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Wells Fargo's fraud reminded me of an old joke about the young man and the tailor...

A young man went to a tailor to get his first suit for a job interview.

As the tailor measured his pant-leg, he reached down into his pocket, but discovered that there were none.

"What's wrong with these pants?" the young man said.

"You're job interview is to become a banker, right?"

"Yes, I'm going to be an investment banker."

The tailor laughed. "Kid, whoever heard of a banker putting his hand in his own pocket?"

In a way, that punch line goes way beyond Wall Street.

There was a time that America built great things, great businesses, and offered great products at great prices. But over the last three decades or so, it's become more and more apparent that an easier business model is just... to reach into the other person's pocket, whether it's Wall Street, politicians, or the latest swindler exploiting bad policies.

While the rest of the mainstream press is finally catching up on Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo, we want to spotlight another scam that is entering its second phase across the country.

The media is letting the scammers off the hook (again), but we've been following this for two years now...

 
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All of our trades are progressing nicely. Let's go through them first, along with a look at what's moving the underlying stocks and the market.

Then - as promised - I'll show you the full list of toxic stocks that are on my "short list" right now. These are the worst of the worst. New bad stocks show up on this list all the time, and right now, I'm researching our next move on a particularly bad one. Watch for my next detailed recommendation on Monday.

Here's how our open portfolio positions are doing so far:

 
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Three weeks ago, the markets broke to the downside and ended the tightest eight-week range in U.S. stock market history.

With that break, prices moved out of that eight-week stranglehold, and we got four out of five of days that had close-to-close moves of 1% or more (two up and two down).

 
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Last week, the U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission filed criminal and civil charges against William Sears and Scott Dittman with securities fraud over an alleged plot to pocket more than $12 million from the sale of phony shares of FusionPharm, a hydroponic marijuana firm.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) claims Sears orchestrated the scheme from as early as 2011 with Dittman, his brother-in-law who is also the sole officer of FusionPharm.

 
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One of our long-term positions, Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (NYSE:EBS) spiked as high as 14% after the opening bell today, which comes as particularly good news after the big downward slide yesterday across all sectors.

Yesterday's selloff occurred after some major institutional investors withdrew billions in investment funds from Deutsche Bank, which has recently shown some signs of instability. Deutsche Bank is one of the world's largest banking and financial services companies.

EBS develops, manufactures, and sells specialized products to healthcare providers and governments in the United States and internationally, with a particular focus in biodefense.

 
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While there are a lot of things to like about small-cap investing, my favorite is the fact that they have the potential to leave other stocks in the proverbial dust.

Especially now, and under market conditions like the present.

Case in point, our Neurocrine Biosciences Inc. (NasdaqGS:NBIX) recommendation closed Thursday's session up 440% since I originally recommended back in December 2013 and we're headed for 500%!

 
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Two weeks ago, I recommended that you buy Nabors Industries Ltd. (NBR) January 2018 $15 Calls (NBR180119C00015000). The option has been doing very nicely since then.

Today, I suggest that you parallel that move with acquisition of the underlying shares themselves.

As I noted at the time we added the options, Bermuda-based Nabor Industries had recently experienced some interesting options activity, including a large put play. That indicated market makers believe the stock's value will be solidifying.

 
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The big "news" (if you can call it that) this week was OPEC's so-called oil "deal."

On Wednesday, at the tail-end of the International Energy Forum (IEF) in Algiers, OPEC ministers announced that they'd agreed to "cut" oil production to January's levels.

Except that they specifically left any decision about which country should cut how much, and how to enforce these cuts, until late November.

And there's still now word about whether Russia is on board.

So, as I explain in the October issue of Energy Advantage, released yesterday, this isn't an oil "deal" at all.

But that doesn't mean the IEF summit wasn't important.

On the contrary, the future of oil was just decided in Algiers...

 
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