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Cartography Corner – April 2020

J. Brett Freeze and his firm Global Technical Analysis (GTA) provides RIA Pro subscribers Cartography Corner on a monthly basis. Brett’s analysis offers readers a truly unique brand of technical insight and risk framework. We personally rely on Brett’s research to help better gauge market trends, their durability, and support and resistance price levels.

GTA presents their monthly analysis on a wide range of asset classes, indices, and securities. At times the analysis may agree with RIA Pro technical opinions, and other times it will run contrary to our thoughts. Our goal is not to push a single view or opinion, but provide research to help you better understand the markets. Please contact us with any questions or comments.  If you are interested in learning more about GTA’s services, please connect with them through the links provided in the article.

The link below penned by GTA provides a user’s guide and a sample of his analysis.

GTA Users Guide


March 2020 Review

E-Mini S&P 500 Futures

We begin with a review of E-Mini S&P 500 Futures (ESM(H)0) during March 2020. In our March 2020 edition of The Cartography Corner, we wrote the following:

In isolation, monthly support and resistance levels for March are:

  • M4                 3614.00
  • M1                 3457.50
  • PMH              3397.50
  • MTrend         3166.53
  • Close             2951.00     
  • PML               2853.25
  • M3                 2678.00    
  • M2                 2525.50     
  • M5                2369.00

Active traders can use 3166.50 as the pivot, whereby they maintain a long position above that level and a flat or short position below it.

Figure 1 below displays the daily price action for March 2020 in a candlestick chart, with support and resistance levels isolated by our methodology represented as dashed lines.  The first trading session of March saw the market price rise, reflecting market participants’ “buy-the-dip” mentality towards February’s weakness and anticipation of the Federal Reserve responding with further monetary stimulus.  The high trade for March was realized during the second trading session at 3137.00, just under our isolated pivot at March Monthly Trend, MTrend: 3166.53.  The following two trading sessions saw lower highs, yet they also afforded market participants reasonable opportunities to sell against March Monthly Trend.  On March 6th, 2020, the market price began to break lower, with clustered support at QTrend: 2974 and Q2: 2934.25 being surpassed intra-session and the market price settling the session below QTrend.

During the following session, March 9th, the market price gapped lower on the open, breaking and settling below another clustered support zone at PQL: 2855.00 and PML:2853.25.  The following two trading sessions were spent with the market price oscillating between PQL / PML now acting as resistance and isolated support at M3: 2678.00.  On March 12th, the market price descended below isolated support at M3: 2678 and M2: 2525.50, stopping short of achieving the Monthly Downside Exhaustion level for March at M5: 2369.00.  The following three trading sessions were spent with the market oscillating between M3: 2678.00 now acting as resistance and support at M5: 2369.00.  The Monthly Downside Exhaustion level was first achieved on March 16th, 2020.

With the market price having achieved our isolated Monthly Downside Exhaustion level, our focus turned immediately to our weekly support levels.  The following four trading sessions, March 18th through March 23rd, saw the market price continue to descend below M5: 2369.00.  The low price for March was achieved on March 23rd at the price of 2174.00.

On March 23rd, the Federal Reserve committed to unlimited quantitative easing (QE).  That action stopped the market price descent and a rally ensued.  The final six trading sessions of March saw the market price rise sharply from the low, with monthly (and weekly) support levels acting as resistance.

Active traders following our monthly analysis had the opportunity to capture a 24% profit.

 

Figure 1:

Gold Futures

We continue with a review of Gold Futures (GCM(J)0) during March 2020.  In our March 2020 edition of The Cartography Corner, we wrote the following:

In isolation, monthly support and resistance levels for March are:

  • M4         1863.70
  • M1         1770.10
  • PMH       1691.70
  • M2         1582.50
  • Close        1566.70
  • MTrend   1560.26
  • PML        1551.10           
  • M3         1545.50                       
  • M5           1488.90

Active traders can use 1545.50 as the pivot, whereby they maintain a long position above that level and a flat or short position below it.

Figure 2 below displays the daily price action for March 2020 in a candlestick chart, with support and resistance levels isolated by our methodology represented as dashed lines.  The first six trading sessions of March, aided by the Federal Reserve’s actions on March 3rd, saw the market price ascend to and surpass intra-session February’s high price at PMH: 1691.70.  However, the market price did not settle above February’s high.

Over the following four trading sessions, the market price descended through multiple isolated support levels, including our isolated pivot at M3: 1545.50.  On March 16th, our Monthly Downside Exhaustion level for March at M5: 1488.90 was achieved and exceeded intra-session.  The low price for the month at 1451.74 was realized during that session.  The following four sessions were spent with the market price oscillating between clustered support levels at MTrend: 1560.26 / PML: 1551.10 / M3: 1545.50, now acting as resistance, and Monthly Downside Exhaustion level acting as support.

The Federal Reserve announcement of unlimited quantitative easing on March 23rd re-ignited market participant’s enthusiasm for Gold.  The market price cleared the clustered support levels at MTrend: 1560.26 / PML: 1551.10 / M3: 1545.50, now acting as resistance.  On March 24th and March 25th, the market price ascended to and surpassed intra-session February’s high price at PMH: 1691.70.  The final four trading sessions of March were spent with the market price essentially drifting sideways, with a final push lower towards isolated support at M2: 1582.50.

Our analysis essentially bound the realized range for March.

Figure 2:

April 2020 Analysis

E-Mini S&P 500 Futures

We begin by providing a monthly time-period analysis of E-Mini S&P 500 Futures (ESM0).  The same analysis can be completed for any time-period or in aggregate.

Trends:

  • Monthly Trend        2980.56       
  • Quarterly Trend      2918.33
  • Current Settle         2569.75       
  • Daily Trend             2567.31       
  • Weekly Trend          2501.47

In the quarterly time-period, the chart shows that E-Mini S&P 500 Futures are in “Consolidation”, after having been “Trend Up” for four quarters.  Stepping down one time-period, the monthly chart shows that E-Mini S&P 500 Futures are in “Consolidation”, settling below Monthly Trend for two months.  Stepping down to the weekly time-period, the chart shows that E-Mini S&P 500 Futures have been “Trend Down” for five weeks.  The relative positioning of the Trend Levels has lost its bullish posture.

We wrote in March, “The final piece of the sustained Trend Reversal puzzle is a quarterly settlement under Quarterly Trend at QTrend: 2974.00.”  March’s settlement completed the puzzle.

One rule we have is to anticipate a two-period high (low), within the following four to six periods, after a Downside (Upside) Exhaustion level has been reached.  We now anticipate a 2-period high in the quarterly time- period over the next four to six quarters, in the monthly time-period over the next four to six months, and in the weekly time-period within two weeks.  This does not mean the market price will immediately reverse higher, as those two-period highs can occur at lower absolute levels.  In our judgment, in bear markets, two-period highs are the safest place to sell. Illustrations of this concept, in the monthly time-period, can be found in our April 2018 commentary.

Support/Resistance:

In isolation, monthly support and resistance levels for April are:

  • M4                 3420.75
  • PMH              3137.00
  • MTrend         2980.56
  • M1                 2876.50
  • Close             2569.75     
  • M3                 2188.50
  • PML               2174.00     
  • M2                 1494.75     
  • M5                950.50

Given that the first monthly resistance and support levels are roughly 300 and 400 points away from the current market price, we suggest active traders rely upon our weekly analysis to guide them directionally.

For less-active market participants with an intermediate or long time-period focus, we suggest using MTrend: 2980.56 and QTrend: 2918.33 as the pivot, respectively.  Maintain a flat or short position below the pivot and a long position above the pivot.

WTI Crude Oil Futures

For April, we focus on WTI Crude Oil Futures (“Crude”).  We provide a monthly time-period analysis of CLK0.  The same analysis can be completed for any time-period or in aggregate.

Trends:

  • Quarterly Trend    49.79             
  • Monthly Trend      44.43
  • Weekly Trend       26.73             
  • Daily Trend           20.94             
  • Current Settle       20.48

As can be seen in the quarterly chart below, Crude is in “Consolidation”.  Stepping down one time-period, the monthly chart shows that Crude has been “Trend Down” for three months.  Stepping down to the weekly time-period, the chart shows that Crude has been “Trend Down” for five weeks.

Our model got short Crude in January with the break of Monthly Trend.  We had no insight into the actions of Saudi Arabia concerning oil output and pricing.  As we have, please consider the following words of wisdom from Ed Seykota:

“A surprise is an event that catches someone unaware.  If you are already on the trend, the surprises seem to happen to the other guys.”

To our knowledge, no one predicted that Saudi Arabia would boost production and cut its selling price for oil.      

Support/Resistance:

In isolation, monthly support and resistance levels for April are:

  • M4         53.47
  • PMH       48.66
  • MTrend  44.43
  • M1         42.66
  • Close        20.48
  • PML         19.27
  • M3         0.00     
  • M2         0.00                 
  • M5           0.00

Active traders can use 19.27 as the pivot, whereby they maintain a long position above that level and a flat or short position below it.

Summary

The power of technical analysis is in its ability to reduce multi-dimensional markets into a filtered two-dimensional space of price and time.  Our methodology applies a consistent framework that identifies key measures of trend, distinct levels of support and resistance, and identification of potential trading ranges.  Our methodology can be applied to any security or index, across markets, for which we can attain a reliable price history.  We look forward to bringing you our unique brand of technical analysis and insight into many different markets.  If you are a professional market participant and are open to discovering more, please connect with us.  We are not asking for a subscription; we are asking you to listen.

Cartography Corner – March 2020

J. Brett Freeze and his firm Global Technical Analysis (GTA) provides RIA Pro subscribers Cartography Corner on a monthly basis. Brett’s analysis offers readers a truly unique brand of technical insight and risk framework. We personally rely on Brett’s research to help better gauge market trends, their durability, and support and resistance price levels.

GTA presents their monthly analysis on a wide range of asset classes, indices, and securities. At times the analysis may agree with RIA Pro technical opinions, and other times it will run contrary to our thoughts. Our goal is not to push a single view or opinion, but provide research to help you better understand the markets. Please contact us with any questions or comments.  If you are interested in learning more about GTA’s services, please connect with them through the links provided in the article.

The link below penned by GTA provides a user’s guide and a sample of his analysis.

GTA Users Guide


February 2020 Review

E-Mini S&P 500 Futures

We begin with a review of E-Mini S&P 500 Futures (ESH0) during February 2020. In our February 2020 edition of The Cartography Corner, we wrote the following:

In isolation, monthly support and resistance levels for February are:

  • M4                 3605.50
  • M1                 3421.00
  • PMH              3337.50
  • M2                 3292.50
  • Close             3224.00     
  • M3                 3217.00
  • PML               3181.00     
  • MTrend         3180.97     
  • M5                3108.00

Active traders can use 3217.00 as the pivot, whereby they maintain a long position above that level and a flat or short position below it.

Figure 1 below displays the daily price action for February 2020 in a candlestick chart, with support and resistance levels isolated by our methodology represented as dashed lines.  The first four trading sessions of February saw the market price rise, reflecting market participants’ bullishness toward the recent directional bias.  On February 6th, the market price exceeded, and settled above, January’s high price at PMH: 3337.50.  The market oscillated around that level for the following two trading sessions, building energy for the next directional move.  Over the following six trading sessions, the market price continued to drift higher, reaching its high settlement price for the month on February 19th at 3387.25.

During the following session, February 20th, the market achieved its high price for February at 3397.50 yet settled down for the trading session.  This small reversal was a precursor to the carnage that ensued.

Over the final six trading sessions of February, risk-management and speculative actions related to fear of the economic impact(s) of the CoronaVirus gripped market participants.  The market price declined (16.02%) peak-to-trough and (12.88%) on a settlement basis.  To the uninformed and unprepared, the rapid decline may have appeared to be unorderly.  However, we know that is not the case…

 

I would like readers to focus on the “anatomy” of the decline:

  • February 20th: The small reversal referred to earlier stopped right in front of PMH: 3337.50, then acting as support.
  • February 21st: PMH: 3337.50 again offered support, with the market price settling at 3339.25.
  • February 24th: The market had an opening gap lower, with the early price action occurring in front of M2: 3292.50, then acting as support.  Once that level gave way, the market price declined to and settled just above our isolated pivot for February at M3: 3217.00.
  • February 25th: Clustered support levels at M3: 3217.00 / PML: 3181.00 / MTrend: 3180.97 gave way, suggesting the market price was going to test the Monthly Downside Exhaustion at M5: 3108.00.  The low for the session was 3117.25.
  • February 26th: The trading range for the session was essentially bound by MTrend: 3180.97 and PML: 3181.00, then acting as resistance, and M5: 3108.00, acting as support.  The market price settled the session at 3110.25, with an intra-session low of 3091.00.

Our clients know that the emphasis we place on our levels increases with the length of the time period.  Quarterly levels, with Quarterly Trend specifically, being the most important.  Coming into the trading session of the 27th, the market had already achieved our isolated Monthly Downside Exhaustion, so what were we to do?  Our focus turned immediately to the quarterly support levels.

  • February 27th: Support at M5: 3108.00 gave way and the market price achieved, and exceeded, Quarterly Trend at QTrend: 2974.00.  The market price settled at 2957.00, in between QTrend: 2974.00 and our next support level at Q2: 2934.25.
  • February 28th: The purpose of every trading session is to surpass the high or low of the previous trading session…  The trading range was essentially bound by QTrend: 2974.00, then acting as resistance, and the previous quarter low at PQL: 2855.00, acting as support.  The low trade for February occurred at the price of 2853.25; purpose fulfilled in both the monthly and quarterly time periods.

Our analysis, yet again, proved its worth to the discerning market participant.  For both long-term investors managing risk and traders actively speculating, our analysis provided a map to profitability.  Subscriptions and referrals are appreciated.

Bitcoin Futures

We continue with a review of Bitcoin Futures (BTH0) during February 2020.  In our February 2020 edition of The Cartography Corner, we wrote the following:

In isolation, monthly support and resistance levels for February are:

  • M4         13,070
  • M3         11,670
  • M1         11,520
  • PMH       9,745
  • Close        9,440
  • MTrend   7,982
  • M2         7,300  
  • PML        6,860              
  • M5           5,750

Active traders can use 9,745 as the pivot, whereby they maintain a long position above that level and a flat or short position below it.

Figure 2 below displays the daily price action for February 2020 in a candlestick chart, with support and resistance levels isolated by our methodology represented as dashed lines.  On the third trading session of February, bitcoin settled above our isolated pivot level at PMH: 9,745.  The following six trading sessions saw the market price rise to a high price of 10,670 on February 13th, with the high settlement price for the month being achieved at 10,525 the session before.

Over the following four trading sessions, the market price descended to and settled back below our isolated pivot level at PMH: 9,475, then acting as support.  The final six trading sessions of the month saw the market price declining towards Monthly Trend at MTrend: 7,982.

Conservatively, active traders following our analysis had the opportunity to monetize a 10.7% profit.

 

March 2020 Analysis

E-Mini S&P 500 Futures

We begin by providing a monthly time-period analysis of E-Mini S&P 500 Futures (ESH0).  The same analysis can be completed for any time-period or in aggregate.

Trends:

  • Weekly Trend         3250.44       
  • Monthly Trend        3166.53
  • Daily Trend             3022.42       
  • Quarterly Trend      2974.00       
  • Current Settle          2951.00

In the quarterly time-period, the chart shows that E-Mini S&P 500 Futures have been “Trend Up” for four quarters.  Stepping down one time-period, the monthly chart shows that E-Mini S&P 500 Futures are in “Consolidation”, after having been “Trend Up” for eight months.  Stepping down to the weekly time-period, the chart shows that E-Mini S&P 500 Futures are in “Consolidation”.  The relative positioning of the Trend Levels is beginning to lose its bullish posture.

We wrote in February, “The next event that needs to occur to strengthen the case of a possible Trend Reversal is a monthly settlement under Monthly Trend.”  February’s settlement achieved that.  The final piece of the sustained Trend Reversal puzzle is a quarterly settlement under Quarterly Trend at QTrend: 2974.00.  We eagerly anticipate the settlement price on March 31st.

Support/Resistance:

In isolation, monthly support and resistance levels for March are:

  • M4                 3614.00
  • M1                 3457.50
  • PMH              3397.50
  • MTrend         3166.53
  • Close             2951.00     
  • PML               2853.25
  • M3                 2678.00    
  • M2                 2525.50     
  • M5                2369.00

Active traders can use 3166.50 as the pivot, whereby they maintain a long position above that level and a flat or short position below it.

 

Gold Futures

For the month of March, we focus on Gold Futures (“Gold”).  We provide a monthly time-period analysis of GCJ0.  The same analysis can be completed for any time-period or in aggregate.

Trends:

  • Daily Trend           1627.51         
  • Weekly Trend       1604.79
  • Current Settle       1566.70         
  • Monthly Trend       1560.26        
  • Quarterly Trend     1449.56

As can be seen in the quarterly chart below, Gold has been “Trend Up” for five quarters.  Stepping down one time-period, the monthly chart shows that Gold has been “Trend Up” for three months.  Stepping down to the weekly time-period, the chart shows that Gold is in “Consolidation”, after having been “Trend Up” for eleven weeks.

If not for the agenda of a motivated seller on Friday, February 28th, Gold would have settled above Weekly Trend again.  However, as a technician, my primary job is to recognize the beginning of a new trend, the reversal of an existing trend, or a consolidation area, regardless of qualitative factors.  Adhering to that job, Gold has begun to consolidate in the weekly time-period and is only 6.43 points away from consolidating in monthly time-period.  This deserves attention, as Gold has had quite a rally over the past five quarters.

Support/Resistance:

In isolation, monthly support and resistance levels for March are:

  • M4         1863.70
  • M1         1770.10
  • PMH       1691.70
  • M2         1582.50
  • Close        1566.70
  • MTrend   1560.26
  • PML        1551.10           
  • M3         1545.50                       
  • M5           1488.90

Active traders can use 1545.50 as the pivot, whereby they maintain a long position above that level and a flat or short position below it.

Summary

The power of technical analysis is in its ability to reduce multi-dimensional markets into a filtered two-dimensional space of price and time.  Our methodology applies a consistent framework that identifies key measures of trend, distinct levels of support and resistance, and identification of potential trading ranges.  Our methodology can be applied to any security or index, across markets, for which we can attain a reliable price history.  We look forward to bringing you our unique brand of technical analysis and insight into many different markets.  If you are a professional market participant and are open to discovering more, please connect with us.  We are not asking for a subscription; we are asking you to listen.

Gone Fishing Newsletter: The Inflation Edition

We are thrilled to present a recent article from Samantha LaDuc, the Founder of LaDucTrading.com and the CIO at LaDuc Capital LLC. 

Samantha LaDuc is known for timing major inflection points in equities, commodities, bonds/rates, currencies and volatility. As a Macro-to-Micro strategic technical analyst, educator and trader, she makes her insights available to active traders and investors who want to minimize risk while seizing year-making opportunities.  


Spoiler Alert: We have no inflation in commodities.

Healthcare, Education, Concert Tickets … absolutely.

Image

But what about the stuff we consume and use every day?

CRB Commodities is made up of the following weighting:

  • Softs (Coffee, Sugar, Orange Juice) 23.5%
  • Energy 17.6%
  • Grains 17.6%
  • Precious Metals 17.6%
  • Industrials (Copper & Cotton) 11.8%
  • Meats 11.8%

Commodities – Big Picture on a Monthly Time-frame – show that we are still in a multi-decade low.

“Yields have been falling, reflecting concerns about global growth, and also the dramatic change of direction by central banks, which was itself largely driven by fears for growth. The 10-year Treasury yield is now almost a full percentage point lower than it was two years ago, and its trend is clearly downward. Indeed, if we take inflation expectations into account, the real 10-year Treasury yield has just gone negative.

According to the Bloomberg commodity indexes, industrial metals have now under-performed precious metals over the period since Donald Trump was elected U.S. president; and the price of oil is collapsing anew relative to gold. These moves only make sense if people are worried about growth.” – John Authers, Bloomberg

Sounds dreary, and John’s commentary was before the CoronaVirus outbreak really grabbed American businesses’ attention.

Despite my bearish leanings as detailed here: Perfect Storm: CoronaVirus and Market Risks, from my vantage point, we ‘should’ bounce soon (yellow circle). If not, we have more serious deflation to deal with – not just disinflation in the commodity patch.

Now let’s drop the USD softly behind the same chart and add some annotations. We have potential for a bounce, but also a lot of resistance and indecision. No clean signal yet. Still chop. And a DXY that has been range-bound for 4 years! Clearly, the US Dollar makes the weather for commodities and Foreign Exchange volatility as at an All Time Low. You know my saying: Outliers Revert With Velocity. Watch the USD for The Tell.

I should also add to this Intermarket analysis with the Macro read: it’s bearish inflation.

 @ISABELNET_SA Chart is suggesting that M2 velocity YoY leads US core inflation by 21 months. It has been quite accurate for more than 20 years. And it portends lower.

Image

Commodities are Dead, Long Live Commodities?

So why fight the trend? Humor me for ‘the other side” of the argument. Let’s assume inflation catches a bounce, pulling up commodities and yields with it, what segments are most likely to rise?

Food – Softs, Grains, Meats: China is experiencing strong Food price inflation from drought conditions (Rice), culling of all that Pork (and soon Chicken?). But in the US, these input prices are declerating (Coffee, Corn, Hogs, etc). With the new Coronavirus shutting off the flow of goods into and out of China for the time-being – and I suspect until April/May – we could start to see a tick up in Food Prices. Worst case, as the pandemic spreads, people with be unwilling/unable to go to work which could also trigger supply chain constraints. Prices could accelerate quickly on supply contraction.

Energy: What’s the bull case for Energy? Oversold, “value” play with high trailing dividend yields? They are high for a reason and still major laggard of all SPY sectors for several years now. Oil investment is waning not expanding (given Trump’s energy policies). So aside from a geopolitical ‘flare’ to temporarily disrupt supply, like with Iran, the case for sustainable higher oil is weak. And if/when Venezuela comes back online, it would be a big hit to the bull case (more supply). In the meantime, we have demand destruction out of China as a result of the CoronaVirus and general trends in decreasing demand due to:

1) Deglobalization
2) Decarbonization
3) Debt saturation
4) Donald Trump

Industrials: Copper is the big one, and it is at 2016 levels, so not expressing an economic growth look. Translation: The Trump Bump (2017) has been Dumped.

Precious Metals: Here are two charts that sum up my frustration on the perception versus reality of bidding up precious metals.

(Separate from the whole Palladium and Platinum play, which I have written about since early November as a bullish thesis.)

Treasury yields are negative after adjusting for inflation so that is supposed to be a plus for gold….

But, Gold/Silver Mining stocks are looking weary and potentially rolling over.

OK, I may have talked you out of a Commodity bump, but stick with me.

Commodities, The New Bonds?

Just over a year ago, the Fed finished systematically hiking rates (after 8 of them) as ECB quit QE. Today, Fed has lowered rates 3 times in 2019 and market is pricing in 2 more cuts for 2020! Fed clearly seems to unwind their 2017 tightening to avoid what happened in Fall of 2018 where U.S. stocks collapsed nearly 20% from Oct 3 to Dec 31st. Basically, the Fed realized it had spent three years tightening into a low inflation, low growth U.S. economy, and the global economy was too fragile to handle the liquidity and tightening drain.

But rate cuts at this point have reached the law of diminishing returns and Repo operations to inject capital in the money markets seems inadequate to jump-start growth. Fiscal policies in combination may be the fuel that flame inflation, in which case, commodities could recover and rally, but there are some heady headwinds:

Headwinds:

  1. Demand destruction from slowing global growth from Coronavirus in particular, economic cycle and ‘protectionist’ trends in general.
  2. Lower yields pull commodities with it, (and vice versa), but right now Fed has their proverbial thumb on any increases.
  3. Global central banks have suppressed volatility by anchoring expectations with “lower for longer”, thereby enhancing the effect of rate cuts which suppresses commodities.
  4. A more dovish Fed also reduces the US-Foreign bond yield spread which strengthens the dollar, thereby suppressing local currency valuation while burdening thier USD funding obligations.
  5. A stronger dollar is tailwind to commodity run (inversely related since commodities are priced in USD).

Tailwinds:

  1. Local and Coordinated Global Fiscal Policies trigger global economic optimism; Debt and Deficit hawks be damned.
  2. Containment of CoronaVirus psychologically and financially allow for economic expansion. Both will drive yields higher.

Until these factors reveal themselves, yields are falling and at risk of breaking critical support.

Top 10 Reasons for Bond Reversal:

From Buy Bonds, Wear Zirconia:

  1. Yields are approaching my buy point just above All Time Lows.
  2. Bonds/Yields are on their respective Bollinger Bands/Keltner Channel bands (yellow circle on weekly chart) which often acts as resistance causing a rubberband.snap-back effect.
  3. Seasonal tendency to Sell Bonds starts Jan 31st.
  4. Nomura’s Charlie McElligott  “1m Price Reversal” trade has run its course (1.94 drop to 1.64 in 10 yr yield since Dec 18th)
  5. Duration infatuation” (the safety-trade) often kicks in at the first sign of trouble, but then unwinds.
  6. The “normal” viral drag on US10Yr has the following tendency – yields fall then bounce back sharply.
  7. Fed won’t want the yield curve inversion which already erased half of the Q4 steepening.
  8. UPDATED PRE FOMC: Fed may need to guide inflation above target … which in turn supports a steeper curve, SO there is strong potential for final 2020 rate cut to CAUSE inflation expectations to rise.
  9. And the best reason potentially of all: Stocks are now Yielding More Than Bonds Again

“In the early summer of last year, the 10-Year Treasury Note was bid up considerably, resulting in it yielding less than the S&P 500’s dividend yield. In fact, at the point of the largest divergence between the two in late August, the dividend yield of the S&P 500 was 56.9 bps higher than the yield on the 10-Year Treasury. Although the disparity between the two has shrunk from that August peak, that trend has generally continued in the months since then, though equities’ surge into the end of the year saw bonds briefly yielding more in December. Since the start of the new year, stocks once again hold a higher yield, especially today as worries about the coronavirus have resulted in the selling of risk assets (raising the S&P 500’s yield) and subsequent buying of safe-havens (lowering the 10-Year Treasury yield). Now, the spread between the S&P 500’s dividend yield and that of the 10-Year is at its widest level in favor of the S&P 500 since October 10th.” –  DATATREK

I am nothing if not persistent.

Here is my client post from January 24th on this related subject: All Alone With My Higher Yield Thesis:

High Yield corporate debt is in trouble with Oil dropping 20% since Jan 7th and Shale companies facing their biggest loan refinancing wall in 20 years. When HY credit passes 358 bp then Momentum will very likely sell off – like happened in early September 2019 – and Value will finally catch a sustainable bid! And when Hedge Funds cover their Value shorts,  they sell Bonds! And when bonds get sold, with momentum selling off too, rates rip and we have a perfect storm set up for a massive VIX spike and gamma flipping.”

That is still my baseline projection. Market just doesn’t see it yet.


LaDuc Trading/LaDuc Capital LLC Is Not a Financial Advisor, RIA or Broker/Dealer.  Trading Stocks, Options, Futures and Forex includes significant financial risk. We teach and inform. You enter trades at your own risk. Learn more.

Gone Fishing Newsletter: The Inflation Edition

We are thrilled to present a recent article from Samantha LaDuc, the Founder of LaDucTrading.com and the CIO at LaDuc Capital LLC. 

Samantha LaDuc is known for timing major inflection points in equities, commodities, bonds/rates, currencies and volatility. As a Macro-to-Micro strategic technical analyst, educator and trader, she makes her insights available to active traders and investors who want to minimize risk while seizing year-making opportunities.  


Spoiler Alert: We have no inflation in commodities.

Healthcare, Education, Concert Tickets … absolutely.

Image

But what about the stuff we consume and use every day?

CRB Commodities is made up of the following weighting:

  • Softs (Coffee, Sugar, Orange Juice) 23.5%
  • Energy 17.6%
  • Grains 17.6%
  • Precious Metals 17.6%
  • Industrials (Copper & Cotton) 11.8%
  • Meats 11.8%

Commodities – Big Picture on a Monthly Time-frame – show that we are still in a multi-decade low.

“Yields have been falling, reflecting concerns about global growth, and also the dramatic change of direction by central banks, which was itself largely driven by fears for growth. The 10-year Treasury yield is now almost a full percentage point lower than it was two years ago, and its trend is clearly downward. Indeed, if we take inflation expectations into account, the real 10-year Treasury yield has just gone negative.

According to the Bloomberg commodity indexes, industrial metals have now under-performed precious metals over the period since Donald Trump was elected U.S. president; and the price of oil is collapsing anew relative to gold. These moves only make sense if people are worried about growth.” – John Authers, Bloomberg

Sounds dreary, and John’s commentary was before the CoronaVirus outbreak really grabbed American businesses’ attention.

Despite my bearish leanings as detailed here: Perfect Storm: CoronaVirus and Market Risks, from my vantage point, we ‘should’ bounce soon (yellow circle). If not, we have more serious deflation to deal with – not just disinflation in the commodity patch.

Now let’s drop the USD softly behind the same chart and add some annotations. We have potential for a bounce, but also a lot of resistance and indecision. No clean signal yet. Still chop. And a DXY that has been range-bound for 4 years! Clearly, the US Dollar makes the weather for commodities and Foreign Exchange volatility as at an All Time Low. You know my saying: Outliers Revert With Velocity. Watch the USD for The Tell.

I should also add to this Intermarket analysis with the Macro read: it’s bearish inflation.

 @ISABELNET_SA Chart is suggesting that M2 velocity YoY leads US core inflation by 21 months. It has been quite accurate for more than 20 years. And it portends lower.

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Commodities are Dead, Long Live Commodities?

So why fight the trend? Humor me for ‘the other side” of the argument. Let’s assume inflation catches a bounce, pulling up commodities and yields with it, what segments are most likely to rise?

Food – Softs, Grains, Meats: China is experiencing strong Food price inflation from drought conditions (Rice), culling of all that Pork (and soon Chicken?). But in the US, these input prices are declerating (Coffee, Corn, Hogs, etc). With the new Coronavirus shutting off the flow of goods into and out of China for the time-being – and I suspect until April/May – we could start to see a tick up in Food Prices. Worst case, as the pandemic spreads, people with be unwilling/unable to go to work which could also trigger supply chain constraints. Prices could accelerate quickly on supply contraction.

Energy: What’s the bull case for Energy? Oversold, “value” play with high trailing dividend yields? They are high for a reason and still major laggard of all SPY sectors for several years now. Oil investment is waning not expanding (given Trump’s energy policies). So aside from a geopolitical ‘flare’ to temporarily disrupt supply, like with Iran, the case for sustainable higher oil is weak. And if/when Venezuela comes back online, it would be a big hit to the bull case (more supply). In the meantime, we have demand destruction out of China as a result of the CoronaVirus and general trends in decreasing demand due to:

1) Deglobalization
2) Decarbonization
3) Debt saturation
4) Donald Trump

Industrials: Copper is the big one, and it is at 2016 levels, so not expressing an economic growth look. Translation: The Trump Bump (2017) has been Dumped.

Precious Metals: Here are two charts that sum up my frustration on the perception versus reality of bidding up precious metals.

(Separate from the whole Palladium and Platinum play, which I have written about since early November as a bullish thesis.)

Treasury yields are negative after adjusting for inflation so that is supposed to be a plus for gold….

But, Gold/Silver Mining stocks are looking weary and potentially rolling over.

OK, I may have talked you out of a Commodity bump, but stick with me.

Commodities, The New Bonds?

Just over a year ago, the Fed finished systematically hiking rates (after 8 of them) as ECB quit QE. Today, Fed has lowered rates 3 times in 2019 and market is pricing in 2 more cuts for 2020! Fed clearly seems to unwind their 2017 tightening to avoid what happened in Fall of 2018 where U.S. stocks collapsed nearly 20% from Oct 3 to Dec 31st. Basically, the Fed realized it had spent three years tightening into a low inflation, low growth U.S. economy, and the global economy was too fragile to handle the liquidity and tightening drain.

But rate cuts at this point have reached the law of diminishing returns and Repo operations to inject capital in the money markets seems inadequate to jump-start growth. Fiscal policies in combination may be the fuel that flame inflation, in which case, commodities could recover and rally, but there are some heady headwinds:

Headwinds:

  1. Demand destruction from slowing global growth from Coronavirus in particular, economic cycle and ‘protectionist’ trends in general.
  2. Lower yields pull commodities with it, (and vice versa), but right now Fed has their proverbial thumb on any increases.
  3. Global central banks have suppressed volatility by anchoring expectations with “lower for longer”, thereby enhancing the effect of rate cuts which suppresses commodities.
  4. A more dovish Fed also reduces the US-Foreign bond yield spread which strengthens the dollar, thereby suppressing local currency valuation while burdening thier USD funding obligations.
  5. A stronger dollar is tailwind to commodity run (inversely related since commodities are priced in USD).

Tailwinds:

  1. Local and Coordinated Global Fiscal Policies trigger global economic optimism; Debt and Deficit hawks be damned.
  2. Containment of CoronaVirus psychologically and financially allow for economic expansion. Both will drive yields higher.

Until these factors reveal themselves, yields are falling and at risk of breaking critical support.

Top 10 Reasons for Bond Reversal:

From Buy Bonds, Wear Zirconia:

  1. Yields are approaching my buy point just above All Time Lows.
  2. Bonds/Yields are on their respective Bollinger Bands/Keltner Channel bands (yellow circle on weekly chart) which often acts as resistance causing a rubberband.snap-back effect.
  3. Seasonal tendency to Sell Bonds starts Jan 31st.
  4. Nomura’s Charlie McElligott  “1m Price Reversal” trade has run its course (1.94 drop to 1.64 in 10 yr yield since Dec 18th)
  5. Duration infatuation” (the safety-trade) often kicks in at the first sign of trouble, but then unwinds.
  6. The “normal” viral drag on US10Yr has the following tendency – yields fall then bounce back sharply.
  7. Fed won’t want the yield curve inversion which already erased half of the Q4 steepening.
  8. UPDATED PRE FOMC: Fed may need to guide inflation above target … which in turn supports a steeper curve, SO there is strong potential for final 2020 rate cut to CAUSE inflation expectations to rise.
  9. And the best reason potentially of all: Stocks are now Yielding More Than Bonds Again

“In the early summer of last year, the 10-Year Treasury Note was bid up considerably, resulting in it yielding less than the S&P 500’s dividend yield. In fact, at the point of the largest divergence between the two in late August, the dividend yield of the S&P 500 was 56.9 bps higher than the yield on the 10-Year Treasury. Although the disparity between the two has shrunk from that August peak, that trend has generally continued in the months since then, though equities’ surge into the end of the year saw bonds briefly yielding more in December. Since the start of the new year, stocks once again hold a higher yield, especially today as worries about the coronavirus have resulted in the selling of risk assets (raising the S&P 500’s yield) and subsequent buying of safe-havens (lowering the 10-Year Treasury yield). Now, the spread between the S&P 500’s dividend yield and that of the 10-Year is at its widest level in favor of the S&P 500 since October 10th.” –  DATATREK

I am nothing if not persistent.

Here is my client post from January 24th on this related subject: All Alone With My Higher Yield Thesis:

High Yield corporate debt is in trouble with Oil dropping 20% since Jan 7th and Shale companies facing their biggest loan refinancing wall in 20 years. When HY credit passes 358 bp then Momentum will very likely sell off – like happened in early September 2019 – and Value will finally catch a sustainable bid! And when Hedge Funds cover their Value shorts,  they sell Bonds! And when bonds get sold, with momentum selling off too, rates rip and we have a perfect storm set up for a massive VIX spike and gamma flipping.”

That is still my baseline projection. Market just doesn’t see it yet.


LaDuc Trading/LaDuc Capital LLC Is Not a Financial Advisor, RIA or Broker/Dealer.  Trading Stocks, Options, Futures and Forex includes significant financial risk. We teach and inform. You enter trades at your own risk. Learn more.

Cartography Corner – February 2020

J. Brett Freeze and his firm Global Technical Analysis (GTA) provides RIA Pro subscribers Cartography Corner on a monthly basis. Brett’s analysis offers readers a truly unique brand of technical insight and risk framework. We personally rely on Brett’s research to help better gauge market trends, their durability, and support and resistance price levels.

GTA presents their monthly analysis on a wide range of asset classes, indices, and securities. At times the analysis may agree with RIA Pro technical opinions, and other times it will run contrary to our thoughts. Our goal is not to push a single view or opinion, but provide research to help you better understand the markets. Please contact us with any questions or comments.  If you are interested in learning more about GTA’s services, please connect with them through the links provided in the article.

The link below penned by GTA provides a user’s guide and a sample of his analysis.

GTA Users Guide


January 2020 Review

E-Mini S&P 500 Futures

We begin with a review of E-Mini S&P 500 Futures (ESH0) during January 2020. In our January 2020 edition of The Cartography Corner, we wrote the following:

In isolation, monthly support and resistance levels for January are:

  • M4                 3475.00
  • M1                 3353.00
  • M3                 3318.25
  • PMH              3254.00
  • Close             3231.00     
  • M2                 3106.00
  • MTrend        3092.44     
  • PML               3069.50    
  • M5                 2984.00

Active traders can use 3254.00 as the pivot, whereby they maintain a long position above that level and a flat or short position below it.

Figure 1 below displays the daily price action for January 2020 in a candlestick chart, with support and resistance levels isolated by our methodology represented as dashed lines.  The first four trading sessions of January saw the market price exhibit “choppiness”, reflecting market participants’ indecision as to directional bias.  Early into the fifth trading session, January 8th, the geopolitical event emanating from Iran caused the market price to achieve its low price for the month at 3181.00.  However, by the end of the day, the market price had recovered and settled back above our isolated pivot at PMH: 3254.00.     

Over the following six trading sessions, the market price ascended to our isolated resistance level at M3: 3318.25.  The ensuing four sessions saw the market price lose its upward momentum, straddling either side of M3: 3318.25.  On January 22nd the high price for the month was realized at 3337.50, in between our resistance levels at M3: 3318.25 and M1: 3353.00.

From January 24th through the end of the month, the market price action was dominated by market participants’ reaction-to and anticipation-of the effects of the Wuhan Coronavirus.  The trading sessions of January 24th and 27th saw the market price decline a total of 86.50 points on a settlement basis.  The final four trading sessions were spent with the market price oscillating around our isolated pivot at PMH: 3254.00.

Conservatively, active traders following our analysis had the opportunity to monetize a 1.78% profit.

  

Figure 1:

Japanese Yen Futures

We continue with a review of Japanese Yen Futures (6JH0) during January 2020.  In our January 2020 edition of The Cartography Corner, we wrote the following:

In isolation, monthly support and resistance levels for January are:

  • M4         0.94068
  • M3         0.93445
  • PMH       0.92659
  • Close      0.92455
  • M1           0.92403
  • MTrend   0.92330
  • PML        0.91195           
  • M2         0.91140                       
  • M5           0.89475

Active traders can use 0.92659 as the upside pivot, whereby they maintain a long position above that level.  Active traders can use 0.92330 as the downside pivot, whereby they maintain a flat or short position below that level.

As you read this, recall that we wrote in January that the annual correlation of daily returns between Japanese Yen Futures and E-Mini S&P 500 Futures is -0.53.  January’s price action in those markets were mirror images of one another.

Figure 2 below displays the daily price action for January 2020 in a candlestick chart, with support and resistance levels isolated by our methodology represented as dashed lines.  The first four trading sessions of January saw the market price exhibit “choppiness”, reflecting market participants’ indecision as to directional bias.  Early into the fifth trading session, January 8th, the geopolitical event emanating from Iran caused the market price to achieve its high price for the month at 0.93235.  However, by the end of the day, the market price had recovered and settled back below our isolated downside pivot at MTrend: 0.92330.

Over the following six trading sessions, the market price descended to and settled below, our clustered support levels at PML: 0.91195 and M2: 0.91140.  On January 17th the low price for the month was realized at 0.90935.

From January 18th through the end of the month, the market price action was dominated by market participants’ reaction-to and anticipation-of the effects of the Wuhan Coronavirus.  The market price rallied back to, and settled slightly above, our clustered support levels at MTrend: 0.92330 and M1: 0.92403, now acting as resistance.

Conservatively, active traders following our analysis had the opportunity to monetize a 0.81% profit.

Figure 2:

February 2020 Analysis

E-Mini S&P 500 Futures

We begin by providing a monthly time-period analysis of E-Mini S&P 500 Futures (ESH0).  The same analysis can be completed for any time-period or in aggregate.

Trends:

  • Weekly Trend         3285.17       
  • Daily Trend             3265.61
  • Current Settle         3224.00       
  • Monthly Trend        3180.97       
  • Quarterly Trend      2974.00

In the quarterly time-period, the chart shows that E-Mini S&P 500 Futures have been “Trend Up” for four quarters.  Stepping down one time-period, the monthly chart shows that E-Mini S&P 500 Futures have been “Trend Up” for eight months.  Stepping down to the weekly time-period, the chart shows that E-Mini S&P 500 Futures are in “Consolidation”, after having been “Trend Up” for sixteen weeks.  The relative positioning of the Trend Levels is beginning to lose its bullish posture.

We wrote in January, “The first indication of weakness will be a weekly settlement under Weekly Trend”.  We now have that indication.  The next event that needs to occur to strengthen the case of a possible Trend Reversal is a monthly settlement under Monthly Trend.  As noted above, Monthly Trend for February is at 3180.97.

Astute readers will notice that January’s low coincided with February’s Monthly Trend level.  Hmmm…

Support/Resistance:

In isolation, monthly support and resistance levels for February are:

  • M4                 3605.50
  • M1                 3421.00
  • PMH              3337.50
  • M2                 3292.50
  • Close             3224.00     
  • M3                 3217.00
  • PML               3181.00     
  • MTrend         3180.97     
  • M5                3108.00

Active traders can use 3217.00 as the pivot, whereby they maintain a long position above that level and a flat or short position below it.

Bitcoin Futures

For the month of February, we focus on Bitcoin Futures.  We provide a monthly time-period analysis of BTG0.  The same analysis can be completed for any time-period or in aggregate.

Trends:

  • Daily Trend           9,489             
  • Current Settle       9,440
  • Quarterly Trend    9,239             
  • Weekly Trend       8,830             
  • Monthly Trend      7,982

As can be seen in the quarterly chart below, Bitcoin is in “Consolidation”.  Stepping down one time-period, the monthly chart shows that Bitcoin is in “Consolidation”, after having been “Trend Down” for five months.  Stepping down to the weekly time-period, the chart shows that Bitcoin has been “Trend Up” for five weeks.

With the weekly, monthly, and quarterly trend levels having quietly slipped beneath the market price, it is worth considering that the rally in Bitcoin that began five weeks ago may be just the beginning of a substantial move higher in price.

Support/Resistance:

In isolation, monthly support and resistance levels for February are:

  • M4         13,070
  • M3         11,670
  • M1         11,520
  • PMH       9,745
  • Close        9,440
  • MTrend   7,982
  • M2         7,300  
  • PML        6,860              
  • M5           5,750

Active traders can use 9,745 as the pivot, whereby they maintain a long position above that level and a flat or short position below it.

Summary

The power of technical analysis is in its ability to reduce multi-dimensional markets into a filtered two-dimensional space of price and time.  Our methodology applies a consistent framework that identifies key measures of trend, distinct levels of support and resistance, and identification of potential trading ranges.  Our methodology can be applied to any security or index, across markets, for which we can attain a reliable price history.  We look forward to bringing you our unique brand of technical analysis and insight into many different markets.  If you are a professional market participant and are open to discovering more, please connect with us.  We are not asking for a subscription; we are asking you to listen.