the management expense of some actively managed funds, or some hedge funds even (before performance fees).

We think ETFs are great for tracking broad, liquid benchmarks such as the S&P 500 where they are likely to be worthwhile in terms of cost and trading ease. But ETF products for niche investments are highly suspect. The more illiquid investments the worse off ETF investors will be, especially since savvy traders will likely be able to line up and pick-off trades ahead of the ETF. 

For anything niche, investors are probably better off with old fashioned mutual funds once all of their real expenses are factored in.

Yet we’re fully aware of the fact that expenses of an ETF such as the above are near-invisible, especially if someone is been trading in and out of an ETF. So we’ll expect investors to keep lapping these products up. In investment management, products with the least visible expenses, and best ability to avoid blame, win.

(Tip via Abnormal Returns)


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Phil's Favorites

Trump Tweeting As Much As Ever Amid Twitter Standoff

 

Trump Tweeting As Much As Ever Amid Twitter Standoff

By , Statista

President Trump has signed an executive order which aims to remove some of the legal protection given to social media companies, though it is expected to face significant legal hurdles. In a nutshell, it sets out to clarify the Communications Decency Act, handing regulators the power to file legal proceedings against social media companies for the way they police content on their platforms. Trump's decision to take action comes two days after Twitter attached a fact check to one of his tweets lambasting mail-in voting. He then threatened to close ...



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ValueWalk

Gold supply chain in recovery mode after pandemic shutdown

By Michelle Jones. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The gold supply chain was largely shut down as the COVID-19 pandemic spread around the world. However, things are starting to open back up, and production is beginning again. The World Gold Council studied the gold supply chain, how it was impacted by the pandemic, and how the disruption of the supply chain has affected investment demand for the yellow metal.

Q1 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Disruption to the gold supply chain

The World Gold Council said the gold supply chain is entirely global because the metal is mined on evert continent except Antarctica and refined in nume...



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Biotech/COVID-19

Antigen tests for COVID-19 are fast and easy - and could solve the coronavirus testing problem despite being somewhat inaccurate

 

Antigen tests for COVID-19 are fast and easy – and could solve the coronavirus testing problem despite being somewhat inaccurate

Antibodies are incredibly good at finding the coronavirus. Antigen tests put them to work. Sergii Iaremenko/Science Photo Library via Getty Images

Courtesy of Eugene Wu, University of Richmond

In late February, I fell ill with a fever and a cough. As a biochemist who teaches a class on viruses, I’d been tracking the outbreak of...



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Zero Hedge

Ted Cruz Accuses Twitter Of Violating Sanctions Against Iran, Demands DoJ Probe

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

We've mentioned in nearly every single one of our posts about this week's dustup between the president and Twitter that the Ayato...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Tech Indicator Suggesting A Historic Top Could Be Forming?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Tech stocks have been the clear leader of the stock market recovery rally, this year and since the lows back in 2007!

But within the ranks of leadership, and an important ratio may be sending a caution message to investors.

In today’s chart, we look at the ratio of large-cap tech stocks (the Nasdaq 100 Index) to the broader tech market (the Nasdaq Composite) on a “monthly” basis.

The large-cap concentrated Nasdaq 100 (only 100 stocks) has been the clear leader for several years versus the ...



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The Technical Traders

M2 Velocity Collapses - Could A Bottom In Capital Velocity Be Setting Up?

Courtesy of Technical Traders

M2 Velocity is the measurement of capital circulating within the economy.  The faster capital circulates within the economy, the more that capital is being deployed within the economy to create output and opportunities for economic growth.  When M2 Velocity contracts, capital is being deployed in investments or assets that prevent that capital from further circulation within the economy – thus preventing further output and opportunity growth features.

The decline in M2 Velocity over the past 10+ years has been dramatic and consistent with the dramatic new zero US Federal Reserve interest rates initiated since just after the 2008 credit crisis market colla...



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Lee's Free Thinking

US Southern States COVID19 Cases - Let's Give Credit Where Due

 

US Southern States COVID19 Cases – Let’s Give Credit Where Due

Courtesy of  

The number of new COVID 19 cases has been falling in the Northeast, but the South is not having the same experience. The number of new cases per day in each Southern state has been rangebound for the past month.

And that’s assuming that the numbers haven’t been manipulated. We know that in Georgia’s case at least, they have been. And there are suspicions about Florida as well, as the State now engages in a smear campaign against the fired employee who built its much praised COVID19 database and dashboar...



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Chart School

Is this your local response to COVID 19

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

This is off topic, but a bit of fun!


This is the standard reaction from the control freaks.








This is the song for post lock down!







What should be made mandatory? Vaccines, hell NO! This should be mandatory: Every one taking their tops off in the sun, they do in Africa!

Guess which family gets more Vitamin D and eats less sugary carbs, TV Show



...



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Digital Currencies

Blockchains can trace foods from farm to plate, but the industry is still behind the curve

 

Blockchains can trace foods from farm to plate, but the industry is still behind the curve

App-etising? LDprod

Courtesy of Michael Rogerson, University of Bath and Glenn Parry, University of Surrey

Food supply chains were vulnerable long before the coronavirus pandemic. Recent scandals have ranged from modern slavery ...



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Members' Corner

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

 

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

No matter the details of the plot, conspiracy theories follow common patterns of thought. Ranta Images/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Courtesy of John Cook, George Mason University; Sander van der Linden, University of Cambridge; Stephan Lewandowsky...



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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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Promotions

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 TradeExchange.com. 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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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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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.