1099 Forms Now Available in Both Platforms

Consolidated 1099 Tax Forms are now available in both OptionsHouse platforms. To access your 1099 forms, follow these instructions:

 

New OptionsHouse Platform:

–          Launch the “Manage accounts” tab

–          Select “Tax Information”

–          Select “Tax Forms”

 

Standard OptionsHouse Platform:

–          Click the “Manage Accounts” button in upper-right corner

–          Click on the “Manage Account Preferences” link

–          In the Manage Accounts pane, select the “Tax Forms” Tab

For more information about how toaccess your Form 1099 online, please view our FAQs.

 

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670 Reasons that Google Is Not a Buy Yet

Written By: DragonFly Capital

Many analysts have been upgrading Google, $ GOOG, and raising there price targets to the mid 700′s and more. Back on January 11th I also put out the possibility of Google going to 1,000 based on a technical study. But it did not achieve it (link below). It has had a nice run higher but from the current price action it still has some work to do at these levels before it is a buy again. Take a look. The daily chart below shows the break above descending trend line resistance at 610 and subsequent move higher in a straight line. The next resistance is at 670 and a move

Google, $ GOOG, Daily

over that could trigger greatness. Both the bullish Relative Strength Index (RSI) and the positive Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) indicator support it. Moving out to the weekly chart shows the significance of the 670 level as the rising trend line resistance from mid 2008. It is also the neckline of the Inverse Head and Shoulders, now with a few extra shoulders, that would give a price objective of 1035 were it to break now. The rising RSI and MACD crossed

Google, $ GOOG, Weekly

positive on this time frame also support further upside, with the only resistance over 670 at 747.24, the previous high. The monthly chart shows the company’s entire life history, and paints an even more bullish picture if it can break that 670 resistance. The first target would be 870 from the break of the ascending triangle, followed by a Measured Move to 1054 from the comparable move higher from November 2008 to the beginning of the consolidation in December 2009. So

Google, $ GOOG, Monthly

yes there may be greatness in Google’s future. It may be the next $ 1,000 stock. But I am more interested in making money off of the move and not having it at risk until it is ready. So I am not interested until it clears 670.

One Last Test for Google

Dragonfly Capital

Canon 5D Mark III first impression

My Canon 5D Mark III arrived yesterday from Adorama. I immediately took it out in the bright sunshine and tested the autoexposure system in the high-contrast conditions that often resulted in exposure errors of more than two f-stops by the 5D Mark II. The Mark III handled these conditions beautifully.

The amazing new autofocus system is not all that amazing for taking pictures of children (my subject). There are 61 autofocus points but the probability that the camera chooses the one that corresponds to your subject’s eye is very small (about 1 in 61!). The $ 3500 camera actually has face-detection capability (just like a $ 100 camera!), but as far as I can tell it is only available in the video mode. This is presumably because the sensor doesn’t see the image until the mirror flips up, but in any case it is not really a wonderful thing to have a picture of a child with a perfectly focused elbow and an out of focus face.

The silent operation mode is very nice. I’ve heard enough SLR mirror slap to last me the rest of my life.

A huge number of the camera’s features relate to post-processing of the image, e.g., optimizing for tone and contrast or correcting for lens design shortcomings. The 400-page manual does not make it clear if these settings have any effect on RAW files or if they are only applicable to JPEGs produced in the camera.

The switch layout is slightly different than on the Mark II camera and the menu layout is dramatically different. Some of the differences relate to giving more priority to video capture with a big “still/video” switch on the back of the body. The baroque custom function interface of previous bodies has been cleaned up.

Overall it is impressive that the camera, part of the first batch shipped to the U.S., works at all. If this amount of new software were delivered by a typical software company, there would be daily required patches!

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

Retail Traders Rejoice: The Tide Has Turned

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, Merkel’s financial transaction tax front man,  just admitted they don’t have the votes for a EU wide or Eurozone wide FTT. This is huge news for European retail traders, who would go extinct in any tax scheme. It also kills any momentum for a 2nd term Obama administration to consider […]
On The EDGE

Top Trade Ideas for the Week of March 19, 2012: Bonus Idea

Written By: DragonFly Capital

Here is your Bonus Idea with links to the full Top Ten:

ConocoPhillips, Ticker: $ COP

ConocoPhillips, $ COP, is in a bull flag between 76 and 78 after rising from 67.50 and through previous resistance at 73.00. Note that the move took 1 month to complete. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) is bullish and turning back higher, creating a 7 day Positive Reversal with a target of 78.31. The Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) indicator has been trending lower as the flag continues and is now negative. looking to the left of the chart shows that there is no resistance higher over 78 ad below 76 has a relative void of previous volume, which could let if fall through to 75.26 quickly. There is a target higher on a Measured Move to 88 on a break above the flag. Support can be found below at 73 and 71.10 followed by 69.45 and 67.50. The trend is higher.

Trade Idea 1: Buy the stock on a move over 78.15 with a $ 1 trailing stop.

Trade Idea 2: Buy the April 80 Calls on a move over 78.15.
These were offered at 43 cents late Friday.

Trade Idea 3: Sell the April 72.50 Puts on a move over 78.15.
These were bid at 34 cents late Friday.

Trade Idea 4: Buy the April 80/72.50 bullish Risk Reversal on move over 78.15.
Combining trades 2 and 3 for a net debit of 9 cents.

Trade Idea 5: Buy the May 80/72.50 bullish Risk Reversal on move over 78.15.
Same trade as #4 but giving an extra month to work out and can be done for free.

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If you like what you see sign up for more ideas and deeper analysis using the Get Premium button above. As always you can see details of individual charts and more on my StockTwits feed and on chartly.

After reviewing over 900 charts, I have found some good setups for the week. These were selected and should be viewed in the context of the broad Market Macro picture reviewed Saturday which heading into next week seems the market has provided some clarity. Gold looks to continue lower while Crude Oil consolidates with an upward bias. The US Dollar Index looks better to the upside but Treasuries now are solidly biased lower. The Shanghai Composite look lower while Emerging Markets are poised to break higher out of a consolidation zone. The Volatility Index added some spice to the part and does not look to move markedly higher some. These influencers build a backdrop for the US Equity Index ETF’s SPY, IWM and QQQ to continue higher. An acceleration of Treasuries lower will only reinforce this. The charts of those Index ETF’s agree with the SPY and QQQ looking the strongest and the IWM still working off some previous price history. Use this information as you prepare for the coming week and trade’m well.

Dragonfly Capital

Very Rude Comments

Simon Wren-Lewis gets me going again

He wrote

Rational expectations do not prevent us understanding sustained periods of deficient demand when an inflation targeting central bank hits a lower bound. Indeed they help, because with rational expectations inflation targeting prevents inflation expectations delivering the real interest rate we need, as I have argued here.

and

The traditional Phillips curve has always seemed to me to be an advertisement for the dangers of not doing microfoundations. It seems plausible enough, which is why it was used routinely before the rational expectations revolution. But it contains the serious flaw noted above, which almost destroyed Keynesian economics.

After the jump, two very rude comments (in anti chronological order)

update: welcome Krugman readers. Oddly I kept secret the really rude comment which attempts to support the thin gruel claim as made by Krugman (I e-mailed it to myself). I think I will try to keep it secret (but I mean how the hell did Krugman know I had written a thin gruel comment ? ) Anyway I put a semi almost not totally utterly rude version as a comment on his post and below so now there are 3 comments in anti chronological order.

update:
the very rude comments I posted are nothing like the rude comment I decided to e-mail myself instead. In particular, they don’t contain much of the thin gruel claim. I think I will summarize the ones I didn’t post.

Wren-Lewis discussed changes in Central bank independence and explicit or implicit inflation targets.

When claiming one has evidence, one really can’t use the word “implicit.” Explicit inflation targets are observable variables. The claim that, without an explicit target, the Fed targeted inflation certainly isn’t an explanatory variable (and is hard to reconcile with FOMC minutes) . I’d guess the conclusion that there was an implicit target is based on the fact that inflation stayed at roughly the same level. If so, the evidence is that in cases where inflation stayed at roughly the same level, inflation stayed at roughly the same level.

There has been no change in the legal independence of the Fed. Yet US inflation was high in the 70s and low in the naughties. Again there isn’t a pattern relating observable variables with outcomes.

I didn’t add that 1973 -1968 = only 5 years. In many countries, workers didn’t accept that they had to live with capitalists. Unions were more powerful and vastly more militant. One might ask if one can explain differences in inflation rates by looking at difference in labor movements. For example, one might as Colin Crouch.

End update:

You write (suspected typo elided) “inflation targeting … delivering the real interest rate we need.” I note that the ECB has consistently targetted inflation (at least you are willing to give inflation targetting credit for events in 2005 and 2006. You must conclude that the Eurozone has the real interest rate we need.

But the Eurozone suffered a severe recession, currently has extremely high unemployment and appears to be headed for a second dip.

I think you meant to qualify the claim with “with the right inflation target, assuming (for some reason) that the target is credible …”

And:

I too have semi defended the rational expectations assumption recently. However, the basic advantage I see is that the assumption of rational expectations makes it more difficult (not impossible) for people to tell stories about how their preferred policies are good, because (it is assumed rather than argued) they will influence expectations in a desirable way.

Briefly, I think the point is to exorcise the confidence fairy. Less briefly, my reasoning was that, if one is not required to assume rational expectations, one can argue that cutting spending will cause increased growth by increasing business confidence. A model in which businessmen with rational expectations increase investment and production because of a spending cut is not easy to write. My guess is that it would be a model with sunspot equilibria, so anything can change investment. If so the case for expansionary austerity would be identical to the case that what we need is to burn incense to the flying spaghetti monster (which claim is consistent with the rational expectations assumption on models where sunspots can matter).

The key question, I think, is not rational vs irrational. It isn’t even rational vs adaptive. It is whether we should treat expectations as a policy variable imagining that policy makers can control them as they control, say, the federal funds rate.

Then I thought “same for the people who think that expected inflation is just like the federal funds rate” and here we are. I might add, I also thought “this time I won’t be very rude in comment” really honestly. But, as I see it, you leave me no choice.

Look why not just talk about a monetary authority which targets real yearly GDP. To a million pounds per capital You are simply assuming that a central bank can get the inflation expectations it wants. That rational people will believe its dynamically inconsistent promises.

Oddly the last time I remember defending rational expectations was when I tried to explain (to Matthew Yglesias) why Paul Krugman was skeptical about the effectiveness of monetary policy right now.

I note again that you have not identified one advance new Keynesians have made beyond Keynes. The alleged examples include speculation about UK consumption some of which, you note, is not incorporated into new Keynesian models yet and none of which has yielded an improved prediction and, of course, the old Phillips curve. The only connection between the old Phillips curve and Keynes is that he warned against believing in it as clearly as anyone could writing before Phillips.

You contest Krugman’s claim that those who seek microfoundations have had no successes since the critique of the old Phillips curve yet you go back to that again and again. I see no trace of a justification for your disagreement with Krugman in this post or in any other post of yours which I have read.


Angry Bear

Big Upside for Chevron and Exxon

(Reprinted with permission from TheStreet.com) Chevron (CVX) and Exxon Mobil (XOM), integrated oil giants and Dow Industrial Average components, look ready to break out of multiyear trading ranges and head  up to new highs. These long overdue rallies should give a major lift to the refining group, which has underperformed the broad energy complex since […]
On The EDGE

More on Greg Mankiw’s weak arguments for the Bain capital gains preference

by Linda Beale

More on Greg Mankiw’s weak arguments for the Bain capital gains preference

A few days ago, I commented on the weak arguments Greg Mankiw had put forth in his op-ed to support the preferential treatment of compensation for private equity and real estate partnership “profits” partners. He points out the categorization problem–that it is not always easy to be sure what is a “capital gain” and what is “ordinary income”. I concluded along the lines of arguments I have repeatedly made on this blog: the main thing the categorization problem teaches us is that we should eliminate categorization problems that create inevitable inequitable differentiations by eliminating the category difference.

Get rid of the preferential rate for capital gains (and with it the need to distinguish capital gains from ordinary income), and you will in one stroke simplify corporate and partnership and individual taxation tremendously. Much of the Code is invested in trying to prevent smart tax lawyers from using tax alchemy to convert one type of income into another. See, e.g., section 1059 (extraordinary dividends to corporate shareholders), section 304 (sales between affliated corporations treated as redemptions), section 302 (providing tests that, if not satisfied, treat redemptions as dividends if there is e&p), etc.


Uwe Reinhardt makes a similar argument in the Economix blog carried by the New York Times. See Capital Gains vs. Ordinary Income, New York Times Economix Blog (Mar. 16, 2012). Reinhardt uses Mankiw’s own introductory textbook in microeconomics to make the tax equity argument that many have been making about carried interest–it is unfair to tax a money manager at a preferential rate compared to firemen, postal inspectors, college professors, school teachers and neurosurgeons.

In his popular textbook “Principles of Microeconomics,” Professor Mankiw teaches students that “horizontal equity states that taxpayers with similar ability to pay should contribute the same amount.” Well put.

Consider now a person who bought a vacation home for $ 500,000 and two years later, during one of our recurrent real-estate bubbles, sells it for $ 1.5 million. That $ 1 million profit is now taxed at a rate of only 15 percent. If the home had been the principal residence of this person and his or her spouse, half of the $ 1 million profit would not be taxed at all.

Suppose next that this tax-favored person’s neighbor were a busy neurosurgeon whose many hours of hard, physical and intellectual work earned him or her a net practice income of $ 1 million during those same two years. That neurosurgeon would pay the ordinary income-tax rate on that income (on average a bit less than 35 percent, because only income over $ 388,350 a year is taxed at 35 percent).

By what definition of the term would can one call the glaringly differential tax treatment of the real estate investor and of the neurosurgeon horizontally equitable?

Reinhardt goes on to make another of the arguments that I have been pressing for months in this blog–that the assertion that preferential rates are necessary for stock market transactions because they are rewarding investment in the corporations is baloney–most reported gains on securities are from secondary market trades, not from direct investments in corporations.

[T]he proponents of lower capital-gains taxation conjure up an image of, say, Jones purchasing shares of stock directly from the issuing corporation, which then invests the proceeds in new structures and equipment.

More typically, however, sales and purchases of corporate common stock take place among parties quite outside of the issuing corporation. For example, Jones may buy the stock from Chen, who may have reaped a capital gain from once buying and now selling the stock. Chen may have bought the stock from another person not related to the issuing company.

When Jones pays Chen, it is anybody’s guess what Chen does with the money. For all we know, Chen will spend it on a luxury car. Why, then, should any gain Chen enjoys on his or her investment in that stock be granted a tax preference? No new capital formation was supported by this trade in a stock sold by the company years ago.

The ugly truth about the insistence on the capital gains preference is that it rewards people at the top of the income and wealth distribution and serves to maintain the status quo of the allocation of resources. This is what is really meant by “fiscal conservatism” these days–ensuring that resources remain inequitably distributed to the very wealthy who are the “shakers and movers” of society through the influence their money can buy. The right-leaning Supreme Court has made that even more inevitable than it was before, through the Citizens United decision upholding the right of corporations to contribute any amount to influence political campaigns, based on the laughable assertion that such “super-PAC” rights undergird free speech.

crossposted with ataxingmatter


Angry Bear

Short Term Key Levels to Watch in Gold March 12

Similar to what we saw in silver last week, Gold rallied up off a critical support level as seen on the Daily Chart.

Let’s take a moment to update the current Gold Structure and levels to watch as price compresses between a critical support level and an upper resistance pivot.

Gold’s daily chart shows a form of “EMA Compression,” where price is currently sandwiched between a rising 200d SMA (very important reference level for longer term traders) and falling overhead 20 and 50 day EMAs.

The main idea is that price must break one of these boundaries – and the break should carry on towards the next logical price target as indicated.

Thus, a clean break above $ 1,725 suggests a continued rally back to $ 1,775 or $ 1,800… while a similar breakdown under $ 1,675’s critical support suggests a further downward revisit of $ 1,575 or lower.

Keep in mind that structurally, gold is in a short-term SIDEWAYS trend between $ 1,575 and $ 1,800 from September 2011 to present.

Let’s add a Fibonacci Grid and see the larger Daily Chart levels in Gold beyond the basics:

We see a larger perspective of a Sideways or Rectangle Consolidation in Gold prices in the context of a larger (weekly and monthly chart) primary uptrend.

When we add a classic Fibonacci Retracement grid, we see how the 38.2% Fibonacci Retracement intersects with the 200d SMA just as the upper 61.8% retracement overlaps the 20d EMA at the $ 1,725 area.

In simplest terms, short-term traders should watch these key price levels this week for any signs of a breakout (or breakdown) which could lead to a continuation move on to logical price targets as shown.

Corey Rosenbloom, CMT
Afraid to Trade.com

Follow Corey on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/afraidtotrade

Corey’s new book The Complete Trading Course (Wiley Finance) is now available!


Afraid to Trade.com Blog

SPY Trends and Influencers March 17, 2012

Written By: DragonFly Capital

Last week’s review of the macro market indicators saw heading into the new week Gold ($ GLD) would continue to confuse on a short term basis looking higher in the downtrend in a long term uptrend while Crude Oil ($ USO) consolidated in a higher range with an upside bias. The US Dollar Index ($ UUP) seemed ready to continue higher while Treasuries ($ TLT) continued to consolidate with a bias to the downside. Both the Shanghai Composite ($ SSEC) and Emerging Markets ($ EEM) were consolidating and might continue with a bias to the upside. The Volatility Index ($ VIX) looked to have bottomed but also showed no signs of rising soon. These influencers painted a scene for the Equity Index ETF’s $ SPY, $ IWM and $ QQQ to move higher, and after the small pullback the prior week all of their charts agreed and were biased higher with the SPY and QQQ looking a bit stronger than the IWM.

The week began with Gold taking another leg lower while Crude Oil also drifted lower, but held its range. The US Dollar did move higher but gave it all back by Friday while Treasuries finally cracked. The Shanghai Composite started higher but news sold it off mid week and Emerging Markets moved to the upper end of their recent range. The Volatility fell fell again, showing the bottom was not in. The Equity Index ETF’s made renewed moves higher on the VIX move lower ending the week consolidating higher. What does this mean for the coming week? Lets look at some charts.

As always you can see details of individual charts and more on my StockTwits feed and on chartly.)

SPY Daily, $ SPY

SPY Weekly, $ SPY

The SPY broke resistance higher leaving a gap at 137.16-137.49 in its wake and finishing near the high for the week. The daily chart shows the Bollinger bands expanding to allow for more upside and the RSI holding bullish just over 70. The MACD has turned positive and is growing, supporting more upside. All of the SMA’s are rising. A strong bullish chart on the daily timeframe. The weekly chart shows a break above the Fan line that has played a role the last 6 weeks and a long white candle higher. The RSI on this timeframe continues to trend higher and is just reaching the 70 level while the MACD remains positive. The dark blue Fibonacci levels represent the move from the 2007 high to the low in 2009. Resistance higher is found at 143.02, a 100% retracement and then a target of 161.97, the 123.6% Fibonacci extension comes into play. Support on any pullback is found at 139.80-140.00 followed by the previously mentioned gap and 134.30. All bullish. Continued Uptrend.

Heading into next week the market provided some clarity. Gold looks to continue lower while Crude Oil consolidates with an upward bias. The US Dollar Index looks better to the upside but Treasuries now are solidly biased lower. The Shanghai Composite look lower while Emerging Markets are poised to break higher out of a consolidation zone. The Volatility Index added some spice to the part and does not look to move markedly higher some. These influencers build a backdrop for the US Equity Index ETF’s SPY, IWM and QQQ to continue higher. An acceleration of Treasuries lower will only reinforce this. The charts of those Index ETF’s agree with the SPY and QQQ looking the strongest and the IWM still working off some previous price history. Use this information as you prepare for the coming week and trade’m well.

Join the Premium Users and you can view the Full Version with 20 detailed charts and analysis: Macro Week in Review/Preview March 17, 2012

Dragonfly Capital

The Weekend Trader – Current Trade Sequence

We’ll keep this weekend’s post brief and limited to current technical analysis for longer term cycles in the context of my Chief Investment Officer Briefing as posted on in the Briefing Room of the PivotPoint Advisors site.

This week’s narrative includes a narrative on detailing of our most recent trade sequence for our clients, as our continuing mission remains providing full transparency – with respect to both pre-trade analysis and actual trades – in an industry that too often continues to be clouded by smoke and mirrors.

You can also find the direct link to this week’s Briefing PDF here, keeping in mind the full Briefing Room link provides important archives and puts recent action in perspective.  Please make sure to reload the PDF page if any of the header fonts look odd.

For those trading independently using intraday cycles, the industry-acclaimed Jellie Webinar Series also remains available.

Don Miller’s S&P Trading Tank

Fiduciary duty and self-interest

Lifted from comments from Linda Beale’s post Graphs Show It Clearly–the richest are much richer and most of us are poorer discussing the main points and data from David Cay Johnston’s Reuters article The richest get richer is Bruce Webb’s thinking on how the American market system was designed over time:
Defenders of Goldman who base that defense on “greed is good” reductionist understanding of capitalism are simply ignoring the legal and I would say moral structure in which banking and management were embedded: that of fiduciary responsibilities and principal/agent law.

Before Glass-Steagal repeal (and similar legal and business culture changes dating back to the fifties) there was an understanding that commercial bankers had a fiduciary responsibility to their customers,that the relation in question was one of agent to principal. And the same for management, managers were agents of the owners whether directly in a private firm, or indirectly via the Directors of either a joint-stock company or as in insurance of a mutual structure where policy holders were ‘owners’. On the other hand investment banks ad law firms and reinsurance companies like Lloyd’s and it’s ‘Names’ we’re generally set up on a partnership basis where the agents were principals, at least at top levels.

  But that distinction broke down, maybe as early as the rise of the Conglomerate and the Multinational where the link between the manager/agent and the principal/owner the principal/mutual holder became attenuated to the point of near nonexistence with the result that what had been agents, say a plant superintendent, now reported to an executive suite at ‘Corporate’ where one-time agents were de facto principals. As exemplified by the bastard blend of President and Chairman of the Boardand Chief Executive Officer into a single person whose theoretical agency relation to ownership was at best mediated through a board of Directors often largely serving under his direction.


 

And this attenuation of Agent-Principal relations broke down entirely when Glass-Steagal and other actions simply smushed together the partnership and joint-stock/mutual models where the formal and legal structure remained the latter even as the decision making went with the former.

 
Thus Goldman-Sachs Corporate culture. Instead of maximizing profits for the partners on one hand or for the shareholders on the other and all while maintaining a fiduciary responsibility to the customer/depositor, the executives and traders, who in law are simple hired help, i.e agents promoted themselves in their own minds to principals. Something complicated by the fact that various forms of stock based compensation made certain top executives both de facto and de jure principals quite beyond their selected/elected Chairman/CEO/President blended position.

 

This obviously needs some polish, it is a blog comment after all, but I think I am on to something, something I have been bouncing around in my mind since I first took a course on Post WWII American History back in the early eighties,
that is post multi-national conglomerate but prior to the barrier break represented by Glass-Steagal repeal. That is we are seeing a confluence of several streams that have mostly reduced all notions of fiduciary responsibilities and/or principal-agent law into a fetishizing of maximizing individual self-interest as if every trader at G-S was in the same legal and moral position as a medieval chapman selling goods from his pack purchased with his own money from the producer.

 
So yes capitalism is organized around the principle of principals maximizing their self-interest. But not everyone is, or should be considered,a principal. And no “Well duh, capitalism equals maximizing return” does not in itself wipe out the entire legal and moral structure that grew up around it. Agency and fiduciary responsibilities still are or should be operative. That is you don’t get to operate Wall Street on the principle “We eat what we kill” no matter what some hot-shot MBA trader might think.

(Dan here…Title added, introduction edited for  clarity)


Angry Bear

Safe Havens No More? (by Closing Basis)

I just wanted to share a couple of charts we all need to be keenly aware of right now.  Over the past couple of years both together and separately, gold and bonds have been the safe havens against market risk.  Now they are ALL breaking below major support levels. 

This seems to confirm the perception that the economy is improving  (regardless if it is all an illlusion or not).  If, in fact, money is coming out and seeking riskier assets, it is quite possible that we see a lot more upside from where we are right now (I still think we correct in the next month though).  These assets holding up were holding me to a more bearish bias, but now that they are breaking down and investors are voting with their dollars, it has become a lot more plausible to me that,  at least for now, the long-term trend trend for equities in general has indeed turned upwards.

GOLD headed for $  1500 - Mar 16, 2012
GDX major support break - Mar 16, 2012
TLT more downside ahead - Mar 16, 2012


Slope Of Hope with Tim Knight