Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Chevron Credit Card - A Fantastic Credit Card For Any Gas Guzzler

If you are in the market for gas credit cards, Chevron has some tempting offers that you may want to take a look at.

Do you want to earn 10c on the gallon from all you electronic gas purchases for the next 12 months?.... Yes?.... O.K, you're in luck. Just apply for the Chevron basic card and it's a done deal.

To help convince you even more, take a look at the other benefits:

No annual fee
Revolving credit terms so you can manage your money better
Itemized statements so you can track your expenses

I would love to add a very attractive APR to my tempt list, but the variable rate is 21.25%, which could be deemed as high depending on the APRs on your existing credit cards.

So let's look at the second offer in the Chevron range and see if I could bring you round.

This card is the Chevron Premium card and there is an annual membership fee of $25, but compared to the benefits you'd realise the fee is quite minimal.

Here's what you'll be entitled to:

50% lodging discounts
Airline and car rental cash backs
Travel insurance
5% - 50% travel savings

The APR for the Premium card is not found on the website, which is unfortunate because I believe in giving you full transparency so that a well informed decision can be made. For now we will hazard a guess that it will not be more than 21.25%

I have one more option to show you which is the Chevron Business Card. As the name suggests, this card is most beneficial to businesses and can be used to purchase most everything sold at Chevron outlets, from tires to snacks.

The benefits to the business owner are:

Enjoy more control over vehicle expenses
Lower your administrative costs
Simplify budgeting
Two different ways you can receive your monthly statements
Increase security

The benefits go on and on, if you want to see them all, you can visit

If you are in a particularly giving mood, the Chevron gift cards would be useful. Purchase them for your friends, family, customers, employees or anyone else you can think of. The card designs are quite nice too; there is one of a race car and one that looks a lot like Lightening McQueen from the Pixar movie Cars. (Endorsements sure worked out well for him)

You can purchase your gift card online or at your local Chevron dealer.

And there you have it; all the cards offered by Chevron. Have I done enough to convince you? If not, there are many other gas credit cards on the market so I'm sure you will find something that is well suited to you.

This article was brought to you courtesy of Anthony Samuel, the webmaster of

A credit card directory where you can search, compare and apply for credit card offers from leading credit card companies as well as find tools and credit card articles to help you choose the right credit card.

Was Your Ovarian Cancer Misdiagnosed?

As many as 30,000 U.S. women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year. In 2006, between 15,000 and 16,000 women are likely to die from this silent killer. Ovarian cancer is the 5th leading cause of death among women, and it is responsible for about five percent of all cancer deaths. Chances are your doctor may have misdiagnosed you. That is often the case. A recent British study found 60 percent of all U.K. general practitioners had misdiagnosed their patients.

Three-quarters of British doctors surveyed incorrectly assumed that symptoms only occurred in the late stages of ovarian cancer. Based upon that information, it should be no surprise that Britain has one of the lowest survival rates for ovarian cancer in the Western World of 6,800 cases diagnosed each year, more than 4,600 die.

A similar discovery was made by University of California researchers, who announced last year, Four in 10 women with ovarian cancer have symptoms that they tell their doctors about at least four months and as long as one year before they are diagnosed. According to their study of nearly 2,000 women with ovarian cancer, the researchers discovered physicians:

First ordered abdominal imaging or performed gastrointestinal procedures instead of the more appropriate pelvic imaging and/or CA-125 (a blood test that can detect ovarian cancer).

Only 25 percent of patients, who reported ovarian cancer symptoms four or more months before diagnosis, were given pelvic imaging or had CA-125 blood tests.

Patients with early symptoms are frequently misdiagnosed. Abdominal imaging or diagnostic gastrointestinal studies are less likely to detect ovarian cancer. According to the American Cancer Societys website, The most common symptom is back pain, followed by fatigue, bloating, constipation, abdominal pain and urinary urgency. These symptoms tend to occur very frequently and become more severe with time. Most women with ovarian cancer have at least two of these symptoms.

By the time a woman reaches the fourth stage of ovarian cancer, her first-line treatment is often Carboplatin, Paclitaxel and Cisplatin as the specific chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. In the first stage, cancer is contained inside one or both ovaries. By stage two, the cancer has spread into the fallopian tubes or other pelvic tissues, such as the bladder or rectum. When the cancer has spread outside the pelvis area into the abdominal cavity, especially when tumor growths are larger than two centimeters on the lining of the abdomen, then ovarian cancer has reached stage three. The fourth and final stage of ovarian cancer is reached when the cancer has spread into other body organs, such as the liver or lungs.

If detected early, survival rates can be as high as 90 percent. Detected in the advanced stage, the survival rate falls to between 30 and 40 percent. Various imaging tests such as computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, and ultrasound studies can confirm whether a pelvic mass is present. A laparoscopy can help a doctor look at the ovaries and other pelvic tissue to in order to plan out a surgical procedure, or to determine the stage of the ovarian cancer. A biopsy, or tissue sampling, would confirm if there is cancer in your pelvic region, and would help determine how advanced it is. An elevated CA-125 blood test typically suggests the cancer has progressed to the advanced stage.

About 50 percent of ovarian cancer patients are already at an advanced stage by the time a correct diagnosis is made. Only 10 to 14 percent of women with advanced cancer are likely to survive more than five years.

Evaluation of Therapies

While research shows drinking black (or green) tea or taking the herbal supplement gingko biloba may be useful, as a preventative measure, or to reduce risk, a woman has few choices when her cancer has moved to the advanced stage. In the first stage, a woman faces surgical removal of the tumor, and possibly one or both ovaries, to increase her chances of survival. Beyond that, her choice is chemotherapy.

One major problem with chemotherapy is the side effects. The more advanced the cancer, the weaker one may be, reducing the survival rate potential. Survival rates have not changed very much over the past fifteen years. Chemotherapy can increase survival time by as much as 50 percent. But, quality of life suffers. The side effects and increased toxicity, accompanying chemotherapy, reduce how one spends the prolonged survival time.

Some of Paclitaxels minor side effects, as reported by Medline Plus, may include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, change in taste, thinned or brittle hair, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, changes in the color of nails, and/or tingling in the hands or toes. More serious side effects may include mouth blistering or fatigue. Some alarming side effects could include unusual bleeding or bruising, dizziness, shortness of breath, severe exhaustion, chest pain, or difficulty swallowing. The most common side effect of Paclitaxel is a decrease of blood cells.

Carboplatin has its own list of side effects. It can reduce platelet production, which can interfere with your bloods ability to clot. You may become anemic, feeling tired or breathless. Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and a general feeling of weakness are common with this chemotherapeutic agent.

The latest breed of drugs, such as Eli Lillys Gemzar, are hardly getting praise. On March 10th, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it was skeptical of the benefits Eli Lillys Gemzar, which was being used with Carboplatin to treat ovarian cancer patients. The FDA felt the 2.8 months increased survival time, provided by the Gemzar/Carboplatin combination failed to offset the treatments increased toxicity.

In January, the New England Journal of Medicine reported on a remarkable new delivery system of chemotherapy, called the intra-abdominal, or intraperitoneal, chemotherapy. Those who received the belly bath as it is now being called by the media can survive 16 months longer than those receiving intravenous chemotherapy. The major drawback is that 60 percent of the women in the study were unable to complete all six cycles of this chemotherapy. Those who did survived longer, but only two in every five women were able to advance to the end phase of the therapy.

One novel approach, now in Phase III trials at more than 60 research centers across the United States, is OvaRex MAb, a murine monoclonal antibody, a type of biotech drug derived from mouse cells. It is being tested by highly regarded United Therapeutics, based in Silver Springs, Maryland. Their lead drug Remodulin, an injection which treats pulmonary arterial hypertension, is currently being marketed inside and outside the United States. More than $32 million has been spent researching, and on the development of, OvaRex and may have it available on the market by 2008.

OvaRex was developed in Canada by a company called ViRexx Medical Corp, and first tested in that country. According to Dr. Lorne Tyrrell, Chief Executive of ViRexx, The whole study has been set up with the FDA. This is a study where the drug has been given fast track approval and orphan drug status. Dr. Tyrrell is also on leave (until OvaRex become commercially available) as a Professor of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Alberta, and Director of the National Centre of Excellence for Viral Hepatitis Research.

OvaRex was tested in Canada, prior to the current Phase III trials in the U.S. There have been a number of patients that have received OvaRex, said Dr. Tyrrell, Weve had really no adverse effects from these patients. Dr. Tyrrell explained the procedure, After being injected intravenously, OvaRex binds to an antigen circulating in the blood. An antibodys general purpose is to neutralize an antigen. After an OvaRex injection, the murine monoclonal antibody binds to the CA-125 antigen.

In a way the body is tricked. But, the body is tricked in order to help save itself from the harmful antigen. When the OvaRex antibody is bound to the CA-125 antigen, the new combination is identified as a harmful unit. Before then, the antigen wanders through the body, without alerting the bodys defense systems, the dendritic cells, to attack and destroy the harmful antigen. Because the body is trained to identify and zero in on a foreign protein, in this case a mouse protein, it alerts the dendritic cells. Until then, the dendritic cells tolerate the cancerous cells. The tolerance is what permits the cancer to spread throughout the body. OvaRex seeks to break that tolerance. The murine monoclonal antibody is designed to target and bind exclusively to free floating CA-125 antigen.

The dendritic cells refuse to tolerate the foreign protein. When the antibody binds with the free-floating antigen, the dendritic cells recognize the complex (antibody plus antigen) as being foreign and engulf the new unit. The dendritic cells break down the key proteins of this unit, presenting all parts on the cells surface. At the point, the bodys killer T-Cells are alerted to fight the internal threat to the body. Once activated, the T-Cells will replicate and create more killer T-Cells. Any tumor cells expressing the CA-125 antigen is targeted for destruction. The army of T-Cells move to attack the ovarian cancer tumor.

The principle behind OvaRex is to re-program the immune system to harness the bodys defenses to prevent the growth and spread of the ovarian cancer. Will it cure ovarian cancer? In most cases, it will be a delay, explained Dr. Tyrrell. However, I think that, and everyone hopes that, often in some of these tumors, youre making incremental progress through careful clinical trials and adding new therapy. Each thing we do that improves the outcome when you start to look at the long term benefits of these, we hope that one day we will be able to cure this disease. We think this is a step. This has the potential to be an important step at helping to stimulate immune response to achieve a better outcome. Hopefully, one day we can improve that to where it is a cure.

COPYRIGHT 2007 by StockInterview, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

James Finch contributes to and other publications. StockInterviews Investing in the Great Uranium Bull Market has become the most popular book ever published for uranium mining stock investors. Visit

The Weather In Southern Calfornia or Los Angeles On Fire!

Many people out there believe that Southern California is one of the best places to live. Well, perhaps that is so, but if you love frequent fires then it indeed is the best.

Because of its hot and dry climate, fires in Southern California are a common phenomenon. Sometimes only the winter season is free of them, but not always. With the arrival of new spring, their season starts for good again. Until yet another late fall.

Where I happen to live, in Hollywood, arguably the most famous part of Los Angeles, I have witnessed two fires this year already and it's not even mid May! Both on the Hollywood hills that feature the famous Hollywood sign. The first of them broke out a few weeks ago, started allegedly by some teenagers. It ravaged the northern part of the hills overlooking Burbank that hosts the NBC studios famous for The Tonight Show.

The more recent fire broke out just yesterday in the eastern part of the hills, close to the Griffith Observatory, another famous Hollywood landmark. Famous largely to the locals as the Hollywood sign dwarfs all other landmarks squarely.

Both fires were relatively easy to manage and got contained within several hours. I happened to see a large cloud of smog from the first fire, but the other one was only a TV event to me. It looked really spectacular though as you can see in the picture posted on my site. Fortunately, the observatory survived unscathed.

However, some fires can go on for many days. When this happens and the fire location is close to town, you see a lot of smog in the air. The last time this happened, in late Fall 2003, you could watch sunspots with a totally naked eye. No protection was really necessary.

Because of the thick fire smog, the Sun face was reddish most of the day, its shorter wavelengths extinguished by the dust in the atmosphere. This usually happens only during sunsets and sunrises when the Sun is close to the horizon, but then it was possible even with the Sun still high above it. I could easily see a huge sunspot and a few smaller ones on its surface. It was around 4 PM as I was approaching the local Hollywood library along Selma Street, facing west.

To see the picture of a really spectacular fire ravaging the hills near the Griffith Observatory in Hollywood please visit this page (

Waldemar Puszkarz, Ph.D., is a web veteran with 15 years of web surfing under his belt. By training, he is a theoretical physicist, but his interests are much broader than science and include trading financial markets, sports betting, poker, and researching online business opportunities. He is also an avid book reader and sports afficionado. Currently he is making his living mostly as a day trader. He has been in the trading trenches for almost a decade during which he has traded a variety of financial instruments. He is the owner and webmaster of ( which provides free common sense trading education and simple trading systems for e-mini and stock markets as well as reviews of honest online business opportunities in Meet HOBO ( section of his site.

Risks To Consider Whenever You Trade Penny Stocks

The world of penny stock trading has been touted as the gateway to riches beyond your wildest dreams. Fortunes, it has been claimed, can be made in a single trading session. Those with a few hundred or thousands of dollars can become millionaires almost overnight, and all of those who have do not hesitate to tell the world about it.

But what those who have succeeded in the penny stock market invariably fail to mention is that for everyone on the winning side of a trade there someone who is either risking or losing money on the other side. Whoever decides to trade penny stocks should realize that his or her chances of losing big are at least as great as the chances of winning big. What are the precise risks to be faced by anyone wanting to trade penny stocks?

The penny stock market is far and way the most volatile of all the stock markets. Anyone wanting to trade penny stocks need to perform extreme due diligence before investing in a company, because the price penny stock can change direction in a minute, and for no discernible reason. If you arent watching closely, you will not only miss your chance to lock in a profit, you may be on your way to a serious loss.

While the phrase penny stocks may make you think you can trade penny stocks like you play penny ante poker, the phrase is misleading. Even if a single share of a companys stock is less than a dollar, most of those who trade penny stocks trade them in lots of a thousand or more. When you trade penny stocks in those amounts, the amount of money at stake is not trivial.

Another risk faced by those who trade penny stocks is that the penny stock market is home to many a bogus company established simply to print and hype its own shares. There have been unscrupulous individuals who set up fake corporations simply to sell the IPO shares and walk away.

Many penny stocks have their price supported by nothing except fluff press releases and ads paid for by stock promoters. Often these efforts will lure people into a stock, and when they come in, the stock promoters get out and the stock promotion ends. Because the company itself has no substantial value, and there are no more new buyers being enticed by hype, those in the stock will have a very time selling their shares, and the stock price will collapse.

Anyone who wants to trade penny stocks needs to be able to tell the difference between a company supported by hype and one which has real substance.

The safest way to trade penny stocks is to have a game plan and stick too it. Pill you capital out of a stock as soon as you can, and either let your profits ride, or used them to invest elsewhere. That way you are always risking someone elses money, and the stress that normally comes when people trade penny stocks will pass you by.

You can also find more info on Penny Stocks and Investing In Penny Stocks is a comprehensive resource to get information about Penny Stocks.

A Bear Reminder

Every day I hear from the experts on CNBC-TV and the radio gurus that the way to buy stocks is find value. One man's Rembrandt is another man's connect-the-dots and fill in the spaces. Valuation is like beauty. It is in the mind of the beholder.

If valuation is the key to buying stocks then there should be some kind of a formula to determine what is undervalued and over-valued to know when to buy and sell. In every industry there are formulas for standards of performance. For cars we want to know the zero to 60 miles per hour in how many seconds. For soap we want it to be 99 and 44/100 percent pure. For alcoholic beverages it could be how long it has been aged. And on and on.

Yet in the stock market we have no hard and fast set of rules by which to judge a company performance. Ah, and theres the rub! No matter how good a company performance might be it may have no bearing on the price performance of the stock. Finding a good company within a sector that is doing poorly is difficult. Yet one company can be making huge profits and sales, but the stock price is going nowhere. There need not be any correlation.

When you are in a bull market almost every stock goes up even the dogs. When you are in a bear market almost every stock goes down even the best ones. We ended an 18 year bull market in 2000 and almost without exception every stock headed for the exit until 2003.

Bull and bear markets follow relatively standard patterns. If an investor owns stocks or especially index funds during the bear periods he will be lucky to have broken even at the end of the cycle. Cash in the mattress will outperform market returns while the bear is in charge. During bear times there will be periods when the market will have a nice advance that can last for many months leading investors to believe the bull has returned. These intermediate rises can ultimately bring many investors back into the market only to lose it when the rally is over and true valuation returns.

During any historical 10-year stock market period there has always been a bear market. Many of them have hurt investors with losses of 40% and more. No one knows when the next bear will come out of his cave to ravage stock investors. There can be many reasons for a sharp or sustained market break that may be apparent, but the market continues to advance. Logic does not give the answer.

Individual investors or their money managers must have an exit strategy. Without a solid plan they will lose again as they did in 2000. Investors must ask their money managers and financial planners what they will do when the next bear appears. If there is no solid strategy a different manager should be found immediately. Without it profits and principal will disappear.

No one knows exactly where the top or bottom of a market move will occur. Have an exit strategy in place at all times.

Al Thomas' best selling book, "If It Doesn't Go Up, Don't Buy It!" has helped thousands of people make money and keep their profitswith his simple 2-step method. Read the first chapter and receive his market letter at anddiscover why he's the man that Wall Street does not want you to know. Copyright 2007 All rights reserved

Option Spreads - Credit and Debit Spread Trading

People who trade options often will engage in trading spreads. A spread is the buying and selling of the same type of option. A Call Option spread is buying and selling (writing) call options. A Put Option spread is buying and writing puts. The purpose of engaging spread trading is to either make money on the premium difference (money spent and received) or to earn profit on the options themselves being traded or exercised.

Debit or Credit Spread

A debit spread is when the options that are bought and sold result in a loss on the premiums. The investor has spent more for the option purchased than the option shorted.

An example of this would be:

Long (buy) 1 ASD SEP 40 CALL@4 and Short (sell) 1 ASD SEP 45 CALL@2

This is a debit spread since the $400 paid exceeds the $200 received. There is a $200 Debit on this spread. The investor in this case is looking to make a profit on the future value of the options. Since these are call options, the investor is bullish on the market (wants the market on ASD to rise).

The market rising will allow the investor to take advantage of the increased premium or to exercise the options. The long option allows the investor to purchase the stock at 40 and the short option carries an obligation to sell at 45. If these were to happen, the person could make 5 points on the stock (strike price difference) minus the initial debit loss ($200). This equals the maximum gain potential ($300). The maximum loss is if both options expire worthless, resulting in a $200 loss.

A credit spread works the opposite way. The investor is looking to gain on the premiums and then is hoping the options expire worthless. Using the same example above, the numbers are the same, but the gain and loss would be reversed. The person would be Long the 45 paying $200 and Short the 40 call, gaining $400. The $200 is now a credit and is the gain. If the options were exercised, the 5 point difference in the strike prices would be a loss (buying at 45 and selling at 40). The trader would be bearish on the market for a call credit spread like this. Trading of credit call spreads is higher in a bear market.

Vertical Spread

A vertical or price spread is when the strike prices are different, but the expiration months are the same. The above examples would be considered vertical spreads.

Horizontal - Calendar Spread

A horizontal spread is when the strike prices are the same, but the expiration months are different. The trader can make money on this type of spread because even thought the strike prices are the same, the option with the longer expiration month will have a higher premium, so there is still a "spread".

Diagonal spread

When a spread has months and strike prices that are different, it is defined as a diagonal spread. The options are vertical and horizontal at the same time.

All in all, spreads are fairly conservative - as far as options are concerned. A long position is covered by a short position, so large or unlimited losses do not normally occur.

Learn more about Spreads and other Strategies here

Happy Trading

Nick Hunter is the President of American Investment Training (AIT) and writes for - A financial career website with investment education information.