Posts Tagged ‘valuation’

FDIC’s Bair: “Bury the Losses”

FDIC’s Bair: "Bury the Losses"

Courtesy of Bruce Krasting

Sheila Bair has turned a corner in her support of the bankers. On the critical issue of accounting clarity she made these remarks today to a bunch of CPA’s. I hear she got a standing ovation from that audience. Her words:

Fair Value Accounting
Another ongoing regulatory process is FASB’s proposal to substantially revise the accounting standards for financial instruments. Under the proposed rule, banks would be required to measure substantially all of their financial instruments at fair value on the balance sheet.
 
While we understand that the objective of the rule is to make financial statements more transparent, we believe that its effect could be to undermine financial stability by making bank performance more procyclical. In short, we do not believe that a bank – whose business strategy is to hold loans and deposit liabilities for the long term – should be required to measure them at fair value on the balance sheet.

70% of all Americans own some stocks. It is hard to avoid the financials if you’re in a fund, so the consumer’s new champion, Elizabeth Warren, should take up the issue of clarity on bank financial statements. That would be a cat-fight I would like to see.

 


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GIVING NEW MEANING TO “HERDING INVESTORS”

GIVING NEW MEANING TO “HERDING INVESTORS”

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

Cows on pasture

We all know the Federal Reserve is trying to herd investors into equities as they keep asset values “higher than they otherwise would be”, but how’s this for herding investors?  One well known hedge fund manager has altered his entire strategy because of the Fed’s persistent actions (via the WSJ):

“A former hedge-fund manager who made a fortune shorting stocks has switched to the long side, and is raking in money in the process.

William von Mueffling surprised clients and competitors last June by announcing he would close his hedge funds and return $3.5 billion to investors. His firm, Cantillon Capital Management of New York, kept managing $1 billion in long-only assets, typically considered the unsexy piece of the business.

Now, the 42-year-old stock picker controls more money than he did before he closed his hedge funds. Cantillon has raised billions of dollars from pension funds in the U.S. and abroad, and from sovereign-wealth investors, according to clients and other people familiar with the matter.”

Von Mueffling couldn’t justify running the short end of the book as the Fed was priming the pump:

“After years of “long-short” investing, Mr. von Mueffling and his analysts and traders no longer short, or bet against, stocks at all. Instead, like a typical stock mutual fund, they stick to buying company shares they expect will rise. Mr. von Mueffling said the strategy is “the right long-term decision.”

“I’m not saying there aren’t overvalued stocks out there,” he said in an interview. “There are, but trying to short them when the government is printing money is a very, very challenging game,” he said, referring to, among other things, Federal Reserve programs to buy government bonds, which the Fed is widely expected to announce this week.”

That gives new meaning to “herding investors”.  I think sellers play an important role in the price discovery process.  After all, when the fundamentals of an asset are consistently in disequilibrium with its current valuation it makes the system that much more unstable.  Selling, and thus lower prices, can actually make the system more stable in the long-term.  This is just one more sign that nothing has really changed since the Greenspan Fed ended.  And that was a Fed run by a man who admitted that his model was flawed…. 


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The Q Ratio Indicates a Significantly Overvalued Market

The Q Ratio Indicates a Significantly Overvalued Market 

Courtesy of Doug Short 

Note from dshort: The charts below have been updated based on the September 17th Federal Reserve Flow of Funds release for Q2. I’ve also used the Vanguard Total Market ETF for extrapolating the Q Ratio up to the present.

The Q Ratio is a popular method of estimating the fair value of the stock market developed by Nobel Laureate James Tobin. It’s a fairly simple concept, but laborious to calculate. The Q Ratio is the total price of the market divided by the replacement cost of all its companies. The data for making the calculation comes from the Federal Reserve Z.1 Flow of Funds Accounts of the United States, which is released quarterly for data that is already over two months old.

The first chart shows Q Ratio from 1900 through the first quarter of 2010. I’ve also extrapolated the ratio since June based on the price of VTI, the Vanguard Total Market ETF, to give a more up-to-date estimate.

Interpreting the Ratio

The data since 1945 is a simple calculation using data from the Federal Reserve Z.1 Statistical Release, section B.102., Balance Sheet and Reconciliation Tables for Nonfinancial Corporate Business. Specifically it is the ratio of Line 35 (Market Value) divided by Line 32 (Replacement Cost). It might seem logical that fair value would be a 1:1 ratio. But that has not historically been the case. The explanation, according to Smithers & Co. (more about them later) is that "the replacement cost of company assets is overstated. This is because the long-term real return on corporate equity, according to the published data, is only 4.8%, while the long-term real return to investors is around 6.0%. Over the long-term and in equilibrium, the two must be the same."

The average (arithmetic mean) Q ratio is about 0.70. In the chart below I’ve adjusted the Q Ratio to an arithmetic mean of 1 (i.e., divided the ratio data points by the average). This gives a more intuitive sense to the numbers. For example, the all-time Q Ratio high at the peak of the Tech Bubble was 1.82 — which suggests that the market price was 158% above the historic average of replacement cost. The all-time lows in 1921, 1932 and 1982 were around…
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The Question “Are Stocks a Screaming Buy Relative to Bonds?” Creates False Premises

The Question "Are Stocks a Screaming Buy Relative to Bonds?" Creates False Premises

Courtesy of Mish

Josh Lipton writing for Minyanville is asking the question Are Stocks a Screaming Buy Relative to Bonds?

Dr. Ed Yardeni of Yardeni Research takes one side of the debate and says "stocks are cheap" according to a model, now dubbed the “Fed’s Stock Valuation Model”.

I am quoted in the article, taking a different view of course, but I want to add to the thoughts I expressed in the article.

First a few snips from Lipton’s article …

Certainly, by employing some basic measures to compare the relative value of stocks and bonds, equities appear attractive. Dr. Ed Yardeni of Yardeni Research made the case this morning that stocks seem cheap and bonds seem expensive according to a simple model that compares the market’s earnings yield to the US Treasury bond yield.

Yardeni first started studying this model after seeing it mentioned in the Federal Reserve Board’s Monetary Policy Report to the Congress dated July 1997. The strategist dubbed it the “Fed’s Stock Valuation Model” (FSVM), and that’s what it’s been called ever since.

During the week of August 13, Yardeni says, the forward P/E of the S&P 500 was 11.8. The forward earnings yield, which is just the reciprocal of the P/E, was 8.5%. The 10-year Treasury bond’s yield is 2.60% this morning. So its P/E, which is the reciprocal of the yield, is 38.5.

According to the FSVM, that means stocks are 64.8% undervalued relative to bonds.

James Swanson, chief investment strategist at MFS Investment Management, agrees that stocks now look cheap relative to bonds and that, as an asset class, equities boast more opportunity for investors looking ahead.

In short, the stock market is now priced for an economic future that Swanson thinks remains unlikely. “This only makes sense if the world is going into a deflationary scenario,” the strategist says. “Otherwise, this is a mispricing.”

Yes, stocks might look cheap relative to bonds, but that’s because the economic outlook remains bleak. Mike Shedlock, a well-known registered investment adviser for Sitka Pacific Capital Management, argues that the economy is already mired in deflation, a dangerous downward spiral in prices that will prove lethal for corporate profits.

"Why are Treasury yields low?" Shedlock asks. "It’s because the economy is in recession."

Furthermore, Shedlock argues that investors are ultimately best advised


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Is the Stock Market Cheap?

Is the Stock Market Cheap? 

Courtesy of Doug Short

Here’s the latest update of my preferred market valuation method using the most recent Standard & Poor’s "as reported" earnings and earnings estimates and the index monthly averages of daily closes for July 2010, which is 1179.80. The ratios in parentheses use the July monthly close of 1101.60. For the latest earnings, see the accompanying table from Standard & Poor’s.


  • TTM P/E ratio = 18.3 (17.1)
  • P/E10 ratio = 21.7 (20.3)

Background 
A standard way to investigate market valuation is to study the historic Price-to-Earnings (P/E) ratio using reported earnings for the trailing twelve months (TTM). Proponents of this approach ignore forward estimates because they are often based on wishful thinking, erroneous assumptions, and analyst bias.

TTM P/E Ratio 
The "price" part of the P/E calculation is available in real time on TV and the Internet. The "earnings" part, however, is more difficult to find. The authoritative source is the Standard & Poor’s website, where the latest numbers are posted on the earnings page. Free registration is now required to access the data. Once you’ve downloaded the spreadsheet, see the data in column D.

The table here shows the TTM earnings based on "as reported" earnings and a combination of "as reported" earnings and Standard & Poor’s estimates for "as reported" earnings for the next few quarters. The values for the months between are linear interpolations from the quarterly numbers.

The average P/E ratio since the 1870′s has been about 15. But the disconnect between price and TTM earnings during much of 2009 was so extreme that the P/E ratio was in triple digits — as high as the 120s — in the Spring of 2009. In 1999, a few months before the top of the Tech Bubble, the conventional P/E ratio hit 34. It peaked around 47 two years after the market topped out.

As these examples illustrate, in times of critical importance, the conventional P/E ratio often lags the index to the point of being useless as a value indicator. "Why the lag?" you may wonder. "How can the P/E be at a record high after the price has fallen so far?" The explanation is simple. Earnings fell faster than price. In fact, the negative earnings of 2008 Q4 (-$23.25) is something…
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THE GREAT DISCONNECT: Stocks 30% Overvalued And Still Going Up… And Housing Rolling Over

THE GREAT DISCONNECT: Stocks 30% Overvalued And Still Going Up… And Housing Rolling Over

Woman Holding Up Her Hand

Courtesy of Henry Blodget at Clusterstock/The Business Insider

We don’t mean to rain on the stockmarket parade (we’re enjoying it, too), but we’ll confess to being astonished by it.

We understand that the world’s governments are pumping money into their economies.  We understand that that money has to go somewhere.  We understand that, right now, that somewhere is often stocks.

We also recognize that the stock market is "forward looking," meaning that stock investors couldn’t care less about 10% unemployment and other depressing facts about the economy.  As far as stocks are concerned, as long as the situation is improving, it doesn’t matter how bad the present is.

But we’re looking forward, too, and here’s what we’re seeing:

The housing market, a huge engine of the U.S. economy via both direct spending and the wealth effect, is rolling over and heading for a double-dip.  This despite the fact that the government is still spending money hand over foot to keep house prices propped up. 

In a week or so, the Fed is supposed to begin withdrawing some of this housing subsidy by winding up its mortgage-buying program.  The Fed may or may not actually do this, but if it does, this move could further depress the housing market.  And that, in turn, could put more pressure on strapped consumers who can no longer borrow from home-equity lines to fund current spending, no longer feel rich, don’t have much borrowing capacity, and, often, no longer have jobs.  (And consumers still account for more than 70% of spending in the economy).

A falling housing market will also likely lead to more underwater homeowners, more "shadow" inventory, more foreclosures, more pressure on house prices, and, possibly, more bank write-offs.  The more banks are worried about future write-offs, the less likely they are to lend, and bank lending has already fallen off a cliff.

So, basically, we think the apparent double-dip in the housing market is a big deal, and we’re surprised that the market is whistling Dixie in the face of it.

If stocks were cheap, we wouldn’t worry about it.  We would…
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IS THE MARKET FAIRLY VALUED?

Pragcap shares a tool he uses to answer the question, 

IS THE MARKET FAIRLY VALUED?

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

Maria Shriver's 2008 Women's Conference

I’ve long argued that most valuation metrics are fraught with pitfalls that the average investor too often falls for.  What is often described as “value” is too often a bloated price divided by some analyst’s guesstimate.  The myth of “value” and the dream of becoming the next Warren Buffett (see the many myths of Warren Buffett here) has resulted in untold stock market losses over the decades and/or misconceptions of adding “value” to a portfolio that most likely doesn’t outperform a correlating index fund after taxes and fees. Nonetheless, the PE ratio and other faulty valuation metrics remain one of the primary sources of investment strategists, stock pickers and market researchers.

While I am no fan of valuation metrics, I do happen to be a student and believer of mean reversion.  In an effort to attach a “value” to this market I’ve used an old Jeremy Grantham tool to see where we are today.  Grantham is a big believer in the cycle of corporate profits and specifically profit margins.  As regular readers know, one of the primary reasons why we have been bullish ahead of the past 5 earnings seasons was due to the expansion in corporate margins and very low analyst expectations.  Analysts became extremely negative in Q4 2008 and severely underestimated the pace at which companies were able to cut costs and support the bottom line.  This stabilization in corporate margins set the table for the massive rally in stocks as profits continued to expand at a far faster pace than anyone expected.

Corporate margins are extremely cyclical.  As companies expand their businesses and revenues grow they are able to better manage their costs, hire personnel, etc.  But if the economy weakens for any number of reasons revenues will contract, costs will remain high and margins will ultimately contract.  Businesses are then forced to cut costs in order to salvage profits.  In other words, margins are constantly expanding and contracting with the business cycle around the mean.

Over the last 50 years corporate profit margins (corporate profits/GDP) have averaged 9.5%.  If we multiply GDP by the average margin growth we can create a long-term trend of what corporate profits should look like.  We can then compare actual corporate profits to this result in an effort to see whether…
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Feldstein: Worry About the Dollar, Not the Euro: Keep an Eye on Sterling

Feldstein: Worry About the Dollar, Not the Euro: Keep an Eye on Sterling

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

Here is Marty Feldstein’s view of the economic fundamentals in the euro and dollar portion of the forex markets.

Fundamentals mean little in the short term for trading purposes, at least in my own judgement. However, it does look as though the euro/dollar cross is a bit overdone. If that is correct, then it is likely that this correction in the precious metals should be almost done as well. But we will have to see what happens. The markets are shallow and edgy, almost wobbly. In a liquidation everything gets sold on the short term. Selling and buying on the margins makes price, no matter what size the market. Such it is with most auction markets disconnected from rational valuation.

On the fundamentals, however, Feldstein makes some good points. The problem with Europe is that it is sitting on the fence with its union, and the Greek debt crisis merely highlights their weakness which are largely structural. What is the EU likely to become.

As for the US, its day is fading, and it is in the grip of financial interests that will wring the last drop of vitality out of it given their way.

There are several roads to losing weight. One is to engage in healthy exercise and a good diet. The other way is starvation either through deprivation or disease. In both instances one ‘loses weight.’ The modern day Liquidationists favor starvation, for the other guys, not themselves. The modern day Keynesianians seem to wish to indulge in overeating with a change in diet to be left for another day.

The American economic system cries out for meaningful reform. Deficit spending without reform is futile, the road to addiction. But no government led structural repair efforts is the sure road to stagnation and a zombie-like existence such as has been seen in Japan, or even worse, a third world status and regional fragmentation.

My own bellwether is the UK. I believe quite strongly that Britain will reach its crisis before the US. And it may provide a proper warning, but all things considered, it may be too late. While…
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IS THE STOCK MARKET 26% OVERVALUED?

IS THE STOCK MARKET 26% OVERVALUED?

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

The latest data from Robert Shiller’s 10 year PE ratio shows the market currently at a 20.64 multiple.  In his morning note, David Rosenberg noted that this is 26% higher than the long-run average:

“If there was an impediment, in addition to a murky economic outlook, it is valuation. There were revisions to the Shiller valuation data and the latest reading on the normalized real P/E multiple is at 20.64x, up from the 20.0x in February and 20.5x in January. The long-run trend is at 16.36x, suggesting that the S&P is currently overvalued by 26%.”

pe1 IS THE STOCK MARKET 26% OVERVALUED?

This chart provides little of utility in and of itself, but combined with a longer-term look at stock prices it raises some interesting thoughts.  As a student of and believer of mean reversion, I just can’t help but wonder if the recent recovery in stocks is nothing more than a brief respite in the long-term “chop” that has become a defining characteristic of equity prices over the last 10 years.

20100226 IS THE STOCK MARKET 26% OVERVALUED?

Source: Chartoftheday, Shiller Econ & Gluskin Sheff 

 


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IS THIS A “MAJOR MARKET TOP”?

Brilliant theories (e.g. Robert Prechter’s market thoughts) and perfect timing are two different things. Pragcap’s timing has been exceptional. – Ilene

IS THIS A “MAJOR MARKET TOP”?

Businessmen talking and gesturing

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

A reader recently responded with several excellent reasons why this could be the formation of a major market top and what Robert Prechter referred to as the next leg down in the bear market.  Although I turned near-term bearish recently, I am not convinced that this is a major turning point.  In this piece I respond to “Our Man In NYC” and the reasons why I believe this is not a major market top, but more likely a correction within the uptrend:

Our Man In NYC:

Thanks for the great response.  I’ll give you my brief thoughts on each topic you touched on.

- CRE: Still a huge problem, but it’s a slow motion train wreck.  The majority of the troubles in CRE are spread out over the next 3 years and will hinder bank balance sheets, but won’t serve as the “all at once” wallop RRE was in 2008.

- RRE: I said that last years stability in housing was a head fake and I still think we’re heading lower, but the stimulus will continue to bolster prices in the near-term.  There will be one last surge in activity as the tax credit ends this year.  Late 2010 and 2011 has potential for substantial declines in residential as resets surge, foreclosures remain high, inventory remains high, stimulus ends and the laws of supply and demand reassert themselves after the government’s temporary price fixing.  The next leg down isn’t quite here yet.

- Sovereign Risk: Greece is getting bailed out in all likelihood, but all in all, another slow moving iceberg.  The S&P story on the UK is alarming.  As readers know, I think debt is why we’re ultimately still in a bear market, but it’s not a NEAR-TERM concern.

- Liquidity: The Fed remains accommodative.  China appears to be on the verge of a wind-down.  Alarming, but at 10.7% GDP I think investors will ultimately view the near-term downturn as a buying opportunity in emerging markets.   Stimulus and accommodative policies are nearing an end, but the process will remain lumpy as


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Phil's Favorites

The PhilStockWorld.com Weekly Webinar - 05-27-2020

For LIVE access on Wednesday afternoons, join us here at Phil's Stock World!

 

Major Topics:

00:01:40 - Yang 4 Day Work Week
00:12:21 - DIS
00:19:01 - Bonds
00:25:49 - COVID-19 Update
00:41:12 - Trading Techniques
00:45:18 - US Corporate Taxes
00:52:27 - US National Debt
01:04:36 - Beige Book
01:09:25 - Hedge Funds
01:10:08 - States Reopening
01:14:16 - May Portfolio Review
01:14:52 - STP & LTP
01:26:38 - PAA & Strategy Section
01:29:44 - CSCO
01:34:04 - LTP
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Biotech/COVID-19

How coronavirus contact tracing works in a state Dr. Fauci praised as a model to follow

 

How coronavirus contact tracing works in a state Dr. Fauci praised as a model to follow

Pairing widespread testing with fast, effective contact tracing is considered essential for controlling the coronavirus’s spread as the U.S. passes 100,000 deaths. AP Images/Rick Bowmer

Courtesy of Jenny Meredith, University of South Carolina

After weeks of keeping people home to “flatten the curve,” restrictions on U.S. businesses are loosening and the coronavirus pandemic response is moving ...



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ValueWalk

Don't expect a second round of stimulus checks in June

By Michelle Jones. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Lawmakers from both parties are finally starting to agree that a second round of coronavirus stimulus checks may be needed. However, they are still a long way from making a final decision that will actually result in another round of checks for everyone. Here’s the current status on a second round of stimulus checks.

Q1 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Coronavirus stimulus checks: second round status

The Democrat-led House of Representatives passed the Health and Ec...



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Zero Hedge

Futures Tread Water In Calm Before US-China Storm, Trump Twitter Crackdown

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

The S&P's remarkable stretch of posting gains in the overnight session continued for another day, with the S&P rising as high as 3,053, and last trading 9 points higher at 3,044, tracking global stocks higher, with Europe's Stoxx 600 rising 1.3% to session highs as investors weighed again increased friction between America and China and the official passage of China's National Security Law in defiance of Trump, against fresh fiscal stimulus promised by the European Union. Treasuries edged up, while the dollar was modestly lower even as traders "treaded water...



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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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Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

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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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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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