Posts Tagged ‘SLM’

Options Investors Flock to Sallie Mae

Today’s tickers: SLM, LYB, SRZ & AUY

SLM - SLM Corp. – A barrage of bullish options traders targeted the student loan provider today perhaps on news SLM Corp. will continue to downsize and increase the number of company-wide layoffs to 2,500 by the end of next year. Shares in Sallie Mae rallied as much as 3.4% today to touch an intraday high of $12.28, with shares currently trading 2.35% high on the day at $12.16 just before 12:30 pm. Plain-vanilla call buyers expecting bullish movement in the price of the underlying shares to continue picked up 1,500 in-the-money calls at the December $12 strike for an average premium of $0.36 each. Call buying spread to the higher December $13 strike where more than 4,700 call options were purchased for an average premium of $0.14 a-pop. Investors holding the December $13 strike contracts are prepared to make money should SLM Corp.’s shares surge 8.05% over the current price of $12.16 to exceed the average breakeven point at $13.14 by expiration day this month. Bulls also targeted longer-dated put and call options to gain upside exposure on the stock. It looks like one strategist sold 10,000 puts at the January 2011 $11 strike for a premium of $0.22 each, in order to purchase the same number of April 2011 $15 strike calls at a premium of $0.22 apiece. The investor responsible for the transaction seems to be predicting a sharp recovery in SLM Corp. shares by April of next year. Shares in Sallie Mae would need to rally at least 23.35% for the trader to start to make money above the effective breakeven share price of $15.00. The sale of January 2011 $11 strike puts indicates the investor expects shares will exceed that price level through expiration day. But, also suggests the trader is willing to have 1,000,000 shares of the underlying stock put to him at $11.00 apiece should the puts land in-the-money ahead of January expiration. The sharp rise in demand for…
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Bears Bombard Blackberry-Maker, Research in Motion

Today’s tickers: RIMM, CAT, MGM, F, SLM, FRX, FXI, MWW & AIG

RIMM – Research in Motion Limited – Blackberry maker, Research in Motion, attracted bearish options strategists even though the firm’s target share price was upped to $100.00 this morning from $95.00 at Canaccord Adams. RIMM opened the session higher, but slipped slightly in afternoon trading by 0.05% to $70.85. One bearish tactic employed today was the use of a plain-vanilla put spread in the March contract. The trader responsible for the transaction purchased 4,400 puts at the March $65 strike for a premium of $0.54 apiece and sold the same number of puts at the lower March $60 strike for $0.20 each. The net cost of the spread amounts to $0.34 per contract. Maximum potential profits of $4.66 per contract are available to the investor if RIMM’s share price slumps 15.30% beneath the current value to $60.00 by expiration. We note that the mobile device manufacturer’s shares last traded below $60.00 on December 4, 2009. The bearish risk reversal is another pessimistic tactic utilized today. One trader sold 5,000 calls at the April $75 strike for a premium of $2.66 each in order to purchase 5,000 puts at the lower April $70 strike for $3.80 apiece. The net cost of the reversal play amounts to $1.14 per contract. The investor stands ready to accrue profits to the downside if shares of the underlying stock trade beneath the effective breakeven point at $68.86 by expiration in April.

CAT – Caterpillar, Inc. – February marked the seventh consecutive month of manufacturing expansion in the United States; this fact, coupled with today’s jump in equities’ prices, inspired bullish options trading on machine-maker, Caterpillar. CAT’s shares rallied 1.50% during the session to $57.92 after its earnings forecast through the year 2012 were increased by analysts at Morgan Stanley. MS maintains an ‘overweight’ rating on CAT and a $70 share price target, at present. Bullish options activity appeared on the put side of the field where one investor established a credit spread. The trader sold roughly 16,300 puts at the April $55 strike for a premium of $1.38 apiece, and purchased the same number of puts at the lower April $50 strike for $0.47 each. The investor pockets a net credit of $0.91 per contract, and keeps the full amount as long as Caterpillar’s share price remains above $55.00 through expiration day in…
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Testy Tuesday – Have the Markets Become Comfortably Numb?

"There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship's smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying.
When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown,
The dream is gone.
but I have become comfortably numb
." – Pink Floyd
 

I have a theory that the markets (and the American people in general) aren't irrational, they are simply shell-shocked after suffering a very traumatic group financial experience… 

To be shell-shocked is to be "mentally confused, upset, or exhausted as a result of excessive stress" and the most common symptoms are: Fatigue, slower reaction times, indecision, disconnection from one's surroundings, and inability to prioritize – That certainly sounds like our Congress doesn't it?  Combat stress disorder was first diagnosed in WWI, when 10% of the troops were killed and 56% wounded – far worse than had been experienced in previous wars.  Our current financial crisis has similarly affected more people than any previous crisis with almost everyone knowing someone who is bankrupt or lost their jobs or homes and almost no one escaped the carnage of the downturn without some financial damage. 

Combat fatigue may go a long way to explaining the severe drop-off in volume that has plagued the markets since March, with participation now down to 25% of where we were last January and that leaves us open to the blatant sort of market manipulation that Karl Denninger caught last week as well as the usual nonsense we get daily from HFT programs that drive the market with such precision that we are able to tell how the day is going to go by simply checking our hourly volume targets.  Here's a clip from CNBC where a floor trader discusses market manipulation as a fact of trading (2 mins in).  

As Nicholas Santiago points out on In The Money Stocks,   "January is usually a very high volume month, yet it has started off the New Year even lighter than the last two months of 2009.  Light volume markets are very difficult to
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Mixed Sentiment on BAC Pits Bulls Against Bears

Today’s tickers: BAC, XRX, XLF, CAR, XLU, BIG, SLM, TTWO, MRVL & TSN

BAC – Bank of America Corp. – Investors employed two contradictory option strategies in the February contract on Bank of America today. One trader initiated a large bearish risk reversal while the other put on a bullish call spread. BAC’s shares rallied 3.5% this afternoon to $16.30. The pessimistic investor appears to have sold 30,000 in-the-money call options at the February 15 strike for 1.74 apiece in order to purchase 30,000 puts at the same strike for 84 cents each. The reversal results in a net credit of 90 cents per contract to the trader. Perhaps this individual expects shares to decline beneath the $15-level by expiration so he may retain the full 90 cent credit on the trade. Bullish trading in the same February 2010 contract suggests shares are set to rally higher in the next few months. An optimistic investor purchased 10,000 calls at the February 17 strike for 89 cents each, and sold the same number of calls at the higher February 19 strike for 34 cents apiece. The net cost of the spread amounts to 55 cents per contract. Maximum potential profits of 1.45 are available to the investor if shares increase more than 16.5% from the current price to a new 52-week high of $19.00 by expiration in February.

XRX – Xerox Corp. – One investor utilized the risk reversal strategy in order to take a long-term bullish stance on Xerox. Shares moved 1% higher this afternoon to $7.85. It looks like the trader sold 20,000 puts at the January 2011 7.5 strike for a premium of 1.15 each to partially finance the purchase of 20,000 calls at the same strike for 1.60 apiece. The net cost of the reversal amounts to 45 cents per contract. The investor profits if shares surpass the breakeven price of $7.95 within the next 12 months to expiration.

XLF – Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF – Shares of the XLF rallied 0.75% in afternoon trading to stand at $14.46. Bullish options activity on the fund suggests shares are likely to appreciate within the next several months. Optimistic investors purchased 69,000 in-the-money call options at the March 14 strike for an average premium of 1.36 per contract. XLF shares must rise 6% from the current price before profits accumulate above the breakeven point at $15.35. Shares last…
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Hi-Ho Long-Term Silver Bulls!

Today’s tickers: SLV, EWT, CL, BG, ILMN, COH, TMO, SPG, BG, ADSK & SLM

SLV – iShares Silver Trust ETF – A bull call spread in the January 2011 contract on the silver ETF today suggests shares of the SLV may rally significantly over the next year and two months time. Shares of the SLV are currently up 0.5% to $18.23. The silver-bull purchased a ratio call spread by buying 3,000 calls at the January 23 strike for an average premium of 1.93 apiece, and selling 6,000 calls at the higher January 30 strike for about 90 cents each. The net cost of the transaction is reduced to just 13 cents per contract. Shares of the fund must rally at least 27% before the investor breaks even at a price of $23.13. The trader stands ready to accumulate maximum potential profits of 6.87 per contract if the stock surges up to $30.00 by January 2011.

EWT – iShares MSCI Taiwan Index ETF – A massive bearish play on the Taiwan Index exchange-traded fund caught our attention this afternoon with shares of the EWT down 0.5% to $12.64 in late-day trading. It appears one investor established a bearish risk reversal in the December contract to position for potential share price declines through expiration. The trader sold 31,000 calls at the December 13 strike for 20 cents premium apiece, spread against the purchase of 31,000 puts at the lower December 12 strike for 20 cents each. The sale of the calls exactly offset the cost of buying the puts. Essentially the reversal is a “free” bet that shares of the EWT will trend lower ahead of the 2010. The investor responsible for the transaction is likely long shares of the underlying fund and seeking protection to the downside. If shares fall beneath $12.00, the value of the underlying position is protected. However, if shares of the fund rally by expiration, the trader risks having shares of the stock called from him at $13.00 apiece.

CL – Colgate-Palmolive Co. – Speculation that Reckitt Benckiser Group may acquire Colgate-Palmolive spurred an all-out call option feeding frenzy on CL today and lifted shares of the U.S. company to a new 52-week high of $86.33. Investors flooded the November and December contracts, scooping up call options to position for further upward movement in the price of the underlying. The sudden surge in demand for Colgate-Palmolive options…
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Caterpillar Sees Sizeable Options Activity

Today’s tickers: CAT, EEM, FITB, VALE, SLM, EXPE, SNDK, SLM & YHOO

CAT – Caterpillar, Inc. – A long-term bullish play on the world’s largest maker of bulldozers and excavators proved highly profitable for one investor who banked hefty gains in the January 2010 contract this afternoon. Shares of CAT are currently up less than 0.5% to $59.80 on an upgrade to ‘neutral’ from ‘sell’ at Goldman Sachs. It appears the trader originally purchased 15,000 calls at the January 55 strike for 3.50 apiece, and 20,000 calls at the higher January 60 strike for 1.95 each, back on September 25, 2009. Today the investor sold the January 55 strike calls for 6.90 and the January 60 strike calls for 3.85 per contract. Net profits to the trader amount to $8.9 million. Elsewhere, it seems a large bullish call position was partially financed through the sale of put options. It looks like a chunk of 25,000 put options sold for 68 cents apiece at the December 50 strike at the same exact moment 40,000 call options were purchased for 1.50 each at the February 70 strike. The investor responsible for the trade likely expects shares of CAT to remain above $50.00 through expiration in December. This short sale partially offsets the cost of taking a massive bullish stance through expiration in February.

EEM – iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETF – Shares of the emerging markets exchange-traded fund are trading more than 1% higher today to stand at the current price of $41.45. A 100,000-lot straddle caught our attention in the November contract this afternoon. It appears one investor has taken advantage of lower volatility on the EEM by purchasing a long straddle. The transaction involved the purchase of 50,000 calls at the November 41 strike for 1.53 apiece, and the purchase of 50,000 puts at the same strike for 1.21 each. The net cost of the trade amounts to 2.74 per contract. Volatility on the EEM has fallen to 27%, the lowest reading on the fund since August of 2008. Perhaps the long-straddle player expects volatility to jump higher before the options expire in November. The nature of the strategy is such that he will benefit given a sufficient shift in the price of the EEM in either direction. Profits are available if shares swing either above the breakeven point to the upside at $43.74, or if shares dip beneath…
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Energy Options Strangle Play Delivers the Goods for Investor

Today’s tickers: XLE, MFE, FITB, SLM, XHB, F, INTC & XLF

XLE – Shares of the energy fund are higher by about 1% to $48.35. We observed one energetic option investor who appears to have purchased to close an 8,000-lot strangle today, that was originally established back on May 8, 2009. It looks as though the strangle was originally sold for a gross premium of between 3.58 and 4.22 through the sale of 8,000 puts at the June 47 strike price and the sale of 8,000 calls at the June 53 strike. Today the investor bought back the position for a total of 31 cents per contract. Thus, this individual is left with net gains of between 3.27 and 3.91 each by closing out the position today. The trader has reeled in minimum profits of $2,616,000 or maximum profits of $3,128,000. – Energy Select Sector SPDR

MFE – The security technology company appeared on our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner this afternoon amid a more than 4% rally in shares to $41.86. Bullish investors hoping for continued upward movement in the price of the underlying looked to get long of calls in the near-term July contract. Traders picked up more than 3,500 call options at the July 45 strike price for an average premium of 22 cents apiece. McAfee shares would need to climb higher by approximately 8% in order for individuals who are now long the calls to breakeven at a price of $45.22 by expiration. Option implied volatility on MFE has risen throughout the trading day from a low of 31% to the current reading of nearly 35%. – McAfee Inc.

FITB – The Ohio-based bank holding company has experienced a modest rally in shares by about 1.5% to $7.05. FITB caught our attention amid a call-to-put ratio of more than 18-to-1, suggesting bullish activity on the stock. Upon further investigation, it appears that today’s activity is the work of an investor initiating a calendar spread in the expectation of continued bullish movement in the stock through expiration in November. It looks as though this individual sold 10,000 calls at the August 9.0 strike price for a premium of 20 cents apiece and then spread the sale against the purchase of 10,000 calls at the November 9.0 strike price for 63 cents per contract. The net cost of the bullish stance amounts to 43 cents and
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Chinese ETF sees more call option action

Today’s tickers: FXI, XL, AIG, WYE, EEM, JAVA, GIS, BK, SLM & C

FXI iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 – Shares are up by approximately 1.5% to stand at $27.96. The Chinese ETF appeared on our ‘most active by options volume’ market scanner after one investor purchased 40,000 in-the-money calls at the March 27 strike price for an average price of 55 cents per contract. The investor snagged the chunk of calls at a low premium earlier today relative to the current premium on the calls of 1.35. It looks like this trader offset the cost of the purchase by selling 40,000 calls at the April 30 strike price for a premium of 63 cents. Thus, he pockets a credit of 8 cents on the trade. As long as shares remain above $27 by Friday, this investor will have the right to collect 4,000,000 shares of the underlying stock at the strike price. But, by selling the calls in April this trader has capped upside gains at a maximum of 3.0 if shares happen to rally to $30 by expiration. The sale effectively provides him with an exit strategy in April.

XL XL Capital Limited – Shares of the property and casualty insurance firm have rallied 7.5% to $4.43 on the heels of AIG’s surge today. One investor looking for further upside gains purchased 6,400 calls at the March 5.0 strike price for 13 cents apiece. If shares can continue to rebound in this fashion and rise by 12% from its current price, then this trader would begin to profit at the breakeven share price of $5.13.

AIG American International Group – Outrage at $165 million in bonuses paid out to employees of the firm’s financial products division while taking in TARP funds at the same time apparently could not detract from AIG’s share price, which is soaring upwards by 40% to $1.35. While government appointed CEO Edward M. Liddy is getting reamed out at the Congressional hearings today, options investors have been busy trading calls across multiple contracts. Traders were heavily favoring the call side and skewed the call-to-put ratio to more than 4.5 calls to every put in action today. At the April 3.0 strike price, optimists picked up 3,700 calls for 10 cents each. Despite the huge rally today, shares would need to continue upwards by another 129% in order to reach the breakeven point at $3.10 by…
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Phil's Favorites

The Year 2020 - The Pandemic and Speculation

 

The Year 2020 – The Pandemic and Speculation

Courtesy of Howard Lindzon

It’s December and I can’t really tell if this year moved really fast or really slow.

Time seemed to stand still in March as we all locked down.

But here we are in December and the stock market is acting like we are secretly running around and spending like never before.

The year 2020 will forever be remembered for the pandemic, but I will also forever remember it for speculation.

There are all kinds of reasons for the historic speculation.

We were locked in our homes…we had Robinhood and fractional share ownership and apps that let us chat 24/7 about stock...



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Biotech/COVID-19

New DIY contact tracing app expands the fight against COVID-19, using the science of memory

 

New DIY contact tracing app expands the fight against COVID-19, using the science of memory

This app is different. Designed by psychologists, the free and anonymous web-based app can help you remember who you came in contact with. Ani Ka via Getty Images

Courtesy of Jacqueline R. Evans, Florida International University; Christian Meissner, Iowa State University; ...



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ValueWalk

Stephanie Kelton: Stop Worrying About National Deficits

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Tomorrow evening, Bernie Sanders’ economic advisor Stephanie Kelton, a leading voice behind the push to spend more on progressive priorities, is appearing in the Intelligence Squared U.S. debate on the motion “Stop Worrying About National Deficits.”

Q3 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Economic Advisor Stephanie Kelton Debates About The About National Deficits

She's arguing for the motion alongside James Galbraith, who was Executive Director of the Joint Economic Committee in Congress. Arguing against them are Todd Buchhol...



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Zero Hedge

Restaurants Slashed Jobs Last Month

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

By Jonathan Maze of Restaurant Business

The restaurant industry lost 17,400 jobs in November, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Labor released on Friday.

It was the first monthly decline in the number of restaurant workers since April, suggesting that a renewed virus and state shutdowns of dine-in service are taking their toll.

The data is likely to increase pressure on Congress and the president to approve a new stimulus package, one that includes specific aid to independent restaurants that have been devastated by the pandemic.

The industry had been adding jobs at a rapid clip since May, as restaurants reopened dining rooms and expanded while consumers grew more comfortable with dining out. But it remains far below its pre-pande...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Is The US Dollar About To Reach A Melting Point?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

It’s been 20 years since the last major peak in the US Dollar. Could the greenback’s latest turn lower confirm another peak?

Today’s chart takes a macro view of the US Dollar Index and highlights the long-term down-trend at each point (1). As you can see, the buck is on a topsy turvy ride, bouncing up and down within this down-trend.

The latest bottom formed after the financial crisis and has seen the US Dollar trade within a 9 year up-trend channel marked by each (2). This gave bulls some confidence that the US Dollar may have formed a long-term bottomȂ...



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Politics

Ignoring Warnings His Election Lies Could Get People Killed, Trump Posts 46-Minute Rant Full of 'Unhinged' Falsehoods

 

Ignoring Warnings His Election Lies Could Get People Killed, Trump Posts 46-Minute Rant Full of 'Unhinged' Falsehoods

"Georgia elections director yesterday: Trump's rhetoric is going to get people killed. Trump today: here's 46 minutes of unhinged conspiracy theories."

Courtesy of Jake Johnson, Common Dreams

Activists march through the city of Detroit on November 7, 2020 to denounce President Donald Trump's false claims of voter fraud. (Photo: Adam J. Dewey/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Just days...



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Chart School

Gold Chart Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Gold swing trade is due, lets review some charts to see if it is a viable move.

The seasonal period of gold is now upon us, gold should advance for the next 3 months.

Gold Gann Angle Chart ...



Gold Channel Chart .. close up!



 

Gold Channel Chart
 


Changes in the world is the source of all market moves, to catch and ride the change we believe a combination of Gann Ang...



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Digital Currencies

Five Reasons Why Bitcoin is Going Up

 

Five Reasons Why Bitcoin is Going Up

Courtesy of 

Call it the “Respectability Rally”…

A few reasons for Bitcoin’s return to the record highs. It’s about $18,500 as of this writing, matching the previous highs from 2017’s original explosion.

Reason one: It’s going up because it’s going up. Don’t scoff, this is the reason most things in the markets happen and then the explanations are called for afterwards. I’m in financial television, I have literally watched this process occur in real-time. The more something moves in a given direction, the more peop...



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Mapping The Market

COVID-19 Forces More Than Half of Asset Management Firms to Accelerate Adoption of Digital Marketing Technology

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

There is no doubt that the use of technology to support client engagement initiatives brings both opportunities and threats but this has been brought into sharp focus this year with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The crisis has brought to the fore the need for firms to enable flexibility in client engagement – the expectation that providers will communicate to clients on their terms, at their speed and frequency and on their preferred channels, is now a given. This is even more critical when clients are experiencing unparalleled anxiety from both market conditions and their own personal circumstances.

...

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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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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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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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