I am not 100% sure how to list Forex losses on my return ...

ATO Australian tax treatment for options trades 🇦🇺

I am posting this as I hope it will help other Australian options traders trading in US options with their tax treatment for ATO (Australian Tax Office) purposes. The ATO provides very little guidance on tax treatment for options trading and I had to do a lot of digging to get to this point. I welcome any feedback on this post.

The Deloitte Report from 2011

My initial research led me to this comprehensive Deloitte report from 2011 which is hosted on the ASX website. I've been through this document about 20 times and although it's a great report to understand how different scenarios apply, it's still really hard to find out what's changed since 2011.
I am mainly relating myself to the scenario of being an individual and non-sole trader (no business set up) for my trading. I think this will apply to many others here too. According to that document, there isn't much guidance on what happens when you're an options premium seller and close positions before they expire.
Note that the ATO sometimes uses the term "ETO" (Exchange Traded Option) to discuss what we're talking about here with options trading.
Also note: The ATO discusses the separate Capital Gains Tax ("CGT") events that occur in each scenario in some of their documents. A CGT event will then determine what tax treatment gets applied if you don't know much about capital gains in Australia.

ATO Request for Advice

Since the Deloitte report didn't answer my questions, I eventually ended up contacting the ATO with a request for advice and tried to explain my scenario: I'm an Australian resident for tax purposes, I'm trading with tastyworks in $USD, I'm primarily a premium seller and I don't have it set up with any business/company/trust etc. In effect, I have a rough idea that I'm looking at capital gains tax but I wanted to fully understand how it worked.
Initially the ATO respondent didn't understand what I was talking about when I said that I was selling a position first and buying it to close. According to the laws, there is no example of this given anywhere because it is always assumed in ATO examples that you buy a position and sell it. Why? I have no idea.
I sent a follow up request with even more detail to the ATO. I think (hope) they understood what I meant now after explaining what an options premium seller is!

Currency Gains/Losses

First, I have to consider translating my $USD to Australian dollars. How do we treat that?
FX Translation
If the premium from selling the options contract is received in $USD, do I convert it to $AUD on that day it is received?
ATO response:
Subsection 960-50(6), Item 5 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997) states the amount should be translated at the time of the transaction or event for the purposes of the Capital Gains Tax provisions. For the purpose of granting an option to an entity, the time of the event is when you grant the option (subsection 104-20(2) ITAA 1997).
This is a very detailed response which even refers to the level of which section in the law it is coming from. I now know that I need to translate my trades from $USD to $AUD according to the RBA's translation rates for every single trade.
But what about gains or losses on translation?
There is one major rule that overrides FX gains and losses after digging deeper. The ATO has a "$250k balance election". This will probably apply to a lot of people trading in balances below $250k a lot of the FX rules don't apply. It states:
However, the $250,000 balance election broadly enables you to disregard certain foreign currency gains and losses on certain foreign currency denominated bank accounts and credit card accounts (called qualifying forex accounts) with balances below a specified limit.
Therefore, I'm all good disregarding FX gains and losses! I just need to ensure I translate my trades on the day they occurred. It's a bit of extra admin to do unfortunately, but it is what it is.

Credit Trades

This is the scenario where we SELL a position first, collect premium, and close the position by making an opposite BUY order. Selling a naked PUT, for example.
What happens when you open the position? ATO Response:
The option is grantedCGT event D2 happens when a taxpayer grants an option. The time of the event is when the option is granted. The capital gain or loss arising is the difference between the capital proceeds and the expenditure incurred to grant the option.
This seems straight forward. We collect premium and record a capital gain.
What happens when you close the position? ATO Response:
Closing out an optionThe establishment of an ETO contract is referred to as opening a position (ASX Explanatory Booklet 'Understanding Options Trading'). A person who writes (sells) a call or put option may close out their position by taking (buying) an identical call or put option in the same series. This is referred to as the close-out of an option or the closing-out of an opening position.
CGT event C2 happens when a taxpayer's ownership of an intangible CGT asset ends. Paragraph 104-25(1)(a) of the ITAA 1997 provides that ownership of an intangible CGT asset ends by cancellation, surrender, or release or similar means.
CGT event C2 therefore happens to a taxpayer when their position under an ETO is closed out where the close-out results in the cancellation, release or discharge of the ETO.
Under subsection 104-25(3) of the ITAA 1997 you make a capital gain from CGT event C2 if the capital proceeds from the ending are more than the assets cost base. You make a capital loss if those capital proceeds are less than the assets reduced cost base.
Both CGT events (being D2 upon granting the option and C2 upon adopting the close out position) must be accounted for if applicable to a situation.
My take on this is that the BUY position that cancels out your SELL position will most often simply realise a capital loss (the entire portion of your BUY position). In effect, it 'cancels out' your original premium sold, but it's not recorded that way, it's recorded as two separate CGT events - your capital gain from CGT event D2 (SELL position), then, your capital loss from CGT event C2 (BUY position) is also recorded. In effect, they net each other out, but you don't record them as a 'netted out' number - you record them separately.
From what I understand, if you were trading as a sole tradecompany then you would record them as a netted out capital gain or loss, because the trades would be classified as trading stock but not in our case here as an individual person trading options. The example I've written below should hopefully make that clearer.
EXAMPLE:
Trade on 1 July 2020: Open position
Trade on 15 July 2020: Close position
We can see from this simple example that even though you made a gain on those trades, you still have to record the transactions separately, as first a gain, then as a loss. Note that it is not just a matter of netting off the value of the net profit collected and converting the profit to $AUD because the exchange rate will be different on the date of the opening trade and on the date of the closing trade we have to record them separately.

What if you don't close the position and the options are exercised? ATO Response:
The option is granted and then the option is exercisedUnder subsection 104-40(5) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997) the capital gain or loss from the CGT event D2 is disregarded if the option is exercised. Subsection 134-1(1), item 1, of the ITAA 1997 refers to the consequences for the grantor of the exercise of the option.
Where the option binds the grantor to dispose of a CGT asset section 116-65 of the ITAA 1997 applies to the transaction.
Subsection 116-65(2) of the ITAA 1997 provides that the capital proceeds from the grant or disposal of the shares (CGT asset) include any payment received for granting the option. The disposal of the shares is a CGT event A1 which occurs under subsection 104-10(3) of the ITAA 1997 when the contract for disposal is entered into.
You would still make a capital gain at the happening of the CGT event D2 in the year the event occurs (the time the option is granted). That capital gain is disregarded when the option is exercised. Where the option is exercised in the subsequent tax year, the CGT event D2 gain is disregarded at that point. An amendment may be necessary to remove the gain previously included in taxable income for the year in which the CGT event D2 occurred.
This scenario is pretty unlikely - for me personally I never hold positions to expiration, but it is nice to know what happens with the tax treatment if it ultimately does come to that.

Debit Trades

What about the scenario when you want to BUY some options first, then SELL that position and close it later? Buying a CALL, for example. This case is what the ATO originally thought my request was about before I clarified with them. They stated:
When you buy an ETO, you acquire an asset (the ETO) for the amount paid for it (that is, the premium) plus any additional costs such as brokerage fees and the Australian Clearing House (ACH) fee. These costs together form the cost base of the ETO (section 109-5 of the ITAA 1997). On the close out of the position, you make a capital gain or loss equal to the difference between the cost base of the ETO and the amount received on its expiry or termination (subsection 104-25(3) of the ITAA 1997). The capital gain or loss is calculated on each parcel of options.
So it seems it is far easier to record debit trades for tax purposes. It is easier for the tax office to see that you open a position by buying it, and close it by selling it. And in that case you net off the total after selling it. This is very similar to a trading shares and the CGT treatment is in effect very similar (the main difference is that it is not coming under CGT event A1 because there is no asset to dispose of, like in a shares or property trade).

Other ATO Info (FYI)

The ATO also referred me to the following documents. They relate to some 'decisions' that they made from super funds but the same principles apply to individuals they said.
The ATO’s Interpretative Decision in relation to the tax treatment of premiums payable and receivable for exchange traded options can be found on the links below. Please note that the interpretative decisions below are in relation to self-managed superannuation funds but the same principles would apply in your situation [as an individual taxpayer, not as a super fund].
Premiums Receivable: ATO ID 2009/110

Some tips

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Dollar is following its heart. Forecast as of 06.11.2020

Dollar is following its heart. Forecast as of 06.11.2020

Weekly US dollar fundamental analysis

Markets are just like people. They follow their hearts from time to time and forget about common sense. Investors like the idea of the division in the Congress and the Democratic president. In this scenario, the risks of tax hikes and high tech companies' strict regulation are much lower. This fact supports the stock indexes. The S&P 500 has been up by 1% and more during four consecutive trading sessions, which has been for the first time since 1982. In percentage terms, those days have been the best since early April. Markets consider Joe Biden to be a better president than Donald Trump, which allowed the yuan to gain back more than 50% of the losses faced during trade wars. The EURUSD tested the resistance at 1.186-1.187.
The growing chance of Biden’s victory encourages investors to spend the cash, which they have been accumulating ahead of the US presidential election. They are buying stocks and bonds. However, traders forget about other factors, such as the pandemic, uncertainty around the new fiscal stimulus, and Donald Trump’s willingness to reject the voting results. It looks like an attempt to give out desirable for valid. According to TD securities, there should not be any concerns about challenging the voting results, which has pushed the risky assets up and weakened the US dollar. DZ Bank believes that the greenback is falling because the voting results were reported earlier than some had expected. I do not think the above arguments to be strong.
I suppose traders are following their hearts. They invest the capitals in the securities as they worry not to miss the uptrend, which sends the S&P 500 up, fuels global risk appetite, and weakens the US dollar against a basket of currencies.

Dynamics of world's currencies versus the US dollar


Source: Financial Times
How long can it be going on? It depends. People in love are passionate during different periods. However, common sense should win sooner or later. The USA performs better than the euro area at the current stage of the economic cycle. The Fed is not willing to boost the monetary stimulus while the ECB tends to increase the current QE pace. According to Bloomberg’s leading indicators, the largest euro-area economies face a deeper drawdown in the PMIs because of the new lockdowns. The euro-area bond yields fall, which signals that the markets expect the ECB to take active measures in December.

Recovery of the world’s economies


Source: Bloomberg

Yields on the euro-area bonds


Source: Wall Street Journal

Weekly EURUSD trading plan

Let us be sensible during times of euphoria. Although the EURUSD has rebounded from the resistance at 1.186, the shorts entered in the zone seem vulnerable. It will be relevant to hold down the shorts if the pair goes below the support at 1.179. The S&P 500 rally could push the euro up above $1.188. The EURUSD medium-term outlook depends on whether the bulls can hold the price above 1.188.
For more information follow the link to the website of the LiteForex
https://www.liteforex.com/blog/analysts-opinions/dollar-is-following-its-heart-forecast-as-of-06112020/?uid=285861726&cid=62423
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Trump Didn’t Kill the Global Trade System. He Split It in Two.

This article is taken from the Wall Street Journal written about nine months ago and sits behind a a paywall, so I decided to copy and paste it here. This article explains Trump's policies toward global trade and what has actually happened so far. I think the article does a decent job of explaining the Trade War. While alot has happenedsince the article was written, I still think its relevant.
However, what is lacking in the article, like many articles on the trade war, is it doesn't really explain the history of US trade policy, the laws that the US administration is using to place tariffs on China and the official justification for the US President in enacting tariffs against China. In my analysis I will cover those points.

SUMMARY

When Trump entered the White House people feared he would dismantle the global system the US and its allies had built over the last 75 years, but he hasn't. He has realign into two systems. One between the US and its allies which looks similar to the one built since the 1980s with a few of quota and tariffs. As the article points out
Today, Korus and Nafta have been replaced by updated agreements(one not yet ratified) that look much like the originals. South Korea accepted quotas on steel. Mexico and Canada agreed to higher wages, North American content requirements and quotas for autos. Furthermore, the article points out Douglas Irwin, an economist and trade historian at Dartmouth College, calls these results the “status quo with Trumpian tweaks: a little more managed trade sprinkled about for favored industries. It’s not good, but it’s not the destruction of the system.” Mr. Trump’s actions so far affect only 12% of U.S. imports, according to Chad Bown of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. In 1984, 21% of imports were covered by similar restraints, many imposed by Mr. Reagan, such as on cars, steel, motorcycles and clothing. Protectionist instincts go so far in the US, there are strong lobby groups for both protectionist and freetrade in the US.
The second reflects a emerging rivalry between the US and China. Undo some of the integration that followed China accession to the WTO. Two questions 1) How far is the US willing to decouple with China 2) Can it persuade allies to join.
The second is going to be difficult because China's economic ties are greater than they were between the Soviets, and China isn't waging an ideological struggle. Trump lacks Reagan commitment to alliance and free trade. The status quo with China is crumbling Dan Sullivan, a Republican senator from Alaska, personifies these broader forces reshaping the U.S. approach to the world. When Mr. Xi visited the U.S. in 2015, Mr. Sullivan urged his colleagues to pay more attention to China’s rise. On the Senate floor, he quoted the political scientist Graham Allison: “War between the U.S. and China is more likely than recognized at the moment.” Last spring, Mr. Sullivan went to China and met officials including Vice President Wang Qishan. They seemed to think tensions with the U.S. will fade after Mr. Trump leaves the scene, Mr. Sullivan recalled. “I just said, ‘You are completely misreading this.’” The mistrust, he told them, is bipartisan, and will outlast Mr. Trump. both Bush II and Obama tried to change dialogue and engagement, but by the end of his term, Obama was questioning the approach. Trump has declared engagement. “We don’t like it when our allies steal our ideas either, but it’s a much less dangerous situation,” said Derek Scissors, a China expert at the American Enterprise Institute whose views align with the administration’s more hawkish officials. “We’re not worried about the war-fighting capability of Japan and Korea because they’re our friends.”
The article also points out unlike George Kennan in 1946 who made a case for containing the Soviet Union, the US hasn't explicitly made a case for containing the Soviets, Trump's administration hasn't, because as the the article explains its divided Michael Pillsbury a Hudson Institute scholar close to the Trump team, see 3 scenarios
Pillsbury thinks the third is most likely to happen, even though the administration hasn't said that it has adopted that policy. The US is stepping efforts to draw in other trading partners. The US, EU and Japan have launched a WTO effort to crack down on domestic subsidies and technology transfers requirement. US and Domestic concerns with prompted some countries to restrict Huawei. The US is also seeking to walloff China from other trade deals. However, there are risk with this strategy

ARTICLE

Trump Didn’t Kill the Global Trade System. He Split It in Two.

INTRODUCTION

My main criticism of this article is it tries like the vast majority of articles to fit US trade actions in the larger context of US geopolitical strategy. Even the author isn't certain "The first goes to the heart of Mr. Trump’s goal. If his aim is to hold back China’s advance, economists predict he will fail.". If you try to treat the trade "war" and US geopolitical strategy toward China as one, you will find yourself quickly frustrated and confused. If you treat them separately with their different set of stakeholders and histories, were they intersect with regards to China, but diverge. During the Cold War, trade policy toward the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc was subordinated to geopolitical concerns. For Trump, the trade issues are more important than geopolitical strategy. His protectionist trade rhetoric has been fairly consistent since 1980s. In his administration, the top cabinet members holding economic portfolios, those of Commerce, Treasury and US Trade Representative are the same people he picked when he first took office. The Director of the Economic Council has changed hands once, its role isn't as important as the National Security Advisor. While State, Defense, CIA, Homeland Security, UN Ambassador, National Security Advisor have changed hands at least once. Only the Director of National Intelligence hasn't changed.
International Trade makes up 1/4 of the US economy, and like national security its primarily the responsibility of the Federal government. States in the US don't implement their own tariffs. If you add the impact of Treasury policy and how it relates to capital flows in and out of the US, the amounts easily exceed the size of the US economy. Furthermore, because of US Dollar role as the reserve currency and US control of over global system the impact of Treasury are global. Trade policy and investment flows runs through two federal departments Commerce and Treasury and for trade also USTR. Defense spending makes up 3.3% of GDP, and if you add in related homeland security its at most 4%. Why would anyone assume that these two realms be integrated let alone trade policy subordinate to whims of a national security bureaucracy in most instances? With North Korea or Iran, trade and investment subordinate themselves to national security, because to Treasury and Commerce bureaucrats and their affiliated interest groups, Iran and the DPRK are well, economic midgets, but China is a different matter.
The analysis will be divided into four sections. The first will be to provide a brief overview of US trade policy since 1914. The second section will discuss why the US is going after China on trade issues, and why the US has resorted using a bilateral approach as opposed to going through the WTO. The third section we will talk about how relations with China is hashed out in the US.
The reason why I submitted this article, because there aren't many post trying to explain US-China Trade War from a trade perspective. Here is a post titled "What is the Reasons for America's Trade War with China, and not one person mentioned Article 301 or China's WTO Commitments. You get numerous post saying that Huawei is at heart of the trade war. Its fine, but if you don't know what was inside the USTR Investigative report that lead to the tariffs. its like skipping dinner and only having dessert When the US President, Donald J Trump, says he wants to negotiate a better trade deal with other countries, and has been going on about for the last 35 years, longer than many of you have been alive, why do people think that the key issues with China aren't primarily about trade at the moment.

OVERVIEW OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE ORIENTATION

Before 1940s, the US could be categorized as a free market protectionist economy. For many this may seem like oxymoron, how can an economy be free market and protectionist? In 1913, government spending made up about 7.5% of US GDP, in the UK it was 13%, and for Germany 18% (Public Spending in the 20th Century A Global Perspective: Ludger Schuknecht and Vito Tanzi - 2000). UK had virtual zero tariffs, while for manufactured goods in France it was 20%, 13% Germany, 9% Belgium and 4% Netherlands. For raw materials and agricultural products, it was almost zero. In contrast, for the likes of United States, Russia and Japan it was 44%, 84% and 30% respectively. Even though in 1900 United States was an economic powerhouse along with Germany, manufactured exports only made up 30% of exports, and the US government saw tariffs as exclusively a domestic policy matter and didn't see tariffs as something to be negotiated with other nations. The US didn't have the large constituency to push the government for lower tariffs abroad for their exports like in Britain in the 1830-40s (Reluctant Partners: A History of Multilateral Trade Cooperation, 1850-2000).
The Underwood Tariffs Act of 1913 which legislated the income tax, dropped the tariffs to 1850 levels levels.Until 16th amendment was ratified in 1913 making income tax legal, all US federal revenue came from excise and tariffs. In contrast before 1914, about 50% of UK revenue came from income taxes. The reason for US reluctance to introduced income tax was ideological and the United State's relative weak government compared to those in Europe. After the First World War, the US introduced the Emergency Tariff Act of 1921, than the Fordney–McCumber Tariff of 1922 followed by a Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930. Contrary to popular opinion, the Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930 had a small negative impact on the economy, since imports and exports played a small part of the US economy, and the tariffs were lower than the average that existed from 1850-1914.
Immediately after the Second World War, when the US economy was the only industrialized economy left standing, the economic focus was on rehabilitation and monetary stability. There was no grandiose and ideological design. Bretton Woods system linked the US dollar to gold to create monetary stability, and to avoid competitive devaluation and tariffs that plagued the world economy after Britain took itself off the gold in 1931. The US$ was the natural choice, because in 1944 2/3 of the world's gold was in the US. One reason why the Marshall Plan was created was to alleviate the chronic deficits Europeans countries had with the US between 1945-50. It was to rebuild their economies so they could start exports good to the US. Even before it was full implemented in 1959, it was already facing problems, the trade surpluses that the US was running in the 1940s, turned to deficits as European and Japanese economies recovered. By 1959, Federal Reserves foreign liabilities had already exceeded its gold reserves. There were fears of a run on the US gold supply and arbitrage. A secondary policy of the Bretton woods system was curbs on capital outflows to reduce speculation on currency pegs, and this had a negative impact on foreign investment until it was abandoned in 1971. It wasn't until the 1980s, where foreign investment recovered to levels prior to 1914. Factoring out the big spike in global oil prices as a result of the OPEC cartel, it most likely wasn't until the mid-1990s that exports as a % of GDP had reached 1914 levels.
Until the 1980s, the US record regarding free trade and markets was mediocre. The impetus to remove trade barriers in Europe after the Second World War was driven by the Europeans themselves. The EEC already had a custom union in 1968, Canada and the US have yet to even discuss implementing one. Even with Canada it took the US over 50 years to get a Free Trade Agreement. NAFTA was inspired by the success of the EEC. NAFTA was very much an elite driven project. If the Americans put the NAFTA to a referendum like the British did with the EEC in the seventies, it most likely wouldn't pass. People often look at segregation in the US South as a political issue, but it was economic issue as well. How could the US preach free trade, when it didn't have free trade in its own country. Segregation was a internal non-tariff barrier. In the first election after the end of the Cold War in 1992, Ross Perot' based most of independent run for the Presidency on opposition to NAFTA. He won 19% of the vote. Like Ross Perot before him, Donald Trump is not the exception in how America has handled tariffs since the founding of the Republic, but more the norm.
The embrace of free trade by the business and political elite can be attributed to two events. After the end of Bretton Woods in 1971, a strong vested interest in the US in the form of multinationals and Wall Street emerged advocating for removal of tariffs and more importantly the removal of restrictions on free flow of capital, whether direct foreign investment in portfolio investment. However, the political class embrace of free trade and capital only really took off after the collapse of the Soviet Union propelled by Cold War triumphalism.
As mentioned by the article, the US is reverting back to a pre-WTO relations with China. As Robert Lighthizer said in speech in 2000
I guess my prescription, really, is to move back to more of a negotiating kind of a settlement. Return to WTO and what it really was meant to be. Something where you have somebody make a decision but have it not be binding.
The US is using financial and legal instruments developed during the Cold War like its extradition treaties (with Canada and Europe), and Section 301. Here is a very good recent article about enforcement commitment that China will make.‘Painful’ enforcement ahead for China if trade war deal is reached with US insisting on unilateral terms
NOTE: It is very difficult to talk about US-China trade war without a basic knowledge of global economic history since 1914. What a lot of people do is politicize or subordinate the economic history to the political. Some commentators think US power was just handed to them after the Second World War, when the US was the only industrialized economy left standing. The dominant position of the US was temporary and in reality its like having 10 tonnes of Gold sitting in your house, it doesn't automatically translate to influence. The US from 1945-1989 was slowly and gradually build her influence in the non-Communist world. For example, US influence in Canada in the 1960s wasn't as strong as it is now. Only 50% of Canadian exports went to the US in 1960s vs 80% at the present moment.

BASIS OF THE US TRADE DISCUSSION WITH CHINA

According to preliminary agreement between China and the US based on unnamed sources in the Wall Street Journal article US, China close in on Trade Deal. In this article it divides the deal in two sections. The first aspects have largely to do with deficits and is political.
As part of a deal, China is pledging to help level the playing field, including speeding up the timetable for removing foreign-ownership limitations on car ventures and reducing tariffs on imported vehicles to below the current auto tariff of 15%. Beijing would also step up purchases of U.S. goods—a tactic designed to appeal to President Trump, who campaigned on closing the bilateral trade deficit with China. One of the sweeteners would be an $18 billion natural-gas purchase from Cheniere Energy Inc., people familiar with the transaction said.
The second part will involve the following.
  1. Commitment Regarding Industrial Policy
  2. Provisions to protect IP
  3. Mechanism which complaints by US companies can be addressed
  4. Bilateral meetings adjudicate disputes. If talks don't produce agreement than US can raise tariffs unilaterally
This grouping of conditions is similar to the points filled under the 301 investigation which serve the basis for initiating the tariffs. I have been reading some sources that say this discussion on this second group of broader issues could only be finalized later
The official justifications for placing the tariffs on Chinese goods is found under the March 2018 investigation submitted by the office of the President to Congress titled FINDINGS OF THE INVESTIGATION INTO CHINA’S ACTS, POLICIES, AND PRACTICES RELATED TO TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, AND INNOVATION UNDER SECTION 301 OF THE TRADE ACT OF 1974. From this investigation the United States Trade Representative (USTR) place US Tariffs on Chinese goods as per Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. Here is a press release by the USTR listing the reasons for placing tariffs, and the key section from the press release. Specifically, the Section 301 investigation revealed:
In the bigger context of trade relations between US and China, China is not honoring its WTO commitments, and the USTR issued its yearly report to Congress in early February about the status of China compliance with its WTO commitments. The points that served as a basis for applying Section 301, also deviate from her commitments as Clinton's Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky paving the way for a trade war. Barshefsky argues that China's back sliding was happening as early as 2006-07, and believes the trade war could have been avoided has those commitments been enforced by previous administrations.
I will provide a brief overview of WTO membership and China's process of getting into the WTO.
WTO members can be divided into two groups, first are countries that joined in 1995-97, and were members of GATT, than there are the second group that joined after 1997. China joined in 2001. There is an argument that when China joined in 2001, she faced more stringent conditions than other developing countries that joined before, because the vast majority of developing countries were members of GATT, and were admitted to the WTO based on that previous membership in GATT. Here is Brookings Institute article published in 2001 titled "Issues in China’s WTO Accession"
This question is all the more puzzling because the scope and depth of demands placed on entrants into the formal international trading system have increased substantially since the formal conclusion of the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations in 1994, which expanded the agenda considerably by covering many services, agriculture, intellectual property, and certain aspects of foreign direct investment. Since 1994, the international community has added agreements covering information technology, basic telecommunications services, and financial services. WTO membership now entails liberalization of a much broader range of domestic economic activity, including areas that traditionally have been regarded by most countries as among the most sensitive, than was required of countries entering the WTO’s predecessor organization the GATT.
The terms of China’s protocol of accession to the World Trade Organization reflect the developments just described and more. China’s market access commitments are much more far-reaching than those that governed the accession of countries only a decade ago. And, as a condition for membership, China was required to make protocol commitments that substantially exceed those made by any other member of the World Trade Organization, including those that have joined since 1995. The broader and deeper commitments China has made inevitably will entail substantial short-term economic costs.
What are the WTO commitments Barshefsky goes on about? When countries join the WTO, particularly those countries that weren't members of GATT and joined after 1997, they have to work toward fulfilling certain commitments. There are 4 key documents when countries make an accession to WTO membership, the working party report, the accession protocol paper, the goods schedule and service schedule.
In the working party report as part of the conclusion which specifies the commitment of each member country what they will do in areas that aren't compliant with WTO regulations on the date they joined. The problem there is no good enforcement mechanism for other members to force China to comply with these commitments. And WTO punishments are weak.
Here is the commitment paragraph for China
"The Working Party took note of the explanations and statements of China concerning its foreign trade regime, as reflected in this Report. The Working Party took note of the commitments given by China in relation to certain specific matters which are reproduced in paragraphs 18-19, 22-23, 35-36, 40, 42, 46-47, 49, 60, 62, 64, 68, 70, 73, 75, 78-79, 83-84, 86, 91-93, 96, 100-103, 107, 111, 115-117, 119-120, 122-123, 126-132, 136, 138, 140, 143, 145, 146, 148, 152, 154, 157, 162, 165, 167-168, 170-174, 177-178, 180, 182, 184-185, 187, 190-197, 199-200, 203-207, 210, 212-213, 215, 217, 222-223, 225, 227-228, 231-235, 238, 240-242, 252, 256, 259, 263, 265, 270, 275, 284, 286, 288, 291, 292, 296, 299, 302, 304-305, 307-310, 312-318, 320, 322, 331-334, 336, 339 and 341 of this Report and noted that these commitments are incorporated in paragraph 1.2 of the Draft Protocol. "
This is a tool by the WTO that list all the WTO commitment of each country in the working paper. In the goods and service schedule they have commitments for particular sectors. Here is the a press release by the WTO in September 2001, after successfully concluding talks for accession, and brief summary of key areas in which China hasn't fulfilled her commitments. Most of the commitments made by China were made to address its legacy as a non-market economy and involvement of state owned enterprises. In my opinion, I think the US government and investors grew increasingly frustrated with China, after 2007 not just because of China's back sliding, but relative to other countries who joined after 1997 like Vietnam, another non-market Leninist dictatorship. When comparing China's commitments to the WTO its best to compare her progress with those that joined after 1997, which were mostly ex-Soviet Republics.
NOTE: The Chinese media have for two decades compared any time the US has talked about China's currency manipulation or any other issue as a pretext for imposing tariffs on China to the Plaza Accords. I am very sure people will raise it here. My criticism of this view is fourfold. First, the US targeted not just Japan, but France, Britain and the UK as well. Secondly, the causes of the Japan lost decade were due largely to internal factors. Thirdly, Japan, UK, Britain and France in the 1980s, the Yuan isn't undervalued today. Lastly, in the USTR investigation, its China's practices that are the concern, not so much the trade deficit.

REASONS FOR TRUMPS UNILATERAL APPROACH

I feel that people shouldn't dismiss Trump's unilateral approach toward China for several reasons.
  1. The multilateral approach won't work in many issues such as the trade deficit, commercial espionage and intellectual property, because US and her allies have different interest with regard to these issues. Germany and Japan and trade surpluses with China, while the US runs a deficit. In order to reach a consensus means the West has to compromise among themselves, and the end result if the type of toothless resolutions you commonly find in ASEAN regarding the SCS. Does America want to "compromise" its interest to appease a politician like Justin Trudeau? Not to mention opposition from domestic interest. TPP was opposed by both Clinton and Trump during the election.
  2. You can't launch a geopolitical front against China using a newly formed trade block like the TPP. Some of the existing TPP members are in economic groups with China, like Malaysia and Australia.
  3. China has joined a multitude of international bodies, and at least in trade, these bodies haven't changed its behavior.
  4. Dealing with China, its a no win situation whether you use a tough multilateral / unilateral approach. If the US endorse a tough unilateral approach gives the impression that the US is acting like the British during the Opium War. If you take a concerted Western approach you are accused of acting like the 8 Powers Alliance in 1900.
  5. Trump was elected to deal with China which he and his supporters believe was responsible for the loss of millions manufacturing jobs when China joined the WTO in 2001. It is estimate the US lost 6 Million jobs, about 1/4 of US manufacturing Jobs. This has been subsequently advanced by some economists. The ball got rolling when Bill Clinton decided to grant China Most Favored Nation status in 1999, just a decade after Tiananmen.
  6. China hasn't dealt with issues like IP protection, market access, subsidies to state own companies and state funded industrial spying.
To his credit, Trump has said his aim was not to overthrow authoritarian governments, and that even applies to the likes of Iran. The Arab spring scared Russia and China, because the US for a brief moment placed the spread of democracy over its security interest.

UNDERSTANDING HOW THE US MAKES DECISIONS REGARDING CHINA

At this moment, China or the trade war isn't an area of great concern for the American public, among international issues it ranks lower than international terrorism, North Korea and Iran's nuclear program.
According to the survey, 39 percent of the country views China’s growing power as a “critical threat” to Americans. That ranked it only eighth among 12 potential threats listed and placed China well behind the perceived threats from international terrorism (66 percent), North Korea’s nuclear program (59 percent) and Iran’s nuclear program (52 percent). It’s also considerably lower than when the same question was asked during the 1990s, when more than half of those polled listed China as a critical threat. That broadly tracks with a recent poll from the Pew Research Center that found concern about U.S.-China economic issues had decreased since 2012.
In looking at how US conducts relations foreign policy with China, we should look at it from the three areas of most concern - economic, national security and ideology. Each sphere has their interest groups, and sometimes groups can occupy two spheres at once. Security experts are concerned with some aspects of China's economic actions like IP theft and industrial policy (China 2025), because they are related to security. In these sphere there are your hawks and dove. And each sphere is dominated by certain interest groups. That is why US policy toward China can often appear contradictory. You have Trump want to reduce the trade deficit, but security experts advocating for restrictions on dual use technology who are buttressed by people who want export restrictions on China, as a way of getting market access.
Right now the economic concerns are most dominant, and the hawks seem to dominate. The economic hawks traditionally have been domestic manufacturing companies and economic nationalist. In reality the hawks aren't dominant, but the groups like US Companies with large investment in China and Wall Street are no longer defending China, and some have turned hawkish against China. These US companies are the main conduit in which China's lobby Congress, since China only spends 50% of what Taiwan spends lobbying Congress.
THE ANGLO SAXON WORLD AND CHINA
I don't think many Chinese even those that speak English, have a good understanding Anglo-Saxon society mindset. Anglo Saxons countries, whether US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland are commerce driven society governed by sanctity of contracts. The English great philosophical contributions to Western philosophy have primarily to do with economics and politics like Adam Smith, John Locke, David Hume and Thomas Hobbes. This contrast with the French and Germans. Politics in the UK and to a lesser extent the US, is centered around economics, while in Mainland Europe its religion. When the Americans revolted against the British Empire in 1776, the initial source of the grievances were taxes.
Outside of East Asia, the rest of the World's relationship with China was largely commercial, and for United States, being an Anglosaxon country, even more so. In Southeast Asia, Chinese aren't known for high culture, but for trade and commerce. Outside Vietnam, most of Chinese loans words in Southeast Asian languages involve either food or money. The influence is akin to Yiddish in English.
Some people point to the Mao and Nixon meeting as great strategic breakthrough and symbol of what great power politics should look like. The reality is that the Mao-Nixon meeting was an anomaly in the long history of relations with China and the West. Much of China-Western relations over the last 500 years was conducted by multitudes of nameless Chinese and Western traders. The period from 1949-1979 was the only period were strategic concerns triumphed trade, because China had little to offer except instability and revolution. Even in this period, China's attempt to spread revolution in Southeast Asia was a threat to Western investments and corporate interest in the region. During the nadir of both the Qing Dynasty and Republican period, China was still engaged in its traditional commercial role. Throughout much of history of their relations with China, the goals of Britain and the United States were primarily economic,
IMAGINE JUST 10% OF CHINA BOUGHT MY PRODUCT
From the beginning, the allure of China to Western businesses and traders has been its sheer size I. One of the points that the USTR mentions is lack of market access for US companies operating in China, while Chinese companies face much less restrictions operating in the US.
This is supported by remarks by Henry Paulson and Charlene Barshefsky. As Paulson remarked
Trade with China has hurt some American workers. And they have expressed their grievances at the ballot box.
So while many attribute this shift to the Trump Administration, I do not. What we are now seeing will likely endure for some time within the American policy establishment. China is viewed—by a growing consensus—not just as a strategic challenge to the United States but as a country whose rise has come at America’s expense. In this environment, it would be helpful if the US-China relationship had more advocates. That it does not reflects another failure:
In large part because China has been slow to open its economy since it joined the WTO, the American business community has turned from advocate to skeptic and even opponent of past US policies toward China. American business doesn’t want a tariff war but it does want a more aggressive approach from our government. How can it be that those who know China best, work there, do business there, make money there, and have advocated for productive relations in the past, are among those now arguing for more confrontation? The answer lies in the story of stalled competition policy, and the slow pace of opening, over nearly two decades. This has discouraged and fragmented the American business community. And it has reinforced the negative attitudinal shift among our political and expert classes. In short, even though many American businesses continue to prosper in China, a growing number of firms have given up hope that the playing field will ever be level. Some have accepted the Faustian bargain of maximizing today’s earnings per share while operating under restrictions that jeopardize their future competitiveness. But that doesn’t mean they’re happy about it. Nor does it mean they aren’t acutely aware of the risks — or thinking harder than ever before about how to diversify their risks away from, and beyond, China.
What is interesting about Paulson's speech is he spend only one sentence about displaced US workers, and a whole paragraph about US business operating in China. While Kissinger writes books about China, how much does he contribute to both Democrats and the Republicans during the election cycle? China is increasingly makING it more difficult for US companies operating and those exporting products to China.

CONTINUED

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Some news you may have missed out on part 79.

-Pakistan to host ‘AdAsia – Asian Advertising Congress’ this year
In a logo unveiling ceremony held at Faletti’s Hotel Lahore, on Sunday, it was revealed that AdAsia 2019 —Asian Advertising Congress is going to be held in Pakistan this year. AdAsia is the largest and most prestigious advertising congress in Asia, organized bi-annually by the Asian Federation of Advertising Associations (AFAA). The AdAsia 2019 Congress will be held in Lahore at the Lahore International Expo Centre from December 3 to 5. The theme for the Congress is ‘Celebrasian: Celebration of Advertising and Creativity in Asia’.
-IDB to lend Pakistan oil worth $4.5 bn
The spokesperson for the Ministry of Finance on Saturday claimed that the Saudi-backed Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) will lend Pakistan oil worth $4.5 billion. “The IsDB will lend Pakistan oil worth $4.5 billion over three years. The oil will be lent in three installments of $1.5 billion each every year,” the spokesperson added. The Ministry of Finance spokesperson further said that in the first phase they have received oil worth $100 million and oil worth $270 million will be lent in the second phase. “We are also in talks with the IsDB regarding lending of liquefied natural gas (LNG),” the spokesperson added.
-Economic revival: PTI government relief package earns Rs 125 billion immediately
The federal government’s relief package for the stock market in the ‘Mini-budget’ on January 23 has brought positive impact. KSE-100 index settled at 40,254 points with a rise of 958 points within one week. The business-friendly concessions including abolition of the advance tax of 0.02pc on share trading under Presumptive Tax Regime and super tax in the mini-budget have been welcomed by the stockbrokers and industrialists altogether.
-69 women constables complete elite commando training in K-P
Over 7,000 personnel of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) police, including 69 women constables, have successfully completed a grueling Elite Commando Training Course. As per a statement issued by K-P police’s public relations, the police personnel completed training in 15 basic courses conducted at different training centres. Most policemen, including the women constables, voluntarily opted for the tough four-month long course. The communique also said another batch of women commandos is currently being trained and shall soon be elevated to the rank of elite commandos.
-Karachi police chief makes surprise visits, suspends four police officials
In a surprise move, Additional Inspector General Police Dr Amir Shaikh on Saturday visited different areas of the city, disguising himself as a common citizen to witness the performance the police force. A police spokesperson said that the Karachi police chief suspended four police officials, including two ASIs over violation of duty rules and harassing public. He said that the police officials were found harassing people instead of controlling traffic at MT Khan Road in Sultanabad. The officials were from Jackson and Sultanabad police stations, said the spokesperson and added that the police chief had directed SP Traffic city and DSP to submit report over the issue. In-charges of Jackson and Sultanabad police stations along with record keepers were also summoned by the AIG Dr Amir Shaikh, said the spokesperson.
-In a historical move, Pakistan elected as Vice Chair of Asia Pacific Ministerial Forum
Pakistan was elected as the vice chair at the third UN Environment’s Forum of Ministers and Environment Authorities of Asia Pacific that was held in Singapore from January 23 till January 25. The newswas revealed in a tweet by Adviser to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam. He said Pakistan got elected to the position owing to the country’s ‘sincere and dedicated’ environment preservation endeavours.
-Pakistan Army achieves historic milestone on Pakistan Afghanistan border fencing
Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor Sunday said work on about 900 kilometer fence along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border had been completed. Briefing a team of journalists and anchor-persons at Ghulam Khan, a bordering village in North Waziristan Agency,he said the work on erection of about 1200 km chunk, the most sensitive portion out of the total 2600 km long border with the neighbouring country, had commenced last year. Zero Point is the entry and exit point of Pakistan from Afghanistan where a formal border post was constructed last year Major Gen Asif Ghafoor said the project would cost about Rs 70 billion, which also included the cost of gadgets and surveillance equipment to keep strict vigil on the illicit movement from across the border. He said the fence had amply helped check the movement of terrorists from across the border and it would further assist after completion of the project which was expected to culminate next year. The visit of media-persons was conducted for the first time in the country's history as no such activity could have happened as all the area had been “no go area” for the civilians or even by the security forces themselves.
-Foreign Media representatives visit North Waziristan, stunned with Pakistan Army successes against terrorism
Local and foreign media representatives on Sunday visited Peshawar, Miranshah, and Ghulam Khan Border terminals along with Director General ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor for the first time after military operations. It was the first direct interaction of the media with local people, who while standing in Miranshah Bazar, talked to reporters about improved peace situation and administrative issues in the area. They lauded Pakistan Army for its efforts in restoring peace and development.
-Pakistan Cement Exports register significant rise in first half of FY 2018 - 19
The export of cement from the country witnessed increase of 32.4 percent during first half of current fiscal year as compared to same period of last year. The export of the commodity increased to $157 million in July-December (2018-19) against the export worth of $118.586 million in sameperiod of last year, a latest data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) said. In term of quantity, the cement export recorded 55.52 percent increase to 3.671 million Metric Ton (MT) during the period under review as compared to export of 2.36 million MT cement during same period of previous year. On year-on-year basis, the cement export jumped by 78.02 percent to $25.89 million in December 2018 from $14.54 million of cement export during December 2017, the data revealed. The overall export of goods during first half of current fiscal year recorded an increase of 2.19 percent to $11.216 billion against the exports of $10.976 billion recorded during same period of last year.
-KP Tourism. Potential stuns audience at International Tourism Fair in Europe
A large number of visitors, tourists and investors thronged the stall of Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) at the tourism trade fair at Feria de Madrid, Spain, and showed keen interest in the KP’s tourism potential. The TCKP team highlighted salient features of the cultural and tourist resorts through video documentaries, pictures, brochures and posters. The visitors were informed that 70 percent of tourist resorts were located in KP and the foreign tourists can now visit any place without any restriction and obtaining Non-Objection Certificate. The KP participation in fair encouraged the international tour operators to bring cultural and mountaineering expeditions to the province, which will highlight Pakistan as one of the best tourist destinations for international tourists.
-Foundation stone laid for $200 million knowledge city in Pakistan, first ever in County's history
Prime Minister Imran Khan Sunday inaugurated the first academic block of the NAMAL Knowledge City. The vision behind Namal Knowledge City is to create a hub of knowledge exchange and research in Mianwali. The Knowledge City will include academic blocks, a knowledge center, a sports complex, sports grounds, a hospital, technology parks, business centers, shopping malls, a dairy farm, a resort, software houses, hotels, a primary school, and a housing colony for the faculty. A total of US$ 200 million will be spent on the construction of the Knowledge City which will be built on the concept of a zero carbon foot print and completed by the year 2027. It will have a population of 11,000 with construction spread over 4 million square feet. It will accommodate 7,000 students with 600 faculty members.
-E Rozgar Programme launched, Click for Registration
The Punjab IT Board and Ministry of Youth Affairs has jointly launched a three-month free E-Rozgar Training Programe for the youth, aimed at imparting vocational training to the jobless, enabling them to earn their livelihood honourably. In this regard, the admission has started for enrollment in these technical courses and the last date for the on-line registration is the 9th of the next month. The requisites of getting admission include that the applicant should have an NCIC, his minimum age 16, maximum age 35 and should be jobless.
-Pakistan China ink deal worth billions of dollars today: Report
A Chinese company will invest billion of dollars in mineral exploration and processing projects in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. A Memorandum of Understanding in this regard has been signed in China today. According to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Mineral Development Dr. Amjad Ali, the Chinese company will setup mineral industrial park in Rashakai Special Economic Zone.
-Pakistan's NESPAK completes 3,900 mega projects in Pakistan and across 37 countries of World worth Rs 19,000 billions
National Engineering Services Pakistan (NESPAK) has successfully completed 3,900 development projects within Pakistan and 37 in other countries with an accumulative cost of Rs 19,000 billion since its establishment, 45 years ago. NESPAK Managing Director Dr. Tahir Masood told media here Saturday that foreign countries where NESPAK has extended engineering consultancy services were mostly located in the Middle East, Far East, Central Asia and Africa. In this way, he added, NESPAK had placed the country on the export map of the world and was committed to provide multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy services with the highest level of professionalism and dedication.
-Government launches Dominted Bank bond
PTI government is launching yet another economic initiative for overseas Pakistanis to attract billions of dollars for balance of payment and enhancing reserves. PTI government is launching dollar-denominated diaspora bond named Pakistan Banao Certificate (PBC) on January 31st. The diaspora bond is being launched to take advantage of international savings of overseas Pakistani’s and bolstering its foreign exchange reserves. According to details shared by the Finance Minister Asad Umar , the certificates would be of two types, one of three years offering 6.25% return and the other with five-year maturity offering 6.75% return. Mr Umar said four banks had been selected to complete the transactions.
-Rupee hits seven-week high at 138.78
Pakistani currency has recovered to a seven-week high at Rs138.78 against the US dollar in inter-bank market on Friday, according to the State Bank of Pakistan, after the country successfully mitigated the risk of default following receipt of $2 billion from friendly countries. Simultaneously, the rupee revived to a four-week high at retail market to 139 against the greenback on Saturday, according to a forex website. “The $2 billion inflows from the UAE and Saudi Arabia (on Thursday and Friday) has partially eased the panic at currency markets,” said a banker on condition of anonymity.
-PM Imran discusses major proposals to revive PIA
As Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) struggles to rein in mounting losses, Prime Minister Imran Khan discussed major proposals presented at a high-level meeting to turn around the financially troubled national flag carrier. The prime minister chaired the meeting at the PM Office earlier this month, which was attended by top cabinet members, civil bureaucracy and military officers. The premier directed the authorities to arrange additional guarantees of Rs15 billion as interim relief for PIA. A proposal was endorsed to freeze PIA’s outstanding dues, amounting to over Rs80 billion, which were payable to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) along with late payment surcharge, according to minutes of the meeting available with The Express Tribune.
-World Bank releases $58m for house financing
The World Bank has disbursed $58 million for house financing in Pakistan and the federal cabinet has approved the transfer of the fund to Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Company (PMRC). “It ($58 million – Rs7.8 billion) is a World Bank credit line for PMRC,” PMRC Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mudassir Hussain Khan told The Express Tribune. “The cabinet has approved the transfer of the fund. It will take around a week to 10 days before the money reaches PMRC account.”
-Talks between Pakistan, China for FTA to begin next month
Federal Secretary for Trade, Younus Dagha has said that the talks between Pakistan and China for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will commence next month. Talking to a delegation of the Trade Development Authority’s officials in Lahore, he expressed optimism that the new trade agreement with China will help thrive national economy and would be in the best interests of both the friendly countries.
“The trade deficit of Pakistan has decreased by five per cent during the incumbent government and our exports are increasing day by day.” He said the expansion of the trade volume with India depends on the decisions of the governments of both the countries. He informed that trade with Afghanistan is also improving.
-Amended finance bill to reduce cost of doing business: PEW
The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said the recently amended finance bill will reduce the cost of doing business which in turn, will reduce the prices of many items. The move will support businesses and help exporters regain ground in the international market as the government has reduced and abolished several taxes to lift economic activities, it said.
The government will lose almost seven billion rupees in revenue but it will gain more in the shape of foreign exchange, said PEW President Dr. Murtaza Mughal. He said the recommendations will be applicable from the next fiscal term but it has already elevated business sentiments as many leading business groups are planning to boost investments.
-Economic reforms help PSX gain 958 points in week
The benchmark KSE-100 index accelerated by 958 points in the outgoing week and settled at 40,265 points, providing a weekly return of 2.44pc, owing to improved sentiment on account of the economic reforms package announced by the government.
The Finance Supplementary (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 was broadly focused on improving ease of doing business, incentivizing export-oriented/industrial sectors and elimination of domestic growth hampering impediments. A key demand from the stock market to abolish the advance tax of 0.02pc was accepted, while the government also allowed capital losses to be carried forward for three years, thereby impacting the investor sentiment positively.
-Govt to announce medium-term economic framework in coming week: Hammad Azhar
The Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar on Friday said the government will announce a medium-term economic framework in the coming week. The forthcoming medium-term economic framework will bring measures that will enhance exports and investments, said Azhar while speaking at a seminar on “Economic Reforms: Way forward”, organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), reports an English daily.
He shared the government is moving towards execution a direct taxation regime whilst gradually restricting indirect taxes. Mr Azhar underlined that the supplementary budget which was announced on Wednesday didn’t target fiscal and monetary measures but was an economic reforms package to resuscitate and enhance growth and investment.
-Economic reforms package to help boost exports, trade and investment
State Minister for Revenue Hamad Azhar on Friday said that economic reforms package announced by the PTI government will help in boosting exports, trade and investment.
Talking to a private news channel, he said the economic reforms package will prove to be helpful in overcoming the trade and fiscal deficit. Mr Azhar said due to effective economic policies of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, the international investors are desirous of investment in Pakistan. The government is taking many steps for the revival and betterment of the economy, he added.
-Tale as old as time: Labyrinth of tunnels discovered under Lahore Fort
A labyrinth of underground tunnels, as well as hidden basements, has been discovered under Lahore Fort. Immortalised in short stories, these passages have always been hidden from the naked eye. However, during excavation, the Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) has discovered two underground tunnels and an arsenal which are currently under restoration.
A symbol of the opulence of the Mughals, Lahore Fort has kept many a secret for hundreds of years; secrets which are now slowly being revealed.
During excavation and restoration work, WCLA recently discovered a passage of underground tunnels which run underneath the fortress. This has caused tourists, hungry for information on the underground tunnels, to throng to the citadel and present their own theories on how the passages were used.
-Indonesia, Pakistan ties poised for a quantum leap, says envoy
Counsellor and head of cultural section Embassy of Republic of Indonesia Deny Tri Basuki has said Indonesia and Pakistan share strong socio-cultural and religious bond rooted in history. Pakistan and Indonesia stand proudly together as two of the largest Muslim populated countries and emerging economies of creative and talented people. He expressed these views on the occasion of a business gathering organised by tourism ministry of Indonesia in collaboration with the Indonesian embassy. A large number of stakeholders hailing from the travel and aviation industry of Pakistan attended the event.
-Japanese aircraft take part in pre Aman-19 exercise
The Pakistan Navy is hosting the 6th series of AMAN-19 – a Multinational Maritime Exercise – in February 2019 in Karachi, and two Japanese Naval P3C aircrafts of Deployed Maritime Force for Anti-Piracy Enforcement (DAPE) visited the PNS Mehran in Karachi for the pre-AMAN-19 exercise.
According to a press statement issued by the navy’s Director General Public Relations (DGPR) on Saturday, the Japanese aircrew participated in various events including search and rescue (SAR) and counter piracy (CP) exercises along with the navy aircrew. The Japanese contingent also visited maritime and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) museums to learn about the historic achievements of the two forces.
-‘Chinese, Russian firms keen to invest in PSM’
Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood revealed that three Chinese and three Russian firms have shown interest in investing in Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM).
Addressing a ceremony held for the inauguration of International Steels Limited’s new plant, he said that the committee tasked with revival of PSM has drafted its recommendations and the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) will make a decision by March.
-China has given Pakistan additional access to its market: Dawood
Prime Minister’s Adviser for Trade and Industry Abdul Razzak Dawood on Saturday said the government is working to hammer out national industrial and tariff policies, ARY News reported. Dawood while talking to industrialists in Karachi, said that China has granted Pakistan an additional access to its market. “We are working to slash unnecessary imports and increase exports”.
He said unnecessary items will be removed from shelves of super markets and precious foreign exchange will not be spent on such imports. The adviser said the government has taken effective steps to facilitate business in mini budget, which will be approved in next seven day.
-Pakistani Teacher Shortlisted for Cambridge’s Most Dedicated Teacher Award
Cambridge University Press has shortlisted a Pakistani teacher, Ahmed Saya, for the ‘Most Dedicated Teacher’ award. Ahmed Saya, an A-level teacher from Karachi, is one of the six brilliant minds around the world to be shortlisted for the prize. The competition included entries of 3500+ teachers from over 140 countries for the prestigious award. Cambridge’s official Twitter handle said it was a tough call, but they shortlisted six teachers for this year’s Dedicated Teacher Awards.
-Swiss Investor to Open A Chain of Luxury Hotels in Pakistan
Swiss International Hotels & Resorts is mulling to open a chain of its luxury hotels in different cities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). The President and CEO of Swiss International Hotels & Resorts, Henri (Hans) WR Kennedie informed this to Chief Minister KP Mahmood Khan during a meeting on Friday. During the meeting, Henri told CM Khan that they were already working on a plan to establish luxury hospitalities in various parts of the province.
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Stock Market Week Ahead for the trading week beginning February 4th, 2019 (News, Earnings, etc.)

Hey what's up stocks! Good morning and happy Sunday to all of you on this subreddit. I hope everyone made out pretty decent last week in the market, and are ready for the new trading week ahead! :)
Here is everything you need to know to get you ready for the trading week beginning February 4th, 2019.

Jobs report removes some fear, but market still in 'tug of war' over how much growth is slowing - (Source)

After January's strong jobs report calmed some recession fears, investors will be picking through the next wave of earnings reports and economic data for clues on just how much the U.S. economy could be slowing.
Dozens of earnings, from companies like Alphabet, Disney and Eli Lily, report in the week ahead, and there are just a few economic reports like trade data and ISM services on Tuesday. Investors will also be watching the outcome of Treasury auctions for $84 billion in Treasury notes and bonds Tuesday through Thursday, after the Fed's dovish tone helped put a lid on interest rates in the past week.
Nearly half the S&P 500 companies had reported for the fourth quarter by Friday morning, and 71 percent beat earnings estimates, while 62 percent have beaten revenue estimates. But earnings growth forecasts for the first quarter continue to decline as more companies report, and they are currently barely breaking even at under 1 percent growth, versus the 15 percent growth in the fourth quarter, according to Refinitiv.
"Granted the more we hear from companies, and particularly in terms of their guidance and projections on revenues, things can slowly change. The first thing companies do is they stop spending money. Cap spending slows down, and if revenue growth does not pick up, they let people go. This is still wait and see," said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial.
Krosby said the 304,000 jobs added in January did ease some concerns about a slowing economy, as did a stronger than expected ISM manufacturing report Friday. But the view of the first quarter is still unclear, as many economic reports were missed during the government shutdown. Economists expect growth in the first quarter of just above 2 percent, after growth of about 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter.
Stocks closed out January with a sharp gain on Thursday, and started February on Friday on a flattish note. The S&P 500 has rebounded about 15 percent from its Dec. 24 closing low. Last month's 7.9 percent gain was the best performance for January in more than 30 years. The old Wall Street adage says 'so goes January, so goes the year.' If that holds, stocks could finish 2019 higher. But February is another story, and on average, it is a flat month for the S&P 500.
"The tug of war that you saw in the market, that was going on in the last half of last year is playing out in the data. Some of the data is a bit lower, but some of the economic surprises are picking up to the upside rather than downside," said Krosby.
Peter Boockvar, chief investment strategist at Bleakley Advisory Group, said the ISM may have improved but it reflected very low exports and flat backlogs, even though there was a snap back in new orders.
"I would fade the jobs report," said Boockvar, noting the level of growth may have been inflated by government workers taking on part-time jobs during the government shutdown.
Boocvkar said the jobs report also looked strong on the surface, but he's concerned the unemployment rate ticked up to 4 percent from 3.9 percent.
"The question of whether we go into a recession or not is how does the stock market affect confidence?" Boockvar said. Confidence readings in the past week were low, and consumer sentiment Friday was its lowest since before President Donald Trump took office.
Krosby said stocks could test recent lows or put in a higher low. If there's a big selloff, "That would not necessarily mean it was a clue a recession is coming. It's just a normal testing mechanism," she said.
The Fed removed a big concern from the markets in the past week, when its post-meeting statement and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's briefing tilted dovish, assuring markets the Fed would pause in its interest rate hiking. Investors had feared the Fed would hurt the softening economy with its rate hikes. Now, the biggest fears are about the trade war between the U.S. and China and slowing Chinese growth.
The jobs report, and the ISM manufacturing data were also important because the lack of data during the government's 35 day shutdown has left gaps in the economic picture.
"This is really a sign the Fed stole the thunder from the economic data. By saying they're patient plasters over any kind of economic data in the near term, and I suspect the near term lasts through the first quarter because of the government shutdown, the weather, weak GDP," said Marc Chandler, chief market strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex.
Chandler said the markets will be hanging on any news on the trade talks with China. "Even if it's not the all encompassing trade deal we were promised, it's a return to where we were before with China promising to buy energy and farm products. We'll continue to have some kind of talks with the China, like we had under Obama and Bush," said Chandler.

This past week saw the following moves in the S&P:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL S&P TREE MAP FOR THE PAST WEEK!)

Major Indices for this past week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE MAJOR INDICES FOR THE PAST WEEK!)

Major Futures Markets as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE MAJOR FUTURES INDICES AS OF FRIDAY!)

Economic Calendar for the Week Ahead:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ECONOMIC CALENDAR FOR THE WEEK AHEAD!)

Sector Performance WTD, MTD, YTD:

(CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE WEEK-TO-DATE PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE MONTH-TO-DATE PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE 3-MONTH PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE YEAR-TO-DATE PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE 52-WEEK PERFORMANCE!)

Percentage Changes for the Major Indices, WTD, MTD, QTD, YTD as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

S&P Sectors for the Past Week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Major Indices Pullback/Correction Levels as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Major Indices Rally Levels as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Most Anticipated Earnings Releases for this week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Here are the upcoming IPO's for this week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Friday's Stock Analyst Upgrades & Downgrades:

(CLICK HERE FOR CHART LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR CHART LINK #2!)

Now What?

What a year it has been. After the worst December for stocks in 87 years that contributed to the worst fourth quarter since the 2008–09 financial crisis, stocks have bounced back in spectacular fashion. In fact, with a day to go, stocks are looking at their best first month of the year in 30 years.
What could happen next? “We like to say that the easy 10% has been made off the lows and the next 10% will be much tougher,” explained LPL Senior Market Strategist Ryan Detrick. “Things like Fed policy, China uncertainty, and overall global growth concerns all will play a part in where equity markets go from here.”
With the S&P 500 Index about 10% away from new highs, we do think new highs are quite possible at some point this year. Positive news from the Federal Reserve (Fed) and China trade talks, as well as the realization by investors that the odds of a recession in 2019 are quite low could spark potential new highs. Remember, fiscal spending as a percentage of overall gross domestic product (GDP) is higher this year than it was last year. Many think the tax cut and fiscal policies in play last year were a one-time sugar high. We don’t see it that way and expect the benefits from fiscal policy to help extend this economic cycle at least another year—likely more.
As we head into February, note that it hasn’t been one of the best months for stocks. In fact, as our LPL Chart of the Day shows, since 1950, February has been virtually flat, and over the past 20 years only June and September have shown worse returns. Overall, the market gains have been quite impressive since the December 24 lows, but we wouldn’t be surprised at all to see a near-term consolidation or pullback.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

A Fed Pause and the Flattening Yield Curve

Investors have increasingly positioned for a Federal Reserve (Fed) pause, which could portend a shift in fixed income markets. Fed fund futures are pricing in about a 70% probability that the Fed will keep rates unchanged for the rest of 2019, and the market’s dovish tilt has weighed on short-term rates.
As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the 2-year yield has typically followed the fed funds rate since policymakers began raising rates in December 2015. While we expect one or two more hikes this cycle, there is a possibility that the Fed’s December hike was its last, which will likely cap short-term rates.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
Short-term yields have outpaced longer-term yields over the past few years, flattening the yield curve and raising concerns that U.S. economic progress may not be able to keep up with the Fed’s tightening. The spread between the 2-year and 10-year yield has fallen negative before every single U.S. recession since 1970.
If the Fed pauses, the curve will likely reverse course and steepen as solid economic growth and quickening (but manageable) inflation drives longer-term yields higher. As mentioned in our Outlook 2019, FUNDAMENTAL: How to Focus on What Really Matters in the Markets, we’re forecasting the 10-year Treasury yield will increase significantly from current levels and trade within a range of 3.25–3.75% in 2019.
“We remain optimistic about U.S. economic growth prospects, and recent data show inflation remains at manageable levels,” said LPL Research Chief Investment Strategist John Lynch. “Because of this, we expect the data-dependent Fed to be less aggressive than initially feared, as policymakers juggle these factors with the impacts of trade tensions and tepid global growth.”
To be clear, investors shouldn’t fear a flattening yield curve given the backdrop of solid economic growth and modest inflation. Historically, the yield curve has remained relatively flat or inverted for years before some recessions started. Since 1970, the United States has entered a recession an average of 21 months after the yield curve inverted.

Jobless Claims’ Historic Significance

Jobless claims have dropped to a 49-year low. Based on historical trends, this could signal that a U.S. economic recession is further off than many expect.
Data released January 24 showed jobless claims fell to 199K in the week ending January 18, the lowest number since 1969 and far below consensus estimates of 218K. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, current jobless claims have been significantly lower than those in the 12-month periods preceding each recession since the early 1970s.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
Jobless claims have fallen out of the spotlight as the economic cycle has matured, but they could prove important again as investors’ recessionary fears increase. While most labor-market data serve as lagging indicators of U.S. economic health, jobless claims are a leading indicator. Historically, a 75–100K increase in claims over a 26-week period has been associated with a recession.
“Last week’s jobless claims print was particularly impressive given the partial government shutdown and weakening corporate sentiment,” said LPL Research Chief Investment Strategist John Lynch. “The U.S. labor market remains strong and will help buoy consumer health and output growth this year.”
Other predictive data sets have signaled U.S. recessionary odds are low. Data last week showed the Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI), based on 10 leading economic indicators (like jobless claims, manufacturers’ new orders, and stock prices), grew 4.3% year over year in December. In contrast, the LEI has turned negative year over year before all economic recessions since 1970. Because of its solid predictive ability, the LEI is a component of our Recession Watch Dashboard.

Best S&P January Since 1987

Most major U.S. stock indexes rallied to new recovery and year-to-date highs today shrugging off some misses and weakness from Microsoft, DuPont and Visa. S&P 500 finished the month strong with a 7.9% gain. This is the best S&P January since 1987. This is also the third January Trifecta in a row.
Last year the S&P 500 crumbled in the fourth quarter under the weight of triple threats from a hawkish and confusing Fed, a newly divided Congress and the U.S. trade battle with China, finishing in the red. 2017’s Trifecta was followed by a full-year gain of 19.4%, including a February-December gain of 17.3%. As you can see in the table below, the long term track record of the Trifecta is rather impressive, posting full-year gains in 27 of the 30 prior years with an average gain for the S&P 500 of 17.1%.
Devised by Yale Hirsch in 1972, the January Barometer has registered ten major errors since 1950 for an 85.5% accuracy ratio. This indicator adheres to propensity that as the S&P 500 goes in January, so goes the year. Of the ten major errors Vietnam affected 1966 and 1968. 1982 saw the start of a major bull market in August. Two January rate cuts and 9/11 affected 2001.The market in January 2003 was held down by the anticipation of military action in Iraq. The second worst bear market since 1900 ended in March of 2009 and Federal Reserve intervention influenced 2010 and 2014. In 2016, DJIA slipped into an official Ned Davis bear market in January. Including the eight flat years yields a .739 batting average.
Our January Indicator Trifecta combines the Santa Claus Rally, the First Five Days Early Warning System and our full-month January Barometer. The predicative power of the three is considerably greater than any of them alone; we have been rather impressed by its forecasting prowess. This is the 31st time since 1949 that all three January Indicators have been positive and the twelfth time (previous eleven times highlighted in grey in table below) this has occurred in a pre-election year.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
With the Fed turning more dovish and President Trump tacking to the center and meeting with China and market internals improving along with the gains, the market is tracking Base Case and Best Case scenarios outlined in our 2019 Annual Forecast. Next eleven month and full-year 2019 performance is expected to be more in line with typical Pre-Election returns.

February Almanac: Small-Caps Tend to Outperform

Even though February is right in the middle of the Best Six Months, its long-term track record, since 1950, is not all that stellar. February ranks no better than seventh and has posted paltry average gains except for the Russell 2000. Small cap stocks, benefiting from “January Effect” carry over; tend to outpace large cap stocks in February. The Russell 2000 index of small cap stocks turns in an average gain of 1.1% in February since 1979—just the seventh best month for that benchmark.
In pre-election years, February’s performance generally improves with average returns all positive. NASDAQ performs best, gaining an average 2.8% in pre-election-year Februarys since 1971. Russell 2000 is second best, averaging gains of 2.5% since 1979. DJIA, S&P 500 and Russell 1000, the large-cap indices, tend to lag with average advances of around 1.0%.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

5% Months

7%? Bulls will take it! After an abysmal December, the S&P 500 is currently set to finish the month with its best January return since 1987. This month’s gain will mark the 16th time since the lows of the Financial Crisis in March 2009 that the S&P 500 has rallied more than 5% in a given month. The table below highlights each of the 15 prior months where the S&P 500 rallied more than 5% and shows how much the S&P 500 gained on the month as well as its performance on the last trading day of the month and the first trading day of the subsequent month.
When looking at the table, a few things stand out. First, the first trading day of a month that follows a month where the S&P 500 rallied more than 5% has been extremely positive as the S&P 500 averages a gain of 0.84% (median: 1.01%) with positive returns 13 out of 15 times! In addition to the positive tendency of markets on the first day of the new month, there has also been a clear tendency for the S&P 500 to decline on the last trading day of the strong month. The average decline on the last trading day of a strong month has been 0.09% with positive returns less than half of the time. This is no doubt related to the fact that funds are forced to rebalance out of equities to get back inline with their benchmark weights. However, on those five prior months where the S&P 500 bucked the trend and was positive on the last trading day of a 5%+ month, the average gain on the first trading day of the next month was even stronger at 1.52% with gains five out of six times.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

STOCK MARKET VIDEO: Stock Market Analysis Video for February 1st, 2019

([CLICK HERE FOR THE YOUTUBE VIDEO!]())
(VIDEO NOT YET UP!)

STOCK MARKET VIDEO: ShadowTrader Video Weekly 2.3.19

([CLICK HERE FOR THE YOUTUBE VIDEO!]())
(VIDEO NOT YET UP!)
Here are the most notable companies reporting earnings in this upcoming trading month ahead-
  • $GOOGL
  • $TWTR
  • $SNAP
  • $CLF
  • $TTWO
  • $ALXN
  • $DIS
  • $BP
  • $CLX
  • $SYY
  • $GM
  • $GILD
  • $CMG
  • $GRUB
  • $EA
  • $STX
  • $SPOT
  • $AMG
  • $SAIA
  • $RL
  • $CNC
  • $EL
  • $UFI
  • $GLUU
  • $MTSC
  • $JOUT
  • $PM
  • $GPRO
  • $LITE
  • $FEYE
  • $SWKS
  • $LLY
  • $MPC
  • $BDX
  • $REGN
  • $VIAB
  • $ONVO
  • $HUM
  • $ARRY
  • $PBI
  • $ADM
  • $BSAC
(CLICK HERE FOR NEXT WEEK'S MOST NOTABLE EARNINGS RELEASES!)
(CLICK HERE FOR NEXT WEEK'S HIGHEST VOLATILITY EARNINGS RELEASES!)
(CLICK HERE FOR NEXT WEEK'S BIGGEST DECLINE IN EARNINGS EXPECTATIONS!)
(CLICK HERE FOR NEXT WEEK'S HIGHEST INCREASE IN EARNINGS EXPECTATIONS!)
Below are some of the notable companies coming out with earnings releases this upcoming trading week ahead which includes the date/time of release & consensus estimates courtesy of Earnings Whispers:

Monday 2.4.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR MONDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Monday 2.4.19 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR MONDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Tuesday 2.5.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR TUESDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR TUESDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #2!)

Tuesday 2.5.19 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR TUESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR TUESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #2!)

Wednesday 2.6.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR WEDNESDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Wednesday 2.6.19 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR WEDNESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR WEDNESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #2!)

Thursday 2.7.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #1!)

Thursday 2.7.19 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES LINK #2!)

Friday 2.8.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Friday 2.8.19 After Market Close:

([CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
NONE.

Alphabet, Inc. -

Alphabet, Inc. (GOOGL) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Monday, February 4, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $11.08 per share on revenue of $31.28 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $11.03 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 71% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 14.23% with revenue decreasing by 3.23%. Short interest has decreased by 6.6% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 6.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 0.7% below its 200 day moving average of $1,127.05. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, January 24, 2019 there was some notable buying of 1,493 contracts of the $1,200.00 call expiring on Friday, February 15, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 5.2% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 3.8% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Twitter, Inc. $33.19

Twitter, Inc. (TWTR) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:00 AM ET on Thursday, February 7, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.25 per share on revenue of $871.59 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.29 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 73% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 38.89% with revenue increasing by 19.14%. Short interest has decreased by 54.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 6.0% from its open following the earnings release to be 3.1% below its 200 day moving average of $34.24. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Monday, December 31, 2018 there was some notable buying of 45,575 contracts of the $34.00 call expiring on Friday, March 15, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 13.4% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 13.9% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Snap Inc. $6.91

Snap Inc. (SNAP) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:10 PM ET on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.08 per share on revenue of $376.64 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.04) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 31% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for revenue of $355.00 million to $380.00 million. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 27.27% with revenue increasing by 31.83%. Short interest has decreased by 1.8% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 12.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 33.6% below its 200 day moving average of $10.40. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, January 3, 2019 there was some notable buying of 29,739 contracts of the $7.00 call expiring on Friday, February 15, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 15.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 19.2% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc $10.53

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc (CLF) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:00 AM ET on Friday, February 8, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.57 per share on revenue of $713.61 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.63 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 87% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 119.23% with revenue increasing by 18.76%. Short interest has increased by 4.6% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 9.8% from its open following the earnings release to be 11.2% above its 200 day moving average of $9.47. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Monday, January 7, 2019 there was some notable buying of 10,030 contracts of the $8.00 call expiring on Thursday, April 18, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 9.4% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 7.0% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. $104.95

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (TTWO) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:00 AM ET on Wednesday, February 6, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.72 per share on revenue of $1.46 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.82 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 84% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for earnings of $0.31 to $0.41 per share. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 106.06% with revenue increasing by 203.64%. Short interest has increased by 37.1% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 18.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 9.9% below its 200 day moving average of $116.52. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Wednesday, January 23, 2019 there was some notable buying of 2,067 contracts of the $120.00 call expiring on Friday, February 15, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 9.2% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.3% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. $126.28

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:35 AM ET on Monday, February 4, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.82 per share on revenue of $1.06 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.95 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 67% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 23.81% with revenue increasing by 16.52%. Short interest has decreased by 16.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 0.4% from its open following the earnings release to be 5.8% above its 200 day moving average of $119.40. On Friday, February 1, 2019 there was some notable buying of 1,235 contracts of the $130.00 call expiring on Friday, February 15, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 7.8% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 6.5% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Walt Disney Co $111.30

Walt Disney Co (DIS) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.57 per share on revenue of $15.18 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.62 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 71% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 16.93% with revenue decreasing by 1.11%. Short interest has increased by 7.2% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 5.8% from its open following the earnings release to be 1.9% above its 200 day moving average of $109.22. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, February 1, 2019 there was some notable buying of 8,822 contracts of the $110.00 put expiring on Friday, February 8, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 3.1% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 2.2% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

BP p.l.c $41.34

BP p.l.c (BP) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 5:25 AM ET on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.77 per share on revenue of $60.72 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.75 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 65% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 20.31% with revenue decreasing by 13.28%. Short interest has increased by 6.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 1.6% from its open following the earnings release to be 3.9% below its 200 day moving average of $43.01. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, January 17, 2019 there was some notable buying of 2,010 contracts of the $33.00 put expiring on Friday, January 17, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 3.3% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 2.1% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Clorox Co. $149.86

Clorox Co. (CLX) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:30 AM ET on Monday, February 4, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.32 per share on revenue of $1.48 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.34 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 63% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 7.32% with revenue increasing by 4.52%. Short interest has decreased by 9.8% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 3.5% from its open following the earnings release to be 5.9% above its 200 day moving average of $141.57. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, January 18, 2019 there was some notable buying of 1,025 contracts of the $152.50 put expiring on Friday, February 8, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 4.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 3.3% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

SYSCO Corp. $63.57

SYSCO Corp. (SYY) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:00 AM ET on Monday, February 4, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.72 per share on revenue of $14.85 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.73 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 63% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 9.09% with revenue increasing by 3.04%. Short interest has decreased by 1.0% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 2.0% from its open following the earnings release to be 5.6% below its 200 day moving average of $67.34. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, February 1, 2019 there was some notable buying of 1,691 contracts of the $66.00 call expiring on Friday, February 8, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 4.5% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 4.8% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

DISCUSS!

What are you all watching for in this upcoming trading week ahead?
Have a fantastic Sunday and a great trading week ahead to all here on stocks! ;)
submitted by bigbear0083 to stocks [link] [comments]

Quick Forex-Related Question

I live in the USA. I looked into what I might need to do as far as taxes if I get into Forex. It sounds like I probably would need to use form 988 to report gains/losses, but also, something I've read made it kind of sound like I need to make an election with the IRS before I even make a trade. Is that right? It seems like one should be able to wait till next tax season to do that.

Also, is there anything else I may need to do regarding taxes before getting into this?
submitted by iguesimhere2468 to tax [link] [comments]

Can spot forex traders use Sec 1256 contract?

I've read a lot of material on the website Greentradertax but i wanted to see if i could get more insight on this matter here. This is where i am deriving most of my info from.
"By default, forex spot and forward contracts have Section 988 ordinary gain or loss treatment. Traders holding these forex contracts as capital assets may file an internal contemporaneous “capital gains election” pursuant to IRC § 988(a)(1)(B) to opt out of section 988 and into capital gains and loss treatment. If such an election is made, then for forex forwards — and forward-like forex contracts, including spot forex in some cases — taxpayers may use Section 1256(g) (foreign currency contract) treatment, providing it’s in major currencies for which regulated futures contracts trade on U.S. futures exchanges, and the taxpayer does not take or make delivery of the underlying currency"
https://greentradertax.com/why-do-forex-forward-dealers-issue-1099s-yet-spot-forex-brokers-do-not/
My current broker is oanda and i know they do not release any tax forms to you. I will have to use my account statement to report my taxes.
So... Can a spot Forex trader opt out of Sec988 and elect for Sec 1256 tax treatment? If so how do i do this?
submitted by DudeInSuit to Forex [link] [comments]

Forex question - EUR to USD

I thought about waiting until Moronic Monday, but my issue/question is a little long...
I went to Europe last year and ordered a bunch of Euros from my bank in advance. I ended up with around 650 EUR in cash left over after the trip.
(Note: I don't know much about Forex... I do know that there are bid and ask rates, which I think relate to buying vs. selling? For the numbers below I'll just go with the bid rates for simplicity. I think the actual rate that the bank gave me and what they would give me to buy it back are slightly different.)
I don't remember the exact date that I ordered the Euros, but looking at a historical exchange rate chart, I'd say it was around $1.12/EUR. When I looked toward the end of last year, the rate was around $1.07/EUR, and it looks like it bottomed out at $1.06/EUR. In the last 10 years, the peak was ~$1.60/EUR in 2008 and the most recent peak was ~$1.39/EUR in 2014. Right now it is around $1.13-$1.14/EUR.
So this cash is worth around $740 right now. It's not money that I need anytime in the near future. Should I just exchange it at the bank now, since it's around (or slightly higher than) what it was when I ordered it? Or is it worth holding onto it as an investment due to the dollar being strong right now compared to the Euro?
If it got to the 2014 peak of $1.39/EUR, then I'd make $0.27/EUR or $175.50, which would be a gain of over 24%. (Also, this article seems to suggest that personal gains under $200 are not subject to tax.) Even if it takes several years to get there, it's probably a better return than I could get anywhere else. Then again, as with any investment, it could also go down from where it is currently. As I said, I don't know much about Forex or global economics, which is why I'm asking you all for input. How do/will current events (terrorism in Europe, refugee crisis, upcoming US Presidential election, etc.) affect the exchange rate? Or is it just the typical "nobody has a crystal ball, and past performance is not indicative of future results?" Thank you in advance!
submitted by pfbounce to personalfinance [link] [comments]

Why you should never EVER want bitcoins to become "currency" or refer to bitcoin or altcoins as "currency" EVER.

Why you should never EVER want bitcoins to become "currency" or refer to bitcoin or altcoins as "currency" EVER.
Its simple - do you want to pay 35% in taxes on trading or 15%?
from http://www.fxop.com/Forex%20Taxation.html
" By way of background, the maximum marginal federal income tax rates applicable in the U.S. are 35% for items of ordinary income and capital gains resulting from the sale of capital assets held 1 year or less (i.e., short term capital gains) and 15% for capital gains from the sale of capital assets held for more than 1 year.
In addition to these basic rules, currency traders potentially subject to two special provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. One is Section 1256 which generally applies to regulated futures contracts and provides that no matter what a taxpayer’s holding period for a futures position is, 60% of any gain recognized is treated as long term capital gain and 40% of any gain recognized is treated as short term capital gain. This is sometimes known as the 60/40 rule. As a result of application of the 60/40 rule to futures contracts, a blended 23% federal income tax rate applies to any gains. This is one of the principal advantages of trading futures over stocks. While short term stock trading will produce short term capital gains taxable at a 35% federal income tax rate; trading in futures will produce income subject to a 23% federal income tax rate regardless of how long or short the futures contract is held.
In addition to Section 1256, Section 988 of the Internal Revenue Code contains special rules governing the tax treatment of currency gains and losses. In general, Section 988 provides that gains and losses from currency trades are treated as ordinary income (and taxable at a maximum 35% federal income tax rate). There is an exception to this rule, however. Section 988 provides an exception for currency positions which are identified by election as excluded from Section 988 ordinary income treatment. If proper identification and an election is made, gains and losses from currency trading will be treated as capital gains and losses. Moreover, to the extent that the currency pair traded is traded on a U.S. futures exchange, the spot contract is subject to the special 60/40 treatment under Section 1256, which results in a 23% tax rate on gains (regardless of holding period). This important since most cash or spot currency contracts settle in two days, but are typically terminated and rolled over daily (thus preventing a long term holding period from ever developing). "
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How to make journal Entry for unadjusted Forex Gain/Loss ... Accounting for Foreign Exchange Gains and Losses for Sage ... How Gains & Losses Are Taxed: Ordinary & Capital - YouTube GST Export-Forex Gain Loss Adjustment in Tally ERP 9 Part ... Taxation of Property Transactions  Determine Gain or Loss ...

Forex receives an ordinary gain or loss treatment on realized trades (including rollovers), unless a contemporaneous capital gains election is filed. In some cases, lower 60/40 capital gains tax ... In an article by Jenny Bourne Wahl, published in the National Tax Journal, this writer while considering the United States of America Tax Reform Act 1986, was of the opinion that the timing of the recognition of FX gains and losses directly influence the effective tax rate that will apply to foreign assets and liabilities. If you have elected to report Forex trading under Section 988, the loss is reported as ordinary loss, under Less Common Income section. If you elected to report Forex trading under section 1256 - report it as contracts/straddles; the program will correctly split your losses as capital loss 60% long term and 40% short term. Your broker marks all of your open positions to market and reports the total gain or loss on a 1099 (line 13 on 1099). The gain or loss and the 60/40 split from these contracts are reported on IRS Form 6781 Gains and Losses from Section 1256 Contracts and Straddles). Part I, Line 2 of this form (6781) simply asks for your broker-provided 1099 total gain or loss, and then it splits this loss as ... Forex receives ordinary gain or loss treatment on realized trades (including rollovers), unless a contemporaneous capital gains election is filed. In some cases, lower 60/40 capital gains tax rates on majors may apply. Physical precious metals are collectibles; if these capital assets are held over one year, sales are subject to the collectibles capital gains rate capped at 28% ... For each withdrawal you need to calculate whether you have made a gain or a loss, see common forex transactions on our website. In certain circumstances, you can elect to have the forex measures apply differently to transactions on your forex accounts. You can read about the forex elections including the '$250,000 balance election' on our website. Forex trading involves significant risk of loss and is not suitable for all investors. Full Disclosure. Spot Gold and Silver contracts are not subject to regulation under the U.S. Commodity Exchange Act. *Increasing leverage increases risk. GAIN Capital Group LLC (dba FOREX.com) 135 US Hwy 202/206 Bedminster NJ 07921, USA. GAIN Capital Group ...

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How to make journal Entry for unadjusted Forex Gain/Loss ...

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