Categories
Commentary

Weekly Brief For July 11, 2021

Market Commentary

Key Takeaways: U.S. equity index futures diverge in their attempt to discover fair prices for two-sided trade. 

  • Ahead: Economic data and earnings.
  • SPX, RUT, DJI firm. NDX tad weaker. 

What Happened: Last week, U.S. stock index futures auctioned sideways to higher, only after enduring a brief liquidation alongside anxieties surrounding the spread of COVID-19 variants, as well as an evolution in monetary policy. 

The liquidation, though, was not unwarranted. For weeks broad market indices, led by the Nasdaq 100, rose on narrowing breadth and tapering volumes.

Graphic: Breadth metrics from JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM), via The Market Ear.

Then, during the unraveling, a meaningful divergence was observed with the Nasdaq 100 trading relatively weak. This came as rates on the 10 Year T-Note rebounded after testing trend support near 1.25%.

Graphic: In line with projections future inflation is easing, the yield curve flattened while bond yields fall substantially, via Bloomberg

Technical factors – issuance, short coverings, a fading reflation trade, and peak growth – are to blame for lower Treasury yields.

“Technical factors appear to be pushing rates lower and this should be temporary as current 10-year Treasury yield of 1.3% is well below its economic fair value,” Moody’s Corporation (NYSE: MCO) strategists wrote July 8. 

Through an ordinary least squares regression using an estimate of monthly real U.S. GDP, CPI, the current effective fed funds rate, the Fed’s balance sheet as a share of nominal GDP, and a Fed bias measure via fed funds futures, Moody’s comes up with an implied “economic fair value” of 1.6% and 1.65% for the 10-year yield.

Going into year-end, on the heels of the strongest and quickest recovery in history, Moody’s sees the 10-year rising to 1.9% as the Fed announces its intent to taper in September. Once monthly asset purchases have been reduced to zero, “the Fed will reinvest proceeds from maturing assets to ensure its balance sheet doesn’t contract, which would be contractionary monetary policy. [L]ook for the first-rate hike in the first quarter of 2023.”

With that, Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS) suggests “[e]xpectations of higher interest rates and higher corporate tax rates by year-end are the primary reasons [to] forecast that the S&P 500 will trade sideways during the next six months.” Supporting that view are earnings estimates, the inventory positioning of participants, as well as early July seasonality metrics.

Graphic: Seasonality metrics via the Capital Market Outlook by Merrill.

Risks Ahead: As discussed in prior commentaries, after mid-July, the window for fundamental dynamics (e.g., a shift in preferences from saving and investing to spending, monetary tightening, seasonality, or a COVID-19 resurgence) to take over is opened. 

Why? Coming into the options expiration (OPEX) cycle, which starts on the third Friday of each month, associated hedging forces make it so there’s more liquidity and less movement. In other words, the market tends to pin. 

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

Thereafter, according to SpotGamma, “[t]he week after expiration the market tends to experience its largest intraday volatility which corresponds to the reduction in large options positions, and the hedging associated with them.”

Graphic: Volatility before and after OPEX, via SpotGamma.

Considerations: Ahead are some releases on consumer, producer, and import prices, as well as industrial production, consumer sentiment, and retail sales. Also, big banks kick off the earnings season with reports on second-quarter results.

Moody’s notes: “data on inflation, retail sales and industrial production could alter … estimate[s] of second-quarter U.S. GDP, which [are] currently tracking 8.2% at an annualized rate.”

What To Expect: In the coming sessions, participants will want to focus their attention on where the S&P 500 trades in relation to the $4,341.75 high volume area (HVNode) pivot.

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.

In the best case, the index trades sideways or higher; activity above $4,341.75 leaves in play the $4,363.50 regular trade high (RTH High). Initiative trade beyond the RTH High could reach as high as the Fibonacci-derived price targets at $4,373.00 and $4,398.50. 

Significance Of Prior ATHs, ATLs: Prices often encounter resistance (support) at prior highs (lows) due to the supply (demand) of old business. These areas take time to resolve. Breaking and establishing value (i.e., trading more than 30-minutes beyond this level) portends continuation.

In the worst case, the index trades lower; activity below $4,341.75 puts in play the $4,312.25 HVNode. Thereafter, if lower, the $4,291.00 untested Point of Control (POC), $4,285.75 micro-composite HVNode, and $4,239.25 HVNode come into play.

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: Weekly candlestick charts of the S&P 500 (top left), Nasdaq 100 (top right), Russell 2000 (bottom left), and Dow Jones Industrial Average (bottom right).
Graphic: SHIFT search suggests participants were most interested in call strikes at and below the price in the cash-settled S&P 500 (INDEX: SPX) and Nasdaq 100 (INDEX: NDX), last week. Noting, over the past few weeks, there’s been increased activity in long-dated put options.

News And Analysis

Markets | Lower stress capital buffers a credit negative for many U.S. banks. (Moody’s)

Economy | A faster recovery boosting prices, but runaway inflation unlikely. (Fitch)

Economy | Is the Fed “tempting FAIT” by assuming inflation is just transitory? (BLK)

Economy | The Fed’s dot plots are not enough in a quantitative easing world. (S&P)

Economy | China’s fading ‘first-in first-out’ rebound sending a global warning. (BBG)

Markets | Commodity boom dwarfs oil spat as emerging markets set to win. (BBG)

Economy | Unpacking several paths to higher-than-expected interest rates. (Fitch)

FinTech | Meet Unbound, a new decentralized cross-chain liquidity protocol. (VV)

Travel | Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic pull-off key test for space tourism. (BBG)

What People Are Saying

About

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

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

Disclaimer

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

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For July 6, 2021

Market Commentary

Equity index futures sideways in overnight trade.

  • Commodities firm up. Oil is stretched.
  • Ahead: PMI, ISM, employment trends.
  • NDX firmed relative to SPX, RUT, DJI.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures diverged overnight. 

Participants explored higher prices in both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Russell 2000 traded weak, within prior range. 

Today, participants will receive PMI, employment trend, and ISM non-manufacturing data. 

Graphic updated 7:05 AM ET.

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

Adding, during the prior day’s regular trade, the best case outcome occurred, evidenced by initiative activity above the $4,311.50 high volume area (HVNode), up to $4,337.75, a Fibonacci-derived price target. 

Initiative Buying: Buying within or above the previous day’s value area.

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.

Sideways trade overnight comes after a rapid move higher on narrowing breadth and tapering volumes. 

Graphic: Breadth metrics from JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM), via The Market Ear.

With that, strategists at JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM) suggest stretched sentiment, positioning, and technical conditions have normalized with economic activity projected to stay significantly above trend. Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS) takes a bit of a less optimistic view; “Expectations of higher interest rates and higher corporate tax rates by year-end are the primary reasons we forecast that the S&P 500 will trade sideways during the next six months,” said David Kostin, chief US equity strategist for Goldman Sachs.

Goldman’s year-end price target for the S&P 500 sits at $4,300.00, a tad lower than where the index is today. To note, however, earnings estimates, the inventory positioning of participants, as well as early July seasonality metrics support the strong near-term performance.

Graphic: Earnings estimates from Jefferies, via The Market Ear

Given that big picture context, for today, participants can trade from the following frameworks. 

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,323.00 Point of Control (POC) puts in play the developing ledge at $4,348.25, an overnight high (ONH). Initiative trade beyond the ONH could reach as high as the $4,357.50 Fibonacci-derived price target.

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.

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

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).

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below $4,323.00 puts in play the $4,299.00 POC. Initiative trade beyond the POC could reach as low as the $4,285.00 micro-composite POC and $4,263.25 low volume area (LVNode). 

Graphic: 65-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures.
Graphic: SHIFT search suggests participants were committing the most capital to call strikes at and below current prices in the cash-settled S&P 500 Index (INDEX: SPX) and Nasdaq 100 (INDEX: NDX), last week. This activity may denote (1) stock replacement, (2) hedges for underlying short positions, or (3) speculation on the upside. Also, there was a meaningful bid in longer-dated puts on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100. This dynamic suggests participants, despite their commitment to higher prices, are hedging against near-term risks, like the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium.

News And Analysis

Economy | Credit Conditions Q3 2021 – Reopening, Reflation, Reset. (S&P)

Markets | Stocks surge, comfort grows as the market fear gauge falls. (S&P)

Energy | Three scenarios for OPEC+, and the likely ones are bearish. (REU)

Markets | Chinese ride-hailing app Didi forced off of app stores in China. (REU)

COVID | Pfizer vaccine less effective against Delta variant, study finds. (FT)

Politics | Biden declares success in beating pandemic in July 4 speech. (BBG)

Politics | Global corporate tax overhaul faces rocky road to completion. (REU)

Markets | June jobs report was exactly what the markets wanted to get. (Axios)

What People Are Saying

Innovation And Emerging Trends

FinTech | Mortgage-focused startup Blend seeks $4B valuation in IPO. (REU)

FinTech | Turkish broker takes shot at financial titans with product focus. (BZ)

Economy | MMT economist on why China should boost fiscal spending. (BBG)

FinTech | Booking.com announces creation of new internal fintech unit. (Finextra)

M&A | JPMorgan’s big buying spree is Jamie Dimon’s busiest in years. (FT)

FinTech | Fidelity and BlackRock lead fintech startup’s $600M funding. (BBG)

Crypto | BIS finds that crypto investment doesn’t require special policy. (Block)

About

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

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

Disclaimer

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

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For June 1, 2021

Market Commentary

Index futures in price discovery.

  • Optimism around a recovery mounting.
  • Ahead: Data on manufacturing, OPEC.
  • Stock indexes traded higher overnight.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures auctioned higher overnight ahead of data on U.S. manufacturing.

Graphic updated at 6:30 AM EST

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

Balance-Break and/or Gap Scenarios: Monitor for acceptance (i.e., more than 1-hour of trade) outside of the balance area. 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.

Adding, during the prior week’s regular trade, the best case outcome occurred, evidenced by responsive trade after a breakout above the $4,177.25 high volume area (HVNode). This is significant because that HVNode marked a pivot (i.e., above = bullish, below = bearish) on the composite profile.

Responsive Buying (Selling): Buying (selling) in response to prices below (above) areas of recent price acceptance.

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.

Further, this bullish price action is happening in the face of supply chain uncertainties and rising inflation, fiscal and monetary tightening, COVID-19 concerns, political risks, and the like. 

However, research by JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM), as well as Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS), suggests equities are still in play. This thinking would help explain the increased interest in S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 call options.

For today, participants can trade from the following frameworks. 

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above last Friday’s $4,217.75 overnight high (ONH) puts in play the $4,224.75 HVNode and $4,227.00 POC. Initiative trade beyond the two aforementioned signposts could reach as high as first the $4,238.00 overnight all-time high (ONH) and then, the $4,294.75 Fibonacci-derived price extension, a typical recovery target.

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. 

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, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below the $4,217.75 ONH puts in play the $4,209.00 point of control (POC). Then, if lower, comes the $4,177.25 and $4,153.25 HVNode. On a cross of the $4,153.25 HVNode, the $4,122.25 HVNode and $4,071.00 POC come into play, also.

Graphic: 65-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures.
Graphic: SHIFT search suggests participants were becoming more interested in call strikes at and above current prices in the cash-settled S&P 500 Index (INDEX: SPX) and Nasdaq 100 Index (INDEX: NDX), last week.
Graphic: Physik Invest maps out the purchase of call and put options in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY), for the week prior. Activity in the options market was primarily concentrated in short-dated tenors, in strikes at and above $425.

News And Analysis

Markets | Meme stock AMC continues rally, jumping on a share sale. (CNBC)

Markets | Cyberattack hits the world’s largest meat processor units. (CNBC)

Politics | Buttigieg: mask mandates on planes are a matter of respect. (Hill)

Economy | Mortgage rates dip beneath 3% again, offering new savings. (Y!)

Economy | Inflation in the euro area climbed to 2% in the month of May. (BBG)

Energy | With oil majors under attack, OPEC’s hand has strengthened. (BBG)

Markets | Bitcoin is unlikely to escape regulation as authorities respond. (BBG)

Markets | Tesla’s vehicle price increases due to supply chain pressure. (REU)

What People Are Saying

Innovation And Emerging Trends

Markets | The 60/40 strategy needs a modern makeover to win skeptics. (BBG)

FinTech | Nasdaq: upstarts are forcing legacy banks to evolve and adapt. (NDAQ)

FinTech | Coinbase Institutional planning the launch of a prime brokerage. (MM

About

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

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

Disclaimer

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

Categories
Commentary

Weekly Brief For May 31, 2021

Market Commentary

Key Takeaways: Index futures in balance.

  • Best to assume the taper tantrum happened.
  • Ahead: Fed speak and data on employment.
  • Indices traded sideways-to-higher last week.

What Happened: Coming into the large May monthly options expiration (OPEX) and extended holiday weekend, U.S. stock index futures pinned, trading sideways-to-higher.

Options: If an option buyer was short (long) stock, he or she would buy a call (put) to hedge upside (downside) exposure. Option buyers can also use options as an efficient way to gain directional exposure.

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

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.

Furthermore, looking back, the movement in price was both volatile and mechanical.

After a short covering-like rally toward $4,200.00, the S&P 500 was responsively bought and sold at key visual references, suggesting a dominance by short-term participants.

Responsive Buying (Selling): Buying (selling) in response to prices below (above) areas of recent price acceptance.

The technically-driven trade denotes a lack of interest by institutional participants, at record highs; supply chain uncertainties and rising inflation, fiscal and monetary tightening, COVID-19 concerns, political risks, and the like, are some of the emerging concerns larger participants are looking to price in.

Of all the above risks, inflation remains the hottest topic.

Generally speaking, inflation and rates move inversely to each other. Low rates stimulate demand for loans (i.e., borrowing money is more attractive). With the rapid recovery, though, market participants fear that rates will rise to protect the economy from overheating.

Higher rates have the potential to reduce the present value of future earnings, making stocks, especially those that are high growth, less attractive. 

To note, however, rates remain range-bound; rates on the 10 Year T-Note sit below their March high and are likely to continue higher, which the market may absorb

How may the market absorb a rise in rates? During the so-called Taper Tantrum, in the early 2010s, rates settled in a wide range, and equities rallied big. Adding, some strategists, like Kit Juckes of Societe Generale SA (OTC: SCGLY) suggest it may be best to assume a tantrum has already happened.

“U.S. 10-year yields rose from a low of 1.4% in 2012 to 3% during their tantrum. In this cycle, the rise has been from 0.5% to a high just below 1.8%. That’s comparable in relative terms. The eventual peak in U.S. yields in 2018 was 3.25%. Can’t we accept that the taper tantrum has already happened? The important difference is that in the tantrum cycle, core CPI never got above 2 ½%. A bet on further bond weakness is a bet on inflation proving to be stickier than the Fed can cope with.”

Adding, research by JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM), as well as Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS), suggests equities may be getting cheap with reflationary themes being the go-to play. This sentiment would help explain the increased interest in S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 call options.

Graphic: Equity valuations at their cheapest, relative to the macro in March 2009 and in the depth of the 1982 recession, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS), via The Market Ear.
Graphic: SHIFT search suggests participants were becoming more interested in call strikes at and above current prices in the cash-settled S&P 500 Index (INDEX: SPX) and Nasdaq 100 Index (INDEX: NDX), last week.
Graphic: Physik Invest maps out the purchase of call and put options in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY), for the week prior. Activity in the options market was primarily concentrated in short-dated tenors, in strikes at and above $425.

Outlier risks remain, though; aside from the seasonally weak period, S&P 500 skew – a measure of perceived tail risk and the chances of a black swan event – rose dramatically over the past few weeks. At the same time, sentiment cooled considerably, while individual stock volatility increased the potential for a repeat of the GameStop Corporation (NYSE: GME) de-risking event.

Graphic: Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS) unpacks outlier risks based on the implied volatility of S&P 500 out-of-the-money options, via The Market Ear.

What To Expect: In the coming sessions, participants will want to focus their attention on where the S&P 500 trades in relation to the $4,197.25 high volume area (HVNode).

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

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

That said, participants can trade from the following frameworks.

In the best case, the index trades sideways or higher; activity above $4,197.25 has the potential to reach the $4,227.00 point of control (POC). Initiative trade beyond the POC could reach as high as first the $4,238.00 overnight all-time high (ONH) and then, the $4,294.75 Fibonacci-derived price extension, a typical recovery target. 

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. 

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, the index trades lower; activity below the $4,177.25 HVNode puts in play the $4,153.25 HVNode, first. Thereafter, if lower, the $4,122.25 HVNode and $4,071.00 POC come into play. 

On a cross through the $4,050.75 low volume area (LVNode), long-biased traders should beware of a rapid liquidation, as low as first the $4,015.00 and $4,001.00 POCs. In such a liquidation, odds favor a test of ~$3,970.00 50.00% retracement, as well as the $3,918.00 61.80% retracement and HVNode.

Graphic: 4-hour profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures.
Graphic: Weekly candlestick charts of the S&P 500 (top left), Nasdaq 100 (top right), Russell 2000 (bottom left), and Dow Jones Industrial Average (bottom right). Nasdaq is primed for upside and has the potential to pull the S&P with it. 

News And Analysis

Trade | One of the world’s top ports expects delays on an outbreak. (BBG)

Markets | PBOC raises reserve ratio for foreign exchange holdings. (BBG)

Economy | Recovery solidifies in U.S., Europe, while EM faces risks. (Moody’s)

Markets | China bars banks from selling commodity-linked products. (REU)

Economy | Fed security purchases draw fire in hot U.S. housing market. (S&P)

Energy | Global oil demand is seen eclipsing India, Iran’s uncertainty. (S&P)

Economy | U.S. won’t experience stagflation over next few years. (Moody’s)

Economy | Non-government loans seeing a jump in forbearances. (MND)

Economy | U.S. speculative-grade corporate default rate to fall to 4%. (S&P)

Markets | Inflation, higher oil, stronger yuan point in same direction. (BBG)

Economy | U.S. retailers face headwinds from slowing sales, inflation. (S&P)

Markets | Everyone with bonds to liquidate had ample time to do so. (BBG)

What People Are Saying

Innovation And Emerging Trends

Markets | How recent growth in leveraged finance affects investors. (BZ)

Politics | Tech growth overshadowed by regulatory risks, challenges. (S&P)

Markets | Chamath: SPACs need more oversight and regulation. (BBG)

Politics | China moves to a three-child policy to boost its birthrate. (BBG)

Markets | Shakeout stirs debate over ether’s long-term potential. (BBG)

FinTech | Which banks are positioned for low rates, digital adoption. (S&P)

About

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

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

Disclaimer

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

Categories
Commentary

Weekly Brief For May 2, 2021

Happy Sunday! Markets were choppy, ending the week flat-to-down. This came after President Joe Biden’s joint session of Congress, Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s assessment of the economy, and blowout earnings by heavily weighted index constituents.

The following commentary on U.S. broad market equity indices will discuss what happened, why it matters, what to expect, and how participants can position themselves for the coming week.

Market Commentary

What Happened: U.S. broad market indices closed the week out flat-to-down after a failed attempt to break higher on Thursday, April 29. Last week’s action suggests participants are looking for information to initiate a directional move.

  • Policy leaders, creators: Inflation pockets transitory.
  • Ahead: Data on labor, manufacturing, and earnings.
  • Markets balancing, positions for directional resolve.
Updated: 10:00 AM EST Sunday.

Why It Matters: The sideways action during last week’s trade came after a lengthy run, higher. 

The S&P 500, in particular, from its March 2020 low, is up over 90%.

That said, as investors enter into a new month, popular news outlets are beating the drum of an old adage: “Sell in May and go away.”

Is there any truth to this statement? It depends on perspective.

Historically speaking, the period spanning May to October is generally weak. On average, the S&P 500 is up as high as +2% during this six-month period.

“Stocks are up more than 87% from the March lows, suggesting a well-deserved pullback during these troublesome months is quite possible,” LPL Financial Chief Market Strategist Ryan Detrick said in a recent blog post. “But with an accommodative Fed, fiscal and monetary policy, along with an economy that is opening faster than nearly anyone expected, we’d use any weakness as an opportunity to add to positions.”

Adding, trends are changing, though; stocks have been higher during these so-called weak months 8 out of the past 10 years, according to LPL Research. 

Graphic by LPL Research. Data from FactSet. 

So, with that, in maintaining objectivity, we zoom out and ask a few questions.

  1. Where are we in relation to the prior week’s range? Overlapping.
  2. Is the market’s attempt to go in a certain direction supported? No. After a failed balance-area breakout, participants rotated and accepted prices back in the prior range, as evidenced by unchanged value-area placement, the area where 70% of prior trade (i.e., 1 standard deviation) is conducted.
  3. Is the technical and fundamental narrative supportive of current prices? Technically, the market is in an extended uptrend. However, despite value-area placement suggesting a validation of higher prices, market liquidity metrics point to distribution, the opposite of accumulation.

Now, we analyze other factors in play.

  • Real Yields: Alongside April’s FOMC — at which the Federal Reserve left rates unchanged and asset purchases steady — 10-year real yields are on track for their biggest drop since last summer. Low real rates may catalyze risk assets as the present value of their future earnings become more attractive
  • Capital Gains Tax (CGT): The White House expressed its desire to raise the federal CGT rate to 43.4% for wealthy individuals. However, as Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE: GS) sees it, Congress is likely to settle on a more modest increase. Adding, weak S&P 500 returns, historically, going into CGT hikes are short-lived.
  • Low Rates, Debt Expansion: Such dynamics incent market participants to take risks, causing destabilizing factors to brew. As Ambrus Group’s Kris Sidial says, “The growth of structured products, passive investing, the regulatory standpoint that’s been implemented with Dodd-Frank and dealers needing to hedge off their risk more frequently than not” are all part of a regime change that’s affected the stability of markets.
  • Positioning: According to Nomura data presented by The Market Ear, CTAs have taken their positions too far on the long side, reaching levels last seen prior to the 2018 Volmageddon. Additionally, the (1) SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) and the (2) Invesco QQQ Trust Series 1 (NASDAQ: QQQ) funds saw some of their biggest outflows. At the same time, certain breadth metrics are diverging from current prices while the SPDR S&P 500 ETF, cash-settled S&P 500 Index, and Invesco QQQ saw sizable call-side bets trade, Friday. 
  • Earnings Reaction: Last week, heavily weighted index constituents reported blowout earnings. The reaction was muted, leaving broad market indices flat-to-down. One explanation is that the expectations, going into the events, were too high. Another is that the equity market is priced to perfection, at this stage of the recovery, and further advances will be supported by the rotation into cyclical parts of the market — financials, energy, and value. 
  • Option Expiration (OPEX): Option expiries mark an end to pinning (i.e, the theory that market makers and institutions short options move stocks to the point where the greatest dollar value of contracts will expire worthless) and the reduction dealer gamma exposure. According to SpotGamma, a provider of actionable options insights, on Friday, up to 30% of the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100’s gamma rolled off which may allow the indices an opportunity to directionally resolve.

So, in summarizing this section, technically, the market is bullish, supported by the prospects of a healthy rotation. In the coming week, given increased clarity on policy and a sizable derivatives expiry, participants may see directional resolve.

What To Expect: An increased potential to resolve directionally.

In addition, metrics, like price movement, market liquidity, and speculative derivatives activity, confirm participants’ bullishness and opportunistic hedging in light of an acceleration in the global restart and a turn in flows, the result of an apparent shift in consumer preferences, from saving and investing to spending.

Graphic: Physik Invest maps out the purchase of call and put options in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY), for the week ending April 30. Activity in the options market was primarily concentrated in short-dated tenors, in strikes as low as $400.000, which corresponds with $4,000.00 in the cash-settled S&P 500 Index (INDEX: SPX).

What To Do: In the coming sessions, participants will want to pay attention to where the S&P 500 trades in relation to its $4,186.75-$4,110.50 balance area. 

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

Any activity above (below) the balance-area high suggests participants are interested in discovering higher (lower) prices. Any activity within the balance area suggests participants are looking for more information to base their next move; in such case, responsive buying and selling is the course of action. 

Responsive Buying (Selling): Buying (selling) in response to prices below (above) area of recent price acceptance.

Initiative trade below the balance-area low suggests an inclination by participants to revert to the mean and repair some of the poor structure left behind prior discovery. Initiative trade above the balance area puts in play the $4,210.75 minimal excess rally-high, and the cluster of price extensions at and above $4,200.00, typical price targets based on Fibonacci principles.

Initiative Buying (Selling): Buying (selling) within or above (below) previous price acceptance.

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.

So, in the best case, the S&P 500 makes an attempt to balance or discover prices as high as $4,300.00. In the worst case, participants look to auction the S&P 500 into prior poor structures and low-volume areas (LVNodes) that ought to offer little-to-no support.

More On Volume Areas: A structurally sound market will build on past areas of high-volume (HVNode). Should the market trend for long periods of time, it will lack sound structure (identified as a low-volume area (LVNode) 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.
Graphic: 65-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures.

News And Analysis

Markets | U.S. builders produced record share of homes with hot market. (BBG)

Economy | Consumer spending, labor cost data suggests inflation warming up. (REU

Trade | Baltic Dry Index breaks 3,000 points in more than a decade on prices. (TW)

Wealth | Rich Americans fleeing tax hikes may turbocharge the shift to ETFs. (BBG)

Markets | Fed’s Robert Kaplan warns on ‘imbalances,’ wants to talk taper. (REU)

Markets | A volatility quant nets $540 million as momentum trades boom. (BBG)

Lending | States are investigating predatory subprime auto lenders. (Jalopnik)

Markets | Record metals prices catapulted mining profits beyond big oil. (BBG)

Medicine | Biden’s ARPA-H agency to ‘end cancer’ modeled after Darpa. (TC)

Markets | Bond market’s inflation bulls get Powell’s go-ahead to double down. (BBG)

Markets | Bridgewater Co-CIO sees ‘fair amount’ of stock market in bubble. (BBG)

Markets | Retail investors could counter the much-anticipated correction. (SA)

Economy | Warren Buffett denounces SPACs and Robinhood at meeting. (Axios)

Markets | Crypto’s shadow currency surges past deposits of most U.S. banks. (BBG)

Technology | Roku says it may lose YouTube app after Google’s demands. (Axios)

Economy | Ex-Treasury Secretary Summers on scarcity of workers, inflation. (BBG)

Markets | Parametric fund earns ‘Gamma Hammer’ moniker with its bets. (FT)

What People Are Saying

Innovation And Emerging Trends

FinTech | Apex Fintech has blow-out earnings ahead of NYSE listing. (BZ)

FinTech | How to attract large investors to your direct investing platform? (TC)

FinTech | New fintech groups form as industry scrutiny is ramping up. (S&P)

FinTech | Cryptocurrency bank wins OCC approval to form de novo. (S&P)

Markets | CME eyes wider customer base with micro bitcoin futures. (TB)

FinTech | Coinbase plans to acquire data and analytics platform Skew. (TB)

FinTech | How U.K.-based Lendable is powering fintechs across EMs. (TC)

FinTech | Amid the IPO gold rush, how should we value fintech startups? (TC)

FinTech | 10 fintech headhunters you need to know for recruiting to talent. (BI)

FinTech | U.K. banks speed up plans to ax branches, switch to digital focus. (S&P)

Medicine | Kevin O’Leary-backed MindMed has uplisted on the Nasdaq. (BZ)

Media | Creators are making lots of money selling Google spreadsheets. (Mashable)

Media | As newsletter advertising grows, advertisers opting for quality. (ADWK)

About

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

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

Disclaimer

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

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For April 28, 2021

Market Commentary

Index futures balance, trade sideways.

  • Traders honed in on a Fed taper.
  • A heavy day of earnings, FOMC.
  • Expect chop or responsive trade. 

What Happened: Ahead of key economic developments, U.S. stock index futures auctioned sideways-to-lower overnight. Yields and the dollar rose.

This activity comes alongside reports of strong earnings from heavily weighted index constituents. Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), and Pinterest (NYSE: PINS) were some of the most anticipated reports.

Today, Joe Biden will unveil his “American Families Plan” in an address to Congress, the Federal Reserve will provide clarity on its monetary easing plan, and Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL), among others, will report their earnings.

Graphic updated at 8:20 AM EST.

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

Adding, over the past few sessions, volumes have dwindled and responsive trade has been the course of action. This is in anticipation of impactful fundamental developments, like the FOMC meeting, today.

Responsive Buying (Selling): Buying (selling) in response to prices below (above) area of recent price acceptance.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS) expects the Fed to keep rate hikes off the table until mid-2023. Given that labor slack remains high, the odds of tapering are rather slim.
Graphic: Goldman Sachs’ timeline for Federal Reserve tapering, via ForexLive.

That said, today’s trade will likely be volatile and participants can trade from the following frameworks. 

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,186.75 ledge targets the $4,191.75 overnight high (ONH). Initiative trade beyond the ONH may introduce excess and could reach as high as the Fibonacci-derived price targets, $4,197.25-$4,263.00. 

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).

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

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

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below $4,166.75 regular-trade low (RTH Low) targets the $4,164.25 high-volume area (HVNode). Thereafter, if lower, participants can look for responses at the $4,163.25, $4,137.25, and $4,122.75 HVNodes.

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.

As long as prices remain within the prior day’s range, responsive trade is the course of action. Participants should approach today’s session with extra caution, given the potential for headline-driven initiative activity. Big picture, though, the bullish narrative remains intact unless the S&P 500 is able to auction and spend time below the $4,110.50 minimal excess low (also the balance-area low). 

Initiative Buying (Selling): Buying (selling) within or above (below) the previous day’s value area.

Balance (Two-Timeframe Or Bracket): Rotational trade that denotes current prices offer favorable entry and exit. Balance-areas make it easy to spot change in the market (i.e., the transition from two-time frame trade, or balance, to one-time frame trade, or trend).
Graphic: 4-hour profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures.
Graphic: SHIFT search maps out the trade of call and put options in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY), for April 27. Activity in the options market was primarily concentrated in short-dated tenors, in strikes near current prices. Data suggests participants, in insignificant amounts, added call-side exposure into the beginning of May. Sentiment flips into the end of May, beginning of June. 

News And Analysis

Economy | Biden unveils a massive family aid plan funded by taxing the rich. (BBG)

Economy | Fed to stay patient as U.S. outlook improves: decision-day guide. (BBG)

Commodities | Goldman sees commodities rallying over the next six months. (FP)

Markets | Tesla accused by EPA of auto-coating emissions reporting failure. (BBG)

Markets | Airbus unit has pleaded guilty to corruption over Saudi contracts. (BBG)

Commodities | OPEC+ is sticking to plan to ease oil output cuts from May 1. (REU)

Markets | Local banks, like their giant rivals, are finding loan growth elusive. (BBG)

Markets | Turning tide signals ebbing of liquidity ocean, analysis suggests. (REU)

What People Are Saying

Innovation And Emerging Trends

Markets | Chatting with Cathie Wood, the CEO, and CIO at ARK Invest. (MM)

FinTech | Trader-inspired brokerage Edge Clear launches new platform. (BZ)

FinTech | Barclays taps amount over end-to-end digital banking solutions. (BZ)

Financing | IRR in emerging tech hubs starting to overtake Silicon Valley. (TC)

FinTech | ICE introduces ultra-low-latency wireless services in Europe. (MM)

About

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

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

Disclaimer

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

Categories
Commentary

Weekly Brief For April 25, 2021

Happy Sunday! Markets were choppy, ending the week unchanged. This came alongside talk of central bank tapering and an evolution in fiscal policy.

The following commentary on U.S. broad market equity indices will discuss what happened, why it matters, what to expect, and how participants can position themselves for the coming week.

But first, here’s a quote from Adam Funds CEO, Mark E. Stoeckle:

“To try to guess that this is the right time to be out of the market, you may as well go to Las Vegas.”

Market Commentary

What Happened: The S&P 500, Nasdaq 100, Russell 2000, and Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week out basing, pricing in new information for the next directional move.

  • All talk and no action from policy leaders, creators.
  • Ahead: Fed meeting, GDP and Sentiment, earnings.
  • Markets balancing, position for directional resolve.
Updated: 10:30 AM EST

Why It Matters: The sideways action during last week’s trade came after a lengthy run, higher.

The S&P 500, in particular, from its March 4 low, is up nearly 13%.

Moreover, just because something is high, doesn’t mean it must come crashing down. To put this into perspective, here’s a quote from Jeff deGraaf, co-founder at Renaissance Macro Research: “Overbought/oversold conditions are useless without first defining the underlying trend of the market.”

So, with that, in maintaining objectivity, we zoom out and ask a few questions: 

  1. Where are we in relation to the prior week’s range? Overlapping, but slightly higher. 
  2. Is the market’s attempt to go in a certain direction supported? Yes, value, defined by the area where 70% of prior trade (i.e., 1 standard deviation) is conducted, is following price.
  3. Is the technical and fundamental narrative supportive of current prices? Technically, the market is in an extended uptrend, but recent activity suggests a validation of higher prices. Fundamentally, the topics of monetary and fiscal tightening have investors worried.

Now, in determining whether to change equity market exposure, we zoom closer in and analyze the risks at hand. 

The Bank of Canada, ahead of other central banks, in light of increased growth and inflation forecasts, cut its bond-purchase target and suggested an increased potential to hike rates earlier than expected.

This is an interesting development. The Federal Reserve, too, last week announced the U.S. economy would see higher inflation, but Chair Jerome Powell expressed the institution’s commitment to limiting any overshoot.

Why the change in tone? Here’s Janus Henderson’s portfolio manager Jay Sivapalan’s take.

“We’ve got inflated asset prices in equities, house prices, and infrastructure, how do you normalize that? You need revenue growth and you need inflation … [b]ut at some point in the future, growth may need to be traded off for financial stability.”

In simpler terms, with prolonged periods of low interest rates and debt expansion, market participants are incentivized to take risks. This is how destabilizing factors begin to brew.

“The growth of structured products, passive investing, the regulatory standpoint that’s been implemented with Dodd-Frank and dealers needing to hedge off their risk more frequently than not” are all part of a regime change that’s affected the stability of markets, said Sidial Kris Sidial, a former institutional trader and the co-chief investment officer of The Ambrus Group, a volatility arbitrage fund that looks to exploit changing market structure dynamics.

Here’s an image to help visualize some of what Sidial is referring to.

Pictured: Newfound Research unpacks market drivers, implications of liquidity.

Also, this week, the White House expressed its desire to raise the federal capital gains tax (CGT) rate to 43.4% for wealthy individuals. Despite the market selling on the news, all losses were recouped prior to the end of the week. Why? As Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE: GS) sees it, Congress is likely to settle on a more modest increase, less than 30%.

Adding, as Bloomberg’s John Authers notes: “The way the market handled the last major CGT increase, at the end of 2012, is instructive. As it grew clear that higher capital gains taxes were coming, the S&P 500 languished and went sideways for the last few months of the year, closing roughly where it had been in March. Then 2013 turned out to be a great year; stocks started their rally at the beginning of January and never really stopped.”

So, if a CGT hike is already being discounted by the market, given Friday’s rapid recovery — which also has something to do with how participants are positioned, but that conversation is beyond the scope of this commentary — then why are some of the largest exchange-traded funds seeing outflows?

In particular, the Invesco QQQ Trust Series 1 (NASDAQ: QQQ) bled nearly $6 billion over the last week, the worst exodus since the dot-com era of 2000.

Graphic: The advance/decline line (A/D), an indicator of breadth, is diverging from Nasdaq-100 prices, via MarketInOut. This dynamic has not presented itself in other broad market indices this commentary covers. 

One explanation: “With earning season starting to heat up, especially for the tech sector next week, it is likely that the expectations for technology companies may be too high,” said James Pillow, managing director at Moors & Cabot Inc. “It’s early still, but just look where the earnings surprises are coming from: materials, energy, and financials, all about 80% or higher. Money will follow performance — and the performance is coming from those sectors.”

So, in summarizing this section, technically, the market is bullish, supported by a healthy rotation.

Fundamentally, though, clouds are forming. Participants are adding shifts in tone, by policymakers, into their narrative. Should fundamental conditions change markedly, odds of a technical breakdown in momentum increase substantially.

Till then, the market is flashing green lights. Any correction may offer participants favorable entry.

What To Expect: An increased potential to correct in time, rather than price.

In addition, metrics, like market liquidity and speculative derivatives activity, confirm participants’ bullishness and opportunistic hedging ahead of an acceleration in the global restart and a turn in flows, the result of an increasingly apparent shift in consumer preferences, from saving and investing to spending.

Graphic: SHIFT search suggests participants are still not as inclined to add call-side exposure, through the month of May, in the cash-settled S&P 500 Index (INDEX: SPX).

What To Do: In the coming sessions, participants will want to pay attention to where the S&P 500 trades in relation to its $4,186.75-$4,110.50 balance area. 

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

Any activity above (below) the balance-area high suggests participants are interested in discovering higher (lower) prices. Any activity within the balance area suggests participants are looking for more information to base their next move; in such case, responsive buying and selling is the course of action. 

Responsive Buying (Selling): Buying (selling) in response to prices below (above) area of recent price acceptance.

Initiative trade below the balance-area low suggests an inclination by participants to revert to the mean and repair some of the poor structure left behind prior discovery. Initiative trade above the balance area puts in play the cluster of price extensions at and above $4,200.00, typical price targets based on Fibonacci principles.

Initiative Buying (Selling): Buying (selling) within or above (below) previous price acceptance.

So, in the best case, the S&P 500 makes an attempt to balance or discover prices as high as $4,300.00. In the worst case, participants look to auction the S&P 500 into prior poor structures and low-volume areas (LVNodes) that ought to offer little-to-no support.

More On Volume Areas: A structurally sound market will build on past areas of high-volume (HVNode). Should the market trend for long periods of time, it will lack sound structure (identified as a low-volume area (LVNode) 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.

Graphic: 1-day candlestick chart of the cash-settled S&P 500 Index (INDEX: SPX). See Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures profile chart here.

News And Analysis

Politics | Joe Biden will deliver a ‘joint session of Congress’ this week. (ABC)

Market | The Rise of Carry returns; stock buybacks are kicking into gear. (Axios)

Recovery | The end of U.S. mass vaccination coming sooner than later. (BBG)

Commodities | OPEC says NOPEC bill could put U.S. overseas assets at risk. (REU)

Markets | SPAC deals are far below peaks but are still generously valued. (CB)

Economy | The MBA is forecasting record purchase volume this year. (MND)

Banking | Goldman, JPM talk with the U.K. over business travel corridor. (FN)

Climate | Leaking landfill contributes to world’s mystery methane hotspot. (BBG)

Trade | Beijing hopes U.S. companies will push to scrap China tariffs. (BBG)

Economy | Existing home sales suffer second straight monthly decline. (CNBC)

Markets | Taxes and inflation key themes for markets in the week ahead. (CNBC)

What People Are Saying

Innovation And Emerging Trends

FinTech | On blockchain- and smart contract-based financial markets. (FED)

FinTech | U.K. banks speed plans to ax branches, switch to digital focus. (S&P)

Health | What are all those constant video calls doing to your brain? (TC)

FinTech | Participants identify key operational areas for improvement. (TM)

FinTech | Alpaca intros Broker API that lets you build own Robinhood. (BZ)

FinTech | Public.com app connects users with public company leaders. (BZ)

About

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

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

 Disclaimer

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

Cover photo by sklei from Pexels

Categories
Commentary

Market Commentary For The Week Ahead: ‘Mostly Sunny’

Key Takeaways:

  • $1.9T relief package is enacted.
  • Inflation to print past Fed goal.
  • Policy actions to limit volatility.
  • Potential for late-March selling.
  • Bond, equity volatility diverged.
  • U.S. to lead economic recovery.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures closed higher, last week.

This came alongside (1) the enactment of a massive, $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan, (2) convergence in the 10-year Treasury rate and S&P 500 dividend yield, as well as (3) a material divergence in bond and equity market volatility.

What Does It Mean: The pandemic disrupted the global economy, hitting the hardest airlines, leisure facilities, energy, manufacturing, and restaurants, among other industries.

The stock market tumbled, as a result, and the subsequent recovery was lead by technology, which delivered its strongest annual average return since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).

Now, as virus case counts fall, the pace of vaccinations accelerates, and massive coronavirus relief bills are passed, shares of stocks in beaten-down industries are becoming favorites.

This reopening trade, as it’s called, comes alongside projections the U.S. will lead the 2021 global economic recovery.

Amidst the bullishness, the yield on a 10-year Treasury, a risk-free asset, which was — per Axios — “artificially depressed by the flight-to-quality trade during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as by large-scale purchases by the Federal Reserve,” converged with S&P 500’s dividend yield. 

Graphic 1: Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS) projects yields to rise and the curve to steepen.

Typically, the S&P 500’s dividend yield is less than the risk-free rate because investors expect to earn less in dividends than they would holding the same amount in bonds, absent rising stock prices.

Values are derived using the discounted cash flow calculation; as interest and discount rates go up, the present value of future earnings goes down, which will drag stock prices, especially in growth categories, as evidenced by the Nasdaq-100’s relative weakness.

Graphic 2: Nordea Group expects inflation to print above the Federal Reserve’s target, soon.

Still, historically speaking, rising yields aren’t that harmful. Looking as far back as the 1960s, there are 13 periods in which the yield on a 10-year Treasury rose by at least 1.5%.

“In nearly 80% (10 of 13) of the prior periods, the S&P 500 Index posted gains as rates rose, as it has so far in the current rising-rate period,” a statement by LPL Financial said. “In fact, the average yearly gain for the index during the previous rising-rate periods, at 6.4%, is just a little lower than the historical average over the entire period of 7.1%, while rising rates have been particularly bullish for stocks since the mid-1990s.”

Further, despite an attempted pricing in of rising debt levels and inflation, a divergence in bond and equity market volatility persists.

Historically, fear across markets tends to move in tandem. That’s not the case today.

Graphic 3: Divergence in volatility across the bond and equity market. 

What To Expect: Balance, or two-sided trade as participants look for more information to base their next move on after last week’s rapid recovery.

Coming into the weekend, market liquidity 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 was concentrated on the put-side. 

Graphic 4: Physik Invest maps out the purchase of call and put options in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY), for the week ending March 12, 2021. Activity in the options market was primarily concentrated in short- and long-dated tenors, in strikes as low as $353, which corresponds with $3,530.00 in the cash-settled S&P 500 Index (INDEX: SPX).

What To Do: In the coming sessions, participants will want to pay attention to the VWAP anchored from the $3,959.25 overnight rally-high, as well as the $3,840.00 high-volume area (HVNode).

Volume-Weighted Average Prices (VWAPs): Metrics 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.

More On Volume Areas: A structurally sound market will build on past areas of high-volume (HVNode). Should the market trend for long periods of time, it will lack sound structure (identified as a low-volume area (LVNode) 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 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 best case, the S&P 500 remains above the $3,840.00 volume area, and VWAP anchored from the $3,959.25 peak. This would suggest buyers, on average, are in control and winning since the February 15 rally-high.

Any activity below the VWAP anchored from the $3,959.25 peak may (1) leave the $3,840.00 HVNode as an area of supply, offering initiative sellers favorable entry and responsive buyers favorable exit.

Graphic 5: Profile overlays on a 30-minute candlestick chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures.
Graphic 6: 4-hour profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures.

Conclusions: The go/no-go level for next week’s trade is $3,840.00.

Any activity at this level suggests market participants are looking for more information to base their next move. Anything above (below) this level increases the potential for higher (lower). 

Levels Of Interest: $3,840.00 HVNode.

Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric from Pexels.

Categories
Commentary

Market Commentary For 2/18/2021

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

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures balanced within prior range, ahead of releases on weekly jobless claims.

What Does It Mean: After a v-pattern recovery and sideways trade in the weeks prior, stock index futures auctioned out of prior-balance and -range, via Friday’s 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).

Since then, the S&P 500 had difficulty in maintaining higher prices.

At the end of regular trade Wednesday, the aforementioned spike and shift from balance (i.e., the transition from two- to one-time frame trade) was accepted. Overnight, however, the market rotated back into the meat of Wednesday’s range, putting in jeopardy the near-term bullish bias. This is likely the resolve of uninspired buying interest during regular trade (as measured by volume delta).

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

Noting, as the bid in volatility drops, demand is seen rising.

That’s according to one statement by Goldman Sachs Group Inc‘s (NYSE: GS) trading desk which said: “CTAs [are] purchasing ~$5B of S&P this week, regardless of what the tape does.”

That statement echoes what JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM) Marko Kolanovic’s said last year. Kolanovic suggested equities would rally short-term with the S&P 500 auctioning as high as $4,000 on the basis of low rates, improved fundamentals, buybacks, as well as systematic and hedge fund strategies. Kolanovic has since downgraded growth and suggested the limited potential for further upside despite odds of a sustained economic recovery.

Important to add also is the large February monthly options expiration (OPEX), after which, the interest at the $3,900.00 S&P 500 option strike will roll-off. 

Why is this important? Option expiries mark an end to pinning (i.e, the theory that market makers and institutions short options move stocks to the point where the greatest dollar value of contracts will expire worthless) and the reduction dealer gamma exposure.

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

This comes alongside a resumption of balance, acceptance of higher prices (above a prominent high-volume area), and an overnight rally-high at $3,959.25.

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

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.

Given the above dynamics, and the S&P 500’s move back below the $3,919.75 spike base (i.e., Wednesday’s worst case outcome), the following frameworks ought to be applied.

In the best case, the S&P 500 opens and remains above the $3,900.00 confluence zone. Auctioning beneath $3,900.00 turns the high-volume area (HVNode) nearby into supply, offering initiative sellers favorable entry and responsive buyers favorable exit.

So, above $3,900.00, expect balance-to-higher. Below $3,900.00, expect the potential for downside discovery.

Levels Of Interest: $3,900.00 HVNode.

Categories
Commentary

‘Tug Of War’: Market Commentary For The Week Ahead

Key Takeaways:

  • Sentiment still stretched despite cooling after the vaccine value rotation on news of further lockdowns, which could have a material consequence on the economic recovery.
  • The pandemic-induced liquidation of businesses not equipped to survive disruption and the accelerated adoption of new technology suggests growth stocks have staying power.
  • Broad-market equity indices ended in a larger balance area suggesting further acceptance of the positive response to upside earnings surprises, a divided government, and vaccine results. 
  • Friday’s monthly options expiry may mark a decisive move depending on how existing derivatives exposure is rolled forward and the presence of impactful news.
  • Institutions differ in opinion over the market’s strength into year-end.

What Happened: Following the post-election rally, U.S. index futures remained range-bound as sentiment cooled in the face of new lockdowns and fading stimulus hopes.

What Does It Mean: After Monday’s initiative upside drive on news that another COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine developed by Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) was 94.5% effective at preventing cases of the virus, U.S. index futures pared their advance, as participants struggled to maintain higher prices, evidenced by a divergent delta (i.e., the non-presence of committed buying) and mechanical trade (i.e., low-excess at the edges of balance).

Pictured: Profile overlays on a candlestick chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures.

What To Expect: On Friday’s end-of-day sell-off away from value, the S&P 500 closed within a prior balance area marked by the $3,580 spike base and $3,506.25 excess low. 

Given that Friday’s session failed to retake Wednesday’s spike liquidation, auctioning back into the micro-composite high-volume node at $3,557, the fairest price to do business during the prior week’s balancing activity, initiative sellers remain in control.

As a result, participants come into Monday’s session knowing the following:

  1. Prior end-of-day spikes were the result of weak-handed, short-term buyers liquidating in panic.
  2. The selling did not attract increased participation (i.e., price diverged from value).
  3. Friday’s monthly options expiry may mark a decisive move depending on how existing contracts are rolled forward. Given that $3,600 is the highest gamma strike, the probability of sustained directional resolve, absent material news, is much lower.
Graphic by SpotGamma.com.

Therefore, in light of a weak response to the $3,557 high-volume node and Friday’s options expiry, participants can carry forward the following frameworks for next week’s trade. 

If participants manage to spend time and build value in or below the prior selling activity, then initiative sellers remain in control and the liquidation could be the beginning of a new trend to the downside, confirmed by range expansion beyond the $3,506.25 excess low. Otherwise, there is the potential for a failed break-down in which participants manage to rotate back over the $3,580, a balance area boundary. 

Conclusion: Friday’s monthly options expiry may mark the beginning of a decisive move. The only thing that’s needed? A catalyst. 

In case of sustained upside, Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS) gives the S&P a $3,700 target on an expectation the v-shape recovery will continue into next year. Contributing factors including a divided government, vaccine administration, rebound in profits, low rates, and a small rise in the yield curve. 

Graphic by Goldman Sachs, retrieved from The Market Ear.com

In case of further balance or selling, JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM) sees vulnerabilities as mutual funds look to sell $160 billion in global equities to revert to their target 60:40 allocation.

Levels Of Interest: Micro-composite HVN at $3,557, the $3,506.25 excess low, as well as the $3,580 balance-area low.