Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For December 3, 2021

What Happened

Overnight, equity index futures auctioned in-sync, within the confines of yesterday’s recovery. 

This is as participants position themselves for Friday’s data dump that may shed light on how fast the Federal Reserve (Fed) intends to tighten monetary policy.

Ahead is data on nonfarm payrolls, the unemployment rate, and average hourly earnings (8:30 AM ET). Later is Fed-speak by James Bullard (9:15 AM ET), Markit services PMI (9:45 AM ET), as well as ISM services, factory orders, and core capital goods orders (10:00 AM ET).

Graphic updated 6:45 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. Levels may have changed since initially quoted; click here for the latest levels. 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. Learn the implications of volatility, direction, and moneyness. 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

In the face of strong intraday breadth, the best case outcome occurred, evidenced by the recovery of Wednesday’s value (i.e., the prices at which 70% of that day’s volume occurred).

This action negated the knee-jerk selling that coincided with COVID-19 variant news.

As a result, the S&P 500 is back inside of a short-term consolidation; participants had no interest in transacting the S&P 500 on prices advertised below the balance area.

Context: The Fed’s intent to moderate stimulus and uncertainty with regards to how a new COVID-19 variant will impact the global recovery.

In the face of it all, according to Bloomberg, “The market is again pricing June 2022 as the most likely timing for the first Fed rate hike, same as on Nov. 24. At various stages over the intervening days traders looked at July, or even as late as September.”

This is as an emerging trend from the Fed, confirmed by Chair Jerome Powell’s Congressional testimony – for weeks into this most recent equity – resulted in a re-pricing of bond market risk. 

That fear – demand for protection in the bond market – failed to appear in the equity market. 

Instead, there was an insatiable appetite for stocks, according to Bloomberg, with investors pouring more cash in 2021 than in the past 19 years, combined. 

That appetite for risk fed into the activity of some high-flyers like Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA), and, more recently Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL). At the same time, the broader market was weakening, evidenced by a decline in breadth. 

With indices pinned, heading into the November monthly options expiration (OPEX), as a result of sticky and supportive hedging flows, correlations declined. 

Think about it. If heavily weighted index constituents are higher and the indices are pinned, then something has to give! 

After OPEX, the removal of certain hedging flows had the market succumb to fundamental forces. The addition of participants’ underexposure to downside put protection, according to SpotGamma, resulted in more rampant two-way volatility.

The reason being? The market quickly entered into an environment known as short-gamma. 

“What the heck is that? Please explain to me like I’m ten.” Okay, hold my beer.

Basically, funds holding long equity, in the interest of lower volatility returns, hedge. The S&P 500 is a benchmark and one of the best places to hedge, given liquidity, and so on.

These participants will sell calls against their long equity exposure. The proceeds from that sale will be put toward downside protection. Long equity, short call, long put. Get it?

The counterparty to this dominant positioning is a buyer (seller) of upside (downside) protection, a carry trade (i.e., long delta). 

This exposure is hedged, yes! However, this exposure will also decay, in time, all else equal. 

Volatility will slide down its term structure (vanna) and time will pass (charm); “as volatility ebbs and time passes, the unwind of these hedges brings in positive flows that can lead to lengthy sprints.” – Cem Karsan of Kai Volatility.

Now, within a certain range, said counterparties are, long-gamma also. Gamma is basically “the rate of change of delta per 1-point move in the underlying,” according to SqueezeMetrics.

As volatility and time to expiration decline, the gamma of at-the-money options rises; “option market-makers will hedge their positions in a fashion that stifles volatility (buying into lows, selling into highs).”

There are times, also, when the market is in a short-gamma; a “negative [gamma] implies the opposite (selling into lows, buying into highs), thus magnifying market volatility.”

With participants underexposed to downside protection, post-OPEX demand kicked the market into short-gamma; the conditions worsened when much of the activity was concentrated in shorter-dated tenors where the sensitivity of options to direction is higher, as stated.

Graphic: VIX term structure 11/25. Backwardation signaled an entry into an unstable environment with activity concentrated at the front-end of the curve.

Once that short-dated protection rolls off the table (and/or is monetized), counterparties will quickly reverse and support the market, buying to close their existing stock/futures hedges.

Graphic: SpotGamma’s Hedging Impact of Real-Time Options (HIRO) indicator on 12/2 shows positive options delta trades firing off, which likely had dealers buying stock/futures into the close.

This flow is stabilizing and may play into a seasonally-aligned rally into Christmas as participants see defenses rolled out against the new COVID-19 variant, and the positive effects of pro-cyclical inflation and economic growth, improvements in global trade, and continuity at the Fed, among other dynamics, play out.

We see participants opportunistically buying the dip, already, via metrics like DIX that’s derived from liquidity provision on the market-making side.

Graphic: Earnings are rising and helping support historic PE multiples, via Nasdaq

Notwithstanding, the market is still in short-gamma and unless participants began betting on the upside (i.e., committing increased capital to calls at strikes higher in price and out in time), and we cross over to long-gamma, volatility ought to remain.

To assuage fears, though, here is a quote from Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS): 

“We find that the market has already priced in a significant downgrade in the growth outlook off the back of Omicron concerns. While we don’t believe that the most extreme downside scenarios are fully reflected in current market pricing, there are clearly still scenarios that could prove better than anticipated by the sharp shift in pricing in recent weeks, in our view”.

Expectations: As of 6:45 AM ET, Friday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET), in the S&P 500, will likely open in the upper part of a negatively skewed overnight inventory, inside of prior-range and -value, suggesting a limited potential for immediate directional opportunity.

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,574.25 high volume area (HVNode) puts in play the $4,590.00 balance area high (BAH). Initiative trade beyond the BAH could reach as high as the $4,629.00 untested point of control (VPOC) and $4,647.25 HVNode, or higher.

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below the $4,574.25 HVNode puts in play the $4,551.75 low volume area (LVNode). Initiative trade beyond the LVNode could reach as low as the $4,526.25 HVNode and $4,497.75 regular trade low (RTH Low), or lower.

Click here to load today’s updated key levels into the web-based TradingView charting platform. Note that 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. Learn about the profile.

What People Are Saying

Definitions

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.

DIX: For every buyer is a seller (usually a market maker). Using DIX — which is derived from short sales (i.e., liquidity provision on the market-making side) — we can measure buying pressure.

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.

Vanna: The rate at which the delta of an option changes with respect to volatility.

Charm: The rate at which the delta of an option changes with respect to time.

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.

Options Expiration (OPEX): Traditionally, option expiries mark an end to pinning (i.e, the theory that market makers and institutions short options move stocks to the point where the greatest dollar value of contracts will expire) and the reduction dealer gamma exposure.

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).

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.

Rates: Low rates have to potential to increase the present value of future earnings making stocks, especially those that are high growth, more attractive. To note, inflation and rates move inversely to each other. Low rates stimulate demand for loans (i.e., borrowing money is more attractive).

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 Benzinga finance and technology reporter interviewing the likes of Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary, JC2 Ventures’ John Chambers, and ARK Invest’s Catherine Wood, as well as a SpotGamma contributor, developing insights around impactful options market dynamics.

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 December 2, 2021

What Happened

Overnight, equity index futures steadied at the prior day’s lows

There were signs of a shift in relative strength as the Russell 2000’s extended-day recovery outpaced that of the S&P 500 and (now) weaker Nasdaq 100. 

At the same time, yields on the ten-year rose while volatility came in. Still, the VIX futures term structure remained higher, a clear indication of stress, in the face of demand for protection.

Ahead is data on jobless claims (8:30 AM ET) with Fed-speak scattered throughout the day.

Graphic updated 6:40 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. Levels may have changed since initially quoted; click here for the latest levels. 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. Learn the implications of volatility, direction, and moneyness. 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

On nonparticipatory breadth and weak market liquidity metrics, the worst-case outcome occurred, evidenced by the S&P 500’s spike away from the value (i.e., the prices at which 70% of the day’s volume occurred).

The knee-jerk selling, which coincided with news that a COVID-19 variant was spotted in the U.S., broke the S&P 500 out of a short-term consolidation (i.e., balance) area. 

The developing balance was a result of participants looking for new information to base a directional move. With new information, participants chose downside price exploration.

Adding, the knee-jerk selling and associated price action left behind poor structure (i.e., participants will look to validate [or invalidate] the move, spending time below [or above] the ~$4,574.25 spike base). Caution is warranted on overnight validation of the spike. 

Graphic: Supportive delta (i.e., committed selling 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 initiative trade (i.e., directional trade that suggests current prices offer unfavorable entry and exit; the market is seeking balance).

Context: A resurgence in COVID-19, a change in tone with respect to monetary policy, and last-minute tax-selling, in the face of seasonally-bullish buybacks and new month inflows.

The implications of these themes on price are contradictory. 

As stated, yesterday, the Federal Reserve’s Jerome Powell unexpectedly changed his tone around inflation, becoming more open to a faster taper in bond-buying and rate hikes. 

This is as policymakers look to tame price readings without inhibiting economic growth; fears of the aforementioned change in tone were clearly spotted by the bond market’s pricing of risk, so to speak, diverging from that of the equity market, weeks before current volatility.

Graphic: “The ICE BofA MOVE Index, which measures implied volatility for Treasuries, is close to the steepest level since April 2020,” via Bloomberg.

Rising rates, among other factors, have the potential to decrease the present value of future earnings, thereby making stocks, especially those that are high growth, less attractive to own.

As the market is a forward-looking mechanism, the implications of this are staggering. 

Prevailing monetary frameworks and max liquidity promoted a large divergence in price from fundamentals. The growth of passive investing – the effect of increased moneyness among nonmonetary assets – and derivatives trading imply a lot of left-tail risks.

Graphic: Via The Market Ear, “Bank of America estimates that corporate earnings used to explain half of equity market returns up to the financial crisis, but since then they only explain 21%. Meanwhile, changes to the Fed’s balance sheet explain 52% of market returns since 2010, it estimates. Buy what the FED buys. Sell what the FED stops buying.”

As Kai Volatility’s Cem Karsan once told me: “There’s this constant structural positioning that naturally drives markets higher as long as volatility is compressed,” or there is supply.

“At the end of the day, though, the higher you go, the further off the ground you are and the more tail risk.”

Eventually, the fear on the part of bond market participants fed into equity market positioning; breadth weakened for weeks into November’s large monthly options expiration, after which the absence of sticky and supportive hedging flows finally freed the market for directional resolve. 

Couple that with participants being “underexposed to downside put protection,” according to SpotGamma, there was an expectation that there could be a rough re-pricing of tail risk as participants, en masse, sought after highly “convex” downside options which had the counterparties to those trades exacerbating underlying price movement.

Per the VIX term structure graphic below, there is tons of movement in the front-end, a sign that participants are concentrating activity in shorter-dated tenors where the sensitivity of options to direction is higher.

Graphic: VIX term structure. 

So long as this dynamic remains, participants can expect instability.

In assuaging fears, however, Moody’s Corporation (NYSE: MCO) put out research that found “information about the variant and the policy actions taken to date do not yet support a material shift” in forecasts.

This is as S&P Global Inc (NYSE: SPGI), despite lowering growth forecasts a touch, expects GDP to reach a 37-year high in 2021. With odds that it will likely take the next few weeks to find out more with respect to the severity of new COVID-19 variants, attention moves to “cyclicals, commodities, and reopening themes,” according to JPMorgan Chase & Co’s (NYSE: JPM) Marko Kolanovic. 

Graphic: Via Bloomberg, “there is ‘plenty of liquidity available to drive stock prices higher as dip-buyers enter the market,’” strategists at Yardeni Research, wrote.

Expectations: As of 6:40 AM ET, Thursday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET), in the S&P 500, will likely open in the lower part of a positively skewed overnight inventory, inside of prior-range and -value, suggesting a limited potential for immediate directional opportunity.

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).

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,551.75 low volume area (LVNode) puts in play the $4,574.25 high volume area (HVNode). Initiative trade beyond the HVNode could reach as high as the $4,629.00 untested point of control (VPOC) and $4,674.25 micro composite point of control (MCPOC), or higher.

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below the $4,551.75 low volume area (LNVode) puts in play the $4,497.75 regular-trade low (RTH Low). Initiative trade beyond the RTH Low could reach as low as the $4,471.00 and $4,425.00 VPOC, or lower.

Click here to load today’s updated key levels into the web-based TradingView charting platform. Note that 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. Learn about the profile.

Charts To Watch

Graphic: (NYSE: SPY). (S~$448, $438 and R~$454, $460). S is for support. R is for resistance.

Definitions

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.

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.

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

Options Expiration (OPEX): Traditionally, option expiries mark an end to pinning (i.e, the theory that market makers and institutions short options move stocks to the point where the greatest dollar value of contracts will expire) and the reduction dealer gamma exposure.

Price Discovery (One-Timeframe Or Trend): Elongation and range expansion denotes a market seeking new prices to establish value, or acceptance (i.e., more than 30-minutes of trade at a particular price level). 

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).

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.

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 Benzinga finance and technology reporter interviewing the likes of Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary, JC2 Ventures’ John Chambers, and ARK Invest’s Catherine Wood, as well as a SpotGamma contributor, developing insights around impactful options market dynamics.

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 April 20, 2021

Market Commentary

Index futures auction lower, attempt to validate higher prices.

  • Investors weigh earnings, taxes.
  • Light calendar, earnings pick up.
  • Indices correct in time and price.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures auctioned lower overnight as investors weighed the risks of exposure given the potential for surprise earnings results and a recent spike in virus cases, among other factors. 

What To Expect: Tuesday’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-than-normal potential for directional opportunity. 

During the prior day’s regular trade, the worst-case outcome occurred, evidenced by trade below the $4,171.00 VPOC, which is significant because it marks an area where participants found it most valuable to conduct business during a prior session. Thereafter, overnight, participants discovered lower prices and solicited responsive buying at the $4,137.00 high-volume area (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.

This price action is occurring on the heels of an outstanding rally, fueled by vaccine rollouts, supportive central banks, and improved consumer finances. In a statement, JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM) expressed its optimism on a sustained equity market boom. 

“We would not be cutting stocks exposure on a 6-9 months horizon, and continue to see any dips as buying opportunities,” JPMorgan analysts said. “We would not expect to see a more sustained pullback before Q4.”

Further, as stated in prior commentaries, equity markets are positioned bullish, but there exists an increased potential to correct in time and price. Should there be a drastic turn and spike in volatility, participants must be ready to accept the possibility of a violent liquidation, given poor structure left behind prior price discovery and increased put selling, among other factors

Price Discovery (One-Timeframe Or Trend): Elongation and range expansion denotes a market seeking new prices to establish value, or acceptance (i.e., more than 30-minutes of trade at a particular price level).

For today, participants can trade from the following frameworks. 

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,142.00 regular trade low (RTH Low) targets the $4,155.00 HVNode. Initiative trade beyond the HVNode could reach as high as $4,167.50 overnight high (ONH).

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below $4,142.00 targets the $4,122.75 HVNode. Thereafter, if lower, participants can look for a repair of the poor structure sitting at the $4,113.00 low. Trading below $4,104.00 suggests a test as low as the $4,069.25 HVNode is likely.

Graphic: 65-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures.
Graphic: Physik Invest maps out the purchase of call and put options in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY), for April 19, 2021. Activity in the options market was primarily concentrated in short-dated tenors, in strikes as low as $403, which corresponds with $4,030 in the cash-settled S&P 500 Index (INDEX: SPX).

News And Analysis

Economy | Equity markets haven’t priced in Biden’s corporate tax hikes, yet. (BBG)

Recovery | More than half of U.S. adults vaccinated. Why are cases rising? (AB)

Trade | Why the chip shortage is so hard to overcome despite recent efforts. (WSJ)

Economy | Fannie Mae seeing a brighter outlook for housing and economy. (MND)

Economy | Fearing foreclosure crisis, watchdog cracks down on servicers. (REU)

Politics | Xi is challenging U.S. global leadership, warns against decoupling. (BBG)

Markets | Dogecoin’s surge was fueled by retail and institutional participants. (TB)

Markets | Credit Suisse halts trader’s fund on risk concerns, post-Archegos. (BBG)

Markets | China’s yuan is overvalued, and that could stoke global inflation. (BBG)

Markets | Stock shorts collapsed as no hedge fund wants head ripped off. (BBG)

What People Are Saying

Innovation And Emerging Trends

Markets | Large hidden bond market problem poses a whole new set of risks. (BBG)

FinTech | Here is how the big brokerage firms are breaking into bitcoin trading. (TB)

FinTech | Intercontinental Exchange-owned Bakkt targeting innovation, NFTs. (BZ)

Markets | The OCC has announced a reduction of its clearing fee to two cents. (TM)

Venture | Where the startup world sees money in the $2.3T infrastructure plan. (CN)

 About

Renato founded Physik Invest after going through years of self-education, strategy development, and trial-and-error. His work reporting in the finance and technology space, interviewing leaders such as John Chambers, founder, and CEO, JC2 Ventures, Kevin O’Leary, Canadian businessman and Shark Tank host, Catherine Wood, CEO and CIO, ARK Invest, among others, afforded him the perspective and know-how very few come by.

Having worked in engineering and majored in economics, Renato is very detailed and analytical. His approach to the markets isn’t built on hope or guessing. Instead, he leverages the unique dynamics of time and volatility to efficiently act on opportunity.

 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 April 19, 2021

Market Commentary

Index futures are attempting to balance and validate higher prices.

  • Global pandemic recovery uneven. 
  • Investors await corporate earnings.
  • Indices to correct in time and price.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures balanced ahead of a fresh round of corporate earnings.

What To Expect: Monday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM EST) will likely open inside of prior-range and -value, suggesting a limited potential for directional opportunity. 

Adding, during the prior week, the best case outcome occurred, evidenced by initiative trade that established new all-time highs in the S&P 500, Nasdaq-100, and Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Coming into this week, though equity markets are positioned bullishly, there exists an increased potential to correct in time and price. Adding, should there be a turn and spike in volatility, participants must be ready to accept the possibility of a violent liquidation, given the poor structure left behind prior price discovery and increased put selling, among other factors highlighted in Sunday’s commentary.

Price Discovery (One-Timeframe Or Trend): Elongation and range expansion denotes a market seeking new prices to establish value, or acceptance (i.e., more than 30-minutes of trade at a particular price level). 

For today, participants can trade from the following frameworks. 

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,161.75 regular trade low targets the $4,171.00 VPOC. Initiative trade beyond the VPOC could reach as high as the $4,183.50 regular-trade high and the cluster of Fibonacci price extensions above $4,187.00. In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below $4,171.00 is likely to solicit responsive buying near the $4,157.00 high-volume area (HVNode). Thereafter, if lower, $4,137.00 and $4,123.00 are other valuable areas to do business. 

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 (like HVNodes described above) 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.

Responsive Buying: Buying in response to prices below area of recent price acceptance.
Graphic: 4-hour profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures.
Graphic: Physik Invest maps out the purchase of call and put options in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY), for the week ending April 16. Activity in the options market was primarily concentrated in short-dated tenors, in strikes as low as $364, which corresponds with $3,640 in the cash-settled S&P 500 Index (INDEX: SPX).

News And Analysis

Markets | Crypto stock mania tested by sliding prices, bitcoin drop. (BBG)

Markets | China opens borders to billions of dollars of gold imports. (REU)

Markets | Key takeaways from Q1 results of the investment banks. (Moody’s)

Travel | Airlines can’t get the world flying despite a big U.S. boom. (BBG)

Trade | TSMC says trade tensions may disrupt chip equipment supply. (BBG)

What People Are Saying

Innovation And Emerging Trends

Startups | Tips for those that are joining a startup for the first time. (FRR)

Space | Why flying a four-pound helicopter on Mars is a big deal. (BBG)

FinTech | U.S. banks deploy AI to monitor customers and workers. (REU)

Spirits | Whisky world at war as tech allows for instant spirit aging. (FT)

Crypto | Bank of England, HM Treasury create a CBDC taskforce. (BoE)

Technology | Clubhouse closes round of funding, raising value. (REU)

 About

Renato founded Physik Invest after going through years of self-education, strategy development, and trial-and-error. His work reporting in the finance and technology space, interviewing leaders such as John Chambers, founder, and CEO, JC2 Ventures, Kevin O’Leary, Canadian businessman and Shark Tank host, Catherine Wood, CEO and CIO, ARK Invest, among others, afforded him the perspective and know-how very few come by.

Having worked in engineering and majored in economics, Renato is very detailed and analytical. His approach to the markets isn’t built on hope or guessing. Instead, he leverages the unique dynamics of time and volatility to efficiently act on opportunity.

 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

Market Commentary For 2/1/2021

Notice: To view this week’s big picture outlook, click here.

What Happened: As investors looked to another round of earnings, amidst a popularized retail stock buying frenzy, U.S. index futures tested lower and returned violently into Friday’s regular trading range.

What Does It Mean: After signs of deleveraging, inversion of the VIX term structure, a shift into short-gamma, and a rise in purchases of downside protection with time, U.S. stock indexes are best positioned for downside discovery.

However, after the best case scenario — the S&P 500 taking back Friday’s liquidation and auctioning above the $3,727.75 high-volume area (HVNode) — was realized in overnight trade, participants can expect continued balance on supportive speculative flows and delta (e.g., committed buying as measured by volume delta).

What To Expect: Monday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET) will likely open inside of prior-balance and -range, suggesting limited directional opportunity and high volatility.

As a result, participants ought to zoom out, and look for valuable areas to transact, such as those highlighted zones in Graphic 1 which denote high-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, as they have in the week prior, then future discovery ought to be volatile and quick as participants look to areas of value for favorable entry or exit.

Graphic 1: 4-hour profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures.

In the best case, the market will initiate and find acceptance (in the form of rotational trade) above the $3,767.75 high-volume node.

In the worst case, responsive sellers appear and continue the downside discovery process. Any break that finds increased involvement (i.e., supportive flows and delta) below the $3,689.50 HVNode, would favor continuation as low as the $3,611.50 and $3,556.00 HVNodes.

The second to last HVNode corresponds with the $361 SPY put concentration, which may serve as a near-term target, or bottom, for this sell-off, given last week’s activity at that strike (Graphic 2).

Graphic 2: Physik Invest maps out the purchase of call and put options in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust, for the week ending January 30, 2021.

The go/no-go for upside is the $3,770.50 regular-trade high. The go/no-go for downside is $3,685.50 regular-trade low. Anything in-between portends responsive, non-directional trade.

Levels Of Interest: $3,770.50 regular-trade high, $3,767.75 HVNode, $3,685.50 regular-trade low.

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Commentary

Market Commentary For 1/29/2021

Notice: To view this week’s big picture outlook, click here.

What Happened: After a slew of the earnings reports by heavily weighted index constituents, U.S. index futures further accepted lower prices.

What Does It Mean: Earlier in the week, the S&P 500 failed to drum up initiative buying after an upside break of the $3,852.50 ledge. Participants sold the break, introducing excess (which forms after an auction has traveled too far in a particular direction and portends sustained reversal) and acceptance below the $3,824.00 – $3,763.75 balance-area. This invalidated last week’s break-out to new highs.

Since then, market participants were witness to violent two-sided trade, a result of the market moving into a short-gamma environment (graphic 1); in such cases dealers hedge their derivatives exposure by buying into strength and selling into weakness. This, alongside the presence of short-term traders in U.S. equities (as evidenced by selling that transpired at yesterday’s high, since institutions tend not to transact at exact technical levels) will exacerbate volatility.

Graphic 1: SpotGamma data suggests S&P 500 has entered short-gamma environment

Adding, it’s important to bring back yesterday’s graphics that showed a proxy for buying derived from short sales (i.e., liquidity provision on the market making side) decline and a substantial change in tone in terms of speculative derivatives activity.

Since posting graphics 2 and 3, the bearish thesis is still intact. This is due to the divergent speculative flows and delta (e.g., presence of non-committed buying or selling as measured by volume delta) during Thursday’s session, as can be viewed in Graphic 4. This information means that the short-covering rally that lasted much of yesterday’s regular trade was not supported; increased capital was not committed into yesterday’s highs.

Graphic 2: Speculative derivatives activity for January 27, 2021
Graphic 3: DIX by Squeeze Metrics suggests large divergence between price and buying
Graphic 4: Divergent Delta in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY), the largest ETF that tracks the S&P 500

What To Expect: Friday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET) will likely open inside of prior-balance and -range, suggesting limited directional opportunity.

Given today’s month-end derivatives expiry and yesterday’s acceptance inside of the $3,824.00 – $3,763.75 balance-area, the odds of substantial downside during Friday’s session is low. Instead, participants should position themselves for two-sided, responsive trade.

Still, because the market initiated out of balance, lower, responsive sellers have been emboldened. As a result, participants ought to respond to probes into value. Therefore, as long as the S&P 500 remains below the $3,794.75 high-volume node (HVNode), an area that offers favorable entry and exit, the bearish narrative remains intact.

The go/no-go for upside is the $3,823.75 regular-trade high. The go/no-go for downside is $3,721.00 overnight low. Anything in-between portends responsive, non-directional trade.

Above $3,823.75 puts in play the $3,842.00 HVNode. Below $3,721.00 , participants ought will look to respond to the $3,611.50 and $3,556.00 HVNodes, in the worst case.

Graphic 5: 4-hour profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures

Levels Of Interest: $3,823.75 regular-trade high, $3,721.00 overnight low.

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Commentary

Market Commentary For 1/28/2021

Notice: To view this week’s big picture outlook, click here.

What Happened: Alongside the earnings of heavily weighted index constituents and news the Fed would maintain monetary stimulus amid a slowing recovery, U.S. index futures sold heavy Wednesday, and found acceptance at lower prices during the overnight session.

What Does It Mean: During Wednesday’s regular trade in the S&P 500, market participants were unable to maintain higher prices.

This came as the market failed to drum up initiative buying after an upside break of the $3,852.50 ledge, in addition to profile structures denoting the presence of excess (which forms after an auction has traveled too far in a particular direction and portends sustained reversal). Both of the prior occurrences provided increased confidence among responsive sellers.

Additionally, participants saw a proxy for buying derived from short sales (i.e., liquidity provision on the market making side) decline and a substantial change in tone in terms of speculative derivatives activity.

Graphic 1: Speculative derivatives activity for January 27, 2021
Graphic 2: DIX by Squeeze Metrics suggests large divergence between price and buying

What To Expect: Thursday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET) will likely open inside of prior-balance and -range, suggesting limited directional opportunity.

Further, yesterday’s move through the $3,824.00 – $3,763.75 balance-area was the most negative outcome and portends further downside discovery.

Graphic 3: 15-minute chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures show near-term damage to bullish thesis

Given that increased capital was not committed into yesterday’s lows, evidenced by a divergent delta (i.e., the difference between buying and selling pressure), participants can expect a near-term low, per graphic 4.

Graphic 4: Divergent delta in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY), the largest ETF that tracks the S&P 500

That said, because the market initiated out of balance, lower, responsive sellers have been emboldened. As a result, participants ought to respond to probes into value. Therefore, as long as the S&P 500 remains below the $3,794.75 high-volume node (HVNode), an area that offers favorable entry and exit, the bearish narrative remains intact.

The go/no-go for upside is the $3,806.50 regular-trade high. The go/no-go for downside is $3,703.25 overnight low. Anything in-between portends responsive, non-directional trade.

Above $3,806.50 puts in play the $3,842.00 HVNode. Below $3,703.25, participants ought to look to the $3,611.50 and $3,556.00 HVNodes.

Graphic 5: 4-hour profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures

Levels Of Interest: $3,806.50 regular-trade high, $3,703.25 overnight low.

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Commentary

Market Commentary For 1/8/2021

Notice: To view this week’s big picture outlook, click here.

What Happened: Alongside hopes for more stimulus spending to help the U.S. recover from the pandemic downturn, U.S. index futures established a new all-time high in the overnight session, before backing off into prior-range and -value.

What Does It Mean: After the resolve of a long-liquidation earlier in the week, the market is in price discovery mode, trending to establish balance, or two-sided trade.

What To Expect: Friday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET) will likely open close to prior-balance and -range, implying higher volatility at the open.

Few dynamics to note: (1) poor structure in prior sessions, as evidenced by the low-volume areas (LVNodes) in the graphic above, (2) divergence from developing value, (3) a new overnight all-time high (i.e., historically, there is a low probability that overnight all-time highs end the upside discovery process), as well as (4) unsupportive speculative flows and delta in some instances.

Given the above dynamics, the go/no-go level for upside in the S&P 500 is the $3,817.75 overnight high. The go/no-go level for downside is the low-volume node at $3,787.50, an area that denotes upside conviction. On any virgin test, the S&P 500 ought to find support at this LVNode. However, should the index break below that level, then conviction has changed.

In a failure to break either go/no-go level, the normal course of action would be responsive trade.

Noting: Since the prior day’s range is close by, any acceptance (i.e., at least one half-hour of trade) of price within prior value reduces the odds of a dynamic move.

Levels Of Interest: $3,817.75 overnight high and $3,787.50 LVNode.

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Commentary

Market Commentary For 12/11/2020

What Happened: Alongside worries over the economic impact of a resurgent pandemic, U.S. index futures auctioned lower overnight.

What Does It Mean: During Thursday’s regular trading, buyers responded to lower prices, at the high-volume node near $3,667.75, a price level where the auction spent a lot of time in the past.

The session ended inside of prior balance and range denoting acceptance of the lower prices.

What To Expect: In light of yesterday’s price acceptance and the overnight gap lower, the following frameworks apply for today’s trade.

In the best case, the auction makes an attempt to repair some of the poor overnight structure. Thereafter, buyers regain conviction and initiate through the $3,642.75 balance-area boundary, ending the downtrend. This scenarios would put in play the high-volume node at $3,667.75.

In the worst case, if the S&P 500 auctions below $3,630.00, participants would look to whether the $3,592.25 balance-boundary offers a response. If not, the higher-time frame breakout is put into question.

Levels Of Interest:  $3,642.75 and $3,592.25 balance-area boundary, as well as the $3,667.75 and $3,630.00 high-volume nodes.

Bonus: The higher-time frame breakout remains intact and selling appears measured. Still, the rally is on hold; monitor for continuation.

Pictured: Daily candlestick chart of the cash S&P 500 Index