Categories
Commentary

Weekly Brief For September 12, 2021

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

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

Thank you and take care!

Market Commentary

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

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

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

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

Graphic updated 12:00 PM ET Saturday. Sentiment Neutral if expected /ES open is inside of the prior day’s range. SqueezeMetrics Dark Pool Index (DIX) and Gamma (GEX) calculations are based on where the prior day’s reading falls with respect to the MAX and MIN of all occurrences available. A higher DIX is bullish. At the same time, the lower the GEX, the more (expected) volatility. SHIFT data used for S&P 500 (INDEX: SPX) options activity approximation. Note that options flow is sorted by the call premium spent; if more positive then more was spent on call options. Breadth reflects a reading of the prior day’s NYSE Advance/Decline indicator. VIX reflects a current reading of the CBOE Volatility Index (INDEX: VIX) from 0-100.

What To Expect: During the prior week’s regular trade, on weak intraday breadth and mostly divergent market liquidity metrics, the worst-case outcome occurred, evidenced by trade below a key micro-composite high volume area (HVNode). 

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

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

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

Balance (Two-Timeframe Or Bracket): Rotational trade that denotes current prices offer favorable entry and exit. Balance-areas make it easy to spot a change in the market (i.e., the transition from two-time frame trade, or balance, to one-time frame trade, or trend). 

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

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

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

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

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

Excess: A proper end to price discovery; the market travels too far while advertising prices. Responsive, other-timeframe (OTF) participants aggressively enter the market, leaving tails or gaps which denote unfair prices.

Value-Area Placement: Perception of value unchanged if value overlapping (i.e., inside day). Perception of value has changed if value not overlapping (i.e., outside day). Delay trade in the former case.
Graphic: 30-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures and market liquidity, via Bookmap, for the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) coming into Thursday’s regular trade. Notice the cumulative volume delta (CVD) or buying and selling power as calculated by the difference in volume traded at the bid and offer. So, coming into Friday’s trade, stronger sellers were likely not yet on board.

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

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

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

The implications of these themes on price are contradictory

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weekly Trade Idea

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

Options offer an efficient way to gain directional exposure. 

If an option buyer was short (long) stock, he or she could buy a call (put) to hedge upside (downside) exposure. Additionally, one can spread, or buy (+) and sell (-) options together, strategically.

Commonly discussed spreads include credit, debit, ratio, back, and calendar.

  • Credit: Sell -1 option closer to the money. Buy +1 option farther out of the money.
  • Debit: Buy +1 option closer to the money. Sell -1 option farther out of the money.
  • Ratio: Buy +1 option closer to the money. Sell -2 options farther out of the money. 
  • Back: Sell -1 option closer to the money. Buy +2 options farther out of the money.
  • Calendar: Sell -1 option. Buy +1 option farther out in time, at the same strike.

Typically, if bullish (bearish), sell at-the-money put (call) credit spread and/or buy a call (put) debit/ratio spread structured around target price. Alternatively, if the expected directional move is great (small), opt for a back spread (calendar spread). Also, if credit spread, capture 50-75% of the premium collected. If debit spread, capture 2-300% of the premium paid.

Be cognizant of risk exposure to direction (delta), time (theta), and volatility (vega). 

  • Negative (positive) delta = synthetic short (long). 
  • Negative (positive) theta = time decay hurts (helps).
  • Negative (positive) vega = volatility hurts (helps).

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

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

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

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

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

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

News And Analysis

Lenders continue to expect falling profits, refinancing demand.

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

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

Oil prices continuing to fall as pandemic worries slow demand.

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

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

Nasdaq talks market infrastructure, the real trends in volumes.

Bonds turning hot; European Central Bank redefines tapering.

What People Are Saying

Let’s Hang Out

Los Angeles, CA September 10-12

New York, NY September 12-15

Salt Lake City, UT September 28-30

About

After years of self-education, strategy development, and trial-and-error, Renato Leonard Capelj began trading full-time and founded Physik Invest to detail his methods, research, and performance in the markets. 

Additionally, Capelj is a finance and technology reporter. Some of his biggest works include interviews with leaders such as John Chambers, founder and CEO, JC2 Ventures, Kevin O’Leary, businessman and Shark Tank host, Catherine Wood, CEO and CIO, ARK Invest, among others.

Disclaimer

At this time, Physik Invest does not manage outside capital and is not licensed. In no way should the materials herein be construed as advice. Derivatives carry a substantial risk of loss. All content is for informational purposes only.

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For September 3, 2021

Market Commentary

Equity indexes were sideways to higher with most commodities, yields, and the dollar. 

  • Ahead: NFP, unemployment, and more.
  • Participants await context on Fed taper.
  • Indexes positioned for directional move.
  • Market is closed Monday, September 6. 

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures auctioned higher overnight ahead of Friday’s jobs report which may provide market participants context with respect to the Federal Reserve’s intent to de-stimulate.

Ahead is data on nonfarm payrolls, unemployment rate, and average hourly earnings (8:30 AM ET), as well as Markit services PMI (9:45 AM ET) and ISM services index (10:00 AM ET).

Graphic updated 6:40 AM ET. Sentiment Risk-On if expected /ES open is above the prior day’s range. SqueezeMetrics Dark Pool Index (DIX) and Gamma (GEX) calculations are based on where the prior day’s reading falls with respect to the MAX and MIN of all occurrences available. A higher DIX is bullish. At the same time, the lower the GEX, the more (expected) volatility. SHIFT data used for S&P 500 (INDEX: SPX) options activity approximation. Note that options flow is sorted by the call premium spent; if more positive then more was spent on call options. Breadth reflects a reading of the prior day’s NYSE Advance/Decline indicator. VIX reflects a current reading of the CBOE Volatility Index (INDEX: VIX) from 0-100.

What To Expect: As of 6:40 AM ET, Friday’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 potential for immediate directional opportunity.

Adding, during the prior day’s regular trade, on positive intraday breadth and divergent market liquidity metrics, the best case outcome occurred, evidenced by trade sideways above the $4,526.25 level, a prominent high volume area (HVNode).

Graphic: Divergent delta (i.e., non-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 responsive trade or balance (i.e., rotational trade that suggests current prices offer favorable entry and exit).

This is significant because of acceptance, or a willingness to transact at higher prices. We’re carrying forward the presence of poor structure left behind prior trade.

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

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

Further, the aforementioned trade is happening in the context of Friday’s jobs report. This report may have strong implications on the equity market; to elaborate, the data release will provide market participants color with respect to the Federal Reserve’s intent to wind down stimulus.

Forecasted is the addition of 725,000 jobs in August, according to Bloomberg, a moderate pace in comparison to months prior. 

A strong report would suggest a success, on the part of businesses, to hire after months of crunched labor supply. On the other hand, “The softening in employment activity would be consistent with other economic data that have weakened since the surge in Covid case counts due to the delta variant,” Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC) economists said.

Bloomberg’s Katie Greifeld adds: “[R]ates are more likely to push higher on the heels of an unexpectedly strong jobs print than they are to fall in the wake of a weak one. With that dynamic in mind, bet against bonds.”

Graphic: Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE: WFC) data plotted by Bloomberg. 

To note, a softer report may pause any talk of taper to asset purchases. A reduction in the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet – a removal of liquidity – could prompt a sort of risk-off scenario in which participants try to get ahead of whatever cascading reactions may come with the taper.

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

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

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,526.25 high volume area (HVNode) puts in play the $4,545.75 overnight high (ONH). Initiative trade beyond the ONH puts in play the $4,556.25 and $4,592.25 Fibonacci extensions. 

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below the $4,526.25 HVNode puts in play the $4,510.00 level, a regular trade high (RTH High), and gap. Initiative trade beyond the RTH High and gap puts in play the $4,481.75 HVNode and $4,454.25 LVNode.

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

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

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

Initiative Buying (Selling): Buying (selling) within or above (below) the previous day’s value area.
Graphic: 65-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures updated 6:30 AM ET.

News And Analysis

Moody’s Weekly Market Outlook on Ida, gas, and inflation expectations. 

Short bets rise against consumer discretionary stocks as stimulus fades.

Traders set to test Powell’s push to delink hikes from bond-buying taper.

Three doses could become a standard COVID regimen, Dr. Fauci says.

The Western U.S. drought is forecasted to continue through fall at least.

U.S. structured finance issuance totaled $57B in August, rising 65% YoY.

What People Are Saying

About

After years of self-education, strategy development, and trial-and-error, Renato Leonard Capelj began trading full-time and founded Physik Invest to detail his methods, research, and performance in the markets. 

Additionally, Capelj is a finance and technology reporter. Some of his biggest works include interviews with leaders such as John Chambers, founder and CEO, JC2 Ventures, Kevin O’Leary, businessman and Shark Tank host, Catherine Wood, CEO and CIO, ARK Invest, among others.

Disclaimer

At this time, Physik Invest does not manage outside capital and is not licensed. In no way should the materials herein be construed as advice. Derivatives carry a substantial risk of loss. All content is for informational purposes only.

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For September 2, 2021

Market Commentary

Equity index futures, bonds, commodities sideways to higher. Yields, dollar lower.

  • Narratives collide; side with fear or greed?
  • Ahead is data on claims, trade, and more.
  • Indexes positioned for directional resolve.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures auctioned sideways overnight ahead of Friday’s key nonfarm payrolls release. 

Ahead is data on jobless claims, trade balance, productivity, core capital goods orders, and unit labor costs (8:30 AM ET), as well as factory orders (10:00 AM ET).

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

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

Adding, during the prior day’s regular trade, on positive, albeit middling intraday breadth and divergent market liquidity metrics, the best case outcome occurred, evidenced by sideways trade just shy of the $4,542.25 overnight all-time high (ONH).

Overnight Rally Highs (Lows): Typically, there is a low historical probability associated with overnight rally-highs (lows) ending the upside (downside) discovery process.
Graphic: Divergent delta (i.e., non-committed buying as measured by volume delta or buying and selling power as calculated by the difference in volume traded at the bid and offer) in SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY), one of the largest ETFs that track the S&P 500 index, via Bookmap. The readings are supportive of responsive trade or balance (i.e., rotational trade that suggests current prices offer favorable entry and exit).

This is significant because it marked balance and acceptance, or a willingness to transact at higher prices. We’re carrying forward, though, the presence of poor structure.

Balance (Two-Timeframe Or Bracket) Is The Status Quo: Rotational trade that denotes current prices offer favorable entry and exit. Balance-areas make it easy to spot a change in the market (i.e., the transition from two-time frame trade, or balance, to one-time frame trade, or trend). 

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

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

Though some of the implications of these themes on price are contradictory (e.g., inflows and declining sentiment), participants aren’t rushing to protect against short-term risks. This is most obvious via a shift lower in shorter-dated VIX expiries, a dynamic more so positive for near-term equity market stability.

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

That said, context is above all; walls of worry – inadvertently – push markets higher. Given that seasonality norms are breaking (as evidenced by non-seasonally aligned inflows), among other things, there may be more waiting before that long-awaited pullback comes to fruition. 

As Robert Shiller once said: “Part of the reason we had the Great Depression is people were aware of crowd psychology. Every day, they were watching the stock price index as a barometer of the health of the economy, and that made it more volatile.” So, how much fear has to come into the market for things to turn?

Fears of a top have been called too many times. Nonetheless, we watch upcoming releases such as Friday’s data on nonfarm payrolls for clues.

Graphic: Last time August put in similar all-time high counts was in 1929 and 1987, says The Market Ear; “On both occasions, market decided crashing in October. Current melt-up is playing out well and vols are in implosion mode again. Ideally, protection becomes dirt cheap and we can start tilting the book into some serious long premium plays/hedges/downside speculation. After all, October tends to be volatile.”

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

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,526.25 high volume area (HVNode) puts in play the $4,542.25 overnight high (ONH). Initiative trade beyond the ONH puts in play the $4,556.25 and $4,592.25 Fibonacci extensions.

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below the $4,526.25 HVNode puts in play the $4,510.00 level, a regular trade high (RTH High), and gap. Initiative trade beyond the RTH High and gap puts in play the $4,481.75 HVNode and $4,454.25 LVNode.

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

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

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

Responsive Buying (Selling): Buying (selling) in response to prices below (above) an area of recent price acceptance.
Graphic: 65-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures updated 6:30 AM ET.

News And Analysis

Hurricane Ida to boost oil and gas companies’ margins.

OPEC sticks with its supply hike as demand improves.

China warns climate cooperation is at risk over tension.

Bank buybacks hit record helping push stocks to highs.

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) from a trader’s perspective.

U.S. lodging recovery trajectory is on track despite delta.

Bill Gross said yields make bond investment garbage.

The ECB will likely slow down the pace of bond buying.

U.S. STB rejected voting trust for CN’s KCS acquisition.

New York City declares a state of emergency over rain.

Hurricane Ida losses short of Katrina totals, to hit $25B.

What People Are Saying

About

After years of self-education, strategy development, and trial-and-error, Renato Leonard Capelj began trading full-time and founded Physik Invest to detail his methods, research, and performance in the markets. 

Additionally, Capelj is a finance and technology reporter. Some of his biggest works include interviews with leaders such as John Chambers, founder and CEO, JC2 Ventures, Kevin O’Leary, businessman and Shark Tank host, Catherine Wood, CEO and CIO, ARK Invest, among others.

Disclaimer

At this time, Physik Invest does not manage outside capital and is not licensed. In no way should the materials herein be construed as advice. Derivatives carry a substantial risk of loss. All content is for informational purposes only.

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For August 30, 2021

Market Commentary

Equity index futures, bonds, dollar, VIX sideways to higher. Commodities were mixed.

  • Positioning lightened. Ample liquidity.
  • Ahead: Data on pending home sales.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures auctioned sideways to higher overnight alongside news that the Federal Reserve would not make changes to its policy.

Ahead is data on pending home sales (10:00 AM ET).

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

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

Adding, during the prior day’s regular trade, on strong intraday breadth and lackluster market liquidity metrics, the best case outcome occurred, evidenced by new all-time highs in the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100. This is significant because it suggests continued bullishness after a v-pattern recovery.

V-Pattern: A pattern that forms after a market establishes a high, retests some support, and then breaks above said high. In most cases, this pattern portends continuation.

Further, the aforementioned trade is happening in the context of the Federal Reserve’s commitment to stay the course with respect to monetary policy. This theme’s implications on price are supportive; to elaborate, the absence of a rate hike or taper, alongside low bond and equity market volatility, among other things, suggests liquidity will remain ample.

The key for this week is U.S. jobs data later; those metrics will allow participants to better contextualize the taper timeline. At the same time, there’s been a cooling amongst some positioning metrics, also.

Graphic: Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS) Sentiment Indicator. According to The Market Ear, the “indicator measures stock positioning across retail, institutional, and foreign investors versus the past 12 months. Readings below -1.0 or above +1.0 indicate extreme positions that are significant in predicting future returns.”

Moreover, for today, given poor structure, a divergent volume delta Friday, as well as a decline in metrics like DIX and GEX, the odds of significant upside volatility are lower. Still, participants may make use of the following objective frameworks for today’s trade.

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,513.50 overnight high (ONH) puts in play the $4,520.25 Fibonacci extension. Initiative trade beyond the Fibonacci level could reach as high as $4,556.25 and $4,592.25, two other key Fibonacci extensions.

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below the $4,513.50 ONH puts in play the $4,495.00 high volume area (HVNode). Initiative trade beyond the $4,495.00 HVNode could reach as low as the $4,481.75 HVNode and $4,454.25 LVNode, or lower. 

To note, the $4,454.25 LVNode corresponds with an anchored volume-weighted average price (VWAP), a metric highly regarded by chief investment officers, among other participants, for quality of trade. Additionally, liquidity algorithms are benchmarked and programmed to buy and sell around VWAPs.

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

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

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

Volume Delta: Buying and selling power as calculated by the difference in volume traded at the bid and offer.

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

News And Analysis

Banks are effectively sterilizing central bank liquidity.

Morgan Stanley eyes mid-cycle transition, correction.

An options turn upheavals into mid-month sure thing.

Ida made landfall in Louisiana, stronger than Katrina.

Sustained vaccine demand to support pharma growth.

Billionaire Paulson is calling cryptocurrency a bubble.

Crypto nomads – surfing the world for risk and profit.

Cadano’s Ada is the latest cryptocurrency surging up.

What People Are Saying

About

After years of self-education, strategy development, and trial-and-error, Renato Leonard Capelj began trading full-time and founded Physik Invest to detail his methods, research, and performance in the markets. 

Additionally, Capelj is a finance and technology reporter. Some of his biggest works include interviews with leaders such as John Chambers, founder and CEO, JC2 Ventures, Kevin O’Leary, businessman and Shark Tank host, Catherine Wood, CEO and CIO, ARK Invest, among others.

Disclaimer

At this time, Physik Invest does not manage outside capital and is not licensed. In no way should the materials herein be construed as advice. Derivatives carry a substantial risk of loss. All content is for informational purposes only.

Categories
Commentary

Weekly Brief For August 29, 2021

Editor’s Note: If this commentary was valuable to you, consider forwarding it to your peers. Alternatively, share on social media and tag either @renatolcapelj or @physikinvest.

Wishing you good health and success!

Market Commentary

Equity index, bond, and commodity futures traded higher Friday. The VIX, US10Y, and dollar were sideways to lower.

  • What happened and things to expect.
  • Ahead is important employment data.
  • Trade Idea: Complex spread in GME.
  • Expecting less volatility to the upside.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures auctioned sideways to higher last week alongside impactful events like the Federal Reserve’s Jackson Hole Economic Symposium. 

Ahead this coming week is important data on employment, consumer confidence, vehicle sales, manufacturing, and more. See here for updated calendar data.

Graphic updated 7:30 AM ET Sunday. Sentiment Neutral if expected /ES open is inside of the prior day’s range. SqueezeMetrics Dark Pool Index (DIX) and Gamma (GEX) calculations are based on where the prior day’s reading falls with respect to the MAX and MIN of all occurrences available. A higher DIX is bullish. At the same time, the lower the GEX, the more (expected) volatility. SHIFT data used for S&P 500 (INDEX: SPX) options activity approximation. Note that options flow is sorted by the call premium spent; if more positive then more was spent on call options. Breadth reflects a reading of the prior day’s NYSE Advance/Decline indicator. VIX reflects a current reading of the CBOE Volatility Index (INDEX: VIX) from 0-100.

What To Expect: During the prior week’s trade, on mostly strong intraday breadth and market liquidity metrics, the best case outcome occurred, evidenced by new all-time highs in the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100. This is significant because it suggests continued bullishness after a v-pattern recovery.

V-Pattern: A pattern that forms after a market establishes a high, retests some support, and then breaks above said high. In most cases, this pattern portends continuation.
Graphic: Ally Financial Inc-owned (NYSE: ALLY) Ally Invest chart shows S&P 500 defending advance.

Further, the aforementioned trade is happening in the context of the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium. This event’s implications on price are supportive

To elaborate, given a slow down in the pace of the post-pandemic recovery, the Federal Reserve (i.e., Fed) decided not to manipulate policy to offset temporary factors. The reason being, policy effects are often delayed; doing something now could curb the recovery. 

Graphic: Guggenheim Investments unpacks the impact of weaker data on monetary policy.

At the same time, with measures like the Marshallian K – the difference between year-over-year growth in M2 money supply and GDP – turning negative, there are concerns around liquidity and its impact on the equity market.

Graphic: According to Bloomberg, “While stocks kept rising during frequent negative Marshallian K readings in the 1990s, the pattern since the 2008 global financial crisis — a period when the central bank was in what Ramsey calls a “perpetual crisis mode” — begs for caution.”

According to Moody’s, however, “it will take a while before liquidity concerns are justified even with the Fed likely to begin tapering its $120 billion in monthly asset purchases either late this year or early next.”

Why? Well, for starters, if liquidity was an issue, financial institutions wouldn’t be parking that much money at the Fed. Low volatility in the bond and stock market also implies ample liquidity, Moody’s adds.

So, by not rapidly reducing its asset purchases, the Fed isn’t worried about the economy overheating due to non-temporary inflation; instead, Chairman Jerome Powell maintains that “[o]verall global deflationary trends remain in force.”

Eventually, though, after progress is made on full employment, the Fed will taper, likely keeping inflation expectations in line.

To note, last week’s straight-up trade came alongside the so-called sale of any volatility spike which can – through the process of hedging – support the market. Here’s just one example that received a lot of attention.

“In theory, if a stock was dropping and the retail masses all started to sell puts, they could push market makers to start buying large blocks of shares,” SpotGamma, an important voice in the space, says. “This could stabilize a dropping stock.”

Graphic: SqueezeMetrics details the implications of customer activity in the options market, on the underlying’s order book. For instance, in selling a put, customers add liquidity and stabilize the market. How? The counterparty long the put will buy (sell) the underlying to neutralize directional risk as price falls (rises).

Moreover, given a divergent volume delta and decline in metrics like DIX and GEX, the odds of significant upside volatility are lower. Still, participants may make use of the following objective frameworks for next week’s trade. Check for updated levels in Monday morning’s commentary.

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,495.00 high volume area (HVNode) pivot puts in play the minimal excess all-time high and $4,511.50 Fibonacci extension. Initiative trade beyond the $4,511.50 level could reach as high as the $4,520.25 and $4,556.25 extensions.

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

To note, the $4,454.25 LVNode corresponds with an anchored volume-weighted average price (VWAP), a metric highly regarded by chief investment officers, among other participants, for quality of trade. Additionally, liquidity algorithms are benchmarked and programmed to buy and sell around VWAPs.

Volume Delta: Buying and selling power as calculated by the difference in volume traded at the bid and offer.

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.

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.

Excess: A proper end to price discovery; the market travels too far while advertising prices. Responsive, other-timeframe (OTF) participants aggressively enter the market, leaving tails or gaps which denote unfair prices.

POCs: POCs are valuable as they denote areas where two-sided trade was most prevalent. Participants will respond to future tests of value as they offer favorable entry and exit.
Graphic: 65-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures updated 7:30 AM ET Sunday.

Weekly Trade Idea

Please Note: In no way is the below a trade recommendation. It is a peek into the thought process here at Physik Invest.

Options offer an efficient way to gain directional exposure. 

If an option buyer was short (long) stock, he or she could buy a call (put) to hedge upside (downside) exposure. Additionally, one can spread, or buy (+) and sell (-) options together, strategically.

Commonly discussed spreads include credit, debit, ratio, back, and calendar.

Credit: Sell -1 option closer to the money. Buy +1 option farther out of the money.

Debit: Buy +1 option closer to the money. Sell -1 option farther out of the money.

Ratio: Buy +1 option closer to the money. Sell -2 options farther out of the money. 

Back: Sell -1 option closer to the money. Buy +2 options farther out of the money.

Calendar: Sell -1 option. Buy +1 option farther out in time, at the same strike.

Typically, if bullish (bearish), sell at-the-money put (call) credit spread and/or buy a call (put) debit/ratio spread structured around target price. Alternatively, if the expected directional move is great (small), opt for a back spread (calendar spread). Also, if credit spread, capture 50-75% of the premium collected. If debit spread, capture 2-300% of the premium paid.

Be cognizant of risk exposure to direction (delta), time (theta), and volatility (vega). 

Negative (positive) delta = synthetic short (long). 

Negative (positive) theta = time decay hurts (helps).

Negative (positive) vega = volatility hurts (helps).

Trade Idea: SELL -1 1/2 BACKRATIO GME 100 17 SEP 21 530/680 CALL @1.20 LMT

Though I began filling this trade at limits for credit as high as 2.00, the spread collapsed markedly, Friday. Still, there’s an opportunity for unique structures such as the 530C+1, 680C-2 that pay you to be long the stock.

All else equal (i.e., discounting factors such as an increase in volatility), should the spread trade fully in-the-money – meaning the stock travels to the $680 short strike – the 530 strike will be 150 points in-the-money while the at-the-money strikes, combined (based on current at-the-money pricing), will trade around $53.00.

That suggests the spread should price for a credit north of $97.00 to close. Nice!

Thesis: I’m bullish on GameStop and I think the stock may climb over the next week few weeks. 

I will structure a spread above the current stock price, expiring in 18 days. I will buy the 530 call option once (+1) and sell the 680 call option twice (-2) for a $1.20 credit or better. Should the stock not move to my target, I keep the $120.00 credit. Should it move to $680, I could make $15,000.00 at expiry. Should the stock move past $830 break even or so, I may incur unlimited losses. My goal with this spread is to capture the initial credit and close for additional credit if the stock moves higher. 

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

Below is a log chart of GameStop Corporation (NYSE: GME) and the ratio spread profit zone.

News And Analysis

Treasury bears redeemed as Citi, Michael Burry see higher yields.

Visa jumps into the NFT craze, buying a CryptoPunk for $150,000.

The top 7 reasons why COVID-19 could lead to inflationary regime.

Storm Ida roars toward Louisiana with winds of 150 miles per hour.

Chinese health officials reject U.S. allegations on COVID-19 probe.

What People Are Saying

Let’s Hang Out

Los Angeles, CA September 10-12

Salt Lake City, UT September 28-30

About

After years of self-education, strategy development, and trial-and-error, Renato Leonard Capelj began trading full-time and founded Physik Invest to detail his methods, research, and performance in the markets. 

Additionally, Capelj is a finance and technology reporter. Some of his biggest works include interviews with leaders such as John Chambers, founder and CEO, JC2 Ventures, Kevin O’Leary, businessman and Shark Tank host, Catherine Wood, CEO and CIO, ARK Invest, among others.

Disclaimer

At this time, Physik Invest does not manage outside capital and is not licensed. In no way should the materials herein be construed as advice. Derivatives carry a substantial risk of loss. All content is for informational purposes only.

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For August 27, 2021

Market Commentary

Equity index futures, commodities, bonds, and the dollar were sideways to higher overnight.

  • Some complacency? Let’s talk it out.
  • Ahead: Misc data and Jackson Hole.
  • Building a base for directional move.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures auctioned higher overnight as investors continued to position themselves to better act on new monetary policy information.

Ahead is data on personal income (8:30 AM ET), consumer spending (8:30 AM ET), core PCE (8:30 AM ET), trade in goods (8:30 AM ET), University of Michigan sentiment (10:00 AM ET). Later, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell speaks at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium (10:00 AM ET).

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

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

Adding, during the prior day’s regular trade, on weak intraday breadth and divergent market liquidity metrics, the worst-case outcome occurred, evidenced by trade below the $4,484.25 high volume area (HVNode) pivot. This is significant because S&P 500 printed prices in a pocket of low-volume left behind by strong initiative buying earlier in the week. Given the overnight retracement, the index is back to basing for what may be strong directional resolve.

Balance (Two-Timeframe Or Bracket) Trade Is In Play: Rotational trade that denotes current prices offer favorable entry and exit. Balance-areas make it easy to spot a change in the market (i.e., the transition from two-time frame trade, or balance, to one-time frame trade, or trend). 

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

Further, the aforementioned trade is happening in the context of the important Jackson Hole event and a shift higher in the VIX futures terms structure into and through the August 26-28 event. The implications of these events on price are contradictory; to elaborate, extended positioning – which alone suggests risks are asymmetric – coupled with a pronounced shift in shorter-dated VIX expiries, warns of elevated near-term risks for equity market stability.

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

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

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,481.75 high volume area (HVNode) pivot puts in play the $4,495.00 untested point of control (VPOC). Initiative trade beyond the VPOC could reach as high as the $4,511.50 and $4,556.25 Fibonacci-derived price targets.

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below the $4,481.75 HVNode pivot likely puts in play the $4,454.25 low volume area (LVNode), a ledge resolved during Monday’s breakout. Initiative trade beyond the LVNode could reach as low as the $4,427.00 VPOC and $4,393.75 micro-composite point of control (MCPOC). 

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

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

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

Ledges: Flattened area on the profile which suggests responsive participants are in control, or initiative participants lack the confidence to continue the discovery process. The ledge will either hold and force participants to liquidate (cover) their positions, or crack and offer support (resistance).
Graphic: 65-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures updated 6:30 AM ET.

News And Analysis

Previous COVID preventing infection better than shot.

Critical battle for support as rates risk pivoting higher.

Tax clash testing unity over President Biden’s agenda.

China planning to ban U.S. IPOs for some tech firms.

Southwest to cut fall flights following a tough summer.

Soviet Union collapse turned Russia into powerhouse.

European speculative-grade defaults may fall to 3.5%.

What People Are Saying

About

After years of self-education, strategy development, and trial-and-error, Renato Leonard Capelj began trading full-time and founded Physik Invest to detail his methods, research, and performance in the markets. 

Additionally, Capelj is a finance and technology reporter. Some of his biggest works include interviews with leaders such as John Chambers, founder and CEO, JC2 Ventures, Kevin O’Leary, businessman and Shark Tank host, Catherine Wood, CEO and CIO, ARK Invest, among others.

Disclaimer

At this time, Physik Invest does not manage outside capital and is not licensed. In no way should the materials herein be construed as advice. Derivatives carry a substantial risk of loss. All content is for informational purposes only.

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For August 26, 2021

Market Commentary

Equity index futures traded lower overnight. Commodities, the dollar, and yields rose.

  • Jackson Hole Economic Symposium starts.
  • Ahead: Data on GDP, jobless claims, profit.
  • Participants position for a directional move.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures auctioned lower overnight ahead of the Federal Reserve’s Jackson Hole Economic Symposium August 26-28, 2021.

Ahead is data on GDP, corporate profits, and jobless claims (8:30 AM ET).

Graphic updated 6:20 AM ET. Sentiment Neutral if expected /ES open is inside of the prior day’s range. SqueezeMetrics Dark Pool Index (DIX) and Gamma (GEX) calculations are based on where the prior day’s reading falls with respect to the MAX and MIN of all occurrences available. A higher DIX is bullish. At the same time, the lower the GEX, the more (expected) volatility. SHIFT data used for S&P 500 (INDEX: SPX) options activity approximation. Note that options flow is sorted by the call premium spent; if more positive then more was spent on call options. Breadth reflects a reading of the prior day’s Advance/Decline indicator. VIX reflects a current reading of the CBOE Volatility Index (INDEX: VIX) from 0-100.

What To Expect: As of 6:20 AM ET, Thursday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM EST) in the S&P 500 will likely open inside of prior-range and -value, suggesting a limited potential for immediate directional opportunity.

Adding, during the prior day’s regular trade, on weaker intraday breadth, volume, and market liquidity metrics, the best case outcome occurred, evidenced by trade above the $4,481.75 high volume area (HVNode) pivot. This trade is significant because it marked the repair of the $4,492.00 overnight, a minimal excess all-time high (ONH), and a move higher in value (i.e., an acceptance of higher prices). 

Graphic: Divergent delta (i.e., non-committed buying as measured by volume delta) in SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY), one of the largest ETFs that track the S&P 500 index. 

Further, the aforementioned trade is happening in the context of the highly anticipated Jackson Hole Economic Symposium. This event may have a large impact on the price as policymakers reinforce the message of taper to bond-buying; to elaborate, “The Fed has fostered a broad range of bubbles because their massive liquidity injections have been trapped in the financial economy,” Rich Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Associates said in a summary quoted by Bloomberg

“As with any cornered market, there are limited buyers and prices fall as the “cornerer” sells. Accordingly, bond prices seem likely to fall (interest rates rise) [as the] Fed reduces its cornered positions. Rising interest rates could be the kryptonite to the bubble in long-duration assets (long-term bonds, technology, innovation, disruption, bitcoin, etc.).”

At the same time, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM) metrics published by The Market Ear, the market isn’t pricing too much risk ahead of the event; “the SPX and the SX5E are pricing in a 1% move, … but on the other hand 1 day realized vol for Jackson Hole events has been around 0.45% for SX5E writes JPM.”

We balance the risks presented by the event by looking back to 2014 when the Fed was scaling back bond purchases and the S&P 500 rose over 10% as rates fell after spiking initially.

Graphic: Ally Financial Inc-owned (NYSE: ALLY) Ally Invest unpacks 2014 taper of Federal Reserve bond buying.

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

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,494.25 high volume area (HVNode) puts in play the $4,495.00 untested point of control (VPOC). Initiative trade beyond the VPOC could reach as high as the $4,511.50 and $4,556.25 Fibonacci extensions.

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below the $4,484.25 HVNode puts in play the $4,454.25 low volume area (LVNode). Initiative trade beyond the LVNode could reach as low as the $4,427.00 VPOC and $4,393.75 micro composite point of control (MCPOC).

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

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

POCs: POCs are valuable as they denote areas where two-sided trade was most prevalent. Participants will respond to future tests of value as they offer favorable entry and exit.
Graphic: 65-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures updated 6:20 AM ET.

News And Analysis

Good times keep rolling for U.S. alternative asset managers.

Virtual Jackson Hole underscores uncertainty in Fed’s vision.

Small caps are having a nice move higher on fundamentals.

Bank of Korea ups rate with debt risk seen bigger than virus.

La Nina’s return could threaten South American crops again.

As labor demand exceeds supply it may be the time to taper.

Asian banks’ crypto-asset push calls for regulatory harmony.

PIIE: There’s another reason to up the Fed’s inflation target.

Dick’s Sporting Goods, other retailers, unpack higher profits.

Delta Air Lines imposes monthly surcharge on unvaccinated.

What People Are Saying

About

After years of self-education, strategy development, and trial-and-error, Renato Leonard Capelj began trading full-time and founded Physik Invest to detail his methods, research, and performance in the markets. 

Additionally, Capelj is a finance and technology reporter. Some of his biggest works include interviews with leaders such as John Chambers, founder and CEO, JC2 Ventures, Kevin O’Leary, businessman and Shark Tank host, Catherine Wood, CEO and CIO, ARK Invest, among others.

Disclaimer

At this time, Physik Invest does not manage outside capital and is not licensed. In no way should the materials herein be construed as advice. Derivatives carry a substantial risk of loss. All content is for informational purposes only.

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For July 30, 2021

Market Commentary

Screens go red as equity index and commodity futures trade lower.

  • Mega-cap growth, China concerning.
  • Earnings, sentiment, and much more.
  • Favoring sideways, responsive trade.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures auctioned lower overnight alongside narratives surrounding slowing mega-cap growth, China, and COVID-19. 

“The earnings season has delivered strong results so far, however, some investors are concerned that earnings growth will slow from here,” said Lewis Grant of Federated Hermes. “On the other hand, the economy is opening up as we move past the peak infections and consumer balance sheets are strong, and that should support the cyclical end of the market.”

Moreover, ahead is data on earnings, as well as the employment cost index, personal income, consumer spending, core inflation, Chicago PMI, and University of Michigan sentiment.

Graphic updated 6:40 AM ET. Sentiment Risk-Off if expected /ES open is below the prior day’s range. See here for more on the Dark Pool Index and Gamma. A positive Dark Pool Index reading is bullish. At the same time, the higher (lower) the gamma, the less (more) volatility. SHIFT Search data used for options activity. Note that options flow is sorted by the call premium spent; if green and more (less) positive then more (less) was spent on call options. Breadth reflects a reading of the prior day’s Advance/Decline indicator.

What To Expect: As of 6:40 AM ET, Friday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM EST) in the S&P 500 will likely open on a gap, outside of prior-range and -value, suggesting a potential for directional opportunity.

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

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

That said, we take the word potential lightly, given the current technical juncture; the S&P 500 is trading within a larger balance area, the result of participants finding higher prices valuable as they position themselves for a directional move, given increased clarity on earnings, taper, and more. 

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).

The modus operandi, in light of the above, is therefore responsive trade (i.e., fade the edges), rather than initiative trade (i.e., play the break).

In support of a fade are metrics with respect to breadth, market liquidity, and the options market. 

Breadth, at the exchange level, was positive yesterday with a steady, albeit soft inflow into the stocks that were up, versus those that were down. 

Similarly, into Thursday’s price rise, the cumulative volume delta became increasingly divergent, decreasing confidence in initiative trade beyond the $4,416.75 overnight high (ONH). 

In light of the decreased confidence, volume profiling also reveals a minimal excess high which could be construed as an improper end to price discovery. 

Volume Delta: Buying and selling power as calculated by the difference in volume traded at the bid and offer.

Excess: A proper end to price discovery; the market travels too far while advertising prices. Responsive, other-timeframe (OTF) participants aggressively enter the market, leaving tails or gaps which denote unfair prices.

Putting it all together, with options market activity supporting potential pinning into Friday’s weekly options expiry, odds favor sideways trade, more than anything else. 

Furthermore, for today, participants can trade from the following frameworks. 

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,393.75 high volume area (HVNode) pivot puts in play the $4,406.25 low volume area (LVNode). Initiative trade beyond the LVNode could reach as high as $4,419.00 untested point of control (VPOC) and $4,428.25 Fibonacci price extension.

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below the $4,393.75 pivot puts in play the $4,370.50 minimal excess low. Initiative trade beyond the minimal excess low could reach as low as the $4,353.00 VPOC and $4,341.75 micro composite point of control (MCPOC).

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

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

POCs: POCs are valuable as they denote areas where two-sided trade was most prevalent. Participants will respond to future tests of value as they offer favorable entry and exit.
Graphic: 65-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures. Graphic updated 6:40 AM ET.

News And Analysis

Industrial policy is back as the West dusts off old ideas to counter China.

Global financing condition – issuance strong despite modest contraction.

Nordea talks European-area GDP and inflation: country-level differences.

Fears of a U.S. market correction increase as stocks climb to new highs.

Robinhood got Catherine Wood’s backing despite miserable trading day.

Chinese stocks slipped, ending the wild week as traders price in realities.

What People Are Saying

About

After years of self-education, strategy development, and trial-and-error, Renato Leonard Capelj began trading full-time and founded Physik Invest to detail his methods, research, and performance in the markets. Additionally, Capelj is a finance and technology reporter. Some of his biggest works include interviews with leaders such as John Chambers, founder and CEO, JC2 Ventures, Kevin O’Leary, businessman and Shark Tank host, Catherine Wood, CEO and CIO, ARK Invest, among others.

Disclaimer

At this time, Physik Invest does not manage outside capital and is not licensed. In no way should the materials herein be construed as advice. Derivatives carry a substantial risk of loss. All content is for informational purposes only.

Categories
Commentary

Market Commentary For 3/16/2021

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

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures auctioned higher ahead of releases on retail sales, industrial production, and a Federal Reserve policy meeting.

What Does It Mean: Alongside positive news concerning vaccines, stimulus, and improved economic data, U.S. index futures recovered from their most recent swing low.

As stated yesterday, given the speed and distance of the S&P 500’s recovery since March 4, the potential for balance, or two-sided trade is high as participants look for more information to base their next move on.

In support of this thesis are market liquidity metrics which suggested (1) buying pressure was leveling out and/or (2) buyers were absorbing resting liquidity (opportunistic selling or selling into strength), while speculative options activity appeared muted.

Graphic: Market liquidity for the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY), one of the largest ETFs that track the S&P 500 index.

What To Expect: Tuesday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET) will likely open just outside of prior-range, suggesting the potential for immediate directional opportunity.

During Monday’s trade, participants rallied the S&P 500 into the close, leaving another end-of-day spike.

More On Spikes: 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).

For today, participants can trade from the following frameworks.

In the best case, the S&P 500 finds acceptance (i.e., resolves higher or sideways), above the $3,947.74 spike base. In the worst case, the S&P 500 finds acceptance (i.e., resolves lower or sideways) below the $3,947.74 spike base.

In case of higher prices, participants may look to auction as high as the $3,947.25 price extension, a typical recovery target.

In case of lower prices, participants would look for responses at the $3,931.00 Virgin Point Of Control (VPOC) and $3,898.25 high-volume area (HVNode).

More On 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.

More On 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.

Levels Of Interest: $3,947.74 spike base.

Profile overlays on a 15-minute candlestick chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures.
Categories
Commentary

Market Commentary For 3/11/2021

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

What Happened: After a report on U.S. consumer prices helped calm fear around rising inflation, U.S. stock index futures auctioned higher.

What Does It Mean: On a relative basis, the Nasdaq-100 is weaker, while the S&P 500Russell 2000, and Dow Jones Industrial Average are stronger. This push-pull dynamic, in prior sessions, made it hard for participants to resolve directionally, evidenced by volatility.

Now, it appears that relative strength could be shifting back to the Nasdaq-100, evidenced by supportive market liquidity and option activity dynamics, over the last few sessions.

Important to note is the tenor of the speculative derivatives activity, dominance of put side open interest, and divergent delta in the the S&P 500 and Russell 2000.

These dynamics suggest near-term conviction. In other words, participants with a short-term outlook are dominating recent trade. This is also evidenced by the mechanical trade (e.g., flat highs during Tuesday’s session in the S&P 500, and subsequent end-of-day liquidation that was taken back during Wednesday’s trade).

More On Liquidation Breaks: The profile shape in the S&P 500 suggests participants were “too” long and had poor location.

More On Volume Delta: Buying and selling power as calculated by the difference in volume traded at the bid and offer.

More On 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.

What To Expect: Thursday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET) will likely open outside of prior-range and -value, suggesting the potential for immediate directional opportunity.

During Wednesday’s trade, the best case outcome occurred, evidenced by initiative trade that retook the $3,891.00 spike base.

For today, participants can trade from the following frameworks.

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher, as high as the $3,934.25 ledge. Auctioning above the ledge may portend a fast move to the $3,959.25 overnight rally high (ONH).

More On Ledges: Flattened area on the profile which suggests responsive participants are in control, or initiative participants lack confidence to continue the discovery process. The ledge will either hold and force participants to liquidate (cover) their positions, or crack and offer support (resistance).

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

In the worst case, participants lack the conviction to maintain higher prices, evidenced by trade below the $3,907.25 high-volume area (HVNode). Any trade below the $3,861.25 low-volume area (LVNode) would put in question this most recent 4-day recovery.

More On 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.

Levels Of Interest: $3,959.25 ONH, $3,934.25 ledge, $3,907.25 HVNode, $3,861.25 LVNode.