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5.20.2017 - Free Investing Newsletter Bookmark

Off Topics
 
I’m not going there today. Nope.  No Trump, no special prosecutor, no Seth Rich mysterious murder cover up, etc.  Today I’m going off topic on several issues. Why? One, to take a break from it all...but two...because sometimes the things you’ve been told and might even believe are not always set in stone. . So, let’s go off the reservation a bit, and talk about a few different subjects.
 

First off, Vaccinations. The Pharma’s and the Government say they’re safe. But the “alt-right” has said for ages that ‘no, they’re not safe, they lead to all manner of issues”.  Yet it was always hard to get  a truly good comparison of vaccinated vs unvaccinated. Why? Because you want to keep control groups “similar” in all other aspects.

For instance, it is widely known that the Amish don’t go along with vaccinations. But if you use their children as examples of non-vaccinated, is it fair? Not really because of the Amish lifestyle itself, those children could be raised considerably differently concerning eating habits, exercise, etc, compared to say the child from some family raised in the fast paced, fast food, rat race. 
 
But they finally did it. In the first of its kind, as reported by the Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute, they found a good control group comprised of unvaccinated home schooled children, versus vaccinated children of similar demographics. Here’s a short snippet of what they found...

A pilot study of 666 homeschooled six to 12-year-olds from four American states published on April 27th in the Journal of Translational Sciences, compared 261 unvaccinated children with 405 partially or fully vaccinated children, and assessed their overall health based on their mothers' reports of vaccinations and physician-diagnosed illnesses. What it found about increases in immune-mediated diseases like allergies and neurodevelopmental diseases including autism, should make all parents think twice before they ever vaccinate again:
 
*Vaccinated children were more than three times as likely to be diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum (OR 4.3)
 
*Vaccinated children were 30-fold more likely to be diagnosed with allergic rhinitis (hay fever) than non-vaccinated children
 
* Vaccinated children were 22-fold more likely to require an allergy medication than unvaccinated children
 
*Vaccinated children had more than quadruple the risk of being diagnosed with a learning disability than unvaccinated children (OR 5.2)
 
*Vaccinated children were 300 percent more likely to be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder than unvaccinated children (OR 4.3)
 
* Vaccinated children were 340 percent (OR 4.4) more likely to have been diagnosed with pneumonia than unvaccinated children
 
*Vaccinated children were 300 percent more likely to be diagnosed with an ear infection than unvaccinated children (OR 4.0)
 
*Vaccinated children were 700 percent more likely to have surgery to insert ear drainage tubes than unvaccinated children (OR 8.01)
 
* Vaccinated children were 2.5-fold more likely to be diagnosed with any chronic illness than unvaccinated children
 
On top of all that, the timing was perfect on an article that hit Friday morning, titled:  Sweden Bans Mandatory Vaccinations Over ‘Serious Heath Concerns’
 
Here’s the links to the vaccine study and the report on it:


 
Okay, moving along....
 
For years on end, we’ve been told that Salt is the boogeyman behind high blood pressure.  Well here’s a headline out of the San Diego Union Tribune...

Higher sodium, lower blood pressure. You read that right.
 
The article then starts by saying this...  In another blow against decades of accepted medical wisdom, one of the most prestigious, long-running studies reports that lowering sodium intake doesn’t reduce blood pressure. The study also implies that most Americans are consuming a perfectly healthy amount of salt, the main source of sodium.

Here’s the link to that story...


 
But Business Insider did its own report on the salt controversy, and here’s a few paragraphs from that...

But another study recently presented at the Experimental Biology 2017 meeting does. In that study, part of a larger study on heart health, researchers followed 2,632 men and women ranging from ages 30 to 64, all who started with normal blood pressure. After 16 years, they found that people who ate the recommended amount of sodium, less than 2,500 mg per day, had higher blood pressure on average than people who had saltier diets.

In 2011, a major study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that looked at 3,681 people that didn't have cardiovascular problems found that higher salt consumption did raise one component of blood pressure but didn't increase risk for hypertension (abnormally high blood pressure) and didn't increase risk for cardiovascular problems. People who seemed to consume the least salt, based on measurements of sodium excretion, had increased cardiovascular death rates.

Here's the link to their report...


 
I think that the vaccine problem is real. I don’t think that the concept of vaccination is wrong, I think the things they put in the vaccines are wrong and they administer too many...too soon. We had vaccines in the late 50’s and into the 60’s and 70’s and we didn’t have the situations we have now.
 
The Salt thing has always been interesting to me. In Biblical times, passages suggesting that Disciple’s were  “the salt of the earth” and several other passages that suggest salt is a very important mineral abound. Salt was the number one preservative, it was used on newborn babies, it was used in treating wounds. Salt ingestion was quite high.  Yet here we are today, still trying to figure out if too much is just right, too little not good, and just what it all means. Every study contradicts the other it seems. Interesting.
 
Finally, I’ve been  getting a lot of emails over the last few months asking why I haven’t done any gun articles lately. It seems quite a few of you enjoyed the self defense articles, and yes I haven’t really done any in quite a while. So let me toss a fast one out there for you right now...

I changed my carry gun. I’d need to devote an entire article about my personal reasons for carrying what others consider a “mouse gun”.  But suffice it to say, an adage I have lived with for 25 year is this “The best carry gun is the gun you WILL carry”.  It’s that simple. Sure I like the Glock 19. It is still my single favorite gunfighting weapon.  But let’s be real. Concealing it in shorts and a Tee shirt in 95 degree Florida weather isn’t happening. (not without barrels jabbing you in the privates, etc)
 
For the longest time I carried a Ruger LCP. It’s chambered in .380. It’s small, easily carried in a pocket, and with the “right” ammo, quite ample for self defense. While a pretty darned decent handgun, it was however  ammo specific. It has such a steep feed ramp, that it couldn’t digest some of the better hollow point cartridges. No matter what I did, such as polishing the ramp, etc,...it wouldn't eat some ammo. 
 
 Well, in a self defense weapon, the single most important thing of ALL is reliability. If you are put in the lousy situation of actually having to fire your weapon in self defense, the last thing you want is a jam.  (hence my love for the glock 19...it will eat anything. In any condition. With dirt in the barrel and rust on the trigger. It simply refuses to fail.)
 
So about 2 years ago I started the search for a different carry piece. I still wanted ultra small, I still wanted .380, and above all..I wanted something that would consume any ammo I put through it. Well for me...that ended up being the Barretta Pico.  It’s the thinnest Semi auto .380 on the planet, it’s got actual sights instead of theLCP’s raised bump, and...the one I bought has digested every single round of ammo I’ve put through it from Hornady’s critical defense, to Sig’s elite performance, to liberty’s civil defense, etc. Not one fail to fire, not one stovepipe, not one fail to feed.
 
Is it for everyone? Hell no, it’s funky as all get out.  But after carrying it and shooting it over the past 1.5 years, I am completely satisfied. I like it much better than my older LCP. So for any of you looking for a pocket gun, at least take a peek at the Pico... I think you might like it too.
 
So how’s that for off topic?  Vaccines, salt and handguns. Mission accomplished.
 
The Market...
 
You all know what happened. On Wednesday, the market puked up almost 400 DOW points and 40 S&P’s. The highest rated excuse was that Trump was soon to be impeached over asking Comey to drop the Flynn case. It was a very high volume sell off that plunged the S&P, the DOW, the Financials, the Russell, etc....well below their respective 50 day moving averages.
 
I told my Insiders that we couldn’t put too much faith into the idea that finally after all this time, the market was going to truly correct. We haven’t had a real correction since, well, a long time ago. I said that because we’ve seen similar “one day wonders” to the upside many times. If the market can jump for 300 points on March 1 and then spend the next 2 months drifting sideways and lower, doesn’t it stand that it could fall 300 points and spend the next “however long” inching back higher again?  Indeed.
 
So, while the technical’s got destroyed, while it “looked” like we were finally going to get the long overdue plunge, I wasn’t convinced. However on the other hand, I wasn’t so non-convinced that I jumped in with both feet either. It did have the “ability” to just continue lower. I simply didn’t know that it would.
 
So Thursday comes around and they ramped up a 110 point bounce, but as the day neared its end, they got a little nervous. The S&P had actually reclaimed its 50 day, but in the last 20 minutes, lost it. We ended the day green, but not impressively green. Highs and lows were mixed, and the buy to sell ratio was pretty much pinned around 50/50.  
 
Friday however, they shook off any remaining doubts and simply bought up everything. Closing with 141 DOW points and 16 S&P’s, they had managed to retake the 50 day’s on both. Yet once again we closed well off the highs of the day. At one point the S&P was actually 7 points higher than that.
 
On the surface, it would be VERY easy to say we’re simply going to march right back up and challenge the all time highs. We just put in two back to back up days, with pretty good volumes. But is it really that simple? 
 
Let’s look at a couple things. First off, the real power push on Friday came from one of our Very own Fed heads.  Headlines like this kept hitting the wires...
MW Fed's Bullard questions need for June rate hike   09:20:00   Today
MW Fed's Bullard casts doubt on need for interest-rate hike in June   09:41:00   Today
 
Obviously the market loved hearing that June might be put on hold and that certainly goosed things at the open. Right after telling us what we’re at full employment, and earnings are growing and the GDP is rising, this guy makes the case for no rate hike.  Jawboning the market much Mr. Bullard??
 
 On Tuesday we closed at 2400 on the S&P. Wednesday morning was the big gap -down open and we opened at 2382. From there we fell all the way to 2357.  Then Thursday and Friday we powered back up. But...when we closed Friday, we were “under” the gap down open by a point. We closed at 2381. 
 
Similarly the DOW closed Friday, 42 points below where it opened on that Gap down Wednesday.  Even the mighty NASDAQ as evidenced by the QQQ, didn’t make it back to where we opened on Wednesday. The IWM (Russell ETF) is still below its 50 day, as is the XLF ( financials) .
 
Add all that up and you could argue that there’s still trouble in paradise. I think we might stall out and see a bit of sideways in here for a while. It’s obvious they’re not ready to let it roll over and die, but on the other hand, I don’t think they’ve got the firepower lined up to make new highs either. So another bout of choppy sideways action sounds about right.  Good luck and I’ll see you all on Wednesday. 

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