Daily Brief For September 23, 2021

Daily commentary for U.S. broad market indices.

Market Commentary

Equity index futures trade higher with yields. VIX and most commodities sideways to lower.

  • Buy-the-dip mantra slowly fading.
  • Fed is eyeing a taper, raise rates.
  • SPX to 4.7-5K at end of the year.
  • Positioning: Still at a key juncture.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures auctioned higher alongside news the Federal Reserve held advanced talks on paring back its asset purchase program and raising rates. 

In other news, JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM) strategists suggest the buy-the-dip mantra is at risk.

Ahead is data on jobless claims (8:30 AM ET), Markit manufacturing and services PMI (9:45 AM ET), leading economic indicators (10:00 AM ET), as well as real household net worth and nonfinancial debt (12:00 PM ET).

Graphic updated 6:30 AM ET. Sentiment Neutral if expected /ES open is inside of the prior day’s range. /ES levels are derived from the profile graphic at the bottom of the following section. SqueezeMetrics Dark Pool Index (DIX) and Gamma (GEX) calculations are based on where the prior day’s reading falls with respect to the MAX and MIN of all occurrences available. A higher DIX is bullish. At the same time, the lower the GEX, the more (expected) volatility. SHIFT data used for S&P 500 (INDEX: SPX) options activity. Note that options flow is sorted by the call premium spent; if more positive then more was spent on call options. Breadth reflects a reading of the prior day’s NYSE Advance/Decline indicator. VIX reflects a current reading of the CBOE Volatility Index (INDEX: VIX) from 0-100.

What To Expect: As of 6:30 AM ET, Thursday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM EST) in the S&P 500 may open inside of prior-range and -value, suggesting a limited potential for immediate directional opportunity.

Adding, during the prior day’s regular trade, on strong intraday breadth and divergent market liquidity metrics, the best case outcome occurred, evidenced by mostly sideways trade and higher value areas.

This is significant because sideways-to-higher trade and an intent to separate value (i.e., break from balance, higher) reflects a willingness to check and resolve some unfinished business (e.g, $4,425.00 untested point of control or VPOC).

We’re carrying forward the overhead supply; the 20- and 50-day simple moving averages, as well as the anchored volume-weighted average prices (VWAP), north of the $4,425.00 VPOC, are some key dynamic levels that must be taken to change the tone. 

Balance (Two-Timeframe Or Bracket) Is The Status Quo: 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). 

Modus operandi is responsive trade (i.e., fade the edges), rather than initiative trade (i.e., play the break).

Further, the aforementioned trade is happening in the context of a fraying in the buy-the-dip psychology, as well as a belief that companies will continue to do good into year-end. The implications of these themes on price are contradictory

On one hand, as discussed yesterday, JPMorgan Chase & Co’s Marko Kolanovic stated that despite “technical selling flows (CTAs and option hedgers) in an environment of poor liquidity, and overreaction of discretionary traders to perceived risks,” the equity market would continue higher with the S&P 500 ending 2021 at 4,700, with the potential to break 5,000 next year.

On the other hand, strategists led by JPMorgan Chase & Co’s Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou wrote that the psychology of buying the dip is fraying; “Observing flows for signs that this change in behavior would prove more persistent is important over the coming days” as the S&P 500 continues to trade below its 50-day simple moving average alongside concerns over waning stimulus, inflation, the debt ceiling, and China’s debt crisis.

Adding, Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s (NYSE: GS) Peter Oppenheimer, alongside HSBC Holdings Plc (NYSE: HSBC) strategists, believes dip-buying is a go as “we’re still in the relatively early stages of this economic cycle.” 

In terms of positioning, SpotGamma data suggests the S&P 500 is still at an intersection (i.e., short gamma) that portends increased volatility, should the index continue lower.

Moreover, for today, participants may make use of the following frameworks.

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,393.75 high volume area (HVNode) puts in play the $4,425.00 VPOC and balance area low (BAL). Initiative trade beyond the VPOC could reach as high as the $4,481.75 HVNode and $4,510.00 low volume area (LVNode), or higher.

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below the $4,393.75 HVNode puts in play the $4,365.25 LVNode. Initiative trade beyond the LVNode could reach as low as the $4,294.00 regular trade low (RTH Low) and $4,233.00 VPOC, or lower.

Graphic: 65-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures updated 6:30 AM ET.


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

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

Gamma: Gamma is the sensitivity of an option to changes in the underlying price. 

Dealers that take the other side of options trades hedge their exposure to risk by buying and selling the underlying. 

When dealers are short-gamma, they hedge by buying into strength and selling into weakness. When dealers are long-gamma, they hedge by selling into strength and buying into weakness. 

The former exacerbates volatility. The latter calms volatility.

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

Value-Area Placement: Perception of value unchanged if value overlapping (i.e., inside day). Perception of value has changed if value not overlapping (i.e., outside day). Delay trade in the former case.

Volume-Weighted Average Prices (VWAPs): 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.

News And Analysis

U.S. default this fall would cost 6M jobs, wipe $15T.

Central banks aim to limit digital currency disruption.

New York faces more than water-related climate risk.

Fed signals the possibility of 6 to 7 rate hikes, taper. 

Building the future depends on building more homes.

Fed officials believe ‘transitory’ inflation lasts longer.

Platform backed by Fidelity, Goldman digitizes IPOs.

Slower car production hit the pricing of commodities.

Founder of volatility-hedging program eyeing a drop.

The Emerging Ecosystem: Digitalization of markets.

JPMorgan team says flows show buy-the-dip fading.

China pumped $17B, tells Evergrande to not default.

ARK Invest’s Wood to sell Tesla if it reached $3,000.

Goldman’s Oppenheimer said a 10% dip is buyable.

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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