Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For May 4, 2023

LOAD LEVELS ON TRADINGVIEW BY CLICKING HERE.

The Federal Reserve moved the fed funds target rate by 25 basis points to 5-5.25%. They also indicated a likely pause.

“Over the last 30+ years, every time fed funds were raised above the levels of core sticky inflation, policy turned out to be restrictive enough to cool inflationary pressures back to 2% or below,” explained Alfonso Peccatiello. “By summer, core sticky inflation should be trending in the 4% annualized area while fed funds will be sitting at 5% – and history suggests that means the Fed has tightened enough.”

Graphic: Retrieved from Bloomberg.

Following a wait-and-see period, which Peccatiello thinks may last about five months, Powell said rates might loosen; measures indicate that financial conditions are tight, leading to predictions of negative economic consequences and cuts.

Graphic: Retrieved from Bloomberg.

“Chairman Powell’s message remains sobering — the Fed’s policy rates will only come down with a greater economic slowdown or credit crunch from tightening bank lending standards,” said Yung-Yu Ma of BMO Wealth Management. “The equity market has faded in the wake of Chairman Powell’s press conference. The market may be realizing that there’s a fine line between getting the rate cuts it wants and maintaining an economic trajectory that doesn’t invoke buyer’s remorse. A classic case of be careful what you wish for.”

Graphic: Retrieved from Charles Schwab Inc-owned (NYSE: SCHW) thinkorswim platform. Three-Month SOFR Futures (FUTURE: /SR3). Implied interest rate = 100 – future price; the implied interest rate calculated using the 3-month SOFR future is an annualized rate. Based on the shape of the curve, /SR3 trader’s price an easing in the coming months.

Markets closed lower after the Fed’s decision, amid PacWest Bancorp’s (NASDAQ: PACW) examination of strategic options, including a possible sale, confirming that the problem of high bond yields is still around in the banking sector.

Graphic: Retrieved from Bloomberg.

“It looks like the markets are moving from one bank to the other, and vulnerable deer in the herd are being kicked off,” Dennis Lockhart, a former Atlanta Fed President, said. “But I would like to believe that Jay Powell has information that suggests that the situation is contained or containable.”

Graphic: Retrieved from Tier1Alpha. Measure suggests traders’ fears and demands to protect/speculate on movement are higher (but restrained) after rate hike, a pressure on underlying markets that could be a catalyst for upside, too, if volatility were to compress/fall again.

As explained in recent letters and our detailed trade structuring report, the markets may trade stronger for longer. However, the risks grow “as recessionary conditions proliferate.” Some, including Andy Constan of Damped Spring Advisors, think a hard landing is 100% a likely outcome over the long term, while, over the short term, our recent letters point to context that may keep markets contained.

As a reminder, there will be only updates to levels tomorrow and Monday. Stay well.

Image
Graphic: Retrieved from Sergei Perfiliev. A persistent spread in realized and implied volatility may contain markets.

About

Welcome to the Daily Brief by Physik Invest, a soon-to-launch research, consulting, trading, and asset management solutions provider. Learn about our origin story here, and consider subscribing for daily updates on the critical contexts that could lend to future market movement.

Separately, please don’t use this free letter as advice; all content is for informational purposes, and derivatives carry a substantial risk of loss. At this time, Capelj and Physik Invest, non-professional advisors, will never solicit others for capital or collect fees and disbursements. Separately, you may view this letter’s content calendar at this link.

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For March 23, 2023

Physik Invest’s Daily Brief is read free by thousands of subscribers. Join this community to learn about the fundamental and technical drivers of markets.

Graphic updated TIME AM ET. Sentiment Neutral if expected /MES open is inside of the prior day’s range. Sentiment Risk-On if expected /MES open is above the prior day’s range. Sentiment Risk-Off if expected /MES open is below the prior day’s range. /MES levels are derived from the profile graphic at the bottom of this letter. Click here for the latest levels. SqueezeMetrics Dark Pool Index (DIX) and Gamma (GEX) with the latter calculated based on where the prior day’s reading falls with respect to the MAX and MIN of all occurrences available. A higher DIX is bullish. The lower the GEX, the more (expected) volatility. Click to learn the implications of volatility, direction, and moneyness. Breadth reflects a reading of the prior day’s NYSE Advance/Decline indicator. The CBOE VIX Volatility Index (INDEX: VVIX) reflects the attractiveness of owning volatility. UMBS prices via MNDClick here for the economic calendar.

Administrative

A shorter letter today, so there may be some holes we patch later. Take care!

Fundamental

The Federal Reserve (Fed) bumped its target rate up 25 basis points to 4.75-5.00% and opened the door to more hikes, barring market-induced financial tightening, as this letter put forward yesterday morning.

“The events in the banking system over the past two weeks are likely to result in tighter credit conditions for households and businesses, which would, in turn, affect economic outcomes,” Fed chair Jerome Powell commented, adding that credit tightening significantly means monetary policy “may have less work to do.”

Further, before the recent collapses of a few financial institutions, including SVB Financial Group, the market was pricing a 50 basis point hike.

The below CME Group Inc’s (NASDAQ: CME) FedWatch Tool shows the market’s expectations on March 8. Note the 5.50-5.75% terminal (peak) rate.

Graphic: Retrieved from CME Group Inc’s (NASDAQ: CME) FedWatch Tool via The Daily Brief for March 8, 2023.

“Absent SVB, the Fed would have likely raised 50 basis points,” TS Lombard’s Steve Blitz said. “SVB did happen, however, and so this FOMC, ever anxious about facing a recession (rising unemployment), is more than happy to let ‘tighter credit conditions for households and businesses … weigh on economic activity, hiring, and inflation.’ As for financial instability, they believe they have the tools to keep a few poorly managed banks from imploding the whole sector.”

The updated summary of economic projections (SEP) or dot plot shows the FOMC expecting rates to end 2023 above 5.00%.

Graphic: Retrieved from Bloomberg.

This is far higher than what the markets are pricing. Powell’s go-to measure for spotting economic troubles suggests steep cuts are also coming sooner than later.

Graphic: Retrieved from Bloomberg. “Frankly,  there’s good research by staff in the Federal Reserve system that really says to look at the short — the first 18 months — of the yield curve. That’s really what has 100% of the explanatory power of the yield curve. It makes sense. Because if it’s inverted, that means the Fed’s going to cut, which means the economy is weak.” — Fed Chair Powell on March 21, 2022.

Anyways, given that what was expected happened, markets responded positively. If interested in why that is the case following important events as of late, see the Daily Brief for 2/1 and 2/2

Graphic: Retrieved from Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC) via Bloomberg. “Viewed through the lens of implied volatility — or expectations of how much an underlying asset will swing in the future — zero-day options aren’t particularly cheap in reality. The gap over the S&P 500’s realized volatility, something in derivatives parlance known as volatility risk premium, is typically three times higher than longer-dated contracts, according to BofA.” The compression of “will naturally lead to a buyback” that supports the market, Kai Volatility’s Cem Karsan says.

It was Treasury secretary Janet Yellen who took the market lower. Yellen said she has “not considered or discussed anything having to do with blanket insurance of guarantees of deposits,” and markets did not like that.

Graphic: Retrieved from Bloomberg.

The likes of Pershing Square’s Bill Ackman responded he “would be surprised if deposit outflows don’t accelerate.” Adding, Federated Hermes’ Steve Chiavarone thought it was “astounding” Yellen and Powell would give contradictory messages.

“Powell essentially said that all deposits are safe; Yellen said, ‘Hold my beer.’ You would have thought that they would have coordinated,” responded Federated Hermes’ Steve Chiavarone.

To keep it brief, we’ll end with references to letters for 3/20 and 3/21, noting that the conditions for weak equity markets are present. The S&P 500 forward earnings are declining, the yield curve is inverted, unemployment is below average, manufacturing PMIs are below 50, and 40% of banks are tightening lending, Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) strategists explain.

Technical

As of 8:55 AM ET, Thursday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET) in the S&P 500 will likely open in the middle part of a positively skewed overnight inventory inside the prior day’s range, suggesting a limited potential for immediate directional opportunity.

The S&P 500 pivot for today is $3,994.25. 

Key levels to the upside include $4,004.25, $4,017.00, and $4,026.75.

Key levels to the downside include $3,977.00, $3,959.25, and $3,946.75.

Disclaimer: Click here to load the updated key levels via the web-based TradingView platform. New links are produced daily. Quoted levels likely hold, barring an exogenous development.

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

Definitions

Volume Areas: Markets will build on areas of high-volume (HVNodes). Should the market trend for some time, this will be identified by a low-volume area (LVNodes). The LVNodes denote directional conviction and ought to offer support on any test.

If participants auction and find acceptance in an area of a prior LVNode, then future discovery ought to be volatile and quick as participants look to the nearest HVNodes for more favorable entry or exit.

POCs: Areas where two-sided trade was most prevalent in a prior day session. Participants will respond to future value tests as they offer favorable entry and exit.


About

The author, Renato Leonard Capelj, spends the bulk of his time at Physik Invest, an entity through which he invests and publishes free daily analyses to thousands of subscribers. The analyses offer him and his subscribers a way to stay on the right side of the market. 

Separately, Capelj is an accredited journalist with past works including interviews with investor Kevin O’Leary, ARK Invest’s Catherine Wood, FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, Lithuania’s Minister of Economy and Innovation Aušrinė Armonaitė, former Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers, and persons at the Clinton Global Initiative.

Connect

Direct queries to renato@physikinvest.com. Find Physik Invest on TwitterLinkedInFacebook, and Instagram. Find Capelj on TwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram. Only follow the verified profiles.

Calendar

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

Disclaimer

Do not construe this newsletter as advice. All content is for informational purposes. Capelj and Physik Invest manage their own capital and will not solicit others for it.

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For March 8, 2023

Physik Invest’s Daily Brief is read free by thousands of subscribers. Join this community to learn about the fundamental and technical drivers of markets.

Graphic updated 8:00 AM ET. Sentiment Risk-Off if expected /MES open is below the prior day’s range. /MES levels are derived from the profile graphic at the bottom of this letter. Click here for the latest levels. SqueezeMetrics Dark Pool Index (DIX) and Gamma (GEX) with the latter calculated based on where the prior day’s reading falls with respect to the MAX and MIN of all occurrences available. A higher DIX is bullish. The lower the GEX, the more (expected) volatility. Click to learn the implications of volatility, direction, and moneyness. Breadth reflects a reading of the prior day’s NYSE Advance/Decline indicator. The CBOE VIX Volatility Index (INDEX: VVIX) reflects the attractiveness of owning volatility. UMBS prices via MNDClick here for the economic calendar.

Fundamental

Note: The write-up on the conversation with Simplify’s Mike Green and your letter writer coming soon. Your letter writer is juggling Physik Invest, Benzinga, and two weeks of jury duty! Oh, my.

Following Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony yesterday, traders shifted their outlook on the path of interest rates. The terminal rate now sits between 5.50% and 5.75%, and there are no cuts priced in 2023. Traders are also anticipating a 0.50% hike at the March meeting, up from 0.25%.

Graphic: Retrieved from CME Group Inc’s (NASDAQ: CME) FedWatch Tool. Updated 3/8/2023.

The likes of Ken Griffin, who is the founder of Citadel and Citadel Securities, said the Fed’s updates have confused investors. He advised Powell to talk less about inflation.

“Every time they take the foot off the brake, or the market perceives they’re taking their foot off the brake, and the job’s not done, they make their work even harder,” he explained. TS Lombard’s Steven Blitz added the downshifts in hikes were a mistake and the testimony was a “tacit admission.”

Anyways, the 2- and 10-year Treasury yield spread is at levels when the Fed’s Volcker tightened up the economy to tackle double-digit inflation. Bespoke Investment notes that after that particular spread inverted in October of 1979, the economy peaked at the end of January 1980 but the stock market remained strong.

“The next year, the S&P 500 rallied 22.9%, the Nasdaq was up 36.0%, and the Russell 2000 was up over 40.0%.”

Graphic: Retrieved from Bloomberg. 

However, Bespoke adds that “back then, the S&P 500 was trading for just 7.3 times trailing earnings. Today, the S&P 500 trades at a multiple that’s two-and-a-half times that level.” Per last week’s letters, investors’ salvation may be found in less traditional portfolio constructions. That’s what Simplify Asset Management portfolio manager and strategist Mike Green said to your letter writer last week in an interview as well.

Given the unreliability of data, Green explains, and the positioning, investors can get through a lot of the uncertainty by buying a one-year bond and stepping out.

“A real decrease in the purchasing power of the dollar means stock prices should go up because they are something you’re purchasing like everything else. The problem is that would, then, require significant multiple compression as you move forward. So, corporations would be making more money, but that money would be valued less richly because of the inflation.” Conversely, we see multiple expansions, Green said in casting doubt on recent market strength. “Earnings are actually going down.”

With the S&P 500 trading upwards of 20% above the last decade’s average forward price-to-earnings, traditional rules imply the P/E likely falls, and that is supportive of Green’s doubt and support of alternative portfolio constructions layering bond and volatility (i.e., options) exposure to target a full return of principal at the least.

“Using options allows you to introduce a degree of convexity in portfolios where [you] can take risks with a limited downside because [you’ve] either protected [your] downside or simply expended a degree of premium on it.”

With deterioration in some markets “offset by a lack of inventory” and/or hesitancy to sell, the marginal impact of “one person being in distress” may eventually “set a new clearing price … chang[ing] valuations for everybody.” That’s a good place to be as the owner of options protection.

Technical

As of 7:50 AM ET, Wednesday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET), in the S&P 500, is likely to open in the lower part of a balanced overnight inventory, outside of the prior day’s range, suggesting a potential for immediate directional opportunity.

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

Key levels to the upside include $3,999.25, $4,013.00, and $4,024.75.

Key levels to the downside include $3,975.25, $3,965.25, and $3,947.00.

Disclaimer: Click here to load the updated key levels via the web-based TradingView platform. New links are produced daily. Quoted levels likely hold barring an exogenous development.

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

Definitions

Volume Areas: Markets will build on areas of high-volume (HVNodes). Should the market trend for a period of time, this will be identified by a low-volume area (LVNodes). The LVNodes denote directional conviction and ought to offer support on any test.

If participants auction and find acceptance in an area of a prior LVNode, then future discovery ought to be volatile and quick as participants look to the nearest HVNodes for more favorable entry or exit.

POCs: Areas where two-sided trade was most prevalent in a prior day session. Participants will respond to future tests of value as they offer favorable entry and exit.

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


About

The author, Renato Leonard Capelj, spends the bulk of his time at Physik Invest, an entity through which he invests and publishes free daily analyses to thousands of subscribers. The analyses offer him and his subscribers a way to stay on the right side of the market. 

Separately, Capelj is an accredited journalist with past works including interviews with investor Kevin O’Leary, ARK Invest’s Catherine Wood, FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, Lithuania’s Minister of Economy and Innovation Aušrinė Armonaitė, former Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers, and persons at the Clinton Global Initiative.

Connect

Direct queries to renato@physikinvest.com. Find Physik Invest on TwitterLinkedInFacebook, and Instagram. Find Capelj on TwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram. Only follow the verified profiles.

Calendar

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

Disclaimer

Do not construe this newsletter as advice. All content is for informational purposes. Capelj and Physik Invest manage their own capital and will not solicit others for it.

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For March 7, 2023

Physik Invest’s Daily Brief is read free by thousands of subscribers. Join this community to learn about the fundamental and technical drivers of markets.

Graphic updated 5:40 AM ET. Sentiment Neutral if expected /MES open is inside of the prior day’s range. /MES levels are derived from the profile graphic at the bottom of this letter. Click here for the latest levels. SqueezeMetrics Dark Pool Index (DIX) and Gamma (GEX) with the latter calculated based on where the prior day’s reading falls with respect to the MAX and MIN of all occurrences available. A higher DIX is bullish. The lower the GEX, the more (expected) volatility. Click to learn the implications of volatility, direction, and moneyness. Breadth reflects a reading of the prior day’s NYSE Advance/Decline indicator. The CBOE VIX Volatility Index (INDEX: VVIX) reflects the attractiveness of owning volatility. UMBS prices via MNDClick here for the economic calendar.

Administrative

Morning, team. Still working on a bigger write-up for later this week. Here are some key things to know. Have a good day!

Positioning

After a boost bolstered by systematic-type investors acting on changes in trend and volatility, the market is at a pivot of sorts.

Graphic: Retrieved from Danny Kirsch of Piper Sandler Companies (NYSE: PIPR). The move in [Nasdaq 100] relative to [the Russell 2000], [S&P 500 versus Russell 2000] looks similar. Ties into re-grossing theme, adding longs (QQQ+SPY) and shorts (IWM). Also fits with recent bid for credit.”

After a test of key areas of confluence, measures of the market’s strength weakened heading into the late-day equity weakness, Monday.

Graphic: Key market internals retrieved from TradingView.

Further, lots of the bullishness of the trend change and falling volatility was spent. The market is in a precarious state heading into Jerome Powell’s testimony, today.

Graphic: Retrieved from SpotGamma.

Following Powell’s testimony, ranges likely expand. 

On one hand, FOMO-type demand for call options exposures, coupled with CTAs further “raising their equity exposure” on trend signals and lower volatility, may boost markets into a “more combustible” state the Daily Brief for February 17 explained.

Graphic: Retrieved from Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE: DB) via Bloomberg.

On the other hand, in the context of liquidity coming off of the table and the increased competition between equities and fixed income, should Powell disappoint, expansion of implied volatility (IVOL) on demands for protection, alone, could “draw markets lower” into the March 17 options expiration (OpEx), options data and insight provider SpotGamma says. For more on how to trade this precariousness and reduce portfolio downside, see the Daily Brief for March 3.

Technical

As of 5:30 AM ET, Tuesday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET), in the S&P 500, is likely to open in the upper part of a positively skewed overnight inventory, inside of the prior day’s range, suggesting a limited potential for immediate directional opportunity.

The S&P 500 pivot for today is $4,059.25. 

Key levels to the upside include $4,071.25, $4,082.75, and $4,095.25.

Key levels to the downside include $4,045.25, $4,032.75, and $4,019.00.

Disclaimer: Click here to load the updated key levels via the web-based TradingView platform. New links are produced daily. Quoted levels likely hold barring an exogenous development.

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

Definitions

Volume Areas: Markets will build on areas of high-volume (HVNodes). Should the market trend for a period of time, this will be identified by a low-volume area (LVNodes). The LVNodes denote directional conviction and ought to offer support on any test.

If participants auction and find acceptance in an area of a prior LVNode, then future discovery ought to be volatile and quick as participants look to the nearest HVNodes for more favorable entry or exit.

POCs: Areas where two-sided trade was most prevalent in a prior day session. Participants will respond to future tests of value as they offer favorable entry and exit.

Volume-Weighted Average Prices (VWAPs): A metric highly regarded by chief investment officers, among other participants, for quality of trade. Additionally, liquidity algorithms are benchmarked and programmed to buy and sell around VWAPs.


About

The author, Renato Leonard Capelj, spends the bulk of his time at Physik Invest, an entity through which he invests and publishes free daily analyses to thousands of subscribers. The analyses offer him and his subscribers a way to stay on the right side of the market. 

Separately, Capelj is an accredited journalist with past works including interviews with investor Kevin O’Leary, ARK Invest’s Catherine Wood, FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, Lithuania’s Minister of Economy and Innovation Aušrinė Armonaitė, former Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers, and persons at the Clinton Global Initiative.

Connect

Direct queries to renato@physikinvest.com. Find Physik Invest on TwitterLinkedInFacebook, and Instagram. Find Capelj on TwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram. Only follow the verified profiles.

Calendar

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

Disclaimer

Do not construe this newsletter as advice. All content is for informational purposes. Capelj and Physik Invest manage their own capital and will not solicit others for it.

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For September 22, 2022

The daily brief is a free glimpse into the prevailing fundamental and technical drivers of U.S. equity market products. Join the 950+ that read this report daily, below!

Graphic updated 8:00 AM ET. Sentiment Neutral if expected /ES open is inside of the prior day’s range. /ES levels are derived from the profile graphic at the bottom of the following section. Levels may have changed since initially quoted; click here for the latest levels. SqueezeMetrics Dark Pool Index (DIX) and Gamma (GEX) calculations are based on where the prior day’s reading falls with respect to the MAX and MIN of all occurrences available. A higher DIX is bullish. At the same time, the lower the GEX, the more (expected) volatility. Learn the implications of volatility, direction, and moneyness. Breadth reflects a reading of the prior day’s NYSE Advance/Decline indicator. VIX reflects a current reading of the CBOE Volatility Index (INDEX: VIX) from 0-100.

Administrative

An easy read, today. For more complex, see the September 20 and 19 letters. Also, there will not be a letter published for Friday, September 23, 2022. See you next week, team!

Fundamental

Equity markets traded down, yesterday, on the heels of the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) decision to raise interest rates by 0.75% and “keep at it” for longer, eyeing a 1.25% jump, in sum, by 2023.

This puts the current target rate at 3.00-3.25%.

Separately, if the “keep at it” quote sounds familiar, that’s because it is. The Fed Paul Volcker’s memoir is titled “Keeping at It.”

Graphic: CME Group Inc’s (NASDAQ: CME) FedWatch Tool shows higher odds of a 75 to 100 basis point rate hike in November, along the lines of what the futures market was pricing heading into the event.

The Fed Chair Jerome Powell admitted there may be below-trend growth and the potential for unemployment to reach 4.4% next year, up from the current rate of 3.7%. Projected increases, as of yesterday, show interest rates at 4.4% by 2023, and 4.6% in 2023, before moderation in 2024 to 3.9%, as well summarized by Bloomberg.

Graphic: Retrieved from Bloomberg.

Moreover, economists suggest that raising rates to 4.5% would cost the economy nearly 1.7 million jobs while rates at 5% would bring that number to 2 million. A higher savings rate and increased funds at the state level would likely cushion the blow, however.

In response, the likes of Ark Invest’s Cathie Wood, who we quoted recently regarding her thoughts on why the Fed needs to lower the pace of tightening and/or cut, said:

“Most disappointing about the Fed’s decision today was its unanimity. None of those voting on the Federal Reserve is focused on the significant price deflation in the pipeline. The Fed seems to be making decisions based on lagging indicators and analogies.”

She adds that the Fed is setting the stage for deflation:

“The Fed is solving supply chain issues by crushing demand and, in my view, unleashing deflation, setting it up for a major pivot.”

Graphic: Initially retrieved from Bloomberg. Taken from Ophir Gottlieb who concludes costs are dropping, as observed via shipping, gasoline, manufacturing, cars, and rent measures.

Moreover, it’s the case that “[a]s rates rise and debt servicing costs increase, ‘many zombie institutions, zombie households, corporates, banks, shadow banks, and zombie countries are going to die,’” said economist Nouriel Roubini, who predicted the 2008 financial crisis. 

Prior to the Fed event, Roubini forecasted a 75 basis point hike in September, followed by a 50 basis point hike in November. The market is pricing more than what Roubini thought the Fed would probably do after Wednesday’s Fed meeting.

In his opinion, stay “light on equities and have more cash, … [as] equities and other assets can fall by 10%, 20%, 30%.”

Positioning

In short, unexpected was the post-event response. In recent times, post-Fed moves have been positive, driven by the “rebalancing of dealer inventory,” per Kai Volatility’s Cem Karsan.

That didn’t happen and let’s unpack why.

Basically, into the event, traders demanded protection and bid implied volatility (IVOL). The assumption is that counterparties, who are likely on the other end, have exposure to positive Delta and negative Gamma, which they hedge through negative Delta trades in the underlying.

Should fears have been assuaged, the supply of that protection once demanded, would have decreased IVOL (and options Delta), providing the markets a boost.

Graphic: Retrieved from SqueezeMetrics.

That didn’t happen. Instead, traders added protection, as shown by this SpotGamma graphic tracking changes in put open interest on the S&P 500 (INDEX: SPX).

Graphic: Retrieved from SpotGamma. Updated September 22, 2022.

This bid some basic measures of IVOL into the close.

Graphic: Retrieved from VIX Central. Updated September 21, 2022.

That’s as these particular options, which were added at much lower prices, as I explained in a SpotGamma note, recently, “are far more sensitive to changes in direction and IVOL.”

These options can go “from having very little Delta (exposure to direction) to a lot more Delta on the move lower,” quickly. “If we maintain that liquidity providers are short those puts, a positive Delta trade, then those liquidity providers [will sell] futures and stock, a negative Delta trade to stay hedged.”

Graphic: Retrieved from SqueezeMetrics.

Notwithstanding, it’s still the case that a “reload on fresh short-dated downside” flows heighten the risk of a “negative Delta squeeze … into month end,” said Nomura Holdings Inc’s (NYSE: NMR) Charlie McElligott. 

Therefore, “you have to consider a move up [to] $4,000.00 as part of your distribution of outcomes to the upside,” as that is near where “market makers are ‘long,’” as part of an impactful collar trade many are aware sits.

As an aside, some online conversation was sparked around placing cash into riskless trades for some small, but guaranteed, rates of return. In that conversation, Box Spreads were put forth as a solution to lend cash and earn a competitive interest rate.

For context, “Boxes allow market participants to create a loan structure similar to a Treasury bill. T-bills are ‘discount’ instruments that are purchased at a value less than the stated face value. Upon maturity, bills call for the return of the stated face value.”

“For example, one might buy a $1 million 90-day T-bill for $998,000. Ninety days later, the $1 million face or principal value is returned and the $2,000 discount is earned as interest. One may represent the rate on this transaction as a 0.80% or 80 basis point discount yield [= (360/90) x ($2,000/$1,000,000)]. The effective rate on a box represents a ‘discount yield’ similar to a quoted T-bill rate.”

Graphic: Retrieved from boxtrades.com.

IPS Strategic Capital’s Pat Hennessy explains that SPX boxes “typically yield[] 20-40 bps above [the] corresponding maturity risk-free rate.” Additionally, there are tax advantages to using the S&P 500’s 1256 contracts. 

For easier fills, use the “3K/4K line in an AM settled expiry,” Hennessy noted. “Helps if you know where the broker market is.”

Technical

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

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

Any activity above the $3,826.25 HVNode puts into play the $3,857.25 HVNode. Initiative trade beyond the latter could reach as high as the $3,893.00 VPOC and $3,936.25 ONH, or higher.

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

Any activity below the $3,826.25 HVNode puts into play the $3,770.75 HVNode. Initiative trade beyond the HVNode could reach as low as the $3,722.50 LVNode and $3,688.75 HVNode, or lower.

Click here to load today’s key levels into the web-based TradingView charting platform. Note that all levels are derived using the 65-minute timeframe. New links are produced, daily.
Graphic: 65-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures.

Definitions

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

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

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

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

About

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

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

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

Disclaimer

In no way should the materials herein be construed as advice. Derivatives carry a substantial risk of loss. All content is for informational purposes only.

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For September 8, 2022

The daily brief is a free glimpse into the prevailing fundamental and technical drivers of U.S. equity market products. Join the 850+ that read this report daily, below!

Graphic updated 7:15 AM ET. Sentiment Neutral if expected /ES open is inside of the prior day’s range. /ES levels are derived from the profile graphic at the bottom of the following section. Levels may have changed since initially quoted; click here for the latest levels. SqueezeMetrics Dark Pool Index (DIX) and Gamma (GEX) calculations are based on where the prior day’s reading falls with respect to the MAX and MIN of all occurrences available. A higher DIX is bullish. At the same time, the lower the GEX, the more (expected) volatility. Learn the implications of volatility, direction, and moneyness. Breadth reflects a reading of the prior day’s NYSE Advance/Decline indicator. VIX reflects a current reading of the CBOE Volatility Index (INDEX: VIX) from 0-100.

Fundamental

Please pardon the light letter, team.

The Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Jerome Powell will speak on monetary policy today at 9:10 AM ET. He is likely to embolden the tone set forth yesterday by the Fed’s Lael Brainard who said that higher rates for far longer seem necessary at this juncture.

The base case calls for a 75 basis point hike to interest rates this month, followed by 50 basis points in November, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS) forecasts.

A quick check of the Eurodollar – which reflects the interest offered on U.S. dollar-denominated deposits held at banks outside of the U.S. (i.e., participants’ outlook on interest rates) – shows a peak in the overnight rate at 4.155% in February of 2023. From thereon, rate cuts are implied.

Graphic: Via Charles Schwab Corporation-owned (NYSE: SCHW) TD Ameritrade’s Thinkorswim.

It’s the case that monetary policies implemented resulted in too many dollars (still) chasing too few goods. We spoke on supply side dislocations last week and put forth that, from a monetary perspective, the Fed, among its peers like the ECB, can only and will tighten to stem inflationary pressures that are (to remain) structural.

Graphic: Retrieved from Bloomberg. “The number of references to the word ‘shortage’ in the Fed’s latest Beige Book report edged higher after declining for three straight reports, according to a Bloomberg tally. Job markets remained tight and labor shortages weighed on several sectors. That plus continued supply-chain snarls hampered manufacturing, the Fed said.”

It is the case that the economy is on a path that is “L”-shaped (i.e., vertical drop in activity via recession, and flatline for a period of time as rates remain higher for longer to prevent a sharp rise in inflation, again).

Zoltan Pozsar of Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE: CS) puts forth that policymakers now have to “generate a round of negative wealth effects to lower demand such that it becomes more in line with the new realities of supply.”

Graphic: Via Physik Invest. Data compiled by @jkonopas623. Fed Balance Sheet data, here. Treasury General Account Data, here. Reverse Repo data, here. NL = BS – TGA – RRP.

Technical

Implied volatility (IVOL) is wound and markets are in an environment characterized by two-way ranges that are larger. Yesterday, we unpacked one way traders could have played the entry into this environment.

Further, as SpotGamma puts it well, a positive response to Powell’s remarks, into and through events such as the next update on consumer prices and the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, opens the door to IVOL compression and this would be “a boost for equities.”

Graphic: Retrieved from VIX Central.

That’s because the Delta risk counterparties are exposed to by holding short put options, for instance, reduces with falling IVOL. Accordingly, since the short puts carry less positive Delta, the counterparty reduces its negative Delta exposure via the underlying future or stock, which can support markets.

Graphic: Retrieved via SpotGamma’s Hedging Impact of Real-Time Options (HIRO) indicator. S&P 500 volatility selling coincides with a drop in IVOL and a price rise in the underlying.

Technical

As of 7:15 AM ET, Thursday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET), in the S&P 500, is likely to open in the middle part of a balanced overnight inventory, inside of prior-range and -value, suggesting a limited potential for immediate directional opportunity.

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

Any activity above the $3,988.25 HVNode puts into play the $4,018.75 HVNode. Initiative trade beyond the latter could reach as high as the $4,064.00 RTH High and $4,107.00 VPOC, or higher.

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

Any activity below the $3,988.25 HVNode puts into play the $3,952.75 LVNode. Initiative trade beyond the LVNode could reach as low as the $3,925.00 VPOC and $3,884.25 LVNode, or lower.

Click here to load today’s key levels into the web-based TradingView charting platform. Note that all levels are derived using the 65-minute timeframe. New links are produced, daily.
Graphic: 65-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures.

Considerations: Responsiveness near key-technical areas (that are discernable visually on a chart), suggests technically-driven traders with short time horizons are very active. 

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

Graphic: Daily chart of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY).

Definitions

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

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

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

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

Volume-Weighted Average Prices (VWAPs): A metric highly regarded by chief investment officers, among other participants, for quality of trade. Additionally, liquidity algorithms are benchmarked and programmed to buy and sell around VWAPs.

About

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

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

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

Disclaimer

In no way should the materials herein be construed as advice. Derivatives carry a substantial risk of loss. All content is for informational purposes only.