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This Says Our Favorite Biotech Is Off to the Races

Shares of a promising biotech we recommended back in February 2013 – jumped as much as 27% to a three-month high of $14.20 yesterday after the company said a new cancer drug met its main goal in a midstage clinical trial.

Its shares backtracked a bit as the day progressed but still closed 17.6% higher for the session. These shares have advanced 361% since we first told you about them. The stock has generated a peak gain of 456%, making it one of the 31 recommendations we’ve made to you that have doubled or better since we launched Private Briefing in August 2011. (More on that later…)

  • You can Figure out When the Fed Might Start Tapering Calculator 2 small

    Although you might think the markets simply respond any time Ben Bernanke sneezes, his "cold cycle" is not one of the indicators that will spell the slowing

    and eventual cessation of the printing press at the Fed.

    There actually is a mathematical formula used by the Federal Reserve to determine when to stop the presses.

    I could give you the formula and it would look like this:

    POP2 = [1-(%POP) m*m] *POP1.

    Or, I could share the link to the Federal Reserve's Jobs Calculator in Atlanta.

    This is the same calculator used by the Fed to determine when the jobs market and the unemployment rate will align properly. And when they do, it will signal to the Federal Reserve that it might be a good time to start tapering its $85 billion a month bond buying program.

    This is what needs to happen: The economy will have to show new job growth.

    The Fed is looking for the creation of 150,000 to 200,000 new jobs each month for 6 months. This is how we look now:

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  • Today's May Jobs Report: When Bad News is Good News Thumbs up success hand sign isolated

    When bad news is good news for stock markets you know just how convoluted the current economic environment is.

    According to the May jobs report out today (Friday), the U.S. unemployment rate ticked up to 7.6% in May from 7.5% in April, the first increase since the start of 2013. And, markets rallied on the news. The Dow Jones soared more than 200 points by mid-day.

    Some will say the May jobs report was good news - thousands of out-of-work people returned to the work force, and the 175,000 jobs added beat expectations.

    The reality is we're just treading water. And the labor force participation rate is still at 30-year lows.

    But the real good news is the jobs report means more U.S. Federal Reserve support, which will fuel markets already hitting record highs.  

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  • April Employment Report Begins to Show the Signs of the "Obamacare Effect" Chart down small

    Economists breathed a sigh of relief when the Labor Department reported a better than expected April employment report on Friday, but the details show cracks still remain.

    Many of the job gains proved to be in lower paying fields and the average number of hours worked dipped.

    In fact, April's report revealed the average workweek for private sector employees declined 0.2 hour to 34.4 hours.

    The data also suggests The Affordable Health Care Act, aka Obamacare, is already having an impact on hiring since job growth has slowed most significantly among businesses with 50-499 employees.

    This could be the reason why...

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  • U.S. Jobs Report: How Unemployment is Really 14% Jobs unemployed peeps three

    Employers added just 88,000 jobs in March, according to the U.S. jobs report released Friday, hiring at the slowest pace since June 2012.

    The number was a huge miss. Analysts expected a gain of 200,000.

    "We all over shot it," Austan Goolsbee, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors in U.S. President Barack Obama's first administration, said on CNBC. "This is a punch to the gut. I mean, this is not a good number."

    Since the government's way of calculating unemployment is frighteningly inaccurate, even with such a small amount of jobs added the unemployment rate fell from 7.7% to 7.6%.

    That's because the labor force participation rate slipped from 63.5% to 63.3% -- the lowest level since 1979.

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  • January 2013 Jobs Report: 4 Reasons Unemployment Will Stay High OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    The U.S. Labor Department released the January 2013 jobs report Friday, showing the unemployment rate inched upward from 7.8% to 7.9%.

    Employers added 157,000 jobs in January, short estimates of 168,000, which would have kept the unemployment rate stable.

    The jobs report included some good news: Revisions to last year's data, customary in January, show the U.S. added 335,000 more jobs than initially reported in 2012, bringing the monthly average for jobs gained to 181,000 from the 153,000 initially reported.

    Employment gains for November and December were revised higher by a total of 127,000.

    Contributing most to January payroll increases were the retail, construction and healthcare sectors. The government continued to shed workers, a trend that began four years ago.

    But the employment outlook remains bleak. Joblessness has proved persistent, with the unemployment rate stuck above an unhealthy 7% for more than four years.

    "The good news is that January's employment gains, coupled with large revisions to the prior months, may translate into more consumer spending power. The bad news is that unemployment remains stubbornly high," said Kathy Bostjanic, director of macroeconomics analysis at the Conference Board.

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  • The Ugly Truth About the Promise of the JOBS Act On one level, the JOBS Act is full of promise. On another some of the elements are downright ugly. As Shah explains, its buyer beware. Continue reading... Read More...
  • The Good the Bad and the Ugly Truth about the JOBS Act It's about jobs.

    I'm not just talking about the upcoming election and who is promising to do more to stimulate the economy. The entire future of America depends on job creation.

    There are good and bad reasons why there aren't enough jobs.

    Jobs have been lost because of advances in technology. Jobs have been lost because they've been outsourced.

    Jobs aren't being created because banks aren't readily lending to entrepreneurs and businesses, and entrepreneurs and businesses supposedly aren't hiring because there are too many regulations and the future is uncertain.

    All the reasons why there aren't enough jobs in America can be argued from both sides. And, while that's being done, arguing isn't doing anything for the unemployed.

    Fortunately, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

    There is a pathway open, and hopefully soon to be widened, that bypasses all the arguments and does what our bickering partisan politicians can't do, create good jobs in areas where American ingenuity has always outshined the rest of the world.

    The Promise of the JOBS Act

    The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act or JOBS Act was signed into law on April 5, 2012 and is the single best hope America has of regaining its preeminence in the world.

    The JOBS Act has good, bad and ugly elements...

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  • Are We Headed Straight for Recession 2013? Fresh reports pointing to a slowdown in the struggling U.S. economy, coupled with worries of Europe's fiscal woes, have experts warning that Recession 2013 is inevitable.

    The dismal and downtrodden jobs numbers, the elevated long-term unemployment levels, the ailing housing market and the looming "fiscal cliff" are all fueling recession fears.

    Just last month, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported that unless lawmakers move to avert scheduled tax increases and spending cuts at the end of this year, a recession is likely.

    This marked the first time the CBO has forecast a recession resulting from the fiscal cliff.

    The CBO projected that gross domestic product (GDP) will contract by 1.3% in the first half of 2013 before growing 2.3% later in the year. Annualized, GDP would grow just 0.5% in 2013.

    That forecast is an about face from January when the CBO forecast a 1.1% GDP growth in 2013 (if policies are not dealt with).

    The report stated, "Given the pattern of past recessions as identified by the National Bureau of Economic Research, such a contraction in output in the first half of 2013 would probably be judged to be a recession."

    Now other economic experts are saying the same.

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  • Election 2012: President Obama at the Mercy of U.S. Economy U.S. President Barack Obama's chances for re-election in 2012 are increasingly tied to the fate of the U.S. economy, poll results show.

    Meanwhile, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney hasn't gotten as much benefit from the weak economy as one would expect - a sign of his inability to connect with voters.

    The past month has not been kind to the U.S. economy - or President Obama's standing in the polls.

    The barrage of bad news has included:

    "The economy is going through a rough patch, and that more than anything is going to determine President Obama's future," said Ipsos pollster Chris Jackson in comments on a Reuters/Ipsos poll taken in early June. "People's unhappiness with the economy carries over pretty directly to the president's numbers, and we see those weakening."

    In that poll, President Obama's job approval rating slipped from 50% in May to 47%, and those saying the country is on the wrong track jumped 6 points to 68%.

    Meanwhile, Romney gained 6 percentage points in the head-to-head matchup, making the Election 2012 race a statistical dead heat (Obama 45%, Romney 44%).

    Although President Obama's argument that he inherited economic problems too severe to fix in three years resonates with his liberal base, the moderates and independents likely to decide who sits in the Oval Office next year aren't so sure.

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  • U.S. Economy 2012: Jack Welch on What's Stifling Job Creation Excessive government regulation and uncertainty over tax policies are what's restraining companies from hiring, former General Electric (NYSE: GE) CEO Jack Welch said on CNBC last Wednesday.

    Welch joins a large number of economists and pollsters trying to sort out why the U.S. economy in 2012 hasn't rebounded more strongly from the 2008-2009 recession.

    In particular, everyone is trying to figure out why job creation has been so sluggish.

    The U.S. economy added just 69,000 jobs in May. That's far below the 150,000 or so needed just to keep pace with new workers joining the labor force.

    "We should be poised to do well, but we are getting hammered by political forces who won't deal with the fiscal cliff coming up," said Welch, referring to the expiration of the President Bush-era tax cuts and sharp reductions in federal spending due to hit in January.

    Welch blamed an array of government agencies for cooking up more and more nitpicking rules. Such rules have little or no benefit, but hamper business owners and suppress job creation.

    "These are the things that are going on every day. They add up," Welch said. "That's why we're not taking off."

    Welch compared the current recovery to the Reagan Administration recovery in the mid-1980s. That recovery, once it got going, accelerated rapidly.

    "If you look at 2009, and you look at the recovery we launched, we were getting into a traditional recovery," Welch said. "We had 4%, 4.5% growth until we started getting into regulations."

    Jack Welch Not Alone in U.S. Economy View

    The blunt talk from Jack Welch echoes data from several recent surveys of businesses.

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  • Dow Jones Erases 2012 Gains – What's Next? The "sell in May and go away" approach panned out this year as the month was not merry for markets.

    U.S. equities experienced a steep drop during May, enduring the worst monthly declines in two years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 6.2%.

    A good part of May's decline was blamed on the ongoing European sovereign debt crisis that has swelled of late and shattered investors' confidence. But things on the home front are far from ideal.

    The flight from stocks flowed into the first day of June. The Dow plunged 274 points Friday, erasing all of the year's gains. Fueling Friday's fall was May's dreadful U.S. jobs report, which showed employers added just a trifling 69,000 in payrolls, less than half the expected 150,000.

    The Standard & Poor's 500 Index and Nasdaq both plummeted more than 2%. The Nasdaq has given back more than 10% since its late-March peak.

    Traders consider a 10% drop to be a market correction. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 is just a mere point above correction territory.

    Just 17 of the 500 companies in the S&P index ended higher on Friday.

    "The big worry now is that this economic slowdown is widening and accelerating," Sam Stovall, chief equity strategist at market research firm S&P Capital IQ, told the Associated Press.

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  • Five with Fitz: What I See When I Look Over the Horizon When you've been working the markets as long as I have, you learn that the biggest dangers are always found in a place just over the horizon.

    It's why I spend my time hunting for stories, news items and opinions that in the old days were considered far "below the fold."

    Invariably, what I am looking for is the stuff that everybody else has missed.

    Because I believe that's where the real information is -- especially when it comes to uncovering profitable opportunities others don't yet see or understand.

    It's the story behind the story that interests me. To find it, you need to go beyond the headline news.

    In that spirit, here's my take on five things that I'm thinking about right now.

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  • Why the Eurozone Debt Crisis Never Really Went Away How many times have we been told the Eurozone debt crisis is resolved, only to have it turn up again like a bad penny?

    Last year's string of good news/ bad news on the Eurozone debt crisis had the markets going up and down like a yo-yo until the routine grew so tiresome that most people stopped paying attention.

    But while the crisis faded into the background, it never really went way.

    Remedies that were sold as solutions haven't solved a thing.

    The celebrated bailouts of countries like Portugal, Ireland, and especially Greece have served mainly to postpone real solutions that would be far more painful.

    "The Eurozone politicians in their infinite wisdom have concluded that it is easier to prolong the agony than to take their medicine," said Money Morning Chief Investment strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald.

    In fact, the Eurozone debt crisis is getting worse.

    Collective debt among the 17 member nations is on the rise, having increased from 85.3% of GDP (gross domestic product) in 2010 to 87.2% last year. That's the highest level in the history of the Eurozone.

    Unemployment in the Eurozone rose in March to 10.9%, up from 10.8% in February and 9.9% a year ago. Manufacturing also declined last month, as new orders fell for the 11th month in a row.

    And the austerity imposed on the troubled PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) to bring their budget deficits and debts under control have actually made the situation worse.

    "It's done no good at all," Fitz-Gerald said of the Eurozone's efforts to deal with the debt crisis. "It's an absolute travesty."

    The steep and sudden cuts in spending are pushing most of Europe back into a recession, which will eventually be felt here at home.

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  • Five Savvy Ways to Conquer the Wall of Worry
    If you like extreme risk and consider living on the edge to be "normal," today's column isn't for you.

    Today I'm writing to the millions of investors who are completely terrified by the prospect of what's next and who simply want their faith restored - not to mention their investments.

    To all of them I would say: You are not alone and you're not wrong to be apprehensive.

    Our political situation is an embarrassing train wreck, our national debt looks like a one way trip to financial hell, housing remains in the dungeon, unemployment is unacceptably high and Europe...oh Europe.

    It's nothing short of a gigantic wall of worry.

    Plus, there have been so many attempts to "fix" things that I've lost count. Throwing good money after bad is a fool's game and one that will have very real and inevitable consequences.

    So what should investors do?

    The Fed's War on Capitalism

    Here's how I see things. The "Whitewash Ministry" has basically five options:

    1. Repression
    2. Devaluation
    3. Austerity
    4. Deflation
    5. Inflation
    You can forget the double "d's" - devaluation and deflation.

    Even though both would be the proper way for free markets to bleed out the excesses of the past, they are essentially political nukes and nobody has the willpower to touch either one of them.

    The third, austerity, is being tried but only halfheartedly. Our leaders have no idea what this actually means. Since they remain completely unaccountable, there is no true incentive.

    Besides, large numbers of people have figured out it's easier to be on the dole than it is to actually work, so this is another disincentive for meaningful cuts in spending.

    As for inflation, this too is officially a non-starter as long as interest rates are held near zero. Unofficially, it's a different story. Most investors I know are feeling the heat of 12% to 15% a year in their wallets.

    That leaves option number one - repression.

    You can call it what you want, but repression is really a fancy way of saying that our government is conducting punitive monetary policy.

    While they mouth off about how they want to create jobs and take care of the middle class, in reality they're eviscerating it.

    How?
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