Wednesday , May 22 2019
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Tyler Durden

Tyler Durden

Tyler Durden (a pseudonym) represents the idea that a return to truly efficient markets is a possibility and a necessity. After having experienced the inner workings of capitalism at various asset managers and advisors, Tyler believes that the current model is flawed and a deleveraging at every level of modern society is needed to reinspire the fundamental entrepreneurial spirit.

Articles by Tyler Durden

Thiel-Backed Crypto Startup Pays Out Staggering 6,567% Return

28 mins ago

A crypto startup backed by legendary VCs Peter Thiel, Alan Howard and Louis Bacon is buying back shares from its seed investors in a round of ‘share buybacks’ that will massively inflate its valuation – at least on paper.

Block.one, a crypto startup that raised $4 billion during one of the most successful ICOs in history, has decided to pay back (some might say pay off) its earliest investors by buying back their shares – initially purchased for about $22.50 – for $1,500. That’s a staggering 6,567% return, spread across two years. By comparison, bitcoin climbed 1,900% between the beginning of 2017 and its peak in December.

While it once promised to build a new ‘secure’ version of the Internet, Block.one hasn’t done much with its massive mountain of capital. Aside from a few venture

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Washington Weighs Blacklisting Of Up To 5 Chinese Surveillance Firms

1 hour ago

Before markets could finish shrugging off their losses from overnight, another wave of troubling trade news has arrived to sour the trading mood.

Not only is Washington weighing whether to impose restrictions on Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology – a CCTV company that’s the largest supplier of video surveillance equipment for Beijing’s indomitable security apparatus – as was reported last night, but four other Chinese firms might also find their way onto the "Entities List," Washington’s blacklist. Like Huawei(which has been put on a temporary hold), the restrictions being considered would cut off the flow of critical American components to as many as five companies.

The only other firm named by Bloomberg was Zhejiang Dahua Technology, another supplier for the Chinese security state,

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Buchanan: Has The Day Of The Nationalists Come For Europe?

2 hours ago

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,

Next week, Europeans may be able to gauge how high the tide of populism and nationalism has risen within their countries and on their continent.

For all the returns will be in from three days of elections in the 28 nations represented in the European Parliament.

Expectation: Nationalists and populists will turn in their strongest performance since the EU was established, and their parliamentary group — Europe of Nations and Freedom — could sweep a fourth of the seats in Strasbourg.

Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party is predicted to run first in the British elections, winning two to three times the votes of the ruling Tory Party of Prime Minister Theresa May.

In France, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally is running even with the party of

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Dems Mull Subpoena After Mueller Refuses To Testify Publicly Before Congress

2 hours ago

Update (2100ET): President Trump has decided to chime in on the Democrats’ move to force Mueller to testify:

After spending 40 Million Dollars, reviewing 1.4 million pages of documents, & interviewing 500 people with the total support of the White House, the Mueller Report was a BIG DISAPPOINTMENT to the Democrats, so they want a DO OVER. It doesn’t work that way-so bad for our Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 22, 2019

The Democrats are on a fishing expedition, wanting to interview the same people, and see the same things, as we just went through for two years with Robert Mueller and the 18 Angry Dems. Never happened to a president before. Never even happened to President Obama!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 22, 2019
*  *  *

Update (2030ET): Angry Democratic

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Monsanto Spied On Both Sides Of Pesticide Debate In At Least 7 European Nations

3 hours ago

New details have emerged about the recently revealed dossier(s) Monsanto, now owned by Bayer, compiled to sway public opinion on herbicides. The dossier(s) included people from 7 European states and potentially beyond, according to a new report by RT. 

Monsanto files reportedly listed prominent public figures who were opinionated on either side of the herbicide debate. The list included “stakeholders in France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom, as well as regarding stakeholders related to EU institutions.” 

Bayer says it has hired a law firm for the purpose of trying to determine whether similar lists exist in other states. 

Recall, about one week ago we reported that Bayer, which is being investigated by French prosecutors for compiling files of

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France Threatens Journalists With Jail Time For Exposing Government Lies About Yemen

4 hours ago

Via Middle East Eye,

France has threatened three French journalists with potential jail time for using secret documents to reveal the country’s involvement in the Yemen civil war. 

In a series of reports published in April, investigative journalists from Disclose and Radio France revealed the number of French arms sold to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. 

The documents, authored by France’s Directorate of Military Intelligence (DSGI), showed that senior French officials had lied about the role of French weapons in the Yemen War. 

Following the publication of the reports in April, Disclose’s co-founders Geoffrey Livolsi and Mathias Destal and Radio France journalist Benoît Collombat were asked to attend a hearing at the DSGI headquarters in Paris. 

The three journalists

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DNA Test Reveals Impoverished British Welfare Officer Entitled To $60 Million Country Estate

4 hours ago

A 31-year-old social worker in the UK is set to inherit a £50m ($64 million US) estate in Cornwall, UK, after a DNA test revealed he was the son of its deceased owner, reports The Guardian. 
Penrose estate in Cornwall

Jordan Adlard Rogers discovered that his father was Charles Rogers following the aristocrat’s 2018 demise. The elder Rogers was found dead in his car last August of a methadone overdose at the age of 62, after spending 40 years living as a "drug-addled recluse."

Estate manager Mr Care was the last person to speak to Charles, around three days before his body was discovered.

Mr Care said that in the months leading up to his death, Charles was malnourished and neglecting his personal hygiene, rarely changing his clothes.

Instead of living in his lavish home, Charles was

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Macron Goes Full Machiavelli Ahead Of The European Elections

5 hours ago

Authored by Bill Wirtz via The American Conservative,

The French president is gathering unlikely allies to challenge the populists. But he’s so unpopular, it might not even matter.

It’s rare that the likes of Emmanuel Macron is compared to Roger Stone. But Stone’s cardinal rule, “In order to win, you must do everything,” very much applies to the French president. And the latest political alliance he’s struck ahead of the upcoming European elections only reinforces that.

Macron’s La République En Marche (“the Republic on the move”) party presented its European election manifesto in Paris two weeks ago, then traveled to Berlin and other European capitals to rally French expat voters. It also promoted its ally parties from other countries, namely the German Free Democratic Party (FDP),

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Paul Craig Roberts Rages: The Assange/Manning Cases Discredit Humanity

7 hours ago

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

The rule of law has given way to law as a weapon in the hands of government…

Everyone who is aware of the US government’s extraordinary criminal actions at home and abroad bears a heavy weight.  The millions of peoples murdered, maimed, orphaned, widowed, and displaced by gratuitous American military aggression comprise a Holocaust of deaths based entirely on lies and false accusations in order to advance secret American and Israeli agendas. I suspect that the heavy burden of responsibility for mass murder and destruction committed in our name is the reason most Americans prefer the fake news fed to them about how good and wonderful and exceptional we are and how hard our government works to protect us from the nasty folks elsewhere.  

This storyline

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It Ain’t All Gucci In China, Luxury Goods Demand Expected To Slow 

7 hours ago

China reported weaker growth in retail sales for April last week, implying that consumers are now beginning to dial back their spending habits on everyday products. Clothing sales declined for the first time since 2009, also shows how consumers are pulling back on luxury clothing brands amid a deepening trade war and a slowing economy.

Bloomberg says consumers from Shanghai to Beijing have been on a Gucci binge since the trade disputes began last summer. The Chinese account for a little more than a third of all global luxury goods consumption.

The elevated level of luxury goods consumption in China has been a 15-year impulse, is expected to slow in the near term, due to a structural decline in the economy.

Even as the trade war sparked a further slowdown, Chinese demand for luxury

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Two Scenarios For Trump-Russia Investigators… And Neither Is Comforting

10 hours ago

Authored by Sharyl Attkisson , op-ed via The Hill,

As the investigations into the Trump-Russia investigation proceed, it’s not too difficult to figure out a few of the theoretical starting points.

The first and most obvious theory is the one largely promulgated in the media for the better part of two years. It goes something like this: The sharp, super-sleuth investigative skills of top officials within the Justice Department and our intel community enabled them to identify Donald Trump and his campaign as treacherous conduits to Russian President Vladimir Putin himself.

That theory was summarily dismissed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s conclusion that there wasn’t so much as even coordination between Russia and Trump, or any American.

So that leaves several other possibilities

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Yuan, Futures Slide On Reports Trump Administration Expands China Tech Blacklist

10 hours ago

US equity futures are sliding as Asian markets open after a NYTimes report that the Trump administration is considering limits to a Chinese video surveillance giant’s ability to buy American technology.

Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology, a company controlled by the Chinese government, is now the world’s largest supplier of video surveillance equipment, with internet-enabled cameras installed in more than 100 countries.

The move would effectively place the company on a United States blacklist, and as NYT notes, it also would mark the first time the Trump administration punished a Chinese company for its role in the surveillance and mass detention of Uighurs, a mostly Muslim ethnic minority.

And this escalation has sparked selling in stocks…

And yuan…

Congress and the

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US Warns Assad Of “Quick Response” After New Chemical Attack Allegation

11 hours ago

Here we go again with a claim that seems to surface every Spring: the US says it is looking into allegations the Syrian government has used chemical weapons as it continues an offensive against jihadists in northwest Syria.

Just as in prior incidents, it appears the sole originator of the claim is al-Qaeda in Syria, currently battling it out with pro-Assad forces near Idlib. And like with prior chemical attack allegations, it comes at a moment the jihadists are fast losing ground in the area. 

According to Reuters, citing US State Department remarks: 

US State Department says it sees signs Syrian government may be renewing use of chemical weapons, including alleged chlorine attack on May 19. 

File photo from fighting in Douma last year, site of a prior chemical attack allegation, via

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Geologist: A Yellowstone Eruption “Would Destroy Most Of America”

11 hours ago

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

A geologist has said that if the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, it would destroy most of the United States, all but wiping the country off of the map. Dr. Jerzy Zaba is importantly not predicting that the volcano is going to erupt soon, but simply stating that it does have the power to destroy humanity and life as we know it.

According to Tech WP, Dr. Zaba says that Yellowstone, if it erupted in a similar manner as it did 640,000 years ago, it would destroy much of the United States. Dr. Zaba, who is a geologist at the University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland, said the mass explosion is completely unavoidable although it’s impossible to say when that explosion will occur. In addition to the annihilation of the United States, the geologist also

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Antifa Organizer Ordered To Pay Legal Fees Over ‘Unreasonable, Frivolous’ Lawsuit

11 hours ago

A San Francisco judge on Wednesday ordered a Berkeley Antifa organizer to pay Judicial Watch $22,000 in legal fees and $4,000 in litigation costs, while her co-plaintiffs were ordered to pay $1,000 each to the conservative legal watchdog. 

Judge Vince Chhabria, an Obama appointee, called Yvette Felarca’s lawsuit against Berkeley Unified – in which Judicial Watch was named as a party – "frivolous" and "unreasonable." 

Felarca is a prominent figure in By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), a group founded by the Marxist Revolutionary Workers League that protests conservative speaking engagements. In 2016, Felarca and two of her allies were arrested and charged with several crimes, including felony assault, for inciting a riot in Sacramento. Earlier this year, Felarca was ordered to stand

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Afghan War: Hope For Exit, No Hope For Peace

12 hours ago

Authored by Lawrence Franklin via The Gatestone Institute,

In his State of the Union address on February 5, U.S. President Donald Trump said that his administration was "holding constructive talks with a number of Afghan groups, including the Taliban… [in order] to be able to reduce our troop presence and focus on counter-terrorism."

Trump continued, "We do not know whether we will achieve an agreement — but we do know that after two decades of war, the hour has come to at least try for peace."

On April 26, following a meeting in Moscow on the status of the Afghan "peace process," representatives of the U.S., China, and Russia released the following joint statement:

The three sides respect the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Afghanistan as well as its right

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Texas Pipeline Protesters May Face Up To 10 Years In Prison

12 hours ago

Ever since last September, Angeline Cheek was preparing for disaster.

The native American organizer from the Fort Peck reservation in Montana has fears that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline could break and spill, destroy her tribe’s water, and desecrate sacred Native American sites. But environmental catastrophe is not the most immediate threat.

The government has characterized pipeline opponents like her as “extremists” and violent criminals and warned of potential “terrorism”, according to recently released records. The documents, revealed last year, suggested that police were set to launch an aggressive responses to possible Keystone protests.

And now, that threat to what some have dubbed as "eco-terrorism" has become reality, at least in one US state. According to Bloomberg, oil

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Donald Trump, Socialist?

12 hours ago

Via Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp)

“Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country,” US president Donald Trump announced in his State of the Union address in February.  His base, as he had hoped, cheered him on in setting himself up as foil to Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

In the three months since, though, Trump has doubled down on his own socialist policy proposals. On trade and immigration, he’s 21st-century America’s most strident – or most empowered, anyway – advocate of an indispensable tenet of state socialism: Central planning of the economy by the government.

Trump wants the government to control what you buy and who you buy it from. Thus, his “trade wars” with Canada, Mexico, the European Union, and China, powered by

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To Beat The Market In China, Smart Investors Force Themselves To Think Stupid

13 hours ago

Reckless global monetary policy, led by the Federal Reserve, has literally forced the smart money to try and think stupid in order to make money. While fund managers are calling it "a new strategy", we can’t help but see it for what it really is: anything but a vote of confidence for the central banking status quo. 

For instance, despite running a $500 million hedge fund, manager Tom Zhou spends most of his time trying to "think like a novice investor," according to Bloomberg. He has has degrees in civil engineering, economics and finance but, for him, the key to figuring out the $6.6 trillion Chinese stock market isn’t higher education, it’s dumbing things down. 

Since the Chinese market is 80% driven by mom and pop investors, quants and fund managers are stuck trying to literally

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China’s Economic “Super-Weapon” Would Devastate Its Rare-Earth Exporters

13 hours ago

Submitted by Michael Every of Rabobank

Earth

With nationalism to the fore, for a change, talk of a “people’s war”, and with China telling the US it has “unwavering resolve” to fight “bullying” –a change from “imperialism”, which China itself is now accused of in some quarters– President Xi Jinping went to visit a rare earths facility yesterday. That was no accident. Nothing in Chinese politics is an accident. It was a signal that China can turn off the taps on rare earths exports to the US if pushed much further. Yet such a step would devastate its rare earth exporters; it would show the world they cannot rely on China as a supplier; and it would be the final(?) nail in the coffin of a ‘macro 101’ model of how the world works. (As if that is needed a day after US President Trump

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DHS Warns That Chinese-Made Drones May Steal Data

1 day ago

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a Monday warning that Chinese-made drones may be sending sensitive flight data to their manufacturers in China, according to CNN, citing the alert. 

The drones are a "potential risk to an organization’s information," the alert from DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency states. The products "contain components that can compromise your data and share your information on a server accessed beyond the company itself."

The report does not name any specific manufacturers, but nearly 80% of the drones used in the US and Canada come from DJI, which is headquartered in Shenzhen, China, according to one industry analysis. US local law enforcement organizations and infrastructure operators have grown to rely on drones in recent

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Why Students Are Fleeing The Humanities

1 day ago

Authored by Phillip Magness via The American Institute for Economic Research,

University faculty as a whole have made a sharp ideological turn toward the far left in the past two decades – a pattern that is extensively borne out in survey data. In a very short period, professors who self-identify on the left grew from a stable plurality of around 40–45 percent of the academy to a clear majority of 60 percent.

The skew, however, has played out unevenly across academic disciplines. Subjects that do not engage very heavily with political content such as the hard sciences, math, engineering, and many professional degrees still have a relatively balanced faculty. But faculty in subjects that do engage in political content — especially the humanities and social sciences — skew much further to

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Tesla Buffalo Plant Exporting Most Solar Cells To A “Large Asian Buyer” As Solar Roof Demand Plummets

1 day ago

The "great majority" of solar cells being produced at Tesla’s factory in West New York aren’t being used in the company’s "Solar Roof", as was pitched to win hundreds of millions in subsidies. Rather, they’re being exported and sold overseas to "a large Asian buyer", according to a new report from Reuters. 

This unexpected shift in strategy, comes after New York state granted Tesla $350 million to build its factory, along with $274.7 million for equipment and $125.3 million “for additional specified scope costs,” according to Tesla disclosures. The subsidy requires that Tesla employ 1,460 people in Buffalo and spends $5 billion in the state over a decade. The factory employs only about 800 workers now. 

While the plan was to mass produce cells for the "Solar Roof", Tesla has only

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Ron Paul Warns Violence Against Women Act Violates Constitution

1 day ago

Authored by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

A common trick of big-government loving politicians is to give legislation names so appealing that it seems no reasonable person could oppose it. The truth is, the more unobjectionable the title, the more objectionable the content. Two well-known examples are the “PATRIOT Act” and the “Access to Affordable and Quality Care Act.”

Another great example is the Violence Against Women Act. Passed in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act provides federal grants to, and imposes federal mandates on, state and local governments with the goal of increasing arrests, prosecutions, and convictions of those who commit domestic violence.

Like most federal laws, the Violence Against Women Act is unconstitutional. The Constitution

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Uber, Lyft Drivers Game ‘Surge Pricing’ At Reagan National Airport With Synchronized Scheme

1 day ago

Uber and Lyft drivers at Reagan National Airport have been gaming the system "every night, several times a night," by simultaneously turning off their rideshare apps for a minute or two so that the system is tricked into thinking there are no drivers available, thus creating a price surge. 

When the fare is high enough, drivers turn their apps back on and ‘lock in’ the higher fares, according to ABC 7. 

It’s happening in the Uber and Lyft parking lot outside Reagan National airport. The lot fills with 120 to 150 drivers sometimes for hours, waiting for the busy evening rush. And nearly all the drivers have one complaint:

“Uber doesn’t pay us enough, what the company is doing is defrauding all these people by taking 35-40 percent,” one driver told ABC 7.

“They are taking all this

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After “Hammer Blow” From Google, A “Paralyzed” Huawei Scrambles To Develop Its Own Operating System

1 day ago

On Monday, Beijing woke up to a new, and far more dire trade war reality for its flagship telecom company: Google which in 2005 bought Android, whose software has since become the most popular mobile operating system in the world, said it would stop supplying Huawei with Android software in order to comply with a US government ban.

Speaking to the FT, Tim Watkins, head of Huawei in Western Europe, said the company had been “astounded” by the ban, but said Huawei was “as well prepared as we could have been."

Perhaps… yet even so analysts said being cut off from Android was what the FT dubbed "a hammer blow" to a company whose smartphone business has been soaring in recent years, and rose 50% year-on-year to 59 million in the first quarter, while its rivals Samsung and Apple dropped 10%

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Fed Chair Powell Flags Financial Stability Risks: Record Debt, High Valuations, Leverage, & CLO Liquidity

1 day ago

Fed Chair Jay Powell told a banking conference in Fernandina Beach, Florida, tonight that a sharp rise in corporate debt is being closely monitored and risks currently stand somewhere between "this is a rerun of the subprime mortgage crisis" and "nothing to worry about here."

Powell added that a record level of concentrated, risky debt could impose severe strains on some US businesses in a downturn

“Business debt does not present the kind of elevated risks to the stability of the financial system that would lead to broad harm to households and businesses should conditions deteriorate,” Powell said in prepared remarks.

So don’t worry, right? Oh wait…

“At the same time, the level of debt certainly could stress borrowers if the economy weakens.”

So you better keep those asset

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If A Decline In Births Is A Problem Nationally, It’s A Full-On Crisis In Illinois

1 day ago

Authored by Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner via WirePoints.org,

A Centers for Disease Control report on the drop in births nationally has experts worried about its impact on the country’s fiscal and economic situation. Fewer young people could mean a shrinking population and a workforce too small to support the country’s ever-growing number of retirees.

If that’s a problem nationally, then it’s a full-on crisis in Illinois. According to separate U.S. Census data analyzed recently by Wirepoints, Illinois’ birth rate has fallen faster than the national average since the turn of the century. And that’s a real issue given the state’s massive pension debts and its declining population.

Barring structural pension reforms, Illinois will be trapped in a downward spiral where growing government

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34 Free Market Groups To Congress: Stop The “Fiscally Reckless” Federal EV Tax Credit

1 day ago

Free market groups are escalating their fight argue against the extension of the federal electric vehicle tax credit. In a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate tax writing committees, 34 groups claim that “…while the tax credit is misguided, at least its drafters had the wisdom to ensure that it applied only to the first 200,000 vehicles from a given manufacturer.”

The letter cites Sen. Orrin Hatch’s original comments upon introduction of the bill, where he said: "I want to emphasize that like the tax credits available under current law for hybrid electric vehicles, the tax incentives in the FREEDOM Act are temporary. They are needed in order to help get these products over the initial stage of production, when they are quite a bit more expensive than older technology vehicles,

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All Things Being Equal…

2 days ago

Authored by Sven Henrich via NorthmanTrader.com,

All things being equal, the 2019 rally stinks. No really. Remember those new all time highs on $SPX and $NDX at the end of April? Fake. Why? Because on an equal weight basis the 2019 rally was the weakest of the last 3 rallies. By far.

Firstly, what is equal weight? Look no further than the $XVG, the value line geometric index.

$XVG tracks the median moves its components using the assumption that each stock has an equal amount (for example, $1,000) invested in them. The daily average moves of stocks are then calculated geometrically (rather than arithmetically). In basic terms, the Value Line Geometric Index eliminates an illusion created by cap-weighted index components. Heavily weighted stocks within a cap-weighted index can pull it

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