- The inexact science of early cancer detection…
- … and one simple test that could change everything
- Why Chris Mayer isn’t buying into the market’s Fed obsession
- China’s “stealth devaluation” and the resulting market turmoil
- Big government, big business, big surveillance
- More history to the 50% retracement rule… what we can do for retirees… your last chance at “free shares”… and more!
[Urgent program note: Today’s episode of The 5 comes to you earlier than usual. That’s so you’ll have time to review and act on a uniquely profitable opportunity. Past opportunities like this have enabled readers like you to pocket as much as $147,700 in nine months. But the window of opportunity closes when the market closes today at 4:00 p.m. EST.]
The drumbeat is incessant — from doctors, from the media, probably your friends too. “Early detection is the key to successfully fighting cancer.”
Think about it for a moment: Why do they say that?
“We have been extraordinarily unsuccessful so far in curing cancer unless we can find it just as it begins, at Stage 1,” says Stephen Petranek of our science-and-wealth team. “Lung, breast and bladder cancer are among the most feared.
“Right now the first line of detection for these cancers is diagnostic imaging — using X-rays, MRIs or ultrasound to scan for anomalies. The problem is that the cancer has to be large enough to appear on the scan. When it’s at Stage 1, it rarely shows up. A typical cancer in a human has been growing for 11 years before it is detected.”
Eleven years. Wow…
What if you could take a simple blood or urine test that would reveal the presence of cancer — during Stage 1?
That would change everything. “A positive result,” says Stephen, “is not necessarily bad news — it means treatment can start right away, far increasing the odds of survival. Patients with cancer detected at Stage 1 have about a 90% chance of surviving.”
Scientists are further along on such a test than you might think. In fact, early results have shown…
- 88% accuracy detecting lung cancer
- 86% accuracy detecting breast cancer
- 91% accuracy detecting bladder cancer.
“Those detection rates can exceed current methodologies and interpretations by radiologists,” Stephen tells us. “There is still large-scale testing underway to confirm these results.”
That’s good news. And there’s also good news for investors in this research: The company developing these tests “doesn’t have to jump through as many hoops to gain FDA acceptance,” says Stephen.
“That’s because it’s working on developing medical tests, not drugs or treatments, which means it’s subject to a different level of scrutiny.
“New medical test procedures such as these fall under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA), which are designed to ensure a test is accurate and reliable. Once the company confirms its internal tests, it will ask the FDA for approval. If successful, the test will be on its way to becoming a staple of any cancer-screening exam, and probably part of a routine physical.”
Here’s perhaps the best news of all: Through the end of today, you have a chance to pick up “free shares” in this company.
Sounds too good to be true? It’s not. As Stephen explains right here, there’s precedent from last year. Investors who positioned themselves properly were able to claim free shares of another biotech firm — a sister company of this cancer-test outfit, in fact. If they held 1,000 of these free shares, they had a chance to cash them out within nine months for a quick gain of $14,770.
The more shares, the bigger the gain: 10,000 shares translated to $147,700.
Yes, there’s a catch: This opportunity is extremely time-sensitive. You must act before the market closes today at 4:00 p.m. EST. After that, the window of opportunity slams shut.
That’s not some “artificial” deadline we’re imposing. The whys and wherefores are spelled out — in excruciating detail — within documents filed at the SEC in Washington. It’s beyond our control.
In any event, there’s still time to review Stephen’s research and decide for yourself before day’s end. Here’s where to get started.
The major U.S. stock indexes are staging a teensy recovery from Friday’s big sell-off. At last check, the S&P 500 is up 16 points, at 2,021. Gold is rallying, up more than 1%, at $1,078.
West Texas Intermediate crude, which ended last week below $35 a barrel, is sinking further this morning, at $34.17. Brent crude, the global benchmark, is $36.38 — less than 20 cents away from its lows during the Panic of 2008.
“The S&P has evolved into a pretty textbook downtrending channel,” says Jonas Elmerraji of our trading desk, “thanks to a series of lower highs and lows that stretch back to late October.
“So far, the big support line at 2,000 hasn’t been violated — at least not yet. But it’s clearly about to get interesting here, as the S&P’s new downtrend closes in on a level that’s actually been an important price floor since January.”
Jonas says the Federal Reserve’s move to raise interest rates last week removes a source of potential surprise. “That should spur market participants to stop sitting on their hands and start making directional bets again. That’s the good news.
“The less good news is that the direction that investors have been betting on has been down.” The S&P shed 1.8% between the decision Wednesday afternoon and the market close on Friday.
“The hysteria that surrounds the Fed and anything it does is a sign of the sickness of markets,” observes our investment director Chris Mayer.
“It’s been a theme all year. The focus is not on the essentials of companies and cash flows and balance sheets. It instead seems to be on the Fed, interest rates and the economy.”
Chris is more aligned with Peter Lynch, the legendary stock picker and manager of the Fidelity Magellan Fund. “Lynch said if you spent 15 minutes on economics, you’ve wasted 13 minutes. By economics, he meant the efforts to try to divine where the economy is going.
“The kind of economics he focused on was simpler and factual. What are hotel occupancy rates doing? That’s important if you invest in a hotel. What are scrap prices doing? What do sneaker sales look like? What’s happening with food costs? All these things are factual and more directly relevant to specific investments.
“The big picture matters. It’s just too hard to predict. So you have to try to invest around your ignorance of what comes next. That means trying to buy cheap and sticking with proven owners. That means focusing on the ability of a business to compound its capital over a long period of time.”
And so the Fed’s moves last week changed nothing in Chris’ pursuit of 100 baggers — the stocks that can turn a $10,000 investment into $1 million.
The latest round of Chinese yuan devaluation is over — for the moment.
You didn’t hear about it? Well, the Chinese didn’t make a big deal about it the way they did last August. But the chart tells the story…
In fact, the People’s Bank of China weakened the yuan’s daily fix against the dollar for the last 10 consecutive trading days — ending only today with a minuscule 0.09% strengthening move. Not even enough to register on the chart.
“Until Monday’s fix,” says the Financial Times, “the currency had been weakening at a faster pace than at any time since it was first allowed to appreciate in 2005, losing 1.5% of its value against the U.S. currency over the past fortnight.”
The last two weeks are fulfillment of a forecast Jim Rickards made last month to readers of his entry-level newsletter Strategic Intelligence: “You should expect further devaluations. You should also expect more market shocks in the near future as China stumbles its way to a freely traded yuan.”
Sure enough, the Dow tumbled 800 points during that 10-day span of yuan devaluation ending last Friday.
How did Jim see it coming? And how can you profit accordingly?
We’ll get into that later as the holidays roll on. It’s a fascinating proposition Jim’s come up with, but way more than we can fit into our 5 Mins. today.
Washington has let up, ever so slightly, in its war on small business.
The generally awful budget deal rushed through Congress last week does contain an important booster for small business — making permanent the expansion of something called “Section 179.”
“Section 179 of the tax code allows small businesses to immediately deduct up to $500,000 of investments,” says a summary from the Tax Foundation. “However, without congressional action, this provision would have been scaled back significantly, and small businesses would only have been allowed to deduct $25,000 of investments.”
Not only does the new budget make those expanded limits permanent, they’ll be indexed to inflation.
“This provision is important,” says the Tax Foundation’s Scott Greenberg, “because businesses are usually required to deduct their investment spending over long periods of time, which discourages them from making new investments… It’s also a provision that is designed to benefit small businesses, rather than large corporations.”
Still, the provision is little consolation in the context of a $680 billion budget-buster — complete with a sellout of the Fourth Amendment online…
“CISA is the new Patriot Act. It’s a bill that was born out of a climate of fear and passed quickly and quietly using a broken and nontransparent process,” says Evan Greer of the digital rights group Fight for the Future.
We hinted at this last Tuesday, when the aforementioned generally awful budget deal was taking shape. Now that it’s signed into law, it’s worth one more look.
CISA is short for the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act. It traces its roots back to a failed piece of legislation from 2012 called CISPA. Here’s how Ron Paul — still in Congress at that time — described it:
“CISPA represents an alarming form of corporatism, as it further intertwines government with companies like Google and Facebook. It permits them to hand over your private communications to government officials without a warrant, circumventing well-established federal laws like the Wiretap Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. It also grants them broad immunity from lawsuits for doing so, leaving you without recourse for invasions of privacy.”
“The Fourth Amendment in cyberspace literally died right here, right now, today,” wrote financial blogger and retired Internet entrepreneur Karl Denninger after President Obama signed the bill on Friday.
“This is far worse than what was originally proposed, which allowed such ‘sharing’ only for ‘imminent threat’ law enforcement purposes beyond terrorism investigations. Now the interception can be used for virtually any law enforcement purpose, and you can bet it will be, too.”
But hey, the National Retail Federation is happy: “Sharing information on cyberthreats will create an atmosphere of community vigilance that will ensure that consumers’ sensitive data is kept safe,” says spokesman David French.
More likely, says Fight for the Future’s Evan Greer, is the law will “make all of us more vulnerable to cyberattacks by letting corporations off the hook instead of holding them accountable when they fail to protect their customer’s sensitive information.”
Big Government and Big Business couldn’t have hoped for a better Christmas gift. Heckuva job, Paul Ryan.
“Shame on you,” a reader chides after Jim Rickards invoked the “Rogers retracement rule” to describe gold’s movement since 2011 and another reader said the rule’s history goes back to a 1979 book by Ed Dobson called The Trading Rule That Can Make You Rich.
Today’s reader says the history is richer still: “W.D. Gann first wrote about the 50% rule in his book Truth of the Stock Tape, written in 1923 — probably before my friend Ed Dobson was even born. He later expanded on the rule in his 45 Years in Wall Street.”
The 5: Duly noted.
“Everything I read of your recommendations and choices from Agora Financial — and Jim Rickards — applies more for people who are not retired and have time to wait for their investments to grow,” a reader complains.
“What are the investment choices for those already retired and who live on their savings?
“How to protect oneself during coming inflation or deflation, fall of the dollar, disappearance of the dollar, losing their savings in the banks and from all disasters you write about in your letters?
“The population of senior citizens is increasing, and it would be appreciated if you paid more attention to this part of population, considering that subscription to Jim Rickards is very expensive for middle-class retirees.”
The 5: Well, not all the Jim Rickards services.
But if it’s current income you’re after, we have you covered there too. The most effective method we know to collect income right now is something we’ve been touting all year. And it’s not too late to get started.
The 5 Min. Forecast
P.S. Absolute last chance: If you want to claim “free shares” of an up-and-coming biotech that will forever change how cancer screening is done, the time to act is before the market closes at 4:00 p.m. EST. Click here to begin.