Slope of Hope Blog Posts

Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.

Which Way Does the Wind Blow?

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Some of you may know that I do a televised show every day on Tastytrade called The Last Call. Every trading day I share my thoughts and ideas about the market, offering up my view as to what I think is next based on what is happening right now. A few days it struck me – – I've become a weather reporter!

0818-regularweatherTo explain……when I was a boy, there were two vocations that had my interest. One was to be an architect. I've never had much artistic proficiency, but I do have aesthetic sense, and I've been able to direct my creative urges to online products.

The second interest was to be a weatherman. I suppose growing up in the constantly-unpredictable deep south made the idea of televising educated guesses about such an important topic alluring.

In fact, I got  a chance to be a weatherman on television when I was a kid. Anyone who grew up in the 1970s in Baton Rouge, Louisiana watched a local kids shown called Buckskin Bill. Bill Black was an insurance salesman in town (who, I found out later, lived just a block away from me – – which I found very exciting, being so close to a celebrity and all).


As a way to promote his name – that is, his brand – he started a half hour show that featured stuff like the Little Rascals and some entertaining diversions he would offer (including – and I am not making this up – shaking around some bottle caps in between his palms and having the kids at home guess how many there were).

I forgot why, but for some reason, Bill got word I wanted to try my hand at weather reporting. So I was invited into the studio (a very exciting day for me) and was allowed to walk over to the real weather map that the evening news team used, and I gave my weather report. It went so well that they actually asked me to come back as a regular guest, but my mom thought it was too big an obligation for a 9-year old. And so ended my brief meteorological career.

I think for some parts of the country – like where I live now – actually paying someone to report the weather is silly, because it's so completely predictable (and it's all publicly available for free from the NWS anyway, so why bother?) Of course, there are plenty other reasons why people watch weather reporters. But I digress.

With all due respect to the meteorologists of the world, I felt a strange sense of puniness when I realized what I was doing was aligned with my childhood goal of reporting the weather. This MIGHT happen; that MAY take place; maybe it'll rain; maybe it won't. I'm just trying to do my very best guess about an unknowable future.

Oh, well. There are less respectable professions, I suppose. Like financial blogging. Oh, God….

The Twitter Black Market – Selling “Followers” on eBay

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According to a report from barracuda labs, there is an exploding underground economy for twitter users going on right now


The Market place is ebay and other websites. Right now there are 196 listing to buy twitter followers with prices starting at $15 per 20,000

So who buys twitter followers?  Commercial products, political campaigns or anyone wanting to look more popular

The irony, according to barracuda labs,  is a large number of these "followers" are actually fake accounts:

For the past 75 days, we have been investigating the business of trading Twitter followers on eBay and other websites searched from Google. As it turns out, this underground economy on Twitter is blooming! The results show that this Twitter business is growing very fast to form a series of underground markets.


Money Flow for August Week Three

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Further to my last weekly market update, this week's update will look at:

  • 6 Major Indices
  • 9 Major Sectors
  • SPX:VIX and RUT:RVX ratio charts
  • Major World Indices
  • Commodities
  • 7 Major Currencies
  • Commodities ETF (DBC) and AUD/USD Forex pair
  • 30-Year Bonds
  • Lumber and the Homebuilders ETF (XHB)

The Daily chartgrid below of the 6 Major Indices shows that, with the exception of the Dow Utilities Index, all made higher closing highs on the week.