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Market Commentary

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Five Years Is Not Too Far Away

What will the world look like in five years? What will life be like? How will technology define our existence then as compared to now?

Every day, I wonder about these questions and more. For example, how long will it take for cutting edge, applied research to become reality for many who need it?

  • Engineers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab have developed a next-generation prosthetic: a robotic arm that has 26 joints, can curl up to 45 pounds and is controlled with a person’s ...
May 21, 2015
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Crude Oil: Driving Season Kicks Into High Gear

This weekend is the unofficial kick off of the summer season in the U.S. Although if you live in the Chicago area the forty degree weather we have had this week might have you wondering when spring is arriving.  The long holiday weekend usually sees many families and travelers hitting the road and starting what has now become “driving season.”

One of the biggest factors in recent years of how many people are willing to load up the family truckster and drive is the price of gasoline. For decad...

May 21, 2015
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Stock Review And Forecast: NQ Megaphone

Thanks to the release of market-friendly Fed Minutes, on Wednesday afternoon the Nasdaq futures once again made a run at our upside target, the High Volume Node at 4523. The third time was a charm and it was briefly surpassed: 4534 marked the high of the day.

No doubt the zoom-up got some animal spirits pumping, but the bulls were soon left holding the proverbial bag. During the final hour of trading the Nasdaq fell 15 points during just one 5-min bar and closed 28 points off the high.

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In re...

May 21, 2015
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E-Mini S&P: Another New High, Another Disappointing Close

The S&P 500 mini-futures made a new intraday high for the regular day session trading again Wednesday, but sold off immediately and closed at 2122.50 for a slight loss from the previous close. The volume was about normal for recent trading.

The ESM5 ran up 11 points in anticipation of the FOMC release after lunch, and made a new high at 2132.20, but gave it all back in the next hour. The sell-off stopped at 2119.25 -- the previous resistance level -- in the day session but continued to drop ...

May 21, 2015
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DISH Option Traders Position For Near-Term Upside

On May 11, DISH Network reported first quarter EPS of $0.76 vs. the $0.40 Wall Street consensus estimate on revenue of $3.7 billion vs. the $3.73 billion estimate . Average revenue per user in the first quarter rose 4.4% to $86.01, but they lost 134,000 subscribers. DISH trades at a P/E ratio of 34.92x , price to sales ratio of 2.14x, and a price to book ratio of 15.57x.

Given the tepid top and bottom line growth along with the DirecTV/AT&T merger , it could mean DISH is about to step in the...

May 21, 2015
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Featured Stories

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US Labor Market Coming To A Boil

Despite a recent host of weak and weaker than expected economic data the employment picture remains robust. Aside from one month of poor non-farm payrolls data the sector remains strong with positive expectations into the future. One proof of that is the rebound in NFP we saw for April. The number jumped back above 200,000 and into the range commonly agreed to represent health, if not strength, in job creation. Further evidence can be found in the Kansas City Federal Reserve's Index of Labo...

May 21, 2015
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Wheat Reality

Last Thursday’s weekly export sales report for wheat showed 115 thousand metric tons. That was old crop numbers with new crop numbers coming in at 142 thousand.  Clearly demand is not a driving force and for months hasn’t been in wheat.  Demand looks to remain weak until the new crop in the field shows its strength.  The Monday’s crop condition report showed 45% of the crop in good to excellent condition. We need over 60% good to excellent condition to make us a primary port of origin for hig...

May 20, 2015
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5000 Years of Data

Systematic futures traders are invariably plagued by the small set of available daily data upon which to develop and test strategies. The last data revolution was the introduction of 24 hour electronic contracts starting in 2000.  Only a few symbols go back that far and many of them start much later.   Although some futures have a longer history, it is not helpful to back-test prior to 2000 because markets changed radically with the introduction of electronic futures. Consequently systematic ...

May 13, 2015
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Alcoa (AA) – A Leading Industrial Play on the Growing Global Aerospace and Automotive Sectors

AA, the largest aluminum producer in the U.S., returned nearly 50% in 2014, as the combination of rising aluminum prices , efficiency gains, and a 7% growth in global aluminum demand drove AA’s 2014 net income to $268 million, its highest calendar-year profit since 2011. For the U.S. aluminum industry as a whole—taking into account the three largest U.S. aluminum companies, i.e. Alcoa , Century Aluminum , and Kaiser Aluminum as a proxy—total 2014 net income was $452 million. This was also th...

May 13, 2015
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Why You Don't Have a Trading Log and Why You Should!

Every educator worth their salt will tell you “It’s important to log your trades”, to keep a record of your trades in order to track your progress.

Almost all traders fail to heed this advice. In fact, of the traders I work with, I’d say that less than 5% actually keep a consistent trade history. It’s not just laziness at play here; there are practical reasons and psychological reasons that make keeping a journal a challenge.

Journaling isn’t something specific to trading; it helps with many ...

May 12, 2015
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