Daily Brief For January 26, 2023

Daily commentary for U.S. broad market indices.

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Graphic updated 8:00 AM ET. Sentiment Risk-On if expected /ES open is above the prior day’s range. /ES levels are derived from the profile graphic at the bottom of this letter. Click here for the latest levels. SqueezeMetrics Dark Pool Index (DIX) and Gamma (GEX) with the latter calculated 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. Click to learn the implications of volatility, direction, and moneyness. Breadth reflects a reading of the prior day’s NYSE Advance/Decline indicator. The CBOE VIX Volatility Index (INDEX: VVIX) reflects the attractiveness of owning volatility.


It’s a dynamic this letter has discussed before. Levels quoted in the bottom section of this letter have proved useful in recent trade, marking the bottom and top of rallies precisely. A factor to blame is short-term participation. Let’s explain this further.

Graphic: 65-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures.

For instance, as SpotGamma said this morning, volumes at options strikes, very close to levels this letter quotes, are very large relative to the open interest changes. These volumes are large enough to add to the movement and result in responses to certain areas, but their impact is not long-lasting. In fact, some suggest the activity is part of “trading for risk positioning” and the impact “can net out” over a longer time horizon.

It is this letter writer’s opinion that the noise is easy to get swept into. Rather, we are interested in participating in the bigger strides, hence the trades we’ve quoted prior.

As your letter writer elaborated in a recent note for SpotGamma, following weakness heading into the January monthly options expiration (OpEx), the window was open for relief. A cross above big inflections like the 200-day simple moving average, a trigger for some to buy stocks, coupled with measures like the Cboe Volatility Index (INDEX: VIX) trending higher, partly the result of the fear of missing out and hedging in a lower liquidity environment, had us leaning optimistic.

Graphic: Retrieved from Bloomberg.

Notwithstanding, with measures like the Cboe VIX Volatility (INDEX: VVIX) “at low levels and rebounding” implying “(1) traders are looking to hedge for cheap and (2) convexity remains a good place to be”, we had the interest to limit downside via call structures with long and short options. The short options help us harvest a bit of call skew and lower the cost of the spread, helping it retain “value better through time.”

Graphic: Retrieved from Bloomberg.

In short, though “the marginal positivity of further IV compression likely does little to keep stocks on an upward trajectory”, SpotGamma explained, structures we explained recently may enable you to get on the right side of an SPX and VIX up environment (explained by SpotGamma), all the while limiting downside on the eventual turn.

If you’re averse to directional risk, consider trades like the Box Spreads we talked about many letters back, which are now gaining popularity.


As of 8:00 AM ET, Thursday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET), in the S&P 500, is likely to open in the upper part of a positively skewed overnight inventory, outside of prior-range and -value, suggesting a potential for immediate directional opportunity.

Our S&P 500 pivot for today is $4,050.25. 

Key levels to the upside include $4,061.75, $4,071.50, and $4,083.75.

Key levels to the downside include $4,028.75, $4,011.75, and $3,998.25.

Click here to load updated key levels into the web-based TradingView platform. All levels are derived using the 65-minute timeframe. New links are produced, daily. 

Graphic: 65-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures.


Volume Areas: Markets will build on areas of high-volume (HVNodes). Should the market trend for long periods of time, it will be identified by low-volume areas (LVNodes). LVNodes denote directional conviction and ought to offer support on any test.

If participants auction and find acceptance in an area of a prior LVNode, then future discovery ought to be volatile and quick as participants look to HVNodes for favorable entry or exit.

POCs: 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.


In short, Renato Leonard Capelj is an economics graduate working in finance and journalism.

Capelj spends most of his time as the founder of Physik Invest through which he invests and publishes daily analyses to subscribers, some of whom represent well-known institutions.

Separately, Capelj is an equity options analyst at SpotGamma and an accredited journalist interviewing global leaders in business, government, and finance.

Past works include conversations with investor Kevin O’Leary, ARK Invest’s Catherine Wood, FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried, Lithuania’s Minister of Economy and Innovation Aušrinė Armonaitė, former Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers, and persons at the Clinton Global Initiative.


Direct queries to or Renato Capelj#8625 on Discord.


You may view this letter’s content calendar at this link.


Do not construe this newsletter as advice. All content is for informational purposes.

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