Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For September 16, 2021

Market Commentary

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

  • Equity indices falling; SPX above 50-day.
  • Ahead are claims, retail sales, and more.
  • Positioning risks mount case for volatility.

What Happened: After a break higher, yesterday, U.S. stock index futures auctioned sideways to lower overnight as participants positioned themselves for an options expiry and upcoming data dumps.

Ahead is data on jobless claims (8:30 AM ET), retail sales (8:30 AM ET), Philadelphia Fed manufacturing survey (8:30 AM ET), and business inventories (10:00 AM ET).

Graphic updated 6:40 AM ET. Sentiment Neutral if expected /ES open is inside of the prior day’s range. 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 approximation. 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 6:40 AM ET, Thursday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM EST) in the S&P 500 will likely 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 middling market liquidity metrics, the best case outcome occurred, evidenced by the S&P 500 closing the session on a spike higher, away from value.

Spike Rules In Play: Spike’s mark the beginning of a break from value. Spikes higher (lower) are validated by trade at or above (below) the spike base (i.e., the origin of the spike). 
Graphic: Divergent delta (i.e., non-committed buying as measured by volume delta or buying and selling power as calculated by the difference in volume traded at the bid and offer) in SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY), one of the largest ETFs that track the S&P 500 index, via Bookmap. The readings are supportive of responsive trade or balance (i.e., rotational trade that suggests current prices offer favorable entry and exit).

This is significant because of rejection, or a willingness not to transact at lower prices. We’re carrying forward the presence of minimal excess at Wednesday’s regular trade low (RTH Low), after a test of a prior untested point of control (VPOC) and 50-day simple moving average (i.e., two visual levels likely paid attention to by short-term, technically-driven market participants who generally are unable to defend retests).

Graphic: S&P 500 rotates between the 20- and 50-day simple moving average. Thus far, stronger sellers have not stepped up.

Further, the aforementioned trade is happening in the context of peak growth and a moderation in the economic recovery, heightened valuations, the prospects of stimulus reduction, as well as non-seasonally aligned inflows, impactful options market dynamics, divergent sentiment, and fears of a mid-cycle transition.

Graphic: @pat_hennessy breaks down returns for the S&P 500, categorized by the week relative to OPEX. Based on his analysis, Pat sees that the “2 weeks prior to OPEX (e.g., 7/30/21 to 8/6/21 in this late-cycle) [have] been extremely bullish,” while “OPEX week returns peaked in 2016 and have trended lower since.”

According to SqueezeMetrics, the steepness of the GammaVol (GXV) curve suggests there is no more risk to the upside than there is to the downside; “SPX upside needs a bunch of bought puts to throw on the bonfire. It would be bullish for SPX to have people buying SPX puts,” and that hasn’t happened yet.

In other words, the graphic “means that movement from 4450 to 4500 is very easy, … [a]nd now that we’re at 4480, it’s slippery back down to 4450.”

Moreover, for today, given an increased potential for heightened volatility and responsive trade, participants may make use of the following frameworks.

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,481.75 high volume area (HVNode) puts in play the $4,510.00 low volume area (LVNode). Initiative trade beyond the LVNode could reach as high as the $4,526.25 HVNode and $4,550.00 overnight high (ONH).

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below the $4,481.75 HVNode puts in play the $4,449.50 spike base. Initiative trade beyond the spike base could reach as low as the $4,425.25 minimal excess low and $4,393.75 micro-composite point of control (MCPOC).

To note, the $4,481.75 HVNode corresponds with two anchored Volume Weighted Average Price (VWAP) levels, 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.

Overnight Rally Highs (Lows): Typically, there is a low historical probability associated with overnight rally-highs (lows) ending the upside (downside) discovery process.

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 updated 7:25 AM ET.

News And Analysis

How ‘OpEx’ is shaking up the third week of the month.

U.S. political noise to intensify but have limited impact.

Though COVID cases are falling, the deaths are rising.

Biden’s economic plan at risk of delays amid squabble.

China Evergrande onshore bond trading is suspended.

The Coinbase spat with SEC ups ante in a crypto fight.

The foreclosure rate at its lowest in over two decades.

Talking Options Greeks: Everything you need to know.

What People Are Saying

About

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.

Disclaimer

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.

Categories
Commentary

Weekly Brief For September 12, 2021

Editor’s Note: Keeping it light today; the main takeaway is that we’re in a window of volatility and participants should maintain a cautiously bullish stance, for the time being. Skew makes it so we can hedge for little-to-no cost using complex spreads (more on this below).

Please note that levels in the below graphics should only be relied upon as rough areas of resistance and support due to the December contract roll. Updated levels to come later this week, after daily commentaries resume Thursday, September 16.

Thank you and take care!

Market Commentary

Equity index futures trade lower, last week, resolving a multi-week consolidation area.

  • Narratives around slower recovery rising.
  • Equity indices falling; SPX above 50-day.
  • Positioning risks mount case for volatility.
  • A couple trade ideas for the week ahead.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures resolved lower, last week, alongside the evolution of some important dynamics with respect to the pace of the pandemic recovery and trend growth, non-seasonally aligned flows and positioning risks, as well as divergent sentiment. 

Of interest this week is data on the consumer price index, industrial production, retail sales, and some Fed manufacturing surveys. 

Graphic updated 12:00 PM ET Saturday. Sentiment Neutral if expected /ES open is inside of the prior day’s range. 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 approximation. 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: During the prior week’s regular trade, on weak intraday breadth and mostly divergent market liquidity metrics, the worst-case outcome occurred, evidenced by trade below a key micro-composite high volume area (HVNode). 

This activity resolved a multi-week consolidation area (ie., balance). 

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.

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). 

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

To note, initially, participants had a tough time separating value and expanding range lower. 

This was evidenced by the minimal excess at Wednesday’s regular trade low (RTH Low), coupled with Thursday’s overnight response at the 20-day simple moving average (i.e., a visual level likely paid attention to by short-term, technically-driven market participants who generally are unable to defend retests). 

Graphic: S&P 500 loses the 20-day simple moving average. A loss of that level officially changes the tone; “We maintain a cautiously bullish stance.”

Given that action – the difficulty participants had in moving prices out and away from balance – the path of least resistance was not down; stronger sellers were not yet on board, I explained

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.

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.
Graphic: 30-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures and market liquidity, via Bookmap, for the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) coming into Thursday’s regular trade. Notice the cumulative volume delta (CVD) or buying and selling power as calculated by the difference in volume traded at the bid and offer. So, coming into Friday’s trade, stronger sellers were likely not yet on board.

The tone changed Friday when selling intensified; the 20-day simple moving average was lost and the S&P 500 closed the session on a spike lower, away from value.

Spike Rules In Play: Spike’s mark the beginning of a break from value. Spikes higher (lower) are validated by trade at or above (below) the spike base (i.e., the origin of the spike). 

Further, the aforementioned trade is happening in the context of peak growth and a moderation in the economic recovery, heightened valuations, the prospects of stimulus reduction, as well as non-seasonally aligned inflows, impactful options market dynamics, divergent sentiment, and fears of a mid-cycle transition.

The implications of these themes on price are contradictory

To elaborate, Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Citigroup Inc (NYSE: C), and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS) cautioned investors about equity outlooks. Of concern, in particular, is a rise in cases of the delta variant, tensions between inflation expectations and yields, as well as seasonality. 

Among other risks, as SpotGamma notes, “markets are fast approaching a window of volatility which could produce some pretty sharp volatility: 9/15 VIX expiration, 9/17 Quarterly OPEX and the 9/22 FOMC. This lineup is particularly interesting as we believe that expiration leads to a pickup in volatility.” Read more on SpotGamma’s perspectives, here

Graphic: @pat_hennessy breaks down returns for the S&P 500, categorized by the week relative to OPEX. Based on his analysis, Pat sees that the “2 weeks prior to OPEX (e.g., 7/30/21 to 8/6/21 in this late-cycle) [have] been extremely bullish,” while “OPEX week returns peaked in 2016 and have trended lower since.”

SqueezeMetrics – which saw “the current combination of weak put flows and large customer vanna exposure” as fragile – echoes the risks of volatility adding “people are overexposed to changes in VIX, and will be hurt more than usual if VIX starts moving up. Historically, this means SPX down, VIX up.”

Moreover, for early trade next week, given an increased potential for heightened volatility and Friday’s end-of-day spike from value, participants may make use of the following framework.

If participants manage to find acceptance (i.e., spend multiple hours of trade) above the $4,467.00 spike base, then the odds of downside follow-through are lower. We’d look to maintain a cautiously bullish stance.

On the other hand, should participants have trouble maintaining prices above the $4,467.00 spike base, then the focus ought to be on big-picture risk management levels like the August 19, 2021 swing low and 50-day simple moving average.

Graphic: 65-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures updated 12:00 PM ET Saturday. Note that the roll to the December contract occurred on September 9, 2021. Therefore, levels in the above graphic should only be relied upon as rough areas of resistance and support. Updated levels to come Thursday, September 16, 2021.

Weekly Trade Idea

Please Note: In no way is the below a trade recommendation. Derivatives carry a substantial risk of loss. All content is for informational purposes only.

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 1: SELL -1 1/2 BACKRATIO SPX 100 (Weeklys) 17 SEP 21 4350/4250 PUT @3.80 LMT

I’m neutral-to-bearish on the S&P 500 and I think the index may travel sideways to lower over the next week, past its key moving averages. I will structure a spread below the current index price, expiring in 1 week. I will buy the 4350 put option once (+1) and sell the 4250 put option twice (-2) for a $3.80 credit. Should the index not move to my target, I keep the $380 credit. Should it move to $4,250.00, past the 50-day simple moving average, I could make $10,380.00 at expiry. Should the index move past $4,150.00 or so, I may incur unlimited losses. My goal, with this spread, is to capture the initial credit and close for additional credit if the index moves lower.

If necessary, I will hedge the position by either (A) selling futures, (B) widening strikes, (C) buying a far out-of-the-money put option to cap downside in case of an unpredictable move lower, or (D) roll strikes down in price and out in time.

Trade Idea 2: SELL -1 1/2 BACKRATIO GOOGL 100 17 SEP 21 2775/2700 PUT @.90 LMT

I’m neutral-to-bearish on Alphabet Inc and I think the stock may travel sideways to lower over the next week, past its key moving averages. I will structure a spread below the current stock price, expiring in 1 week. I will buy the 2775 put option once (+1) and sell the 2700 put option twice (-2) for a $0.90 credit. Should the stock not move to my target, I keep the $90 credit. Should it move to $2,700.00, toward the 50-day simple moving average, I could make $7,500.00 at expiry. Should the stock move past $2,625.00 or so, 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 lower.

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

News And Analysis

Lenders continue to expect falling profits, refinancing demand.

Manchin seeing delay in Congress for vote on Biden’s agenda.

Massive decline in forbearances, down nearly 67% from peak. 

Oil prices continuing to fall as pandemic worries slow demand.

Moody’s: Democrats are at a fork in the road, may not take it.

COVID-19 and China risks won’t pass for years, some project.

Nasdaq talks market infrastructure, the real trends in volumes.

Bonds turning hot; European Central Bank redefines tapering.

What People Are Saying

Let’s Hang Out

Los Angeles, CA September 10-12

New York, NY September 12-15

Salt Lake City, UT September 28-30

About

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.

Disclaimer

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.

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For September 9, 2021

Editor’s Note: Daily market commentaries to pause until Thursday, September 16, 2021, due to travel commitments. A weekend commentary will be in your inbox earlier this week.

All the best, 

Renato

Market Commentary

Equity index futures trade lower with yields, dollar, and bitcoin. Most commodities were green.

  • Narratives around slower recovery rising.
  • Ahead is jobless claims data, Fed speak.
  • Positioning risks mounting case for lower.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures auctioned lower overnight alongside narratives surrounding a slowed economic recovery and stimulus reductions. 

Ahead is data on jobless claims (8:30 AM ET), as well as Fed-speak by Bowman (1:00 PM ET) and Williams (2:00 PM ET).

Graphic updated 6:30 AM ET. Sentiment Neutral if expected /ES open is inside of the prior day’s range. 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 approximation. 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 will likely open inside of prior-range and -value, suggesting a limited potential for immediate directional opportunity.

Adding, during the prior day’s regular trade, on weak intraday breadth and divergent market liquidity metrics, the best case outcome occurred, evidenced by sideways trade at the $4,510.00 pivot, the low end of a recent consolidation (i.e., balance) area. 

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). 

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

To note, participants had a tough time separating value and expanding range lower.

This is evidenced by the minimal excess at yesterday’s regular trade low (RTH Low), coupled with an overnight response at the 20-day simple moving average (i.e., a visual level likely paid attention to by short-term, technically-driven market participants). 

In other words, we’re carrying forward the difficulty participants had, in days prior, to moving prices out and away from balance. The path of least resistance – at least in prior trade – was not down; stronger sellers are not yet on board.

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.

Value-Area Placement: Perception of value unchanged if value overlapping. Perception of value has changed if value not overlapping (i.e., outside day). Delay action in the former case.
Graphic: 30-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures and market liquidity, via Bookmap, for the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY). Notice the volume delta (CVD) or buying and selling power as calculated by the difference in volume traded at the bid and offer.
Balance-Break Scenarios In Play: A change in the market (i.e., the transition from two-time frame trade, or balance, to one-time frame trade, or trend) has occurred.

Though we expect sideways to lower trade – for the time being – we monitor for rejection (i.e., return inside of balance) which portends a move higher, to the opposite end of the balance.

Further, the aforementioned trade is happening in the context of peak growth and a moderation in the economic recovery, as well as non-seasonally aligned inflows, impactful options market dynamics, divergent sentiment, and fears of a mid-cycle transition.

The implications of these themes on price are contradictory

To elaborate, Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Citigroup Inc (NYSE: C), and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS) cautioned investors about equity outlooks. Of concern, in particular, is a rise in cases of the delta variant, tensions between inflation expectations and yields, as well as seasonality. 

Among other risks, as SqueezeMetrics summarizes, “[p]eople pretty much stopped buying S&P 500 puts [last] week. At the same time, people are overexposed to changes in VIX, and will be hurt more than usual if VIX starts moving up. Historically, this means SPX down, VIX up.”

Moreover, for today, given an increased potential for moderate volatility and responsive trade, participants may make use of the following frameworks.

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,495.00 high volume area (HVNode) pivot puts in play the $4,510.00 low volume area (LVNode). Initiative trade beyond the LVNode could reach as high as the $4,526.25 HVNode and $4,550.00 overnight high (ONH).

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below the $4,495.00 HVNode puts in play the $4,481.75 HVNode. Initiative trade beyond the $4,481.75 HVNode could reach as low as the $4,454.25 LVNode and $4,427.00 untested point of control (VPOC).

Note the developing volume-weighted average price (VWAP) pinch. 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. We look to buy above a flat/rising VWAP pinch. Sell below a flat/declining VWAP pinch.

Overnight Rally Highs (Lows): Typically, there is a low historical probability associated with overnight rally-highs (lows) ending the upside (downside) discovery process.

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

News And Analysis

Traders rush to dump China tech stocks as gaming targeted again.

Decision Guide: The ECB counts risks in setting bond-buying pace.

Aluminum notches fresh 13-year high on supply woes and demand.

China’s zero-COVID approach will aggravate rising corporate risks.

Fauci: We don’t even have “modestly good control” over COVID-19.

Coinbase threat shows there’s a new cryptocurrency sheriff in town.

White House eyeing increased hacking around the coming holidays.

What People Are Saying

About

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.

Disclaimer

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.

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For August 19, 2021

Market Commentary

Equity index futures continued yesterday’s late-day liquidation.

  • Chop-chop: Fed nears time to taper.
  • Busy morning in regards to releases.
  • Range is wide; volatility may persist.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures auctioned lower overnight alongside the increased prospects of stimulus reduction in 2021.

Ahead is data on jobless claims (8:30 AM ET), Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index (8:30 AM ET), and the index of leading economic indicators (10:00 AM ET). 

Graphic updated 6:45 AM ET. Sentiment Risk-Off if expected /ES open is below the prior day’s range. See here for more on the Dark Pool Index (DPI) and Gamma (GEX). A higher DPI approximation is bullish. At the same time, the lower the GEX approximation, the more volatility. SHIFT data used for options activity approximation. Note that options flow is sorted by the call premium spent; if green and more positive then more was spent on call options. Breadth reflects a reading of the prior day’s Advance/Decline indicator. VIX reflects a current reading of the CBOE Volatility Index from 0-100.

What To Expect: As of 6:45 AM ET, Thursday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM EST) in the S&P 500 will likely open outside of prior-range and -value, suggesting a higher potential for immediate directional opportunity.

Adding, during the prior day’s regular trade, on weak intraday breadth and market liquidity metrics, the worst-case outcome occurred, evidenced by a close below the $4,422.75 balance area high (BAH) and 20-day simple moving average (SMA).

This is significant because the BAH marked a go/no-go level on a prior breakout and the SMA – a metric that ought to solicit a response by short-term (i.e., technically driven) participants who may be unable to defend retests – broke. As a result of this failure, odds supported the move to the $4,365.25 balance area low (BAL), the lower end of the balance.

Gap Scenarios In Play: Gaps ought to fill quickly. Should they not, that’s a signal of strength; do not fade. Leaving value behind on a gap-fill or failing to fill a gap (i.e., remaining outside of the prior session’s range) is a go-with indicator.

Auctioning and spending at least 1-hour of trade back in the prior range suggests a lack of conviction; in such a case, do not follow the direction of the most recent initiative activity.

Further, the aforementioned trade is happening in the context of a shift in the tapering debate, ahead of the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium August 26-28, 2021. This theme’s implications on price are contradictory; to elaborate, the summary of the late July Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting suggests an inclination to start reducing the pace of asset purchases this year.

Graphic: S&P Global unpacks Federal Reserve balance sheet hypotheticals.

As an aside, markets went on a historic tear over the past year or so given monetary frameworks and max liquidity, so to speak. Add in the growth of derivatives exposure and potential for offsides positioning, even the slightest reduction in the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet – the removal of liquidity – has the potential to prompt a cascading reaction that exacerbates underlying price movements.

As Kai Volatility’s Cem Karsan, in a conversation with me for a Benzinga article, said: “It’s not a coincidence that the mid-February to mid-March 2020 downturn literally started the day after February expiration and ended the day of March quarterly expiration. These derivatives are incredibly embedded in how the tail reacts and there’s not enough liquidity, given the leverage, if the Fed were to taper.”

Graphic: SpotGamma data suggests the cash-settled S&P 500 Index (INDEX: SPX) may open in short-gamma territory. To note, 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.

Moreover, for today, in light of higher volatility and responsive trade expectations – given overextension from value (i.e., fair prices for two-sided trade as derived from the volume profile) and a test of a key anchored volume-weighted average price (VWAP) – participants may make use of the following frameworks.

More On 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.
Graphic: SPDR S&P 500 Trust ETF (NYSE: SPY) flirts with key downside anchored VWAPs. A key downside level in SPY lies at $427.95, currently. 

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,381.75 low volume area (LVNode) pivot puts in play the $4,393.75 micro composite point of control (MCPOC). Initiative trade beyond the MCPOC could reach as high as the $4,411.75 high volume area (HVNode) and the aforementioned $4,422.75 BAH.

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below the $4,381.75 low volume area (LVNode) puts in play the $4,365.25 BAL/LVNode. Initiative trade beyond the BAL/LVNode could reach as low as the $4,341.00 untested point of control (VPOC) and $4,315.25 HVNode.

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.
Graphic: 65-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures updated 6:45 AM ET.

News And Analysis

Landlords from Florida to California are jacking up rents.

COVID vaccines are less effective against new variants.

UK Fintech market runs hot but fear of bubble premature.

Tencent warns of more China tech curbs after growth hit.

A closer look at the investment/speculative-grade divide.

US restaurants up prices to offset labor inflation, demand.

Disenchanted investors help drive the record gold prices.

A complete Fed balance sheet normalization years away.

What People Are Saying

About

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.

Disclaimer

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.

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For August 18, 2021

Market Commentary

Equity index futures recover from a violent liquidation.

  • Push-pull on contradicting narratives.
  • Ahead: Housing data, FOMC minutes.
  • Volatility rises ahead of a large OPEX.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures auctioned sideways to higher, overnight, ahead of key releases including the latest Federal Reserve minutes.

“Unless Fed minutes ‘reveal something substantively different from recent source stories, the market is unlikely to react significantly, and choppy trading may continue,’” Mizuho International Plc strategists including Peter Chatwell said in a note featured by Bloomberg.

Ahead is data on building permits and housing starts (8:30 AM ET), Fed speak by James Bullard (12:00 PM ET), and FOMC minutes (2:00 PM ET).

Graphic updated 6:45 AM ET. Sentiment Neutral if expected /ES open is inside of the prior day’s range. See here for more on the Dark Pool Index (DPI) and Gamma (GEX). A higher DPI approximation is bullish. At the same time, the lower the GEX approximation, the more volatility. SHIFT data used for options activity approximation. Note that options flow is sorted by the call premium spent; if green and more positive then more was spent on call options. Breadth reflects a reading of the prior day’s Advance/Decline indicator. VIX reflects a current reading of the CBOE Volatility Index from 0-100.

What To Expect: As of 6:45 AM ET, Wednesday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM EST) in the S&P 500 will likely open inside of prior-range and -value, suggesting a limited potential for immediate directional opportunity.

Adding, during the prior day’s regular trade, on weak intraday breadth and market liquidity metrics, the worst-case outcome occurred, evidenced by trade below the $4,456.75 low volume area (LVNode) pivot.

This is significant because the initiative trade resulted in a test of the $4,422.75 balance area high (BAH) – a go/no-go level on a prior breakout – as well as the 20-day simple moving average, a metric that ought to solicit a response by short-term (i.e., technically driven) participants who may be unable to defend retests.

Further, the aforementioned trade is happening in the context of a rollover in macro expectations, peak long equity positioning, breadth divergences, a monthly options expiry (OPEX), as well as a shift higher in the VIX futures term structure

The implications of these themes on price are contradictory; to elaborate, extended positioning – which alone suggests risks are asymmetric – coupled with a large OPEX and pronounced shift in shorter-dated VIX expiries, warns of elevated near-term risks for equity market stability.

Graphic: VIX term structure shifts higher with the biggest move happening at the short end of the curve, via VIX Central, from The Market Ear.

Moreover, for today, given expectations of middling volatility and responsive trade, participants may make use of the following frameworks.

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,447.25 high volume area (HVNode) pivot puts in play the $4,456.75 low volume area (LVNode). Initiative trade beyond the $4,456.75 LVNode could reach as high as the $4,463.75 LVNode and $4,476.50 overnight high (ONH).

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below the $4,447.25 HVNode puts in play the $4,434.25 LVNode. Initiative trade beyond the $4,434.25 LVNode could reach as low as the aforementioned $4,422.75 BAH and $4,411.00 VPOC, which is a tick or so below the minimal excess low Tuesday’s liquidation produced.

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.

Overnight Rally Highs (Lows): Typically, there is a low historical probability associated with overnight rally-highs (lows) ending the upside (downside) discovery process.

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.

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.
Graphic: 65-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures updated 6:45 AM ET.

News And Analysis

Mixed messages in new home purchase applications.

China quietly defuses hidden government debt bomb.

Consumers are wary of COVID return amid recovery.

ARK Invest’s Cathie Wood hits back at Michael Burry.

President Biden plans to urge COVID-19 booster shot.

U.S. freezes nearly $9.5B in Afghanistan bank assets.

The stage is set for the next leg up in cyclicals, value.

JPMorgan and Lloyds look to spur more fintech deals.

Developments in Afghanistan may threaten neighbors.

What People Are Saying

About

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.

Disclaimer

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.