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Welcome to TraderPlanet's Feature Stories. Here you’ll find timeless financial content that is not closely tied to breaking news on the economy or financial markets. The articles in this section explore complex trading concepts and specific market interests. These articles are written by some of the world's best market analysts who enjoy the interaction with our readership — so post your comments and you may be pleasantly surprised by who responds!

US Labor Market Coming To A Boil

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 (NFP) data (March) 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,...

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Wheat Reality

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...

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5000 Years of Data

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...

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

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 (along with rising regional price premiums over London Metal Exchange 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...

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Why You Don't Have a Trading Log and Why You Should!

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...

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The Human Element of Trading

The Human Element of Trading

In this article I am going to, (hopefully) open you up to an aspect of trading that is ignored by most traders: The human element of trading isn’t so much about facing up to the fact that you may not be infallible in your eyes, heavens forbid, rather it is about understanding the synergy between your “beingness” as a human and how you experience the human condition, including trading as an...

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Top Five Things Traders Need to Know About Option Margin

Top Five Things Traders Need to Know About Option Margin

The truth is, unlike margin on futures contracts, option margin is dynamic.  It is almost constantly changing along with market price, volatility, and the exchange’s perceived event risk.  Further, many brokerage firms opt to charge their clients margin requirements that are higher than the exchange minimums to compensate for what they believe to be additional risk posed to the client, and...

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Thoughts on Liquidity

Thoughts on Liquidity

"The Federal Reserve, consistent with its responsibilities as the nation's central bank, affirmed today its readiness to serve as a source of liquidity to support the economic and financial system." --That's the statement the Greenspan Fed used to steady the markets after the 1987 Crash. I personally get turned off when news outlets all jump on the same topic and beat it to death. So, I am...

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The Rise of the Ugly Duckling Set-up in a “Channelized” QE Market Environment

The Rise of the Ugly Duckling Set-up in a “Channelized” QE Market Environment

So far 2015 has been a difficult environment for investors as the indexes have “chopped and slopped” in a mostly sideways range since December of 2014. Each time the market has appeared ready to bust out to new highs and begin a potentially strong, new trend to the upside, it has backed down into its prior price range relatively quickly. Conversely, each time the market has looked like it is...

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Coffee – Broad View of Fundamentals Continues to Favor Call Sellers

Coffee – Broad View of Fundamentals Continues to Favor Call Sellers

  2014 was a banner year for coffee prices as the market rallied off of Brazilian crop concerns right up through the critical “flowering” season in October.  But as timely rains finally arrived  (just in time - as they usually do in Brazil) the market was forced to backtrack as projected crop damage ended up being much exaggerated. This steady trend lower in prices made coffee an ideal...

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