Friday, March 4, 2011

Country PEG Ratios

by Bespoke Investment Group

Yesterday we highlighted the stocks in the Russell 1,000 with the lowest PEG ratios.  Today we take a look at a different PEG ratio analysis.  A few years ago we decided to use the PEG ratio to analyze country valuations.  To do this, we use the P/E ratio of the country's most widely followed equity market index and the country's estimated GDP growth for the current year.  Just like with stocks, the lower the better for country PEG ratios. 

Below is a list of PEG ratios for 22 countries.  As shown, China tops the list with the best country PEG ratio at 1.94.  It is followed very closely by India at 1.95.  Both China and India have higher than average P/E ratios, but their GDP growth more than makes up for it at 9.50% and 8.50%, respectively.  Singapore and Russia, which rank 3rd and 4th, get to their low PEGs by having much lower than average P/E ratios and slightly better than averaged estimated GDP growth.  Spain, on the other hand, has a P/E ratio similar to Singapore and Russia, but its expected GDP growth is so low at 0.60% that it has the highest PEG ratio of all the countries shown.  Someone looking at just the P/E ratios for Spain, Singapore, and Russia would see a similar valuation, so this is a good example of where the country PEG ratio can help identify the more attractive country/countries.

For those wondering where the US stands in terms of PEG ratio, it's closer to the bottom of the list than the top.  However, the US does have the most attractive PEG ratio of the G-7 countries.  If you're looking to invest in developed nations, the US is the best place to be at least based on this valuation measure.   


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Recent Trades Of Ninja Trading Systems

Dopo gli ottimi risultati dei giorni scorsi il nostro Ninja Trading Systems ieri ha chiuso con una piccola perdita i trades su eMini Russell e T-Bond e sostanzialmente in pareggio su eMini S&P. Qui sotto i relativi screenshot. I risultati storici di Ninja System sono disponibili ai seguenti link: http://www.box.net/shared/static/oam4a02b4m.xls, http://www.box.net/shared/c22rgem896. I risultati di alcuni altri nostri trading systems sono a disposizione al seguente link: http://www.box.net/shared/5vajnzc4cp

After the excellent results of recent days our Ninja Trading Systems yesterday closed with small loss the trades on eMini Russell and T-Bond and substantially in balance on the eMini S&P. Below the screenshots. Historical results of Ninja System are available at the following links: http://www.box.net/shared/static/oam4a02b4m.xls, http://www.box.net/shared/c22rgem896. Historical results of our some other trading systems are available at the following link: http://www.box.net/shared/5vajnzc4cp

ES TF US images

Material in this post does not constitute investment advice or a recommendation and do not constitute solicitation to public savings. Operate with any financial instrument is safe, even higher if working on derivatives. Be sure to operate only with capital that you can lose. Past performance of the methods described on this blog do not constitute any guarantee for future earnings. The reader should be held responsible for the risks of their investments and for making use of the information contained in the pages of this blog. Trading Weeks should not be considered in any way responsible for any financial losses suffered by the user of the information contained on this blog.

Survivor Trading System - Trades of 3 March

I trades di Survivor System del 3 Marzo. I risultati storici di Survivor System small version sono disponibili ai seguenti link: http://www.box.net/shared/static/giq7mp90fq.xls, http://www.box.net/shared/6koqmtmnsb I risultati storici e MTM di alcuni altri nostri trading systems e portfolio systems sono a disposizione al seguente link: http://www.box.net/shared/5vajnzc4cp

Trades of Survivor System on 3 March. Historical results of Survivor System small version are available at the following links: http://www.box.net/shared/static/giq7mp90fq.xls,, http://www.box.net/shared/6koqmtmnsb. Historical and MTM results of our some other trading systems and portfolio systems are available at the following link: http://www.box.net/shared/5vajnzc4cp

ES NQ TF
EMD NG images

Material in this post does not constitute investment advice or a recommendation and do not constitute solicitation to public savings. Operate with any financial instrument is safe, even higher if working on derivatives. Be sure to operate only with capital that you can lose. Past performance of the methods described on this blog do not constitute any guarantee for future earnings. The reader should be held responsible for the risks of their investments and for making use of the information contained in the pages of this blog. Trading Weeks should not be considered in any way responsible for any financial losses suffered by the user of the information contained on this blog.

US rain extremes to stay, querying hopes for better harvests

by Agrimoney.com

The US is set for more of the weather extremes which have left southern parts too dry and northern areas too wet - raising worries over the revival in crop production needed to replenish thin inventories.
The La Nina weather system, which official forecasters say has a 50% chance of lasting until June, will "reinforce" the pattern which has brought the US a string of rain belts – only for them to dump over the same more northerly areas, veteran meteorologist David Tolleris said.
"Areas that have not had rains and not going to get rain and areas that have had excess moisture, it is not stopping," Mr Tolleris, at WxRisk.com, told Agrimoney.com, in forecast for the April-to-May period.
"If the La Nina collapsed, the story might see some change. But that's not happening. The weather pattern is just reinforcing itself."
Flood warning 
The picture tallies with outlooks from some other private meteorological groups, such as AccuWeather.com, besides forecasts from America's official forecaster, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The NOAA in an initial spring weather forecast, to be updated on March 17, warned that "a large swathe of the country is at risk of moderate-to-major flooding this spring", as fresh rainfall adds to water produced from the thaw of heavy snowpack in areas such as the upper Midwest.
The Red River valley was set for a third successive year of flooding, threatening spring sowings in a major spring wheat area in northern US states such as North Dakota, and southern areas of Canada's Prairies.
The Canadian Wheat Board warned last week that the Prairies needed"ideal conditions" to avoid losses of up to 5m acres in sowings.
Cotton threat
Meanwhile, the NOAA forecast hotter and drier than normal conditions for the US South for the next three months – threatening cotton sowings besides adding further misery to the drought-tested hard red winter wheat crop already in the ground.
Between 21-25% of the US cotton area is classified as "in a severe drought", while more than 53% has some sort of moisture deficiency, Rabobank said.
"Soil moisture deficiencies could be an issue [for cotton]," the bank said.
"Because the US is the number one cotton exporter in the world, the reaction to delayed or constrained plantings would likely be significant."
April holds the key
For corn, further wet weather for areas such as the Midwest would be likely to favour sowings of soybeans over the grain, Michael Cordonnier at Soybean and Corn Advisor said, highlighting the oilseed's later planting window.
"Even though it appears that corn is winning the battle for acres compared with soybeans, the weather during April will the deciding factor," he said.
"Generally, it is assumed that warmer and drier conditions during April favours corn acres, and cooler and wetter conditions during April favours soybean acres."
'Risks underestimated' 
Indeed, separately, academics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign warned that investors were underestimating the risks that weather posed to US corn crops.
"Many attribute the lack of a major shortfall in the US average yield since 1995 to the adoption of improved seed genetics," Darrel Good and Scott Irwin said.
However, their own research suggested that yield improvements reflected "an extended period of generally better-than-average weather".
"The risk of weather-induced shortfalls in corn production may be greater than generally perceived.

Currency Revaluation Won’t Fix America’s Trade Mess

By: Ian_Fletcher
 

It is sometimes suggested that our trade problems (job losses, international indebtedness) will go away on their own once currency values adjust. Bottom line? A declining dollar will eventually solve everything.
 
In the short and medium term, of course, foreign currency manipulation will prevent currency values from adjusting. But even if we assume currencies will eventually adjust, there are still serious problems with just letting the dollar slide until our trade balances.

For one thing, our trade might balance only after the dollar has declined so much that America's per capita GDP is lower, at prevailing exchange rates, than Portugal's. A 50 percent decline in the dollar from early-2011 levels would bring us to this level. And how big a decline would be needed to balance our trade nobody really knows, especially as we cannot predict how aggressively our trading partners will try to employ subsidies, tariffs, and nontariff barriers to protect their trade surpluses.

Dollar decline will write down the value of wealth that Americans have toiled for decades to acquire. Ordinary Americans may not care about the internationally denominated value of their money per se, but they will experience dollar decline as a wave of inflation in the price of imported goods. Everything from blue jeans to home heating oil will go up, with a ripple effect on the prices of domestically produced goods.

A declining dollar may even worsen our trade deficit in the short run, as it will increase the dollar price of many articles we no longer have any choice but to import, foreign competition having wiped out all domestic suppliers of items as prosaic as fabric suitcases and as sophisticated as the epoxy cresol novolac resins used in computer chips. (Of the billion or so cellular phones made worldwide in 2008, not one was made in the U.S.) Ominously, the specialized skills base in the U.S. has been so depleted in some industries that even when corporations do want to move production back, they cannot do so at feasible cost.

Another problem with relying on dollar decline to square our books is that this won't just make American exports more attractive. It will also make foreign purchases of American assets--everything from Miami apartments to corporate takeovers--more attractive, too. As a result, it may just stimulate asset purchases if not combined with policies designed to promote the export of actual goods.

A spate of corporate acquisitions by Japanese companies was, in fact, one of the major unintended consequences of a previous currency-rebalancing effort: the 1985 Plaza Accord to increase the value of the Japanese Yen, which carries important lessons for today. Combined with some stimulation of Japan's then-recessionary economy, it was supposed to produce a surge in Japanese demand for American exports and rectify our deficit with Japan, then the crux of our trade problems. For a few years, it appeared to work: the dollar fell by half against the yen by 1988 and after a lag, our deficit with Japan fell by roughly half, too, bottoming out in the recession year of 1991. This was enough for political agitation against Japan to go off the boil, and Congress and the public seemed to lose interest in the Japanese threat. But only a few years later, things returned to business as usual, and Japan's trade surpluses reattained their former size. Japan's surplus against the U.S. in 1985 was $46.2 billion, but by 1993 it had reached $59.4 billion. (It was $74.1 billion in 2008 before dipping with recession.)

Relying on currency revaluation to rebalance our trade also assumes that the economies of foreign nations are not rigged to reject our exports regardless of their price in local currency. Many nations play this game to some extent: the most sophisticated player is probably still Japan, about which the distinguished former trade diplomat Clyde Prestowitz has written:

If the administration listed the structural barriers of Japan--such as keiretsu [conglomerates], tied distribution, relationship-based business dealings, and industrial policy--it had described in its earlier report, it would, in effect, be taking on the essence of Japanese economic organization.

We cannot expect foreign nations to redesign their entire economies just to pull in more imports from the U.S.

In any case, the killer argument against balancing our trade by just letting the dollar fall comes down to a single word: oil. If the dollar has to fall by half to do this, this means that the price of oil must double in dollar terms. Even if oil remains denominated in dollars (it is already de facto partly priced in euros) a declining dollar will drive its price up. The U.S., with its entrenched suburban land use patterns and two generations of underinvestment in mass transit, is exceptionally ill-equipped to adapt, compared to our competitors.

Fundamentally, allowing the dollar to crumble is a way of restoring our trade balance and international competitiveness by becoming poorer. That's not what Americans want, or should want. A tariff is a much better solution.

How Investors Can Clean Up with Waste Management Stocks


Larry D. Spears writes: Money Morning on Feb. 9 described the profit potential of companies that are dealing with the world's water crisis, noting that 1.15 billion people around the globe currently lack access to clean water supplies. 

However, even more people - 2.6 billion, according to the World Water Council - live in areas without adequate sanitation, making waste management an equally pressing global concern. 

In fact, any hope that we have of resolving the mounting global water shortage will depend heavily on both cleaning up existing water sources and recycling the wastewater we currently produce - two jobs that will translate into big opportunity for investors in companies that focus on pollution control.

Of course, the bulk of global waste-management activity involves not water, but trash - with the clean-up of toxic materials thrown in for good measure. 

What Is Waste Management?

To be precise, the industry usually referred to as "waste management" is defined as the "monitoring of, collection, transport, processing, recycling or disposal of waste materials." The waste itself can include "solid, liquid, gaseous or radioactive substances," and the primary purpose of the clean-up is to reduce the effect of that waste on human health, animal species, the natural environment or aesthetics ­- i.e., the general quality of civilized life.

In pursuing those goals, waste management efforts are divided into seven primary sectors:

1.Integrated waste management - This is a broad approach to dealing with municipal trash, also known as Municipal Solid Waste (MSW). It involves the collection and separation of refuse so that non-organic materials can be recycled or reused and organic materials can be composted or processed to produce fuel for energy generation.

2.Landfill operations - This is the world's most common means of waste disposal, with methods ranging from sophisticated layering and coverage techniques in more advanced Western nations to merely dumping trash in holes or natural ravines in rural or developing regions.

3.Incineration - The second most common means of waste disposal, this can range from simple open burning in less-developed regions to large and highly engineered facilities in advanced areas that practice "thermal treatment," a process for converting incinerated waste into reusable heat, steam, gas and ash. Incineration is most actively used in densely populated nations like Japan, where the limited amount of land makes landfills impractical.

4.Water purification and treatment - This practice focuses on the purifying, recycling and reclaiming of water, as well as the treatment of sewage and other liquid wastes and pollutants that pose threats to a region's water supplies.

5.Recycling programs - Typically operating in tandem with advanced landfill or incineration systems, these programs collect, separate and process various metals - e.g., copper, aluminum, tin, steel cans - and plastics for reuse. A recent addition to this segment is the recycling of so-called "e-waste" - metals, chemicals and other elements retrieved from discarded computers, TVs and other electronics.

6.Biological reprocessing - This industry sector deals with biological wastes - plant material, yard wastes, food scraps, paper products, etc. - using composting and natural digestion processes that speed up their decomposition so they can be recycled as mulch or fertilizer for agricultural or urban landscaping work.

7.Energy recovery - This segment uses many of the same techniques employed in landfills, incineration and biological reprocessing, but the end goal is the capture and utilization of heat or waste gas (methane) to generate electricity or provide residential or industrial heating. Some facilities also process trash into products that can be directly used as fuel. One example is a new technology that can convert waste plastics back into a synthetic oil that can be used as fuel for trucks or jet engines. Another can be found in Haiti, which has lost 97% of its forests and has few natural fuel resources. Plants there are converting trash into cooking briquettes that can be used instead of charcoal.

An eighth segment of the industry, usually referred to as "sustainability," involves working with cities and corporations to reduce the amount of waste they generate by rethinking both operating processes and the types and amounts of material used in manufacturing, product containers and packaging.

Although separate from mainstream waste management, dealing with hazardous wastes - everything from chemical spills and petroleum products to medical and nuclear wastes - is also a possible target for investors in this sector.

The Pros and Cons of Waste Management

Waste management is big business. 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that disposing of MSW costs roughly $100 per ton, which would equate an annual cost of around $23.8 billion in the United States alone. 

Of course, the bulk of that expenditure is internal since most municipalities have their own trash services and disposal sites. However, a large number do contract with private companies, some publicly traded, for services, and they all have to pay for equipment and technologies, virtually all of which come from the private sector. 

Most of the specialized waste disposal activity - whether it involves chemicals, radioactive wastes or toxic emergencies - is also handled privately.

Waste management isn't a cyclical industry, either. 

Every day, people the world over consume resources and generate trash that must be collected and processed. Thus, trash companies make good long-term holdings for your portfolio, resistant to swings in the economy that might impact stocks in other sectors.

However, a less attractive attribute of the industry is that growth potential is limited.
The vast majority of waste-management companies have government entities, typically municipalities, as their primary customers. Those firms typically have monopolies in a given area, but their contracts often have to be negotiated against a backdrop of tight local budgets. 

As a result, there are few means for increasing profit margins, and growth prospects are typically limited to increasing populations or the annexation of additional land into the cities. Opportunity for expansion into new markets is also limited as most communities already have trash services, not to mention the fact that expanding requires considerable new investment in equipment, people and added facilities for processing the waste.

For larger companies that deal with multiple cities or private customers, there's also the problem of inconsistent regulations. While the U.S. government sets general environmental policy, there are really no uniform national standards for waste disposal or processing infrastructure. 

The environmental group Zero Waste America describes waste-handling policy in the United States - and most other nations - as "the free market at its worst, with the focus on making money, not sense" in terms of effective federal laws to minimize waste, maximize recycling and protect the environment and public health. Larger waste companies may have to follow as many different sets of working standards as they have municipal clients.

Logistics can also be a problem - one with increased costs attached. Since most citizens don't want landfills, incinerators, recycling yards or other trash facilities right next door - the "Not in my back yard," or NIMBY, sentiment - waste companies often have to site landfills a long distance from the areas they serve, which can translate into sharply higher fuel costs when oil prices rise as they have lately. Some communities even refuse to allow waste companies to build landfills, meaning they have to haul their trash to landfills owned by other cities or companies and pay so-called "tipping fees" to dump there.

Seven Waste Management Profit Plays

Overall, then, the probability of hitting a home run with an investment in the waste-management sector is small - but if you're looking for stocks that can provide a consistent string of singles and doubles, there are several possibilities you may want to consider. 

Two companies at the top of the industry food chain are:

•Waste Management Inc. (NYSE: WM), recent price $36.90 - Founded in 1894, WM is North America's largest waste handler, serving industrial, commercial, municipal and residential markets. It collects 115 million tons of waste per year and owns 268 landfills around the country. It's also the country's largest provider of recycling services, generating more than 20% of its revenue from that sector. The stock has been a steady performer, generally trading between $30 and $40 in recent years, though it did slump to $23.60 in the 2008-2009 market sell-off. More importantly, the company has a steady record of earnings growth (to $1.98 per share in 2010) and has raised its dividend in each of the past four years. It currently pays out $1.26 a share, or 3.42%.

•Republic Services Inc. (NYSE: RSG), recent price $28.97 - Republic provides a bit more diversification than WM, handling non-hazardous solid wastes for commercial, industrial, municipal and residential customers in 40 states and Puerto Rico. The company owns or operates 223 transfer stations, 192 solid-waste landfills and 78 recycling facilities. It also operates 74 landfill gas and renewable-energy projects. The stock has recovered nicely from a March 2009 low of $16.47, but still has a long way to go to reach its 2008 high near $35. The company had diluted earnings per share of $1.32 in 2010 and raised its dividend to 78 cents, up from 55 cents in 2007, providing a yield of 2.68%.

For investors who want a slightly better shot at hitting a home run while still enjoying the stability of the waste sector, the best approach is to look at some of the more specialized companies. 

Two good prospects are:

•Covanta Holding Corp. (NYSE: CVA), recent price $16.78 - CVA develops and operates infrastructure for the conversion of waste to energy (WtE) and also operates other waste disposal and renewable energy businesses in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. The company has seen earnings fall as a result of the recession, but still remains profitable, netting 20 cents a share in 2010, and the stock is well off its 2008 high of $29.96. CVA doesn't pay a dividend.

•U.S. Ecology Inc. (Nasdaq: ECOL), recent price $16.32 - Formerly known as American Ecology Corp., ECOL and its subsidiaries provide industrial waste-management services to government and commercial clients such as refineries, chemical plants, manufacturers, electric utilities, steel mills, medical and academic institutions, dealing with disposal of radioactive, hazardous, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and non-hazardous industrial waste materials. Earnings for 2009 came in at 75 cents per share, down from $1.18 in 2008, which explains why the stock remains well off its pre-recession high of $32.82. However, earnings rose in each of the first three quarters of 2010 and are expected to show a modest increase for the full year. The dividend, which has been raised in each of the past three years, stands at 72 cents, good for a yield of 4.30%.

If you're looking for a little more international exposure and want to go where the waste problem may be the greatest in the present global economy, check out China.

•China Industrial Waste Management Inc. (PINK: CIWT), recent price $1.68 - CIWT, through its subsidiaries, engages in the collection, treatment, disposal and recycling of industrial wastes, municipal sludge and sewage treatment, and environmental protection engineering services for 770 customers in Dalian, China, and surrounding areas in Liaoning Province. The company's per-share earnings dropped from 35 cents in 2008 to 12 cents in 2009, but are expected to rebound to 24 or 25 cents for 2010. The company pays no dividend and the stock, which traded above $5.00 in 2008, is very thinly traded on the U.S. markets, so be sure to use a strict limit order when buying.

When it comes to pure plays, fund investors looking for access to the waste-management sector are generally out of luck, though there are a few exchange-traded funds that invest around the periphery of the industry. 
Two worth looking at are:

•Market Vectors Environmental Services ETF (NYSE: EVX), recent price $51.47 - EVX tracks the NYSE Environmental Services Index, a modified equal dollar-weighted index consisting of publicly traded companies that are involved in the management, removal and storage of consumer waste and industrial byproducts and related environmental services. This passively managed fund in 2010 boasted strong earnings, a comparatively low expense ratio (0.30%) and paid a 38-cent dividend, but the shares are thinly traded, so use limit orders.

•iShares S&P Global Nuclear Energy (NYSE: NUCL), recent price $45.61 - This fund tracks the S&P Global Nuclear Energy Index, which follows approximately 24 publicly traded companies in nuclear energy-related businesses, including nuclear waste and clean-up, from developed markets around the world. The fund shares bottomed around $35 in July 2010 and have risen steadily since, though they did pull back with the market in late February. The fund has no regular dividend but declared one-time payments of 50 and 87 cents during the past year. 

As noted, opportunities for major wins in this sector are limited - but with a little patience, you could wind up fairly effortlessly converting the world's trash into your growing personal treasure.

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Resistance Plateau for Crude Oil


While crude oil waffles around between $103 and $100, let's take a look at the big picture. The big picture of crude oil prices (WTI futures) shows the bull move from the Dec 2008 low at $32.40 into the Feb 2011 high at $103.41, which represents almost an exact 62% recovery of the entire prior bear market decline from $147.27 hit in July 2008.

Generally speaking, the 62% resistance plateau represents the "final" area of "supply" to thwart a total retracement of the prior decline -- in this case up to $147.27. Right now, nearby crude oil has a high from Feb 24 at $103.41, and a high from Mar 2 at $102.94 standing in the way of another potentially powerful upleg.

From a daily chart perspective, only a decline that slices through support between $100 and $97.00 will begin to indicate that the 62% resistance plateau has put a lid on, and repelled, the vertical advance from the Feb pivot low at $83.85. 



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The Majority Expects a Stronger Than Expected Jobs Number

by Bespoke Investment Group

Yesterday we asked Bespoke readers whether they thought this morning's Non Farm Payrolls report would come in higher or lower than the estimate of 196,000.  As shown below, nearly 60% (58.4%) of participants said the report will come in stronger than expected, while 41.6% said it would come in weaker than expected.  There's also a cool map that shows where the votes are coming in from.  The results are mixed for most of the country, but voters in south Texas and Louisianna seem pretty down on the number, while voters in the states right in the middle of the country are all expecting a strong number.

Trading the U.S. Treasury Bond Market With Success


If you are an avid reader of financial articles, you will have seen many stock charts with all types of technical analysis drawn upon it. You name it, you're seen it, trend lines, moving averages, oscillators, Elliot wave counts, etc. Yet you fail to see a simple technique that assisted a young trader to make millions.

I do not know how else to convey the point that 'William Gann Angles' are one the simplest and smartest way to read stock charts. Here are a few reasons as to why the reader does not see 'Gann Angles' used more: (1) they have yet to be provided to the masses correctly. I know of several well known online charting services and the name 'Gann' is not on the 'tool' list. (2) Another reason maybe that the feel the trend line substitutes the need for 'Gann Angles'. The only problem with that is a trend line generally requires two pivot points to draw (excluding vertical and horizontal lines) where as the angle line requires only one.

I shall, hopefully prove to you that 'Gann Angles' do have a place in your technical analysis charting tool set. Lets review the TNX (US 10 year bond yield) from 2009 to 2011. This back test will hopefully win over your confidence for the next trade we see in 2011.

'Gann angles' can be considered a speed test or how well price is moving relative to time. For example a 1x1 or 45 degree angle has price moving 1 unit for every 1 unit of time. A 1x2 angle has price moving 2 units for every 1 unit of time. The latter is obviously more beneficial for your portfolio.

Before we can draw a true Gann Angle we must setup our chart scale to be a true square of time to price or 1x1.

The charts that follow have these specifications: Time: 875 days Price: 3 yield points Price Adjust: x100 xAxis: 805 divided by 875 = 0.92 pixels per time units yAxis: 276 divided by (3 x 100) = 0.92 pixels per price units. The chart is a true square of time to price, as time of 0.92 units equals price of 0.92 units.
TNX 2008 to 2009


The TNX crashed late 2008 at the height of the financial crisis. Buying the TNX was successful along the blue 1x1 (45 degree) line until August 2009. The RTTTrendstatus in May 2009 signaled by a change in color that price was at an extreme level and a profit taking could be expected, also the TNX just pipped the falling 8x1 angle. In Sept 2009 the TNX broke the blue 1x1 angle, and it was 'wait and see' until the TNX it hits or breaks the blue 2x1 line. Of course the bond yield rally was in response to QE1 (quantitative easing) program from the US Federal Reserve.
TNX 2009 to 2010


The TNX yield eventually found support along the rising blue 2x1 angle and followed it until yields hit 4.0% in March 2010. The yield did break the 8x1 angle but failed at the 12x1. Just as QE1 ended. The TNX started to price in deflation and broke down through the blue 2x1 angle and traded all the way down to 2.5%, this was supported by the brown 1x1 angle. The RTTTrendstatus signaled by a change in color that yields had moved to far too quick and a pullback was expected. Talk of QE2 forced a break of the brown 1x1 angle late 2010.
TNX 2010 to 2011


QE1 raised the TNX yield in 2009 history has repeated in 2011 with QE2. Yields rallied hard along the purple 1x2 angle, pausing at the brown 4x1 angle with a final punch up to the brown 8x1. We are now seeing a possible trade when the TNX tests at the rising purple 1x1 (ETF TBT or IEF). The recent fall in yields has been a called a 'flight to safety' while Middle East makes news or it may be simply profit taking by the bond bears. No matter, we do not think the rally in 10 year yield is over.

Please note a very important point when viewing the third chart, you see the falling 12x1 red angle and a rising 12x1 blue angle, at first you would think that these are trend lines with two connecting pivots, but they are Gann angles lines requiring one pivot on the chart to draw and price at a latter stage pips the angle line exactly. That is technical accuracy for you !

The accuracy you see with Gann Angles on the TNX is easily replicated on other securities (Gold, Silver, Stocks, US Dollar etc). They are our first 'go to' chart tools. Drawing Gann Angles on the correct 1x1 scale with true angle degrees makes all the difference. Of course accuracy shoots higher when you add our Hurst Cycle tools.

The RTTTrendStatus indicator is great for highlighting a trends performance and how far price has moved from its mean. You can learn the rules behind this tool on our site here.
Readtheticker

Natural Resource Depletion Crisis, The Real Reason Commodities Beat Stocks


February: Metals, food and fuel beat stocks, bonds and the US dollar for a third straight month, the longest winning streak since June 2008. Price rises fundamentally driven by short supplies lifted all soft commodities from the grains and vegetable oils to sugar, cotton and rubber, for a 2.2 percent gain over 28 days, lifting the UN FAO 55-item food index to a record high. Geopolitical threat to oil supply,  intensified by investors speculating that violence in the Arab and Muslim world will curb oil supplies lifted oil prices, while the only fossil energy resource bright spot – shale gas – kept a tight lid on gas prices in US markets, but not on oil-linked or indexed import dependent European and Asian markets.

Arguments why investors and speculators are still bidding up food prices usually avoid the basic fundamentals of arable land shortage, water resource depletion, rising costs of fertilizers, pesticides and fuels or slowing productivity gains on increasingly marginal land and focus the strictly short term where speculation is powerful. Market players are for the moment maintaining their bets that well-protected regimes in the region with few qualms about firing on civil protestors, like Iran's one party state, Algeria's military junta or Saudi Arabia's absolute monarchy and its smaller lookalikes along the Gulf coast will keep spending big on food imports. The main reason will be to try keeping a lid on their cellphone wielding youth revolutions, making this a short-run gambit.

Key commodity indexes like the Rogers International RICI, or the Goldman Sachs GSCI Total Return Index of 24 commodities gained as much as 4 percent in the 28-days of February – both of them rising for a sixth straight month. Compared to the commodity indexes, measures of global equity and bond  performance showed paper wealth did a lot worse. The 45-nation MSC equity index, for example, gained only 3 percent while indexes measuring government and big corporate bond performance, like Merrill Lynch’s Global Index gained less than 0.3 percent in the month.

The US dollar, despite heightened geopolitical tension that traditionally helps the greenback pare losses, or gain against other leading moneys fell nearly 1.2 percent in the month, as currency market players reasoned there is only possible strategy for US finances under Obama: print more money. Further US inaction in North Africa and the Middle East in its also-traditional role of saving reliable oil pumping allies, and keeping Arab export platforms in business turning increasingly expensive raw materials into less and less cheap consumer goods, will likely further erode confidence in the US dollar.
POSITIVE SPIN TURNING DOWN

The business correct explanation of why commodity asset values are powering ahead is Emerging economy growth, and signs of recovery in the debt-strangled OECD countries. Faster global growth is however defined as raising the prospect of higher raw material prices until market magic generates new supply. Surprise shocks like the ouster of Libya's Muammar Khadafi (or the alternative: Libyan civil war) provide some excitement and opportunity to speculate on oil prices on the way up, when supplies from Libya are cut, and on prices going down when or if Libya's oil supply is resumed, possibly within weeks but with no certainty of this outcome.

The month-on-month rise of commodity prices at an annualized rate well above 50 percent however took place from before year end 2010, well before a single Arab dictator had bitten the dust, or fled to Saudi Arabia with gold bars in his airplane baggage hold. In brief, this is a sign of rising threats to the global growth process as we know it, threatening confidence in the all-new No Alternative economy, ushered in by US president Ronald Reagan and the UK's Margaret Thatcher far more than 30 years back in time. Although somewhat shop soiled, as it dates from well before cellphones became mass ownership items able to assemble a Flash Mob in quick time, this ideology bundle is still the basic source material for any G7 (if not G20) leader's slogan pack – but time moves on !
SAVING THE MONEY

Linked to the growth of real resource prices with a related loss of interest in paper value and fiat money, central banks almost worldwide, including China and India, Russia and Brazil, are now raising interest rates and boosting the reserve requirements they set for commercial banks operating inside their territories. Their favoured explanation is to fight inflation and safeguard confidence in their own national paper currencies. Equity buying is an immediate collateral victim, due to easy credit being a basic for any paper asset bubble - but not being necessary for a real resource bubble, and for very simple reasons: any economic actor needs to buy food, wear clothes, heat their homes and cook their food before even thinking about buying a smart phone and pay-as-you-go ring tones to go with it.

Underlining this difference, both the emerging countries and a growing list of developed world central banks are buying  fiduciary gold. Including private purchases of gold, central bank buying of physical gold in January and February, 2011 by China and India likely exceeded 325 tons in 59 days. These purchases are physical metal – not paper.  In turn this sets major challenges for the entire system of gold and precious metals trading, worldwide, which depends on a large proportion of purchases never going physical, that is staying paper. In this cosy system that shelters paper money and paper equities, gold trading is limited to paper gold in the form of Exchange Tradable Funds (ETFs) linked to physical gold but not held by buyers, and gold mining shares, long-dated paper futures in gold, and so on. In all cases physical delivery is either avoided or delayed and for the very simplest reason: there is not enough physical supply.

Like the rush to buy real asset hard commodities, ever rising physical demand for gold and other precious metals due to fear of inflation and declining confidence in paper money is basically driven by resource shortage and its corollary: not enough production. To be sure, this has to be couched in market friendly talk by government-friendly media journalists and commentarists – if they want to stay in view. The trick is to admit the number of hard commodities facing a supply issue has only grown, since around 2005, and - yes – the only respite was a 12-month downward price blip at the deepest point in the 2008-2009 recession, but market magic will either destroy enough demand or create enough new supply to handle the problem. Tune in later.
GETTING REAL ABOUT RESOURCES

The only surprise comes when denying the problem faces a real world that only gets worse. Facing the real world experience since at latest 2005, the default solution is so clear, simple and proven: commodity prices only turn down in free-fall recession.

Putting this another way, if the global economy does not re-enter recession at least as deep as 2008-2009 we can only look forward (if that is the right word) to more and further commodity price peaks until and unless we hit the recession slope. While higher gasoline prices may be the great fear of the supermarket masses in the rich world OECD countries – which count for 14 percent of world population – higher food prices in lower income countries soon threaten the comfortable single party regimes, juntas, dictatorships and theocracies which prop up the global system.

Finding the politician or the TV talking head who says that out loud is like finding a country willing to shelter Colonel Khadafi.

The last time commodities beat stocks, bonds and the dollar for three straight months was in June 2008 when oil prices hit their absolute highest peak in all time. Similar periods when this happened stretch back to the 1973-1974 Oil Shock, the 1979-1981 Oil Shock and their aftermaths. Market folklore always attributes oil price surge to any other cause except resource shortage. This can include violence in Iraq, the Iranian mollahs, African intrigue and folksy market insider plays like the 2008 goosing of the market by Goldman Sachs Co to bankrupt one of its clients, Semgroup Holdings. Simple supply/demand realities are always ignored, but they explain the long term price surge a lot better. In July 2008 oil futures reached a record US$147.27 for the August delivery, and US regular gasoline at the pump climbed to more than 4-dollars for a US gallon (3.785 litres).

At the time, and today, average European car drivers paid and pay around  US$ 8 a US gallon, but a part of their higher fuel prices are offset by the massive car subsidy payments they get from central governments trying to stem job losses in the car industry and keep consumers doing what they are supposed to do – consume anything, dont ask questions and above all pay taxes. This nicely classic Keynesian economic management was hysterically rejected by the Reagan-Thatcher duo more than 30 years ago, we can note, but Keynesian deficit spending has remained in real world daily use by all government spenders since that time, as before. The reasoning was and is: there is no alternative.

This changes little or nothing for the natural resource countdown, Outside the shale and fracture gas bubble, all the fossil fuels are resource constrained, and especially oil and uranium. All the soft commodities, especially the food grains, vegetable oils, sugar and non-food bioresources led by cotton and rubber are facing a severe uphill struggle to meet and match ever rising demand – due to declining land, water and bioresources to keep producing more. The non-energy minerals, from aggregates for concrete production through bauxite and iron ore for aluminium and steel, to copper, tin, lead and zinc, and all the high tech metals including vanadium, chromium and molybdenum, as well the Rare Earth metals have a one-way price track whenever the global economy is not in deep recession: up.
GETTING REAL ABOUT SOLUTIONS

Whether in or out of ever deeper recession, average per capita OECD national iron and steel consumption stays high, at around 750 kilograms a year. One basic reason is the OECD national car fleet average of close to 400 - 450 cars per 1000 population in all 30 member countries.  Average cars need about 1 ton of iron and steel, 100 – 175 kilograms of plastics, and 5 tyres which are up to 40 percent oil by weight. From this we get a read-out on car oil dependence: about 4 to 9 barrels per car, only for its construction.

Operating the average OECD car then needs about another 9 barrels, every year. Trying these figures out on China and India – at 450 cars per 1000 population - delivers an instant killer hit to any fantasy ideas of the global economy muddling through to its supposed Nirvana conclusion of Universal Abundance.

Not only the oil limit, but limits on resources as basic as iron, steel and rubber, or lithium and rare earth metals for cobbling an ersatz electric car alternative, make it impossible for the Chinese and Indian car fleets to ever reach more than a fraction of the per capita car ownership of the OECD nations today. Any attempt at this impossible goal with regular-type oil powered cars as we know them would generate one-only forecast: worldwide economic meltdown and global economic implosion. Playing with a fake alternative called electric cars can generate nice paper asset equity bubbles, but does nothing to supply the hard assets needed to execute this so-called alternative plan. More important and a lot more basic: how are we going to feed even the present world population, let alone 1500 million more by 2030 ?

This helps explain why government friendly media and our great democratic deciders are so coy and discreet about giving us any answers, apart from not having them is the constant read out bottom line: you cant get there from here.

Liberal economic doctrine will not talk about resource depletion. Only with foot dragging was it able to get around to ideas like the diseconomies of pollution. When elite deciders found these are, in fact, a real nice way to levy new taxes their coming out was sure: making a splendid sudden change of mind and a 180-degree flip-around of their herd mindsets, pollution taxes became media-friendly and politically-correct. Exactly the same will apply to Zero Population Growth, the development of sustainable agriculture and food production, using less and enjoying it, moving to the society of knowing not buying, and a bundle of other alternatives linked de-growth and restructuring..

In the real world things are getting simpler, the choices clearer almost daily. The read out and bottom line is always the same: the process of rising natural resource and energy prices, and ever cheaper ersatz substitutes being generated as a stop gap alternative by market genius (as it is called) will continue until and unless there is deep global economic recession. At that point the decider elites declare tilt and wheel in the riot troops. The real solution is therefore Solving the Future from today onward, every day.

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USDA staff call time on Argentine soybean optimism

by Agrimoney.com

US Department of Agriculture attaches in Buenos Aires have warned against upbeat forecasts – including the department's own – for Argentina's soybean harvest, saying many farms missed out on crop-reviving rainfall.
The attaches kept at 49m tonnes their forecast for Argentina's 2010-11 soybean crop, a 10% drop on last season's, saying that "scattered rains did not benefit all areas".
"It does not change the story entirely."
While some parts of Buenos Aires province, and worst affected areas of Cordoba and Santa Fe, had "received more rain in January than they did during the previous year", reviving crops which had been tested a dearth of moisture since November, other regions "were not so lucky".
An area comprising 20% of Argentina's soybean sowings "received much less rain than during the previous year".
Here, "crop conditions remain varied, with dry patches in fields, short, stunted plants and wilted plants".
Range of estimates
The comments come ahead of the USDA's monthly Wasde report on global crop supply and demand, due on Thursday, a key event in the agricultural commodities calendar.
The USDA currently has the crop at 49.5m tonnes, ranking it the world's third biggest, behind America's and Brazil's.
Argentine deputy agriculture secretary, Oscar Solis, two weeks ago pegged the harvest at "above 50m tonnes, for sure".
Other analysts, such as Oil World and Michael Cordonnier, have raised their estimates for the crop in recent days, although to figures below 49m tonnes.
Michael Cordonnier, at Soybean and Corn Advisor, on Tuesday lifted his forecast by 1.5m tonnes to 48.5m tonnes, citing "good rains".
Rabobank on Friday kept its estimate at 48m tonnes.

Arabica coffee may keep hefty premium over robusta

by Agrimoney.com

The soaring premium in arabica coffee beans over their robusta peers may remain steep even after the rally which has driven prices to multi-year highs fades - an event on the cards for the second half of this year.
Investors typically cite supply hiccups in arabica-producing countries, and notably Colombia, for the doubling in the premium of the bean, which is traded in New York, over the robusta coffee traded in London.
"The current hunger for higher quality arabicas and smaller interest for robustas is usually attributed to reduced supply in key Latin American producers of mild washed arabicas," leading coffee analyst Carlos Brando said.
New York arabicas have jumped by 160% over the past two years to hit a 34-year high of 277.30 cents a pound on Friday, compared with 54% rise to $2,335 a tonne, equivalent to 109 cents a pound in London robustas.
Quest for quality 
However, investors may be ignoring the impact of changes in coffee drinking habits favouring arabicas, typically considered higher-quality beans, over the robustas used largely in instant coffee.
"The actual reason may lie on a change in the profile of consumption, with increased demand for better products," Mr Brando said, citing in particular a move upmarket in domestic consumption.
The quest for quality was trickling "down from the specialty coffee niche market to the more mainstream segment of single-serve consumption at home".
Indeed, the acceptance by New York's Ice exchange of Brazilian arabica beans for delivery against its futures from 2013 "may be yet another indication of this new reality", Mr Brando said, citing the "growing market for consistent quality, differentiated coffees".
'Lacking a crisis' 
Robusta beans, of which Vietnam is the top grower, have traded at a notable discount since the late 1990s, although the shortfall has tended to remain at roughly the half current level of more than 60%.
However, even arabicas' spell of heady performance may be about to wane, Rabobank analysts said, noting "some bearish indicators in the market".
"Roaster buying has faded of late, recent gains have been speculator driven, and supply from Central America has been spurred by prices, and is very strong," the bank said.
The market was lacking the "major crisis, be it frost or labour issues", that sent prices to record highs in 1977 and 1997.
Furthermore, production in Brazil looked set to be high in 2011-12, for an "off" season in the country's two-year cycle of higher and lower harvest seasons, "and we believe this will result in easing prices in the second half of 2011".
Prices of arabica, which Rabobank late last year rated as a top buy, stood 1.0% higher at 277.30 cents a pound for New York's best traded May contract, at 10:30 GMT.
London robustas for May were  0.8% higher at $2,382 a tonne.

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Why Warren Buffett Is a Terrible Guide for Small Investors


Sure, Warren Buffett is America's second-richest man, and the stock of his company, Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.A ), has had compounded returns of 20.2% for the past 46 years. But does that mean when the "Oracle of Omaha" speaks about investing, the small investor should try to do what Warren does?

Over the weekend, Buffett released an upbeat assessment of his company and the American economy in his annual letter to investors. Several days later, while appearing on CNBC, he gave his view on investing in stocks vs. bonds.

"I think it would be very, very foolish to have your money in long-term fixed-dollar investments or short-term fixed-dollar investments if you had the ability to own equities and hold them for a considerable period of time," Buffett said.

What Would Warren Do?

So should investors run out and sell their Treasury bills and buy stocks? Amazon is full of books about how to invest "the Warren Buffett way" -- and some clever entrepreneurs even sell online courses in Buffett-style investing. But can the little guy actually make money that way?

"You can't do what he does," says William J. Bernstein, an investment adviser and author ofThe Investor's Manifesto: Preparing for Prosperity, Armageddon and Everything in Between , an investment guide that advocates putting money in a mixture of bond and stock index funds.

"Why do you have to listen to Warren Buffett tell you to buy equities?" Bernstein asks. "He was also telling you to buy stocks 18 months ago -- why weren't you listening to him then?"

"You'll Always Be Three Steps Behind"


Meir Statman, a professor of finance at Santa Clara University in California and author of the recent book, What Investors Really Want : Kn ow What Drives Investor Behavior and Make Smarter Financial Decisions , says small investors can't make money trying to copy Buffett's admittedly brilliant investment style.

"Don't try to emulate Buffett, though it's tempting to try," Statman says, "because you'll always be three steps behind him. When he buys a stock of an individual company, Buffett doesn't say 'in a week I'm going to buy this stock.' He buys it, and you'll find out a week or a month or a year later. And when he sells, you'll find out too late."

Although Buffett likes to call himself a value investor, he hasn't followed in the footsteps of classical value gurus like Benjamin Graham and David Dodd. For one thing, Berkshire makes much of its money -- $2 billion in profit last year -- simply earning a return on the "float" of its insurance companies, which has nothing to do with buying the shares of a company that seem underpriced by some form of financial analysis.

Why Buy High?

He also likes companies with so-called intangible value -- the cachet of Coca-Cola's ( KO ) brand, which arguably isn't a value company, either.

"Buffett was never a cigar-butt investor in the style of Ben Graham's investing," says Bernstein. "You can't do what Buffett does. He doesn't buy stocks, he basically buys companies and takes a corner office. He buys huge blocks of stock when he can pick it up for next to nothing."
In fact, Bernstein disagrees with Buffett's investment advice; saying this isn't the time to buy equities. "The time to be piling into stocks was in 2008 and 2009 when stocks were low," Bernstein says. "What makes you think buying when stocks are high is a good idea? Whatever your stock allocation was 18 months ago, it should be lower now because stocks are more expensive."

Both Bernstein and Statman are equally dubious about even buying Berkshire Hathaway stock -- despite Buffett's legendary reputation as a picker of great businesses, such as his 2010 purchase of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.

Bernstein says Berkshire carries an enormous premium compared to what it actually owns. "There's a Buffett premium that's built into Berkshire, and he's no spring chicken. The minute he catches a cold, the Berkshire premium is going to disappear." Buffett turned 80 last year.

Holding on to Those Treasury Bills

Statman is also cautious on the stock. "Whenever you buy shares of Berkshire Hathaway, you're buying from another shareholder," he says. "Unless that other shareholder is totally or generally underestimating Warren Buffett's abilities and therefore getting rid of the stock at some bargain price, you're not going to benefit from it."

And what about those long- and short-term fixed-dollar investments that Buffett advised against?

According to the Berkshire Hathaway annual report, the company held $33 billion in fixed-income investments, including U.S. Treasurys and corporate bonds, and $34.7 billion in cash and cash equivalents, which include Treasury bills, money market funds and other investments of three-months duration or less.

Buffett told the story of how his grandfather gave his children $1,000 each and advised them not to invest the money, because they always might need cash. He explained that's why his company is holding over $30 billion in cash now.

So, Bernstein says Buffett shouldn't be advocating that investors sell their short-term Treasurys to buy stocks. "If we get horrible inflation, or stocks plunge," he says, "I'm going to feel pretty good about my Treasury bills."

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China Is Number One… in Riskiness.



A new survey of risk managers names China as the number one “emerging risk” that keeps them awake at night.

Fourteen percent of the 141 respondents to the survey of corporate risk managers and actuaries by the Society of Actuaries, an industry association in Schaumburg, Ill., named “Chinese economic hard landing,” as their top concern for the future. Number two, at 11%, was a sharp fall in the U.S. dollar; number three was a “blow up in asset prices.”

An oil price shock was number four, at 9%, but that number would probably have risen higher if the survey was taken today, given the rapidly spreading political revolution in the Middle East, said Max Rudolph, an Omaha, Neb., actuary who ran the survey.

The survey was conducted in October and November 2010 and is due to be released shortly. A copy was provided to the Wall Street Journal.

“A Chinese economic hard landing would have most unintended consequences if it happened,” Mr. Rudolph “It’s never happened so you don’t know the impacts it would have.”

What was especially striking was how much more concerned the risk managers were about China in 2010 than the year before, when only 4% chose China as the top emerging risk. During that survey, the fall in the U.S. dollar and asset bubble crash dominated the risk managers’ concerns. The survey presents 23 possible risks for the respondents to rank, including climate change, international terrorism and pandemics, as well as economic concerns.

“In my mind, China is growing much more in the consciousness of people as we get further away from the economic crisis of late 2008,” said Mr. Randolph. “Managers are saying ‘Got that risk under control, so I need to think about next risk’” to plan for.

“They are viewing China as something they need to be aware of and monitor,” he said.

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+ 7.75 % Also In February Fifth Good Consecutive Month For Our Galaxy Portfolio Systems

Nella sottostante tabella sono raffigurate le equity line mensili dei trading systems che compongono il nostro portfolio systems Galaxy ed il riassunto MTM dell’operativit√† dal Novembre 2009. Galaxy chiude con un ottimo risultato anche il mese di Febbraio, dopo un equivalente risultato nel mese di Gennaio, portando a 15.29 % la performance del 2011. Quello appena chiuso √® il quinto risultato utile consecutivo a livello mensile dopo la breve pausa alla fine dell’estate dello scorso anno. L’equity continua a svilupparsi in maniera armonica mantenendo un’inclinazione positiva e costante grazie all’elevata diversificazione all’interno del portfolio. I risultati storici di Galaxy Portfolio System sono disponibili ai seguenti link: http://www.box.net/shared/static/nz7u0ztnbp.xls, http://box.net/shared/b9cg6kfa6s. I risultati dei singoli trading systems sono a disposizione al seguente link: http://www.box.net/shared/5vajnzc4cp

In the table below you can see the monthly equity line of the trading systems that make our Galaxy portfolio systems and the MTM performance summary since November 2009. Galaxy ends with a good result also the month of February, after a similar result in the month of January, bringing the performance to 15.29 % in 2011. One just closed is the fifth consecutive positive months after the brief pause at the end of the summer last year. The equity continues to grow in harmony while maintaining an upward slope and steady thanks to high diversification within the portfolio. Historical results of Galaxy Combined Portfolio System are available at the following links: http://www.box.net/shared/static/nz7u0ztnbp.xls, http://box.net/shared/b9cg6kfa6s. Historical results of single trading systems are available at the following link: http://www.box.net/shared/5vajnzc4cp

Galaxy Risultati Febbraio

Equity Line Trades, Giornaliera e Mensile di Galaxy / Trades, Daily and Monthly Galazy Equity Line
Galaxy Trades Galaxy Time Galaxy Settimanale

Performance MTM Mensile di Galaxy Portfolio System con un capitale iniziale di $ 200.000
Monthly MTM Performance of Galaxy Combined Portfolio System with $ 200K initial capital

  Jan
  Feb
Mar
Apr 
May
Jun 
Jul  
Aug
Sep
Oct 
Nov 
Dec 
2009










1.19 %
2.90 %
2010
(4.28 %)
24.49 %
2.99 %
1.76 %
15.62 %
4.35 %
10.60 %
(0.41 %)
(4.73 %)
1.75 %
12.80 %
1.50 %
2011
7.54 %
7.75 %











Material in this post does not constitute investment advice or a recommendation and do not constitute solicitation to public savings. Operate with any financial instrument is safe, even higher if working on derivatives. Be sure to operate only with capital that you can lose. Past performance of the methods described on this blog do not constitute any guarantee for future earnings. The reader should be held responsible for the risks of their investments and for making use of the information contained in the pages of this blog. Trading Weeks should not be considered in any way responsible for any financial losses suffered by the user of the information contained on this blog.

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