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Showing posts from March, 2011

New viewing options for Finance Trends readers

Blogger has introduced some new viewing options for blog readers and I wanted to share these with you.  In addition to our regular site layout, you can now view Finance Trends Matter in five new formats called, "dynamic views" for readers .  While I thought this would be a gimmicky style option, it turns out that the new views are pretty sleek and I imagine they'd be great for mobile web readers and iPad users. Here's one format I particularly liked, called " flipcard ".  As you can see, this view contains all our recent posts and I like they way the images from certain posts stack up with neighboring post titles. Pretty sharp, actually. Take it for a spin. You'll find a drop-down bar that lets you easily navigate the five viewing formats to find the one that's right for you. 

Weekly futures chart: Trend in oil prices

Taking a gander at the longer-term trend in crude oil prices via this Finviz weekly futures chart . You can plainly see the bull move of 2007-2008 and the ensuing correction (plunge) from $140 that followed here. Then we see the bottoming process and rally off the early 2009 lows, when crude oil traded near $30 a barrel . The uptrend of the past two years has taken us back above $100 a barrel. You'll also notice the COT (commitment of traders report) data below the price chart. It seems the commercial hedgers are the savvy players in the oil market. Their relatively infrequent net long exposure seems to occur near cyclical bottoms in crude oil prices. Of course, their net short positions tend to increase as the price of oil trends higher.  Perhaps some of our commodity-savvy readers can fill us in on any useful ways to read & use the COT data. If you have some helpful insights, please add them in the comments.

Trading lessons from Nicolas Darvas

Charles Kirk recently re-posted a very worthwhile rundown of trading lessons from Nicolas Darvas . Here is an excerpt from that piece: " Nicolas Darvas has inspired traders for many generations. His book, “How I Made 2,000,000 in the Stock Market” is one that you’ll find on many recommended reading lists including my very own . While some have argued that much of Darvas’ success had to do with lucky timing, his books are still widely read and for good reason. A lot of traders can identify easily with Darvas because he went through the process of learning how to trade much like most people do today as he first began by searching for the “secret” to making money in the market. And, just like all of us have found, after finding no success from trading on the stock tips of others including brokers and expensive newsletters, Darvas figured out that he ultimately had to develop a trading system on his own. .." Check out Kirk's notes on Darvas' trading approach and

Interview with Michael Bigger, trader & author

Trader and author/blogger, Michael Bigger of Bigger Capital offers his thoughts on "trading recipes" and collaborative communities in this interview for The Trading Elite website. Having read some of Michael's posts and thoughts on algorithmic trading and self-publishing, I was interested to hear more about his entrepreneurial trading efforts and building creative collaboration networks. Here are some key takeaways from the discussion: Michael talks about getting started in algorithmic trading. Start young, build a simple framework and improve it as you go over time. Start learning & experimenting as early as possible. Develop some "trading recipes" with your algo experiments. You can learn more over time and try to scale your best trading ideas. There are creative people who can help you develop programs and teach you more about trading. Michael wants to use the power of the internet to reach out to people and build collaborative trading communities. Tech

Recap: Sunday $Macro chat on StockTwits

Last night on StockTwits , the Sunday $Macro gang convened for a global macro chat in 140 characters. I hosted the chat, and with the help of some Sunday macro regulars and some new faces, the discussion was rolling in no time (see screenshot below). Here's a partial recap of some important themes and debate points from our macro discussion: Early on the discussion centered around Japan and the currency interventions designed by the G7 nations and BOJ to make the Yen cheaper. As I was not following the currencies closely, it was good to have the other stream members fill me in and offer their views on the likely impact of the recent Yen strength on Japan's economy. The Yen discussion carried over into a thread on Japan's rebuilding efforts, and how a "repatriation of assets" held abroad might bring renewed Yen strength. Some debated the effect (if any) Japan's investors would have on global stock and commodity markets. Jack Barnes offered up the view that Ja

Joe Fahmy interviews Market Wizard, Mark Minervini

Wanted to share this excellent video chat on trading and the stock market with you. Joe Fahmy interviews his trading mentor, Mark Minervini of Stock Market Wizards fame. Mark and Joe both maintain a presence on Twitter and StockTwits, so it's been rather interesting to get a closer look at some of their thoughts on markets and trading through their real-time updates. In this interview, Joe talks with Mark Minervini about his trading philosophy and the importance of blocking out meaningless distractions when focusing on one's trading strategy. This is a great discussion, and it serves as a very good learning opportunity for stock traders.

Dana Galante on the value of auditing firms

Currently rereading Jack Schwager's Stock Market Wizards and I came across a very illuminating excerpt from an interview with short-seller, Dana Galante. Had you read Galante's interview back in 2000, especially her comments on the value of auditing firms and the discretion banks and fund managers had in valuing illiquid investments, you might not have been surprised by subsequent events in our capital markets (read: Enron, Arthur Andersen, The Financial Crisis of 2007-2009, and so on). Here's an excerpt from Schwager's chat with Galante in which she explains how a former boss was hiding trading losses from investors by marking up the value of illiquid private company investments in the fund's portfolio: " JS : It almost sounds as if he was gambling with the portfolio. DG : It sure appeared to be gambling. Looking back, it seemed that he tried to hide these losses by marking up the prices on privately held stock in his portfolio. He had complete discretion