Weekly Brief For August 1, 2021

Weekly commentary for U.S. broad market indices.

Editor’s Note: On Thursday (8/5) and Friday (8/6) there will be no Daily Brief newsletter. Additionally, there will be no Weekly Brief Sunday (8/8), either. All commentaries to resume August 9, 2021.

If in the Miami, Florida area please contact if interested in connecting over markets, fintech, and the like.

PS: Added a new “Weekly Trade Ideas” section. Hope it provides added value!


Renato Leonard Capelj

Market Commentary

Key Takeaways: Equity index futures to start the week off neutral, in prior-range and -value.

  • Debt limit, China, fiscal policy cloud outlook.
  • Expecting a heavy week for economic data.
  • Responsive trade until key levels are taken.
  • Amazon Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN) trade ideas.

What Happened: With respect to hot topic market risks, the week prior offered a ton of information to add to our narrative. We list for clarity.

  • Debt Limit: The August 1 reinstatement of the U.S. debt limit may have severe consequences, increasing the odds of a rating downgrade on government debt.
  • Monetary: Come September, participants will likely receive increased clarity over taper timelines with an official start early next year. Adding, Chairman Jerome Powell expressed inflation as temporary and the committee announced the creation of a pair of standing facilities to strengthen its ability to be the lender of last resort in the repo market.
  • China: Cross-asset volatility in China worsened, prompting talk of a yuan devaluation. A devaluation is something to fear; to note, The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) roiled global equity markets after its 2015 yuan devaluation.
  • Growth: U.S. economic data came in weaker suggesting growth likely peaked. Notwithstanding, consumer confidence improved markedly with sentiment recovering fully. Moody’s strategists look for real GDP to rise 6.7% this year, a downward revision on some fiscal policy assumptions.
  • Fiscal: Lawmakers debate another round of stimulus to ensure the strong long-term growth of lower- and middle-income households. The proposed legislation is receiving pushback with respect to its impact on inflation and taxes. Moody’s strategists note “higher taxes will weigh on economic growth, but the impact on the economy from the higher proposed taxes will be small.”
  • Pandemic: COVID-19 variants are a cause for concern – especially with respect to the Federal Reserve’s tapering of quantitative easing – but hospitalization ratios and mobility metrics suggest the crisis is likely over. In other areas, the CDC’s rental eviction moratorium and FHFA’s foreclosure moratorium expired with forbearance on government-backed mortgages and student loans ending September, also.
  • Yields: Technical factors – issuance, short coverings, a fading reflation trade, and peak growth – are to blame for lower Treasury yields. A longer-term deviation from the implied “economic fair value” of 1.6% and 1.65% for the 10-year yield would suggest other forces are driving long-term interest rates.
  • Earnings: Year-over-year profit growth of S&P 500 constituents stands at 85% with 88% of companies beating estimates for revenue and profit, according to Business Insider
  • Positioning: According to one Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC) comment, highlighted by The Market Ear, “The average recovery time following 2-sigma one-day S&P declines has shortened significantly post-GFC, reaching an all-time low this year.” This has a lot to do with the inventory positioning of participants; volatility is oversupplied and associated heading forces make it so there is more liquidity and less movement. Should the market unpin, there’s “not enough liquidity” to absorb leverage on the tails.

Putting it all together, Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS) believes “[e]xpectations of higher interest rates and higher corporate tax rates by year-end are the primary reasons [to] forecast that the S&P 500 will trade sideways,” into end-of-year.

In support of that view is seasonality, also.

Graphic: Seasonality metrics via the Capital Market Outlook by Merrill.

What To Expect: The S&P 500, Nasdaq 100, and Dow Jones Industrial Average are above their key 20-, 50-, and 200-week moving averages while the Russell 2000 is stuck inside a multi-month trading range, between its 20- and 50-week moving averages.

Given the higher long-term trend, traders of the S&P 500, in particular, must contend with a week-long balance area, the result of participants finding higher prices valuable as they position themselves for a directional move, given increased clarity on earnings, taper, and more. 

Balance (Two-Timeframe Or Bracket): Rotational trade that denotes current prices offer favorable entry and exit. Balance-areas make it easy to spot a change in the market (i.e., the transition from two-time frame trade, or balance, to one-time frame trade, or trend).

In the coming sessions, given that the modus operandi is responsive trade (i.e., fade the edges), rather than initiative trade (i.e., play the break), participants will want to focus their attention on where the S&P 500 trades in relation to the $4,392.25 high volume area (HVNode) pivot.

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,392.25 HVNode pivot puts in play the $4,406.25 low volume area (LVNode) and $4,419.00 untested point of control (VPOC). Initiative trade beyond the VPOC portends a potential breakout above the $4,422.75 minimal excess high, up to the $4,428.25 Fibonacci extension.

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below the $4,392.25 HVNode pivot puts in play the $4,381.75 LVNode. Initiative trade beyond the LVNode portends a potential breakdown below the $4,370.50 minimal excess low, down to the $4,353.00 VPOC and $4,341.75 micro-composite point of control (MCPOC).

Volume Areas: A structurally sound market will build on past areas of high volume. Should the market trend for long periods of time, it will lack sound structure (identified as a low volume area which denotes directional conviction and ought to offer support on any test). 

If participants were to auction and find acceptance into areas of prior low volume, then future discovery ought to be volatile and quick as participants look to areas of high volume for favorable entry or exit.

POCs: POCs are valuable as they denote areas where two-sided trade was most prevalent. Participants will respond to future tests of value as they offer favorable entry and exit.

Excess: A proper end to price discovery; the market travels too far while advertising prices. Responsive, other-timeframe (OTF) participants aggressively enter the market, leaving tails or gaps which denote unfair prices.
Graphic: 65-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures. Note the blue anchored Volume Weighted Average Price (VWAP) which suggests the average buyer, since FOMC, is underwater. To note, VWAP is a metric highly regarded by chief investment officers, among other participants, for quality of trade. Additionally, liquidity algorithms are benchmarked and programmed to buy and sell around VWAPs.

Weekly Trade Idea

Please Note: In no way is the below a trade recommendation. It is a peek into the thought process here at Physik Invest. To cover my butt, so to speak, I say DO NOT take this trade. Also, if you would like to see this section included in future commentaries, email me at with the subject line “Please Include Weekly Trade Ideas”.

Options offer an efficient way to gain directional exposure. 

If an option buyer was short (long) stock, he or she could buy a call (put) to hedge upside (downside) exposure. Additionally, one can spread, or buy (+) and sell (-) options together, strategically.

Commonly discussed spreads include credit, debit, ratio, back, and calendar.

  • Credit: Sell -1 option closer to the money. Buy +1 option farther out of the money.
  • Debit: Buy +1 option closer to the money. Sell -1 option farther out of the money.
  • Ratio: Buy +1 option closer to the money. Sell -2 options farther out of the money. 
  • Back: Sell -1 option closer to the money. Buy +2 options farther out of the money.
  • Calendar: Sell -1 option. Buy +1 option farther out in time, at the same strike.

Typically, if bullish (bearish), sell at-the-money put (call) credit spread and/or buy a call (put) debit/ratio spread structured around target price. Alternatively, if the expected directional move is great (small), opt for a back spread (calendar spread). Also, if credit spread, capture 50-75% of the premium collected. If debit spread, capture 2-300% of the premium paid.

Be cognizant of risk exposure to direction (delta), time (theta), and volatility (vega). 

  • Negative (positive) delta = synthetic short (long). 
  • Negative (positive) theta = time decay hurts (helps).
  • Negative (positive) vega = volatility hurts (helps).

Trade Idea: SELL -1 1/2 BACKRATIO AMZN 100 (Weeklys) 6 AUG 21 3600/3700 CALL @.50 LMT

I’m bullish on Amazon and I think the stock may climb over the next week, toward $3,600. I will structure a spread above the current stock price, expiring in 1 week. I will buy the 3600 call option once (+1) and sell the 3700 call option twice (-2) for a $0.50 credit. Should the stock not move to my target, I keep the $50 credit. Should it move to $3,700, I could make $10,050.00 at expiry. Should the stock move past $3,850.00, I may incur unlimited losses. My goal, with this spread, is to capture the initial credit and close for additional credit if the stock moves higher. 

If necessary, I will hedge the position by either (A) buying long stock, (B) widening strikes, (C) buying a far out-of-the-money call option to cap upside in case of an unpredictable move higher, or (D) roll strikes up in price and out in time.

What People Are Saying


After years of self-education, strategy development, and trial-and-error, Renato Leonard Capelj began trading full-time and founded Physik Invest to detail his methods, research, and performance in the markets. 

Additionally, Capelj is a finance and technology reporter. Some of his biggest works include interviews with leaders such as John Chambers, founder, and CEO, JC2 Ventures, Kevin O’Leary, businessman and Shark Tank host, Catherine Wood, CEO and CIO, ARK Invest, among others.


At this time, Physik Invest does not manage outside capital and is not licensed. In no way should the materials herein be construed as advice. Derivatives carry a substantial risk of loss. All content is for informational purposes only.

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