Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For January 13, 2023

Physik Invest’s Daily Brief is read by thousands of subscribers. You, too, can join this community to learn about the fundamental and technical drivers of markets.

Graphic updated 7:00 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 this letter. Levels may have changed since initially quoted; 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) measure reflects the total attractiveness of owning volatility.

Administrative

A bit late as your letter writer is getting ready to travel. Sorry and have a great Friday!

Fundamental

Thursday’s inflation update was as expected.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) saw a 6.5% rise year-over-year (YoY) and a 0.1% fall month-over-month (MoM). Core CPI was +5.7% YoY and +0.3% MoM. 

In his post-CPI analysis, Andreas Steno Larsen said inflation has mostly disappeared, and, if we cut shelter costs, which are outdated, “deflation on a quarterly and monthly basis is here.”

Graphic: Retrieved from Andreas Steno Larsen.

The Federal Reserve’s (Fed) “favored statistical measures for underlying inflationary pressure all confirm a decline,” added Bloomberg’s John Authers.

Prices are beginning to behave more as central bankers would wish,” paving the way to a downshift in tightening, as is priced by the markets. Using the CME Group Inc’s (NASDAQ: CME) FedWatch Tool, traders were split, and the odds of a 25 or 50 basis point hike were more even prior to CPI.

The odds are now skewed toward a 25 basis point hike.

Graphic: Retrieved from CME Group Inc’s (NASDAQ: CME) FedWatch Tool. Depending on the measure, rates are seen peaking between 4.9% and 5.10%.

Despite the odds of a less aggressive hike – yields falling and swaps suggesting the Fed could skip a hike in March – and the impact that has on valuing businesses (e.g., firm profits worth less at higher interest rates hence the de-rate of 2022), the data suggests that “inflation spikes have never been vanquished until the federal funds rate exceeds the inflation rate,” and, with the return in deflation, Steno Larsen said, the outlook for stocks remains poor.

“Remember that the PPI (and the CPI for that matter) is a leading indicator for EPS.” Consequently, “we are in for negative EPS.”

If you’re not an active trader and unable to participate in both the up- and down-side of markets, then you may capitalize on higher interest rates with Treasury bills or Box Spreads, which allow you to create loan structures similar to a Treasury bill. Upon the spread’s maturity, it settles and earns a competitive interest rate.

Graphic: Retrieved from boxtrades.com.

If you’re an active trader, as I said to one subscriber privately, “the more depressed technology names to the upside for debits [were] attractive” (i.e., buying call option structures in the likes of Tesla and Amazon).

This is while put structures you may monetize in case of a large repricing in volatility have kept their values well amid what appears to be a shift higher in the skew; in the past days, we talked about measures including the Cboe VIX Volatility (INDEX: VVIX) printing at historic levels.

Graphic: Updated January 12, 2023. S&P 500 (INDEX: SPX) volatility skew retrieved from Interactive Brokers Group Inc’s (NASDAQ: IBKR) Trader Workstation.

Measures like the VVIX suggests “we can get cheap exposure to convexity while a lot of people are worried,” as The Ambrus Group’s Kris Sidial said in one article. Though volatility can be bimodal (i.e., stay low for longer for lack of better phrasing), from a “risk-to-reward perspective, … it’s a better bet to be on the long volatility side,” given “that there are so many things that … keep popping up” from a macro perspective.

Graphic: Cboe VIX Volatility (INDEX: VVIX) via TradingView.

Technical

As of 7:00 AM ET, Friday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET), in the S&P 500, is likely to open in the lower part of a negatively skewed overnight inventory, inside of prior-range and -value, suggesting a limited potential for immediate directional opportunity.

Our S&P 500 pivot for today is $3,988.25 HVNode. 

Key levels to the upside include $4,000.25, $4,011.75, and $4,028.75.

Key levels to the downside include $3,979.75, $3,959.00, and $3,943.25.

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

As a disclaimer, the S&P 500 could trade beyond the levels quoted in the letter. Therefore, you should load the above link on your browser for more relevant levels.

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

Definitions

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.

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


About

In short, 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.

Contact

Direct queries to renato@physikinvest.com or Renato Capelj#8625 on Discord.

Calendar

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

Disclaimer

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

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For January 12, 2023

Physik Invest’s Daily Brief is read by thousands of subscribers. You, too, can join this community to learn about the fundamental and technical drivers of markets.

Graphic updated 8:45 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 this letter. Levels may have changed since initially quoted; 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) measure reflects the total attractiveness of owning volatility.

Administrative

A quick letter today, apologies.

Given the large, post-CPI movement, the above dashboard may be out of date!

Separately, your letter writer will be heading to Davos, Switzerland during next week’s World Economic Forum. Let me know if you’ll be in town. Take care!

Fundamental

Today, market participants received data that appears in line with estimates.

Expected was a 6.5% rise year-over-year (YoY) and a 0.1% fall month-over-month (MoM). These numbers were +7.1% and +0.1% the release prior.

Mattering most is core inflation, which the Fed has more control over. The expectation was that core CPI rose 5.7% YoY and 0.3% MoM. In the release prior, these numbers were 6.0% and 0.2%, respectively.

Overall, the view that inflation is trending in the right direction is supported.

We often unpack the implications, but we will save that for a coming analysis.

Positioning

We saw meaningful outperformance in realized volatility (RVOL). This was, in part, a result of increased demand for short-dated exposures to movements (i.e., gamma), as well as a supply of farther-dated volatility (i.e., +gamma worked, +vega did not).

The trends, as your letter writer explained in recent write-ups, and in a Benzinga article, may eventually exhaust; measures like the VVIX, which is the volatility of the VIX or the volatility of the S&P 500’s volatility, are printing at levels seen in 2017. 

According to Kai Volatility’s Cem Karsan, markets are in a transition period and what’s worked in 2022 may not work as well in 2023; trades are becoming crowded and S&P 500 volatility skews have hit a lower bound of sorts. That was echoed by The Ambrus Group’s Kris Sidial who said that “we can get cheap exposure to convexity while a lot of people are worried.”

Since the start of the year, the skew shifted meaningfully higher while the S&P 500 and VIX have moved higher in sync, as well. Some, like SpotGamma, have their own explanation (e.g., the fear of missing out on a move higher results in call buying that bids volatility), expressing that this may be a trend that persists through events like Thursday’s consumer price update.

This letter’s takeaway is as follows. Markets can experience more of the same. As history has shown, the right trade may turn out to be short volatility across longer time horizons, and long/own volatility across shorter time horizons, for longer (i.e., current trends promoting realized volatility outperformance may persist longer).

However, should current trends persist, the market is likely to become far less well-hedged, as Karsan said in the video. If a catalyst arises, there may be a repricing in volatility which traders would not want to be on the wrong side of. Notwithstanding, as Sidial says, “[if] you’re trading volatility, let there be an underlying catalyst for doing so.” Don’t just buy it because it is cheap, or sell it because it is expensive.

We’ll go through the charts and implications in far more detail over the coming sessions. Your letter writer is stretched for time this morning. Take care!

Technical

As of 7:30 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 $3,988.25 HVNode. 

Key levels to the upside include $4,000.25, $4,011.75, and $4,028.75.

Key levels to the downside include $3,979.75, $3,959.00, and $3,943.25.

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

As a disclaimer, the S&P 500 could trade beyond the levels quoted in the letter. Therefore, you should load the above link on your browser for more relevant levels.

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

Definitions

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.

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


About

In short, 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.

Contact

Direct queries to renato@physikinvest.com or Renato Capelj#8625 on Discord.

Calendar

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

Disclaimer

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

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For December 28, 2022

Physik Invest’s Daily Brief is read by thousands of subscribers. You, too, can join this community to learn about the fundamental and technical drivers of markets.

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 this letter. Levels may have changed since initially quoted; 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. VIX reflects a current reading of the CBOE Volatility Index (INDEX: VIX) from 0-100.

Positioning

In Physik Invest’s Market Intelligence letter for December 21, we discussed the potential for “pressure on options prices [to] remain through December.” In short, on the odds that “nothing happens through the holidays,” it made sense to sell implied volatility (IVOL) after CPI and FOMC targeting an end-of-month expiration.

The downward trajectory in IVOL remains intact in spite of some pockets of weakness under the hood in index heavyweights like Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA); expectations of future movement remain mute at both the index and single stock levels. As a result, short volatility trades (e.g., short straddle) in the indexes and near current market prices, expiring later this month, are doing really well.

Graphic: Retrieved from Kris Sidial. Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) 1-month IVOL “relatively muted throughout the pain.”

Part of the equation resulting in this sideways market and tame IVOL environment was discussed in the December 21 letter. Today we add color.

In short, traders’ anticipation of a market drop, as evidenced by them reducing equity exposures into and through the 2022 market decline, coupled with the exploitation of loopholes manifesting increased demand for short-dated exposure to movements (i.e., gamma), and a supply of IVOL that is farther-dated, has put a lid on broad equity IVOL measures like the Cboe Volatility Index (INDEX: VIX) and pushed skew lower.

Consequently, hedges performing well have a lot of +gamma intraday and exposure to realized volatility (RVOL), and less exposure to longer-dated IVOL. The other side of this trade (and those who may be warehousing this risk) has exposure to -gamma and, to hedge that, they must act in a manner that exacerbates realized movement, hence RVOL’s meaningful outperformance.

In fact, RVOL in 2022 is nearly two times the level of RVOL in 2021, all the while the IVOL term structure is basically at the “same place it was a year ago,” according to Danny Kirsch of Piper Sandler Companies (NYSE: PIPR).

Graphic: Retrieved from Danny Kirsch, the head of options at Piper Sandler Companies (NYSE: PIPR). “Rolling 1 year realized volatility [for] … 2022 nearly 2x the level of 2021, speaks to long gamma and not vega for 2022.”

In a two-and-a-half-hour Twitter Spaces discussion, Kai Volatility’s Cem Karsan discussed what is the potential cause of this. Some of the blame rests on the way margin calculations (i.e., the loophole mentioned earlier); less cash must be posted if trades are closed the same day, basically. 

Anyways, at the macro level, yes, the trends continue. Generally speaking, IVOL is mute and not accounting for the activity in short-dated options, as discussed by The Ambrus Group’s recent paper, while RVOL is about two times the level it was in 2021, making +gamma profitable.

However, at the micro level, so to speak, as we started out this discussion, traders’ anticipation that “nothing happens through the holidays,” has resulted in the supply of short-dated volatility, boosting the stickiness of open interest at current market prices.

Let’s unpack this further and explain why this activity won’t continue forever.

Near current market prices sit large concentrations of options positions. For instance, we have the $3,835.00 SPX strike (the call part of a massively popular collar trade that is rolled every quarter). At $3,835.00 is the short strike of a big collar trade.

This means the trader (or fund owner) is short the call, hence -delta and -gamma. The other side (or counterpart) is long the call, hence +delta and +gamma.

In theory, the other side, in response to this exposure, will buy weakness and sell strength. In other words, to hedge a long call, the other side sells futures. If the market falls, the call’s delta will fall and become less positive. Therefore, the other side will buy back some of their initial futures hedges (reduce -delta from short futures) to neutralize delta risk. If the market rises, the other side will have more exposure to +delta. To neutralize the delta, the other side will sell more futures.

As a consequence, the market pins.

Graphic: Retrieved from Banco Santander SA (NYSE: SAN).

This is a trend, as we discussed on December 21, that likely continues through year-end. After year-end, the market is likely to “move more freely,” per SpotGamma, “because this options activity that is promoting mean reversion will no longer be there,” and, therefore, the indexes likely trade more “in sync with its wild constituents of the likes of Tesla and beyond.”

More on what’s next:

As Karsan dissected, yesterday, there’s a “liquidity premium” that’s getting crowded short; in this less well-hedged market environment, traders’ realization with respect to liquidity and collateral needs for supporting trading activities may provide the context for some sharp drops. But first, it’s likely (though not certain) the market experiences some relief. Knowing that the long-end is cheap (hence near-zero percentile skew) on a supply and demand basis, it does not make sense to sell options blindly out in time.

Technical

As of 6:30 AM ET, Wednesday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET), in the S&P 500, is likely to open in the middle part of a balanced overnight inventory, inside of prior-range and -value, suggesting a limited potential for immediate directional opportunity.

Our S&P 500 pivot for today is $3,857.00. 

Key levels to the upside include $3,879.25, $3,893.75, and $3,908.25. 

Key levels to the downside include $3,838.25, $3,813.25, and $3,793.25.

Click here to load today’s 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.

Definitions

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.

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


About

In short, 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.

Contact

Direct queries to renato@physikinvest.com or Renato Capelj#8625 on Discord.

Calendar

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

Disclaimer

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

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For December 27, 2022

Physik Invest’s Daily Brief is read by thousands of subscribers. You, too, can join this community to learn about the fundamental and technical drivers of markets.

Graphic updated 9:00 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 this letter. Levels may have changed since initially quoted; 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. VIX reflects a current reading of the CBOE Volatility Index (INDEX: VIX) from 0-100.

Administrative

On December 23, 2022, issued was an in-depth trade recap. Check it out here. Adding, in that recap, shortly after release, your letter writer found he made a mistake in the ~11th paragraph. The incorrect greeks were listed, and that issue has been fixed online. Apologies.

Fundamental

Last week, the Bank of Japan’s (BoJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda sparked a rise in the yen and a fall in domestic US bonds, potentially ahead of some policy normalization. 

Japanese government bond yields can rise 0.5% versus 0.25% after a change to the BoJ’s yield-curve control policy, a tool used to fight the persistent “stagnation,” per Andreas Steno Larsen’s letter.

“Whatever the BOJ calls this, it is a step toward an exit,” said Masamichi Adachi, chief Japan economist at UBS Group AG (NYSE: UBS) Securities. “This opens a door for a possible rate hike in 2023,” and no more negative interest rates.

This development is not that good for so-called carry trades, as Bloomberg explained, “in which investors borrow in cheaper currencies to finance purchases of higher-yielding peers,” or, even, equities and other risk assets.

Graphic: Retrieved from Japan Securities Clearing Corporation’s website. Who is getting the margin call? Those who may be leveraged short yields. Adding, per Interactive Brokers Group Inc (NASDAQ: IBKR), “those who had the carry trade on should be getting clobbered with the yen rising dramatically. It is now about 3.8% more expensive to pay back the borrowed yen.”

The yen was a popular funding currency. It may not be any longer if this “is the first step towards tightening,” wrote Brown Brothers Harriman strategists, though the BoJ said, yesterday, this was “definitely not a step toward an exit,” with Steno Larsen adding QE “actually increased by 25%.”

Though “higher yields at home [in Japan] could mean less investment” from Japan, Bloomberg said, US stock and bond flows after the news hit suggest the carry trade may not be as impactful, to add.

Graphic: Retrieved from Bloomberg. Equities’ “advantage over bonds” is slimming.

Some, like Steno Larsen, conclude concerns, albeit warranted, may be overblown; in mid-2023, global inflation pressures likely “fade[] sufficiently to allow BoJ to resume its dovish stance,” all the while on recession fears, a “Fed pause or pivot is ultimately what will bring the Japanese lifers and pension funds back to the US Treasury table and a reversal of the USDJPY trade.”

So what?

Liquidity, though appearing positive amid an “empty[ing of] the TGA (Treasury General Account) … ahead of the debt ceiling [cross]-over,” is on a downward trajectory into the second and third quarters, after which “a pivot from the Fed [prompts] … a disinflation rally.”

So, per Steno Larsen, markets go sideways to higher to start the year and, then, down. Therefore, favor “having some equity beta” heading into 2023.

Position in “sectors that can swallow a simultaneous drop in the ISM and CPI on a relative basis … [include] utilities, health care, and staples.”

Graphic: Retrieved from Andreas Steno Larsen. “New year’s liquidity looks positive before getting worse during Q2/Q3.”

Technical

As of 8:55 AM ET, Tuesday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET), in the S&P 500, is likely to open in the lower part of a balanced overnight inventory, just inside of the prior-range and -value, suggesting a limited potential for immediate directional opportunity.

Our S&P 500 pivot for today is $3,859.00. 

Key levels to the upside include $3,879.25, $3,893.75, and $3,908.25. 

Key levels to the downside include $3,838.25, $3,813.25, and $3,793.25.

Click here to load today’s 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.

Definitions

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.

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


Definitions

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.

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


About

In short, 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.

Contact

Direct queries to renato@physikinvest.com or Renato Capelj#8625 on Discord.

Calendar

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

Disclaimer

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

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For December 23, 2022

Physik Invest’s Daily Brief is read by thousands of subscribers. You, too, can join this community to learn about the fundamental and technical drivers of markets.

Graphic updated 8:30 AM ET. Sentiment Neutral if expected /ES open is inside of the prior day’s range. /ES levels are derived from the profile graphic at the bottom of this letter. Levels may have changed since initially quoted; 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. VIX reflects a current reading of the CBOE Volatility Index (INDEX: VIX) from 0-100.

Positioning

Friends, please read the entire post.

In the Daily Brief for December 21, 2022, this letter dissected some of the positioning contexts responsible for fixed-strike and top-line implied volatility (IVOL) measures’ downward trajectory with the S&P 500. Since this detailed letter was published, IVOL has increased, albeit not by a massive amount so to speak. The moves lower, coupled with the volatility skew not blowing out, have enabled your letter writer to monetize structures entered into while on travel for a nice return. Let’s talk about it, further.

Heading into consumer price (i.e., inflation) updates, as well as updates from the Federal Reserve on their commitment to stemming inflation, traders sought to protect against (or bet on) movement thereby bidding measures of IVOL.

To quote The Ambrus Group’s Kris Sidial, the “entire term structure was jacked going into CPI and FOMC.” Additionally, “granted nothing out of left field,” Sidial added, it would be tough “for December and January vol[atility] to remain bid.”

Graphic: IVOL term structure retrieved from Tier1Alpha.com.

Accordingly, after the CPI and FOMC, market concerns ebbed and traders’ supply of the options they demanded, particularly at the front-end of the curve, pushed the term structure back to an upward-sloping so-called contango.

Graphic: IVOL term structure retrieved from Tier1Alpha.com.

As was detailed in the December 21 letter, this dynamic following the release of CPI and FOMC would do a lot to keep IVOL and equity movement contained. Knowing this, your letter writer’s trading partner alerted him while on a trip of skew presenting some nice, zero-cost trades that would expand should the market trade lower and IVOL remain contained (i.e., volatility skew not blowing out).

Upon analysis, entered was a simple +1 x -2 Put Ratio Spread (Trade Ticket: SOLD -1 1/2 BACKRATIO SPX 100 20 JAN 23 [AM] 3400/3150 PUT @.10) for a ~$10.00 credit before fees and commissions, a favorite of your letter writer’s.

Graphic: Filled orders on December 14, 2022.

The trades provided exposure to -Delta (direction) and +Gamma (movement).

Graphic: Position statement on December 14, 2022. Using portfolio margin to lower BP Effect.

As an aside, from the start the Vega (sensitivity to changes in IVOL) was negative but, this has a lot to do with how far out the spread is on the chain and, should there be movement as you’re about to see, enabling the put leg you own to start kicking in, so to speak, Vega ends up turning positive very quickly, all else equal.

The below graphic, taken on December 19, prior to much of the spread being monetized, shows a large -Delta, +Gamma, and +Vega (i.e., if the market moves lower or IVOL rises, the spread is to rise in value), much like it did when the market traded down into the beginning of this week and IVOL rose into the end of this week.

Graphic: Position statement on December 19, 2022. Using portfolio margin to lower BP Effect.

For one account, 50% of the initial trade was closed for $205-220.00 in credit per spread. After this closure, the remaining structure, in this one account, was turned into a +2 x -5 Ratio. Why? In short, the market was strengthening and the odds of a large move lower were, in short, low. To have downside exposure but be paid for the initial effort, the conversion from a +4 x -8 to a +2 x -5 resulted in an additional $8.10 credit, leaving your letter writer with a -Delta, +Gamma, and +Vega, still.

Graphic: Trade history on December 23, 2022.

In the days after, the market turned and traded lower, far more than expected. Notwithstanding, the remaining structures (both +1 x -2 and +2 x -5) performed well, though the 2×5’s Vegas briefly turned negative on the sharp selling yesterday, which, if it had remained like that, would have solicited action (i.e., repositioning, closure, or hedging via correlated instrument).

Graphic: Working orders on December 23, 2022.

At the end of the day, what’s important to your letter writer, here, is how the spread prices if the market moves to it today, all else (e.g., time, IVOL, etc) remains equal. If the spread prices at a better price to close at the money, that’s a quick check that says: “Hey, your bet on the market moving lower actually makes money if the market moves lower, all else equal.”

To explain further, look at the working orders above. At current S&P 500 levels, the +1 x -2 prices for $215.00 credit to close. The Delta is negative, as desired, and both the Gamma and Vega are positive. If the spread was at the money, it prices for nearly a $4,500.00 credit to close as shown below.

Graphic: Pricing an order on December 23, 2022.

So, what now? Well, the exposure is really light and much of the structure was monetized. From here, if the market moves lower that would likely be good for the remaining structures. Any costs to enter have been covered and, at this point, the trade is a free bet on the downside.

Obviously, there are pieces not included in this trade dissection, today, including how to properly manage your greek risk, as well as size the position at entry. These are the secret sauces, so to speak, that will either make or break you in the long run.

Should you want more write-ups like this, comment below. Your letter writer attempts to make these updates as informative and engaging as possible. It’s tough, at times, given the dullness of the material. Separately, trading is not as hard as it’s all made out to be. Sure, you need to have a good read on markets (e.g., skew), but, as your letter writer has learned over the many years he’s been engaging with markets, the theory is nothing like practice. No formula will help you price and enter the correct trade structure in a fast-moving meme stock with IVOL blowing out. 

If all could be automated, there would be no market. Markets are the product of human emotion. Avoid acting on theory, blindly. Price different structures, like the ones this letter has detailed, and observe how the different parts of the trade interact with each other as the market moves, IVOL moves, time passes, interest rates change, and so on.

For instance, you could have owned puts early in the week and still lost money as the market moved lower. If you would have leveraged a short leg against your long leg, then you could have offset the decay, as your letter writer did above.

There’s no substitute for time in the seat (e.g., you could have observed the -Vega at the entry on the trade structure above and not entered, missing out on the trade’s expansion. Time in the seat taught your letter writer better).

Don’t construe this letter’s simplicity as naivety, also. In the end, what’s your exposure to movement? If your bet is on movement, will you make money if the market moves? If not, find another trade structure or sit out.

Anyways, happy holidays to you and your closest. It’s been quite the year and I have a lot to be thankful for and reflect on. See you next week, most likely (though your letter writer’s burn-out may result in new publications being delayed until the new year).

Technical

As of 8:20 AM ET, Friday’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, inside of prior-range and -value, suggesting a limited potential for immediate directional opportunity.

Our S&P 500 pivot for today is $3,867.75. 

Key levels to the upside include $3,879.25, $3,893.75, and $3,908.25. 

Key levels to the downside include $3,833.00, $3,813.25, and $3,793.25.

Click here to load today’s 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.

Definitions

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.

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


About

In short, 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.

Contact

Direct queries to renato@physikinvest.com or Renato Capelj#8625 on Discord.

Calendar

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

Disclaimer

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

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For December 21, 2022

Physik Invest’s Daily Brief is read by thousands of subscribers. You, too, can join this community to learn about the fundamental and technical drivers of markets.

Graphic updated 9:35 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. Levels may have changed since initially quoted; 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. VIX reflects a current reading of the CBOE Volatility Index (INDEX: VIX) from 0-100.

Positioning

Traders may have observed a unique market dynamic occurring in the past sessions.

In spite of a down S&P 500 (INDEX: SPX), fixed-strike and top-line implied volatility (IVOL) measures such as the Cboe Volatility Index (INDEX: VIX), are on a downward trajectory. Let’s unpack.

Heading into the December monthly options expiration (OPEX), traders were seeking to bet on and guard against large market movement. Traders’ demand for options, particularly those that are shorter-dated, bid IVOL markedly over the period running up to December OPEX.

Graphic: Retrieved from Bloomberg via Michael Kramer. “No reason for the Cboe Volatility Index (INDEX: VIX) to rise when OPEX every day allows precision hedging.”

In fact, based on the pricing of options, the “consensus was a large right tail move in stocks,” SpotGamma explained in a recent note. Just look at the prices of options expiring December 15. There was a big premium in ultra-short-dated S&P 500 call options (left) versus puts (right).

Graphic: Retrieved by Physik Invest via the thinkorswim platform.

The same can be viewed via low volatility skew, in part the result of traders’ decreased interest in owning downside protection (as there is less reason to hold downside protection if you have sold your long stock and/or you have monetized existing protection during the 2022 decline).

Graphic: Retrieved from Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS).

Anyways, as a result, counterparties (i.e., those who supplied traders their positive exposure to movement) were left “short a massive amount of Gamma,” or negative exposure to movement, which often results in hedging that reduces market liquidity and fattens the tails of the potential distribution of returns (i.e., buying strength and selling weakness), Kai Volatility said in a letter; positioning boosted “crash risk” and the potential for “more melt-ups.”

A clear display of this was after the “CPI release on Tuesday … In a matter of hours, [the] market gapped up 4% [and] then gave it all back,” Kai Volatility said.

Graphic: Retrieved from Danny Kirsch of Piper Sandler Companies (NYSE: PIPR). S&P 500 (INDEX: SPX) January $4,100.00 call volatility down, while the market is up big, offsets rally.

To further explain, that is because short-dated options gain and lose value quickly given their increased sensitivity to changes in market movement (Gamma), as time passes. When the S&P 500 moved higher after CPI, call options gained a lot of value (Delta) very quickly. Those on the other side of that trade (i.e., counterparts), who had exposure to -Gamma or negative exposure to movement, went from having, for sake of brevity, very little -Delta to a lot of -Delta. Therefore, counterparts bought stock and futures (added +Delta) to hedge against an imbalance bolstering rapid up-market movement. When the short-dated exposure rolled off, these options risks were no longer there. Counterparts removed the +Delta they added (sold stock and futures back to the market) resulting in a move back down to where markets had started.

Moving on.

Following the events of last week, the absence of the unexpected (i.e., what traders sought to hedge and/or bet on), resulted in options selling (supply of protection), a pressure on options prices that remained through December’s large monthly OPEX.

Graphic: Retrieved from Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS) via Bloomberg. OPEX removed open interest that was demanded at higher levels of IVOL and skew over the past three years, per Kai Volatility’s Cem Karsan. The associated compression of IVOL (Vanna flow) and the passage of time (Charm flow) you would expect to see this December period (i.e., bullish seasonality), coupled with a dash-for-cash and tax-loss selling seen following the calendar flip, was front-run creating the context for this market down, IVOL down environment.

These pressures are expected to last through January 10, as it’s easy to sell high IVOL likely to expire worthless (knowing there are good odds that nothing happens through the holidays), and own IVOL on the back of that period which is cheap.

Graphic: Retrieved from Danny Kirsch of Piper Sandler Companies (NYSE: PIPR). S&P 500 (INDEX: SPX) January $3,800.00 put volatility down while the market is down.

As Karsan puts it, “you’ll have some moments of minor excitement but no crazy tails,” until the week of January 10 when we are more likely to “see a countertrend rally.”

Following this period, as far out as May, there is a seasonal effect in the volatility space that could set the stage for a sharp leg lower. More on this later.

Technical

As of 9:30 AM ET, Wednesday’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 $3,867.75. 

Key levels to the upside include $3,893.75, $3,909.25, and $3,926.50. 

Key levels to the downside include $3,851.00, $3,838.25, and $3,813.25.

Click here to load today’s 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.

Definitions

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.


About

In short, 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.

Contact

Direct queries to renato@physikinvest.com or Renato Capelj#8625 on Discord.

Calendar

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

Disclaimer

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

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For December 20, 2022

Physik Invest’s Daily Brief is read by thousands of subscribers. You, too, can join this community to learn about the fundamental and technical drivers of markets.

Graphic updated 9:45 AM ET 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 this letter. Levels may have changed since initially quoted; 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. VIX reflects a current reading of the CBOE Volatility Index (INDEX: VIX) from 0-100.

Fundamental

In a well-put statement by Tier1Alpha, “2022 was not a ‘classic’ bear market accompanying an earnings recession and economic slowdown, but rather a ‘rebalancing channel’ bear market.”

Essentially, as the Federal Reserve (Fed) raises interest rates and bond prices fall, equities are sold and “a ‘bear market’ occurs due to portfolio rebalancing,” as Michael Green well explained in a recent interview.

Graphic: Retrieved from Ned Davis Research via Bloomberg.

Further, some of the most sensitive (beaten) stocks have been in the technology and innovation sectors and, according to one article by Bloomberg’s John Authers, that’s not surprising.

Graphic: ARK Innovation ETF (NYSE: ARKK) via TradingView.

“These companies are prone to fears of rising interest rates, especially since many of them are valued based on their projected profits far into the future. As the Federal Reserve presses on with its most aggressive tightening of monetary policy in decades, the future profits of tech firms will be worth far less at these higher interest rates. And with recession calls growing louder, it might just spell more trouble ahead for these firms.”

Moving on, given the rule of thumb – “past inflation spikes have never been vanquished until the federal funds rate exceeds the inflation rate” – in the realm of possibilities is a “crash … signaling to the Fed that they have raised rates enough.”

Likewise, per an article by Andreas Steno Larsen making the case for a comeback in deflation, equities have yet to price the negative EPS growth we’re likely to see.

Graphic: Retrieved from Andreas Steno Larsen.

“Those who find a lower inflation print a good opportunity to buy risk assets should look away now,” Steno Larsen said. “Remember that the PPI (and the CPI for that matter) is a leading indicator for EPS … if we allow the oil future to predict PPI, then we are in for negative EPS.”

Graphic: Retrieved from Academy Securities’ Peter Tchir via Bloomberg.

Adding, Steno Larsen is in the camp that thinks “the 1970s playbook is intact.” When “the disinflation in goods spills over to services through the spring of 2023, … the Fed will pivot,” he explained.

Graphic: Retrieved from Andreas Steno Larsen.

Some come off as less pessimistic, though. The Fed is to ease sooner than expected; quantitative tightening (QT) is not likely to run its course, Joseph Wang said.

To explain, “an ideal QT would drain liquidity in the overall financial system while keeping liquidity in the banking sector above a minimum threshold. That is only possible if the bulk of the liquidity drained is sourced from the $2T RRP, which holds funds owned by money market funds. MMFs could facilitate QT by withdrawing funds from the RRP to invest in the growing supply of Treasury bills, but recent data suggests they have lost interest in bills. Households [which include hedge funds] appear to have replaced MMFs as the marginal buyer of bills and are funding their purchases out of funds held in the banking sector. This suggests QT may lower banking sector liquidity below the Fed’s comfort level much earlier than anticipated.”

Hence, the downside that has yet to happen may prove not to be as material. A potential consequence, as Steno Larsen sees, is “double inflation,” bolstered by inflationary deglobalization trends that may accelerate.

For equities, “a revisit of the $3,500.00-$3,600.00 zone should be on the cards for S&P 500,” he said, while other markets, like housing, may see drawdowns reaching “15-20%” in the base case.

We’ll go into more depth on certain points next week. Hope this was a great way to set the stage for future conversations.

Technical

As of 9:25 AM ET, Tuesday’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 negatively skewed overnight inventory, inside of prior-range and -value, suggesting a limited potential for immediate directional opportunity.

Our S&P 500 pivot for today is $3,838.25. 

Key levels to the upside include $3,857.00, $3,867.75, and $3,893.75. 

Key levels to the downside include $3,813.25, $3,793.25, and $3,776.75.

Click here to load today’s 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.

Definitions

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.


About

In short, 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.

Contact

Direct queries to renato@physikinvest.com or Renato Capelj#8625 on Discord.

Calendar

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

Disclaimer

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

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For November 23, 2022

Physik Invest’s Daily Brief is read by over 1,200 people. To join this community and learn about the fundamental and technical drivers of markets, subscribe below.

Graphic updated 6:45 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. Levels may have changed since initially quoted; 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. VIX reflects a current reading of the CBOE Volatility Index (INDEX: VIX) from 0-100.

Team, it’s been insane on my end. Physik Invest’s Daily Brief will be paused through the end of this week (November 24 and 25). Wishing you happy holidays!

Hopefully, clearer notes and consistent releases to resume, after the break.


Crypto Turmoil Persists:

The FTX (CRYPTO: FTT) debacle has induced even more illiquidity.

Bloomberg’s Matt Levine wrote that the fall in liquidity “has been dubbed the ‘Alameda Gap,’” noting that “[p]lunges in liquidity usually come during periods of volatility as trading shops pull bids and asks from their order books.”

Turmoil and Opportunity:

You may take advantage of the aforementioned uncertainties through arbitrage (i.e., buy at a lower price at one venue and sell at a higher price at another venue). Notice the ~$500 spread on BTC/USDT, for instance.

Graphic: Retrieved from Shift Search at 6:53 AM ET on November 23, 2022.

Elsewhere, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (OTC: GBTC) is trading at a ~43.00% discount to the value of the Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) it holds.

Per Bloomberg, “US regulators have repeatedly denied applications to convert GBTC into a physically-backed exchange-traded fund,” and that means the fund is not “able to redeem shares to keep pace with shifting demand.”

To note, the discount pales in comparison to the 101.00% premium to the net-asset value achieved in December 2017. The average net-asset value is a 12.00% premium.

Graphic: Retrieved from Bloomberg.

Anyways, in greater detail, we discussed the crypto turmoil on November 9 and 10. Those notes may be of interest if the context is desired. Though this is not a crypto-focused letter, crypto is “tied up in the liquidity bubble that exists across all assets.”

Graphic: Retrieved from Physik Invest’s Daily Brief posted on November 10, 2022.

As an example, during the week of November 8, when the narrative surrounding FTX’s demise was at its peak, the S&P 500 (INDEX: SPX), Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC), and FTX Trading token (CRYPTO: FTT) slid lower, bottomed, and rallied in sync.

Uncertainty, Correlation, and Positioning:

This is a part of the letter that may appear somewhat similar. We continue carrying forward and building on past analyses.

At its core, breakages in correlations some may have observed are accentuated by positioning forces we have talked about recently, as well as the above. These forces are important as you may have noticed the S&P 500’s tendency in responding to areas quoted by this letter.

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

In a nutshell, in light of a “de-grossing of ‘shorts’” per Nomura Holdings Inc (NYSE: NMR), the sale of the volatility investors owned, after events such as elections and CPI, boosted markets indirectly (i.e., counterparty exposure to risk declines as the market rises and investors sell volatility → counterparty reduces the size of their negative Delta hedges → this reduces market pressure and bolsters a rally).

Graphic: Retrieved from Nomura Holdings Inc (NYSE: NMR) via ZeroHedge.

Investors’ continued supply of protection, all the while markets were rising, resulted in further indirect support and, later, prompted responsiveness to key areas at which the options activity was concentrated. This was better detailed on November 16 and 18.

Graphic: Retrieved from Bloomberg.

While this activity is happening – the S&P pinning – underlying constituents are swinging far more amid traders’ own “uneasiness” in stocks and the crypto turmoil; if there are forces pinning and supporting the S&P, all the while there are constraints connecting it to wild(er) components, then something (e.g., correlation) has to give.

Expecting More Of The Same For Now:

Nonetheless, it’s likely for this wild activity under the surface to continue, and for the S&P 500, itself, to be the recipient of even more supportive flows.

For example, the buyback related to the pulled-forward decay of options’ Delta with respect to time (Charm) and continued sale of volatility (Vanna), in a lower liquidity environment, likely results in hedging flows enforcing seasonality and masking the wild(ness) mentioned above.

Graphic: Retrieved from Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS) via The Market Ear.

Risks Building Under The Surface:

However, what is happening right now may set the stage for persistently high realized volatility (RVOL) when something bad does happen and those flows we talked about do less to resist that underlying volatility and weakness.

To explain, implied volatility (IVOL) has performed poorly in the context of 2022’s far-reaching decline. That’s in part the result of proactive hedging and monetization of protection (i.e., supply) into the decline.

Graphic: Retrieved from Bloomberg. Measures of equity IVOL tame relative to bonds and FX.

Investors, with IVOL performing poorly, are pushed into better-performing strategies. That includes selling IVOL which does less and less to boost the markets more and more (i.e., per SpotGamma, “the marginal impact of added volatility compression is far lower” at this juncture).

Accordingly, the market is left in a more precarious, less well-hedged position, and that’s concerning given some of the cracks that have appeared including the Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE: CS) debacle covered in October, the UK liability-driven investment funds covered in September, interest rate swap risks, and beyond.

SCT Capital’s Hari Krishnan talked about some of these risks on a recent podcast.

In Essence, It’s Cheap To Hedge:

According to SpotGamma, “if you wanted to hedge, … it is historically cheap.”

Graphic: Cboe VVIX (INDEX: VVIX) measuring the expected volatility of the 30-day forward price of the VIX. Retrieved from TradingView. Via SpotGamma: “The VVIX is a naive check of participants’ exposure to the volatility of volatility itself (i.e., the non-linear sensitivity of an options price to changes in volatility or Vega convexity). This goes back to the point about the marginal impact of much more volatility compression; the marginal impact of volatility (expansion) compression would have a (bigger) smaller impact, comparatively.”

When you think there is to be an outsized move in the underlying, relative to what is priced, you buy options (+Gamma or positive exposure to directional movement).

When you think there is to be an outsized move in the implied volatility, relative to what is priced, you buy options (+Volga or positive exposure to IVOL changes).

If there’s a large change in direction (RVOL) or IVOL repricing, you may make money.

As an example, in mid-June, a trading partner and I noticed a change in tone in the non-linearity of volatility and skew with respect to linear changes in the price of the market (or S&P 500). The prices of ratio spread structures (i.e., long or short one option near-the-money, short or long two or more further out-of-the-money) changed by hundreds of percent for only a few basis points of change in the indexes.

At the time, Kai Volatility’s Cem Karsan noted this was “a spike in short-dated -sticky skew, [the] first we’ve seen since [the] secular decline began and it hints [at] a potentially critical change in dealer positioning [and] the distribution of underlying outcomes.” 

“We’re transitioning to a fat left tail, right-based distribution,” he added. 

So why does any of this matter?

In essence, it’s cheap to hedge and the context is there for you to do so, at least from a volatility (not directional) perspective. 

Here is an excerpt from Mohamed Bouzoubaa et al’s book Exotic Options and Hybrids to support some of the earlier statements.

Options have a “non-zero second-order price sensitivity (or convexity) to a change in volatility,” Bouzoubaa et al explain. “ATM vanillas are [not] convex in the underlying’s price, … but OTM vanillas do have vega convexity … [so], when the holder of an option is long vega convexity, we say she is long vol-of-vol.” 

In other words, by owning protection that’s far from current prices, you are positioned to monetize on a non-linear repricing of volatility, something we saw earlier this year and may continue to see.

Doing this in a manner that cuts decay (when nothing happens) is the difficult part.

Calendar and diagonal spreads come to mind (i.e., sell a short-dated option and buy a far-dated option). You are betting against movement (negative Gamma) over a span of time you don’t think the market will move (e.g., Thanksgiving). And, you are betting on movement (positive Gamma) over a larger span of time (e.g., after Thanksgiving) where decay may not be as accelerated.

Graphic: Retrieved from Trading Volatility, Correlation, Term Structure and Skew by Colin Bennett et al. Originally sourced via Academia.edu.

Ultimately, counterparties’ response to new demands for protection, if something bad happens later, would exacerbate movement and aid in the repricing of IVOL.

At that new IVOL level, there would be more stored energy to catalyze a rally and this letter would express that.

To sell downside volatility (or puts) at this juncture (with time) is a poor trade. To sell downside volatility as part of a larger, more complex structure could be a good trade (e.g., sell a call spread to finance an ultra-wide SPX put ratio spread).

It all depends on structure and management.

Technical

As of 6:45 AM ET, Wednesday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET), in the S&P 500, is likely to open in the middle part of a positively skewed overnight inventory, outside of the prior-range and -value, suggesting a potential for immediate directional opportunity.

Our S&P 500 pivot for today is $4,000.25. 

Key levels to the upside include $4,027.00, $4,051.00, and $4,069.25. 

Key levels to the downside include $3,985.00, $3,965.25, and $3,923.00.

Click here to load today’s 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.

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.


About

After years of self-education, strategy development, mentorship, 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. 

Capelj also writes options market analyses at SpotGamma and is a Benzinga journalist. 

His past works include private discussions with ARK Invest’s Catherine Wood, investors Kevin O’Leary and John Chambers, the infamous Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX, former Bridgewater Associate Andy Constan, Kai Volatility’s Cem Karsan, The Ambrus Group’s Kris Sidial, the Lithuanian Delegation’s Aušrinė Armonaitė, among many others.

Contact

Direct queries to renato@physikinvest.com or Renato Capelj#8625 on Discord.

Disclaimer

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

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For November 11, 2022

The daily brief is a free glimpse into the prevailing fundamental and technical drivers of U.S. equity market products. Join the 1,200+ that read this report daily, below!

Graphic updated 8:45 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 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. 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.

Administrative

A light letter. We’ll go into far more detail to start next week. See you, then!

Positioning

Assets rallied following a downside surprise in figures for headline annual inflation. Some policymakers also expressed a view that the pace of rate hikes could slow.

Graphic: Retrieved from Bloomberg. It’s not a coincidence that the most-shorted stocks of 2022 posted their biggest rally since 2020.

Barring the worst case, the stage was set for relief. Traders sought protection, as evidenced by a persistent bid in implied volatility (IVOL), which compounded the pressures of de-grossing.

Graphic: Retrieved from Bloomberg.

There was a “clustering of vol[atility] demand to hedge” elections and CPI, per Kai Volatility’s Cem Karsan. On the back of that, “the potential Vanna flows that [would] come from these events” are very positive.

Per SpotGamma, when “nothing bad happen[ed], and traders close[d] those puts, that … bolster[ed] [upside].”

Graphic: Retrieved from SpotGamma. SPX prices X-axis. Option Delta Y-axis. When the factors of implied volatility (Vanna) and time (Charm) change, hedging ratios change. The graphic is for illustrational purposes, only.

Karsan adds the market is entering a period during which there’s less liquidity to absorb decaying protection with respect to time (Charm).

This may drive (bullish) seasonality.

Risks are brewing, though. The very poor hedging heading into this next rally may set the stage for a violent downside. Traders not well-hedged may seek protection when something bad happens, and this will compound macro-type sales, particularly if the activity is in options with less time to expiration (note the below graphic).

Graphic: Retrieved from JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM) via Bloomberg. “There is indeed some market impact on the SPX from [ultra-short-dated options],” the team wrote. 

Technical

As of 7:45 AM ET, Friday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET), in the S&P 500, is likely to open in the middle part of a positively skewed overnight inventory, outside of prior-range and -value, suggesting a potential for immediate directional opportunity.

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades higher.

Any activity above the $3,964.75 HVNode puts into play the $4,001.00 VPOC. Initiative trade beyond the VPOC could reach as high as the $4,069.25 HVNode and $4,136.75 MCPOC, or higher.

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower.

Any activity below the $3,964.75 HVNode puts into play the $3,913.00 VPOC. Initiative trade beyond the VPOC could reach as low as the $3,871.25 and $3,838.25 LVNode, or lower.

Click here to load today’s 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.

Definitions

Volume Areas: A structurally sound market builds on high-volume (HVNodes) areas.

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 low volume, 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.

About

After years of self-education, strategy development, mentorship, 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.

Capelj also develops insights around impactful options market dynamics at SpotGamma and is a Benzinga reporter.

Some of his works include conversations with ARK Invest’s Catherine Wood, investors Kevin O’Leary and John Chambers, FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried, ex-Bridgewater Associate Andy Constan, Kai Volatility’s Cem Karsan, The Ambrus Group’s Kris Sidial, among many others.

Disclaimer

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 19, 2022

The daily brief is a free glimpse into the prevailing fundamental and technical drivers of U.S. equity market products. Join the 900+ that read this report daily, below!

Graphic updated 6:45 AM ET. Sentiment Risk-Off if expected /ES open is below 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. 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.

Administrative

Slow start to the week with some color on statements made in last week’s detailed newsletters, like the one published on September 16, 2022. 

As an aside, some updates are coming to this letter’s format and you will be in the loop on what those are and why, shortly.

Fundamental

This is the season for volatility. The S&P 500’s (INDEX: SPX) monthly realized volatility, over a period spanning 1928 to 2021, has historically been high during this part of the year.

Graphic: Retrieved from The Market Ear. Via Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS).

Adding to the volatility are uncertainties with respect to the macro environment. For example, last week we discussed the implementation of contractionary monetary policies for reducing inflation and growth. 

Read the Daily Brief for September 16, 2022, for detail on rates, quantitative tightening (and its impact on lending and market liquidity), as well as positioning and beyond.

Given the lagging data policymakers input into their decision-making, versus what non-lagging indicators are showing the likes of Catherine Wood and Elon Musk, “deflation is in the pipeline,” and the Fed may hike into a “deep recession,” as BlackRock Inc (NYSE: BLK) strategists put.

Per Andreas Steno Larsen, in the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) report, which had traders pricing increased odds of a 100 basis point hike to interest rates, shelter costs did much of the “heavy lifting.”

Graphic: Retrieved from Bloomberg via Michael J. Kramer. Based on where rates are at, the market may still be too expensive.

The MoM shelter costs were up in excess of 0.7%. Notwithstanding, the “[c]ost of shelter is the most lagging variable in the basket,” all the while the “shelter index in the CPI basket lags the housing price development by up to 18 months.”

As a result, this means drops in rents and home prices could “take more than a year for the CPI methodology to” account.

Graphic: Via Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) research.

These aforementioned comments, coupled with reports issued by the National Federation of Independent Business, boost the cases of those claiming inflation has peaked, such as Musk and Wood. 

Steno Larsen puts forth that “most analysts and newsletter-sellers … missed the most important inflation print of the week, namely the NFIB price plan survey” which bolsters the case for prices reaching their “new highs in YoY terms.”

Graphic: Retrieved from Andreas Steno Larsen.

Positioning

Pointing readers back to the September 16, 2022 letter for contexts on the positioning. 

Further, it is essentially the case that “2022 is a put-weighted regime [and] returns are negative into options expiration (OPEX) and positive after,” explained SpotGamma on Sunday.

The impact of OPEX is so staggering that “flipping to cash” the week of expiry nets far better returns than holding S&P 500 without any adjustments.

More on this, later!

Graphic: Retrieved from SpotGamma and Saqib Iqbal Ahmed.

Technical

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

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades higher.

Any activity above the $3,857.25 HVNode puts into play the $3,909.25 MCPOC. Initiative trade beyond the MCPOC could reach as high as the $3,935.00 VPOC and $3,964.75 HVNode, or higher.

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower.

Any activity below the $3,857.25 HVNode puts into play the $3,826.25 HVNode. Initiative trade beyond the latter could reach as low as the $3,770.75 HVNode and $3,722.50 LVNode, or lower.

Click here to load today’s 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.

Considerations: A feature of this 2022 down market was responsiveness near key-technical areas (that are discernable visually on a chart). This suggested to us that technically-driven traders with shorter time horizons were very active. 

Such traders often lack the wherewithal to defend retests and, additionally, the type of trade may be indicative of the other time frame participants waiting for more information to initiate trades.

That’s changing. The key levels, quoted above, are snapping far easier and are not as well respected. That means other time frame participants with wherewithal are initiating trades. 

Those are the participants you should not fade.

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.

About

After years of self-education, strategy development, mentorship, 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.

Capelj also develops insights around impactful options market dynamics at SpotGamma and is a Benzinga reporter.

Some of his works include conversations with ARK Invest’s Catherine Wood, investors Kevin O’Leary and John Chambers, FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried, ex-Bridgewater Associate Andy Constan, Kai Volatility’s Cem Karsan, The Ambrus Group’s Kris Sidial, among many others.

Disclaimer

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.