Posts Tagged ‘USB’

Put Options Change Hands On U.S. Bancorp

USB – U.S. Bancorp – Shares in the financial services provider yesterday rallied to the highest level since September of 2008, moving sharply higher during the final two hours of the session on Wednesday following the Fed’s announcement that it will reduce its asset purchases by $10 billion starting in January. The stock is off 0.50% on Thursday to stand at $39.92 just before 11:30 a.m. in New York trading.

Trading in the regular Jan ’14 $39 strike puts on USB near the start of the session suggests at least one options player is bracing for the price of the underlying to potentially edge lower during the next four weeks to expiration. It looks like one strategist purchased 5,000 of the Jan ’14 $39 puts for a premium of $0.41 per contract. The trade may represent downside protection to hedge a long position in the underlying shares or an outright bearish play that may be profitable in the event that shares in U.S. Bancorp pullback in the near term. The puts make money at expiration next month if shares in USB decline 3.3% from the current price of $39.92 to breach the effective breakeven point on the downside at $38.59. The 17 Jan ’14 expiry puts expire the week prior to the company’s fourth-quarter earnings release scheduled for January 22nd ahead of the opening bell. 

KBH – KB Home – Shares in KB Home are moving lower on Thursday after the company reported fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that missed the average of analyst estimates prior to the opening bell this morning. The stock is down 3.5% on the day at $16.94 as of 11:10 a.m. EST.  

December expiry put options changing hands on the homebuilder during the first 10 minutes of the session look for shares…
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Gap Call Buyers See Quick Profits As Shares Pop On Feb. Sales Data

 

Today’s tickers: GPS, USB, & PBR

GPS - Gap, Inc. – Shares in apparel retailer, Gap, Inc., were halted on Thursday morning after details regarding the company’s February same-store sales were mistakenly made available in a transcript posted on Seeking Alpha. The report was scheduled for release after the closing bell today. The stock traded up 4.2% to $35.90 before being halted with news pending. Prior to the halt, options traders snapped up weekly calls on GPS. The Mar. 08 ’13 $35 strike contracts saw the most volume, with upwards of 5,300 calls changing hands against open interest of just 348 lots. It looks like most of the calls were purchased around 10:05 a.m. ET this morning at an average premium of $0.25 apiece. Shares are once again trading, up 3.5% at $35.67 as of the time of this writing, and intraday gains on the back of Gap’s February comps data now finds the $35 strike calls changing hands at $0.86 apiece at 11:30 a.m. ET. Traders long the call options ahead of the trading halt have seen the value of those contracts more than triple this morning.

USB - U.S. Bancorp – Heavy trading traffic in U.S. Bancorp call options on Thursday morning may be the work of one or more strategists initiating bullish bets on the stock ahead of the release of the Federal Reserve’s stress test results after the close this afternoon. Shares in USB are up 0.75% on the day at $34.00 as of 11:45 a.m. ET in New York. The Mar. $35 strike calls traded upwards of 13,000 times against open interest of 8,022 contracts in the early going this morning, with much of the volume changing hands at a premium of $0.05 each. Traders buying the call options stand ready to profit at expiration next week should shares in U.S. Bancorp rally another 3.0% to top the average breakeven price of $35.05. USB was rated new ‘Buy’ with a 12-month target price of $42.00 at Rafferty Capital Markets on Tuesday.…
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Bearishness Detected In U.S. Bancorp Options

Today’s tickers: USB, V, USG & CHS

USB - U.S. Bancorp – Financials extended gains Thursday and appear on track to wrap up the week on a positive note. Shares in U.S. Bancorp joined in on the rally to trade 1.75% higher at $27.28 as of 12:05 PM in New York, though its shares haven’t climbed quite like those of sector heavyweights Citigroup, JPMorgan and Bank of America today. Earlier in the week we noted a bearish transaction on USB in the Mar. 2012 contract that appeared to be the purchase of 10,000 $28 strike calls tied to the sale of 320,000 shares of the underlying. The position may be profitable if shares in U.S. Bancorp pull back ahead of expiration. Today, it looks like a different bearish strategy was initiated in USB call options. One trader sold 5,000 calls outright at June 2012 $32 strike within minutes of the opening bell this morning to pocket premium of $0.43 per contract. The investor responsible for the trade walks away with the full amount of premium in hand as long as shares in USB fail to rally above $32.00 at expiration day. If the trader holds no position in the underlying, he or she is naked short the call options and may start to lose money in the event that USB’s shares soar 18.9% in the first half of 2012 to exceed the effective upper breakeven price of $32.43 at June expiration. U.S. Bancorp reports fourth-quarter earnings on January 18, 2011.

V - Visa, Inc. – The near-term prospects for shares in Visa, which today rallied to a fresh high of $101.97, are good according to investors initiating bullish positions in options-land this morning. The global payments technology company’s call options are quite active, with more than 3.5 calls changing hands on the stock for each…
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DISH Call Options Active After AT&T / T-Mobile Merger Falls Through

             Today’s tickers: DISH, CROX, USB & BPOP

DISH - DISH Network Corp. – Investors were busy buying call options on the provider of direct broadcast satellite subscription television service straight out of the gate this morning on speculation the company may have what AT&T needs after the potential deal with Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile USA unit fell through. Shares in DISH Network rallied sharply on news of the failed merger as analysts directed attention to the Englewood, Colorado-based Company’s spectrum, an attractive asset to AT&T, which needs to bulk up on wireless airwaves. DISH’s shares increased as much as 9.4% to $27.50 in the first half of the session, spurring some strategists to snap up call options in the front month. It looks like investors prepping for shares in DISH Network to extend gains in the near term purchased around 1,250 in-the-money calls at the Jan. 2012 $27 strike for an average premium of $1.50 each. Call buyers stand ready to profit at expiration next month in the event that shares in DISH rally another 3.6% to exceed the effective breakeven price of $28.50. Bullish activity spread to the Jan. 2012 $29 strike where some 230 calls were purchased at a premium of $0.65 per contract. DISH Network’s shares must soar 7.8% to top $29.65 in order for higher-strike call buyers to profit at expiration day in January.

CROX - Crocs, Inc. – Options traders slipped their feet into Crocs call options this morning, with shares in the rubber clog maker climbing as much as 6.7% to $15.53 today. Heavy call volume in the front month suggests some strategists are gearing up for substantial near-term gains in the price of the underlying stock. The company yesterday announced it obtained a five-year $70 million secured revolving line of credit to replace its existing $30 million asset backed line of credit. The CFO of the company said in a release that the new credit agreement provides “additional financial flexibility to invest in our strategic initiatives.” Bullish investors that purchased more than…
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Fickle Friday – Google Goes Down as Costs Inflate

Well who’d have thunk it? 

The cost of doing business is rising and GOOG happens to be one of those businesses that lacks pricing power as their rates are generally set through an auction process and their users have to VOLUNTEER to pay more money to advertise.  Most advertisers on Google are on fixed budgets, like MSM advertisers and Google has done a great job of replicating that model.  Why then, should it be surprising if a maturing Google begins to look more like a traditional media outlet than a dot com company with exploding growth?  

Don’t get me wrong, we love Google long-term but we did short them as well as BIDU into Google earnings as we felt Google would disappoint enough to spook BIDU investors as well.  We’re taking the short money and running and looking for some bullish plays now – the drop from $630 last month to $545 today is plenty of froth blown off the top for us to get long-term interested again.  As you can see from the tag cloud of the Conference Call, growth is still there, especially in mobile display ads (Android a bit disappointing) and no major negatives.  I’m not going to write a whole thing about GOOG though, there are thousands of people doing that and our Members know well enough where I stand.  I’m more interested in examining the bigger picture.  

We expected Q1 earnings to be rough and we’ve already seen FDX, NKE, ORCL, RIMM, FAST, FCS and AA struggle so hopefully you don’t have to be hit on the head with another whole week of earnings before you get a little more cautious.  Next week we hear from C, HAL, LLY, TXN, BK, GS, INTC, IBM, SYK, USB, VMW and YHOO on Monday and Tuesday and then we’re off to the races with hundreds of companies reporting each week for the rest of the month.  Our job in the first few weeks of earnings season is to get a feel for the quarter and, so far, that feeling is rough.  

It’s all about inflation, of course and don’t say we didn’t warn you about that one!  We went more  bearish up at those 100% lines we’ve been watching and now the question really is – how bad was it?  Inflation is, after all, our long-term BULLISH premise.  We don’t think corporations
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Rumor Mill Sends Micron Shares Higher, Inspires Demand for Call Options

Today’s tickers: MU, REE, MEE, DAL, USB, VLTR & KR

MU - Micron Technology, Inc. – Renewed rumors that the memory chip maker could be the target of a leveraged buyout by private equity investors looking to take the company private inspired an options feeding frenzy today. Micron’s shares responded to speculative musings by rising as much as 6.30% to an intraday high of $7.76. Just before 2:00 p.m. in New York trading, one big options market participant initiated a large-volume bullish spread in the April 2011 contract. The debit call spread serves to position the trader to benefit handsomely should buyout rumors wind up having some truth to them ahead of April expiration. The options strategist picked up 21,750 calls at the April 2011 $9.0 strike for a premium of $0.71 each, and sold the same number of calls at the higher April 2011 $11 strike at a premium of $0.27 a-pop. Net premium paid for the transaction amounts to $0.44 per contract. Thus, the investor is prepared to make money should Micron’s shares surge 21.65% over today’s high of $7.76 to exceed the effective breakeven point on the spread at $9.44 by expiration day next year. The trader may pocket maximum potential profits of $1.56 per contract if the chip maker’s shares jump 41.75% to trade above $11.00 by April expiration. Investors populating Micron options during the session exchanged more than 7.1 calls on the stock for each single put in play as of 3:25 p.m. in New York. A total of 146,615 option contracts have changed hands on Micron Technology with 35 minutes to go before the closing bell.

REE - Rare Element Resources Ltd. – Shares in Rare Element Resources Ltd., which has a 100% interest in the Bear Lodge property, rallied more than 19.2% today to…
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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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Profit-Taking on Illumina, Inc. Options Illuminated

Today’s tickers: ILMN, USB, CCJ, BSX, VMED, SPY, GME & QSFT

ILMN – Illumina Inc. – The biotechnology firm’s shares slipped 3% today to $42.48. Profit-taking by one investor pushed the ILMN ticker symbol onto our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner. It appears the trader originally sold 5,000 puts short at the November 35 strike for 95 cents apiece back on September 22, 2009. Today, the investor closed out the short position by buying the put options back for 25 cents each. Net profits enjoyed on the closing purchase amount to 70 cents per contract for a total of $350,000. Next, the investor reestablished a short put position by selling 5,000 puts at the November 40 strike for an average premium of 1.12 apiece. The full 1.12 premium may be fully pocketed by the trader if shares of ILMN remain higher than $40.00 through expiration.

USB – US Bancorp. – Options activity in the near-term November contract suggests at least one investor anticipates greater volatility in the price of USB shares through expiration. Shares of the financial holding company edged 1% lower this afternoon to $23.56. A long strangle play took place through the purchase of approximately 2,000 puts at the November 23 strike for an average premium of 65 cents each, and the purchase of 2,000 calls at the November 24 strike for about 73 cents apiece. The strangle cost the investor a net 1.38 per contract to implement. The transaction may prove to be profitable to the trader if shares of USB either shift above the upper breakeven point at $25.38, or if the stock moves beneath the lower breakeven price of $21.62, by expiration day. Volatility on USB rose 13% from an intraday low of 31% to a high of 35.5%.

CCJ – Cameco Corp. – The world’s second-largest producer of Uranium experienced a more than 5.5% rally in shares during the trading session to $31.31. Shares in a number of uranium companies rose after an Australian newspaper revealed BHP Billiton Ltd. declared force majeure on uranium and copper sales from its Olympic Dam mine. Force majeure is a contract provision that excuses a supplier from liability due to uncontrollable circumstances. In this case, a BHP mine in South Australia will be out of commission for at least a month due to mechanical difficulties. Investors expecting shares of CCJ to rally higher purchased near-term call options…
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$112,291 Virtual Portfolio Update, Week 16

Next week will be the last week for our very profitable virtual portfolio, that started with $100,000 on April 10th.

This virtual portfolio has already made 19% in 16 weeks and many members wanted to start a new one from scratch.  So, by popular demand, we will be restarting a brand new virtual portfolio the week after options expiration, also with $100,000 and also a hedged virtual portfolio but this time with the goal of drawing a monthly income.  I got this idea when I went down to Florida last week and spoke to many people who asked me about their investing accounts.  Many of these "safe" accounts had been cut in half or worse and the returns they were producing were coming in at 5% year – if that and people were counting on this money for their monthly expenses.  I spoke to many people with $1M in the bank who were living off $50,000 a year in interest and dividends!

Using options and good hedging strategies, we have been able to produce a return in our virtual portfolio of 19% in just 16 weeks (12% cash, 7% unrealized).  I'm not advocating someone take a whole $1M and shift it to stocks and options but, if you can make 20% on $200,000 while your other $800,000 makes a "safe" 5%, your annual income goes from $50,000 to $80,000 – that's a lot of early-bird specials!  I will, of course, be happy to answer any adjustment questions on this virtual portfolio anytime during chat but we will no longer be tracking it weekly or making new plays.  The goals of the new virtual portfolio will be similar and the new trade ideas can be applied whether you are looking to draw an income or just start building long-term set of holdings for reinvestment.

In the last $112,007 Virtual Portfolio Update, from July 28th, we remained bullish and it really paid off with another $2,117 in unrealized gains ($6,690 not included in above total) as we made a very well-timed bottom call the week before and ran with it.  We have haven't had to call an "audible" in two weeks, sticking to our plan as the market held up nicely.     

The first few weeks after you sell options are usually the worst and the rising VIX had boosted the premiums of the puts and calls we sold but none of that matters because we played a…
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Just Another Manic Monday

I went away this weekend and didn't do much reading.

Traveling and speaking to actual people every so often is a good thing when you are looking for perspective.  As I'm often introduced by friends to new people as "Phil the stock guy," I tend to get into a lot of interesting conversations about people's jobs, the economy, their investments (including their homes), outlook… etc..  It's kind of like being a doctor, where everyone wants to tell your their medical status as soon as they meet you.  This is a good thing actually, as I love to get "real" information to offset the mountains of anonymous statistical data that we usually have to wade through.

I was down in DC, where most people still have jobs and retired people have insanely generous government pensions so I wouldn't call them typical but there is a lot of optimism that things are really getting better and will continue to do so this year.  On the way down there, I was reading a horrific article in the NY Times on the foreclosure rates in our region so I was in a pretty bad mood when I got to our nation's capital but I was very impressed with the "can do" attitude of my political pals, who couldn't hang out on Sunday because they had to work.  I haven't seen government employees work on a weekend since just after 9/11 but I will tell you that people in DC are busting their butts to get things done with a motivation I haven't seen since Clinton took office. 

Whether it will be "Yes they can" or "No, they are deluded" remains to be seen.  Barry Rhitholtz did a nice, negative overview of the NYTimes article so I won't go into it here and the map below is really horrific but an optimist would say that 98% of the people still have their homes and, even if the worst is not over, it's certainly not as bad as the doom and gloom crowd is painting it.  In the Great Depression, 25% of the people lost their jobs and, in 1934, nearly 1/2 of all US urban home mortgages were delinquent as US personal income dropped 44% over 5 years.  THAT'S A DEPRESSION.  The only reason the talking heads on TV can get away with using…
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Phil's Favorites

Powell Spews Baby Poop In Attempt To Reassure Investors

 

Powell Spews Baby Poop In Attempt To Reassure Investors

Courtesy of  

Let’s look at a few of Chairman Pow’s words at yesterday’s press conference. Please read them and tell me whether this sounds to you like a man who doesn’t understand what he’s doing. Or if you think he’s deliberately pulling words out of his ass, stringing them together, and spewing them from his mouth in an effort to gaslight the investing public.

I’ll take the latter. The Fed is in the propaganda business. It knows what it is doing. Double talk, lies, and utter bullshit are its stock-...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Powell Spews Baby Poop In Attempt To Reassure Investors

 

Powell Spews Baby Poop In Attempt To Reassure Investors

Courtesy of  

Let’s look at a few of Chairman Pow’s words at yesterday’s press conference. Please read them and tell me whether this sounds to you like a man who doesn’t understand what he’s doing. Or if you think he’s deliberately pulling words out of his ass, stringing them together, and spewing them from his mouth in an effort to gaslight the investing public.

I’ll take the latter. The Fed is in the propaganda business. It knows what it is doing. Double talk, lies, and utter bullshit are its stock-...



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Zero Hedge

Visualizing The World's Stock Market's Performance For The Past 30 Years

Courtesy of Jeff Desjardins, Visual Capitalist

Charting the World’s Major Stock Markets

Most investors around the world are familiar with the S&P 500 index.

Not only is it the most widely accepted barometer of U.S. stock market performance, but it’s also been on a 10-year bull run, now sitting at all-time highs near 3,170.

This week, we chart those historical returns, and then use the U.S. benchmark as a backdrop to compare other major stock markets around the world, such as those in Europe, Asia, and Canada.

Putting Them All at Scale

One challenge in comparing global markets directly is that all indices are on arbitrary scales. ...



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Chart School

Funds are getting ready to move out of USA

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Just before the hang over in the US equity markets, money will move and take their well earned gains else where. Here is why.

More from RTT Tv







Charts in video.

US is in the late cycle boom.

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US stock market with the US dollar, they have risen together from 2012. A change of this will force money to move.


Cli...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Euro Breakout In Play? Gold Bulls Sure Hope So!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

The Euro has spent much of the past 2 years trading in a down-trend.

Though precious metals like Gold have fared well, this has been a bit of a headwind because it means that the US Dollar has remained firm.

Big Test In Play for the Euro

The Euro is testing a confluence of important support just as the downtrend is narrowing and ready for a “break”. That support includes lower falling wedge support and the Euro’s long term up-trend support line (see points 1 and 2).

If the Euro can succeed in breaking out at (3), it would be bullis...



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Insider Scoop

8 Healthcare Stocks Moving In Friday's Pre-Market Session

Courtesy of Benzinga

Gainers
  • Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRPT) stock surged 36.4% to $137.00 during Friday's pre-market session. The market value of their outstanding shares is at $6.1 billion. The most recent rating by Janney Capital, on December 13, is at Buy, with a price target of $175.00.
  • GlaxoSmithKline, Inc. (NYSE: GSK) shares surged 1.1% to $46.44. The market value of their outstanding shares is at $112.9 billion. According to the most recent rating by UBS, on November 21, the current rating is at Buy.
  • AstraZeneca, Inc. (NYSE: ...


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Digital Currencies

Three Men Arrested In NJ For Running Alleged $722 Million Crypto Ponzi Scheme

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by Kollen Post via CoinTelegraph.com,

United States authorities in New Jersey have announced the arrest of three men who are accused of defrauding investors of over $722 million as part of alleged crypto ponzie scheme BitClub Network, per a Dec. 10 announcement from the Dep...



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Members' Corner

Tobin Smith: Foxocracy, the 2020 Election, and the Stock Market

 

For decades, Fox News has been spreading false information and hooking its audience into an angry, xenophobic and paranoid worldview. It's no mystery that Fox was instrumental in the 2016 election -- but how did it do it? How did it gain so much influence? Tobin Smith, CEO of Transformity Research, Inc. and former Fox News contributor and talk show host, explores this phenomenon and discusses Fox News’ emotionally predatory and partisan propaganda media strategies and tactics in his new book, ...



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The Technical Traders

VIX Warns Of Imminent Market Correction

Courtesy of Technical Traders

The VIX is warning that a market peak may be setting up in the global markets and that investors should be cautious of the extremely low price in the VIX. These extremely low prices in the VIX are typically followed by some type of increased volatility in the markets.

The US Federal Reserve continues to push an easy money policy and has recently begun acquiring more dept allowing a deeper move towards a Quantitative Easing stance. This move, along with investor confidence in the US markets, has prompted early warning signs that the market has reached near extreme levels/peaks. 

Vix Value Drops Before Monthly Expiration

When the VIX falls to levels below 12~13, this typically v...



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Biotech

Why telling people with diabetes to use Walmart insulin can be dangerous advice

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

 

Why telling people with diabetes to use Walmart insulin can be dangerous advice

A vial of insulin. Prices for the drug, crucial for those with diabetes, have soared in recent years. Oleksandr Nagaiets/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Jeffrey Bennett, Vanderbilt University

About 7.4 million people ...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

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.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

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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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