Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For July 21, 2021

Market Commentary

Equity index futures sideways to higher overnight. 

  • Pandemic continues to accelerate.
  • Ahead is oil market data, earnings.
  • Indices sideways as volatility ebbs.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures auctioned sideways to higher alongside an increased spread of COVID-19 variants, earnings, and tremendous bond market volatility.

The trade comes also as leading indicators for global economic growth show unusually strong readings, according to Merrill, “pointing to one of the strongest economic expansions of the past 70 years.” In line, strategists at JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM) revised higher their year-end S&P 500 price target from $4,400 to $4,600. 

Ahead, participants are looking forward to data on oil market inventory and earnings.

Graphic updated 6:30 AM ET. Sentiment Risk-On if expected /ES open is above the prior day’s range. A positive Dark Pool Index reading is bullish. At the same time, the higher (lower) the gamma, the less (more) volatility. SHIFT Search data used for options activity. Note that options flow is sorted by the call premium spent; if green and more (less) positive then more (less) was spent on call options. Breadth reflects a reading of the prior day’s Advance/Decline indicator.

What To Expect: As of 6:30 AM ET, Wednesday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM EST) in the S&P 500 will likely open on a small gap, just outside of prior-range and -value, suggesting a potential for 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 day’s regular trade, the best case outcome occurred, evidenced by trade above the $4,285.25 micro-composite Point of Control (MCPOC). This is significant because it denotes movement above the fairest price to do business since the June 20 swing low. Now, initiative sellers have a clear line in the sand – $4,285.25 – when it comes to making headway into areas of demand.

Further, the near-vertical price rise wasn’t without a warrant.

After breaking down, the S&P 500 came to a micro-composite LVNode and halted. Thereafter, prices rebounded. Why was this? Stock indexes were positioned for a vicious rebound as near-term downside discovery may have reached a limit, based on market liquidity metrics and the inventory positioning of participants. 

According to SqueezeMetrics, the steepness of the GammaVol (GXV) curve suggested there was more risk to the upside than the downside, at that S&P 500 juncture.

Given this metric, strong breadth, and positive delta, as well as the resolve of a Volume Weighted Average Price (VWAP) pinch, the S&P 500 is positioned for higher.

Graphic: SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) market liquidity, via Bookmap. Note the supportive volume delta, a measure of buying and selling power as calculated by the difference in volume traded at the bid and offer.
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.

For today, participants can trade from the following frameworks.

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,334.25 spike base puts in play the $4,343.00 untested Point of Control (VPOC). Initiative trade beyond the VPOC could reach as high as the $4,357.75 low volume area (LVNode) and $4,371.00 VPOC.

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below the $4,334.25 spike base puts in play the $4,314.75 HVNode. Initiative trade beyond the $4,314.75 HVNode could reach as low as the $4,299.75 HVNode and $4,285.25 micro-composite POC.

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).

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.

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

News And Analysis

Work-in-progress U.S. infrastructure bill faces test in Senate. (REU)

Housing starts continuing to improve as permits lose ground. (MND)

Nasdaq to spin out market for pre-IPO shares in a bank deal. (WSJ)

Decentralized finance builds on three major waves of bitcoin. (Future)

Startups on a record acquisition spree buying other startups. (CBN)

U.S. and European consumer confidence and spending rise. (Moody’s)

Titan – Fidelity for Millennials – raised $58M Series B round. (CBN)

Survey showing U.S. majority supports more tech regulation. (Axios)

What People Are Saying

About

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

Disclaimer

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

Categories
Commentary

Weekly Brief For July 18, 2021

Market Commentary

Key Takeaways: Equity index futures spike lower in their attempt to discover fair prices for two-sided trade.

  • COVID, waning stimulus cloud outlook.
  • Ahead: Housing and employment data.
  • Indices diverge; breadth, inflows lower.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures auctioned sideways to lower.

The drop wasn’t entirely uncalled for. 

Into the seasonally-aligned price rise led by the Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500, inflows decelerated and breadth weakened

At the same time, a measure of inflation – via the Consumer Price Index (CPI) – rose the largest since the Global Financial Crisis. In response, the 5s30s curve resumed its flattening and the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield ended little changed.

Graphic: Inflation at its highest in almost 30 years via Bloomberg.

Simply put, it’s likely that bond market participants shrugged off the data and an acceleration in inflation will be temporary.

Still, yields could become further depressed due in part to fundamental and technical factors – issuance, short coverings, a fading reflation trade, peak growth – as well as the August 1 reinstatement of the U.S. debt limit.

“[I]f Congress idly stands by, the Treasury will eventually hit the debt limit on October 18. The consequences would be severe,” Moody’s strategists believe. Michael A. Gayed of the Lead-Lag Report adds the odds of a rating downgrade increase, as a result, also.

Moody’s concludes: “[T]apering earlier than the markets are pricing would risk causing yields to jump when some of the technical drags are easing.”

Graphic: Bank of America Corp’s (NYSE: BAC) timeline for taper via The Market Ear

Adding, since inflation and rates move inversely to each other, a mistimed bump in rates – alongside increased nervousness over a COVID-19 resurgence and fading fiscal stimulus – would potentially take away from the commitment to keep inflation expectations closer to the Federal Reserve’s 2%-plus target.

In all, in support of the Fed’s target, COVID-19 must not become a problem, and the Biden administration, alongside Congress, must come to terms on another fiscal package – a few trillion in size – that looks to extend the Treasury debt ceiling.

As unemployment declines and labor force participation increases, expectations of rate normalization will solidify. This is a boon for beta sectors, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co’s (NYSE: JPM) Marko Kolanovic.

Considerations: Investment bank and financial services company Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) believes downside risks are compounded by equity and bond positioning, low short interest, and the involvement of systemic strategies which could intensify a sell-off.

Graphic: Bank of America Corp (NYSE: BAC) chart on futures positioning via The Market Ear.

MS says CTAs are still short bonds which, according to CityWire, could continue the bond rally, pressuring stocks as investors “fear the bond market may know[] something they don’t.”

Add the passage of the July options expiration (OPEX), the window for the aforementioned dynamics (alongside a shift in preferences from saving and investing to spending, monetary tightening, seasonality, as well as a COVID-19 resurgence) to take over is opened.

After OPEX, according to SpotGamma, “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: SpotGamma’s EquityHub showed 30% of the S&P 500’s gamma expiring July 16 which, as SpotGamma has said in the past, “creates volatility because, as large options positions expire[], are closed and/or rolled, dealers have large hedges they need to adjust.”

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 $4,334.25 spike base.

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).

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above $4,334.25 puts in play the $4343.00 VPOC. Trade beyond that signposts may then put in play the $4,346.75 HVNode – which corresponds with two anchored Volume Weighted Average Prices (VWAPs). 

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. 

More On 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.

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.

If higher, entry into an overhead supply area, above the $4,357.75 low volume area (LVNode), portends continuation to the $4,371.00 VPOC and$4,384.50 RTH High. 

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below $4,334.25 puts in play the $4,314.75 high volume area (HVNode). Initiative trade beyond $4,314.75 could reach as low as the $4,297.00 HVNode. Closeby is the $4,291.00 VPOC and $4,285.00 composite HVNode.

Graphic: 65-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures.
Graphic: Daily candlestick charts of the S&P 500 (top left), Nasdaq 100 (top right), Russell 2000 (bottom left), and Dow Jones Industrial Average (bottom right).

News And Analysis

When VIX hits an extreme, options traders look to volatility arbitrage. (tasty)

Identifying gamma squeezes with SpotGamma’s options modeling. (BZ)

U.S. banks see loan, revenue pressure despite consumer spending. (Fitch)

The U.S. economy continued to strengthen as mobility trended up. (S&P)

‘A free put on the market’: Ambrus CIO talking volatility dislocations. (BZ)

OPEC+ agrees oil supply boost after UAE, Saudi reach compromise. (REU)

An unexpected tightening in policy would generate market volatility. (Moody’s)

Semiconductor supply shortage, inflation, and technology regulation. (S&P)

Frenzied retail investing boom has been cooling off in recent weeks. (Fortune)

Delta Air is seeing positive growth in business travel as offices open. (S&P)

What People Are Saying

About

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

Disclaimer

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

Categories
Commentary

Weekly Brief For 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

Weekly Brief For July 3, 2021

Market Commentary

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

  • Economy is set for sustained boom.
  • Ahead is a light economic calendar.
  • SPX, NDX, DJI higher. RUT coiling.

Summary: Last week, U.S. stock index futures auctioned sideways to higher into Friday’s employment report. The release showed an addition of 850,000 jobs in June, the strongest employment gain since last summer. 

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 led the week-long rally, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average followed closely behind. Though the Russell 2000 did end lower, it has been building energy for a break.

Considerations: It was the beginning of April JPMorgan Chase & Co’s (NYSE: JPM) Jamie Dimon wrote strong consumer savings, an increased pace in COVID-19 coronavirus vaccinations, and unprecedented efforts to spur economic activity could mean that a boom lasts as long as 2023.

Dimon’s comments remain valid. Months after, officials are hard at work in helping the U.S. reach herd immunity with vaccines that produce antibodies for the most well-known variants of COVID-19. Additionally, the economy is making progress toward meeting the Federal Reserve’s objectives for employment and inflation; just a couple of weeks ago the institution brought forward the time frame on when it will raise interest rates. 

In a statement, BlackRock strategists noted: “We believe the Fed’s new outlook will not translate into significantly higher policy rates any time soon. This, combined with the powerful restart, underpins our pro-risk stance.”

Alongside that news, the equity market sold violently, into Quadruple Witching, or the large expiry of futures and options. Thereafter, indexes staged a massive reversal, and the CBOE Volatility Index (INDEX: VIX), a measure of the stock market’s expectation of volatility, traded to its lowest level since February 2020.

According to SpotGamma models, up to 50% of the gamma in and across the S&P 500 complex was taken off the table that expiry.

This, as SpotGamma has said in the past, “creates volatility because, as large options positions expire[], are closed and/or rolled, dealers have large hedges they need to adjust.”

Put more simply, the initial action, into the expiry, may have been attributable to the sale of long stock that hedged expiring short exposure above the market (i.e., call side).

After that exposure was cleared, the prospects for a rally improved, boosted by the buying back of short put hedges as volatility imploded.

Last week, though, things became a tad frothy with the number of put options sold-to-open seeing heightened levels.

Graphic: SpotGamma’s analysis suggests equity put options were sold-to-open (red arrow). 

Put sales, which can be part of sophisticated volatility-based trading strategies, often suggest increased confidence as market participants look to options for income, and not insurance.

Historically, the returns after such developments are mixed; more often the appearance of strong initiative buying surfaces (e.g., August and January 2020) before a liquidation helps correct excess inventory, and bring sense back into the market. 

Kris Sidial – co-chief investment officer at The Ambrus Group, a volatility arbitrage fund – and I recently held a conversation regarding meme stock volatility, market structure, and regulation. He noted that ongoing risk-on dynamics can be traced back to factors like Federal Reserve stabilization efforts, and low rates, which incentivize risk-taking.

“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, Sidial notes. “These dislocations happen quite frequently in small windows, and it offers the potential for large outlier events,” like the equity bust and boom during 2020. “Strength and fragility are two completely different components. The market could be strong, but fragile.”

That dynamic is playing out as Cem Karsan, founder at Kai Volatility, notes volatility is dramatically oversupplied. As a result, as implied volatility drops, options gamma – an option delta’s sensitivity to market price changes – rises. Associated hedging forces make it so there’s more liquidity and less movement. In other words, the market tends to pin.

Still, in line with Sidial’s comments, Karsan believes expected distributions are fat-tailed, given “fragility.” In other words, it’s hard for the market to unpin. Should it unpin, however, there’s “not enough liquidity” to absorb leverage on the tails.

Given this, Karsan finds it interesting to sell at-the-money option structures to fund out-of-the-money structures. Alternatively, knowing what forces – e.g., charm or the rate at which the delta of an option changes with respect to time – decay poses on so-called “dealer positioning,” going into the July option expirations (OPEX), one could look into long calendar put spreads on the S&P 500.

In such a case, traders are short puts in July and long puts on forward. This way, you’re collecting decay as a result of realized pinning. Here’s Karsan’s full take, from the source.

Graphic: The risk profile of a long put calendar spread, via Fidelity.

After mid-July, though, 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. 

In a note on COVID resurgence, to not venture too far off into the abyss, I cite strategists led by JPMorgan Chase & Co’s (NYSE: JPM) Marko Kolanovic who last year correctly suggested equities would continue rallying on the basis of low rates, improved fundamentals, buybacks, as well as systematic and hedge fund strategies. 

“The delta variant should not have significant repercussions for the pandemic situation in developed markets (e.g. Europe and North America, which have [made] strong progress in vaccinations) due to the level of population immunity.”

What To Expect: In the coming sessions, participants will want to focus their attention on where the S&P 500 trades in relation to Friday’s $4,323.00 untested Point of Control (POC).

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.

That said, participants can trade from the following frameworks.

In the best case, the index trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,323.00 POC puts in play the $4,347.00 excess high. Initiative trade beyond the excess high could reach as high as the $4,357.50 Fibonacci-derived price target.

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 index trades lower; activity below the $4,323.00 POC puts in play the untested POC at $4,299.00, as well as the POC and micro-composite HVNode at $4,285.00. Thereafter, if lower, participants may look for responses at the $4,263.25 LVNode, $4,247.75 LVNode, as well as the $4239.25 HVNode and $4,229.00 POC.

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.

For a full list of important levels, see the 65-minute profile and candlestick chart, below.

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 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 denotes (1) stock replacement, (2) hedges for underlying short positions, or (3) speculation on the upside. Also, there was a meaningful bid in September 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

Markets | The premium Elon Musk adds to Tesla, other ventures. (Kyla)

Markets | Forward-looking indicators point to improving credit trends. (S&P)

Travel | TSA screenings surpassed 2019 levels in a pandemic first. (CNBC)

Energy | WH is worried about high oil prices, sees enough supply. (REU)

Energy | An overview of data from IEA’s Energy prices database. (IEA)

Energy | OPEC ends Friday’s meeting without a deal for agreement. (CNBC)

Agriculture | Dry weather damage spells trouble for U.S. spring crops. (S&P)

Economy | States ending jobless benefits early hit labor milestones. (REU)

Markets | Spotlight turning to mergers, acquisition for fintech SPACs. (S&P)

Economy | Jobs gain largest in 10 months; employers up wages. (REU)

Energy | Cal-ISO, utilities ask consumers to conserve amid heatwave. (S&P)

Economy | Economic growth hiccup to derail credit spread stability. (BBG)

Markets | Record S&P 500 masks fear trade gripping stock market. (BBG)

Innovation And Emerging Trends

FinTech | BTC mining now easier, more profitable after crackdowns. (CNBC)

FinTech | ‘Flight to quality’ as private insurtechs draw big investments. (S&P)

FinTech | Bank customers cement relationships with digital channels. (S&P)

Markets | Money-losing companies sell record stock, flashing signal. (CNBC)

Markets | Wall Street rebels warning of ‘disastrous’ $11T index boom. (BBG)

Mobility | When do electric vehicles become cleaner than gas cars? (REU)

About

Renato founded Physik Invest after going through years of self-education, strategy development, and trial-and-error. His work reporting in the finance and technology space, interviewing leaders such as John Chambers, founder, and CEO, JC2 Ventures, Kevin O’Leary, 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 1, 2021

Market Commentary

Index futures diverge as the bracketing process continues.

  • OPEC to decide on production today.
  • Ahead: Claims, PMI, ISM, Fed speak.
  • SPX and NDX explored higher prices. 

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures auctioned sideways to higher overnight.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 discovered higher prices before coming back into the prior range. The Russell 2000 and Dow Jones Industrial Average hugged channel resistances suggesting a break may be imminent.

Fundamentally speaking, the U.S. added more jobs than expected last month. That’s good news ahead of Thursday releases on unemployment claims, June manufacturing PMI, ISM manufacturing, Fed speak, used car sales numbers, OECD corporate tax talk, and some miscellaneous earnings.

Graphic updated 7:50 AM ET.

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

Adding, during the prior day’s regular trade, the best case outcome occurred, evidenced by sideways to higher trade, above the micro-composite Point of Control (POC) at $4,273.25.

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.

Further, after strong buying by longer time frame participants, short-term traders took over; moves became mechanical, halting at key, visual references. This comes alongside narrowing breadth, tapering volumes ahead of a holiday weekend, as well as fundamental concerns such as the resurgence of COVID-19.

Still, according to some, there is no cause for concern; “The delta variant should not have significant repercussions for the pandemic situation in developed markets (e.g. Europe and North America, which have [made] strong progress in vaccinations) due to the level of population immunity,” said strategists led by chief global markets JPMorgan Chase strategist Marko Kolanovic.

Given that broad outlook, for today, participants can trade from the following frameworks. 

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,285.00 POC puts in play the $4,294.75 level. Initiative trade beyond $4,294.75 could reach as high as the minimal excess $4,305.75 overnight high (ONH). 

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.

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 $4,285.00 POC puts in play the HVNodes at $4,273.25, $4,256.75, and $4,239.75. 

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

Markets | Tesla Q2 deliveries could clear 200K, set record. (BBG)

Markets | Congress has voted to overturn True Lender rule. (Moody’s)

Markets | Credit conditions ahead – things are looking good. (S&P)

Economy | Pandemic exacerbates affordable housing stress. (Fitch)

Markets | Ford will curb output at more plants on chip issue. (WSJ)

Markets | EV car sales up as Europe’s climate targets bite. (REU)

Markets | What could higher taxes mean for U.S. equities? (BLK)

Economy | Jobs gain is higher after disappointing months. (BBG)

Markets | Robinhood wants you to buy into its IPO in-app. (WSJ)

Markets | The delta variant poses no risk to stock markets. (MW)

Energy | Saudis, Russia have deal for OPEC+ output hikes. (BBG)

Markets | The spotlight is turning to M&A for fintech SPACs. (S&P)

What People Are Saying

Innovation And Emerging Trends

FinTech | Robinhood to pay $70M in large FINRA penalty. (CNBC)

Energy | Hydropower market report – analysis and forecast. (IEA)

FinTech | Senators mull Fed crypto as China races ahead. (S&P)

FinTech | A vision for decentralized finance built on bitcoin. (BBG)

FinTech | SoftBank gave $200M to Latam crypto exchange. (REU)

Travel | Air taxis coming but not in the way you are thinking. (WSJ)

FinTech | Bank users cement relations with digital channels. (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

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 23, 2021

Editor’s Note: Happy Sunday, everyone!

A lot of new subscribers this week in light of Physik Invest’s webinar with Benzinga. If you want access to the slides presented, click here.

Additionally, I am honored for your decision to follow along and will do my best to provide an objective, “no fluff” view into the who, what, when, where, why, and how in finance and technology.

Quick note, from May 25 to May 28, the daily newsletter will be off as I will be on a trip. It would not be fair for me to provide lackluster content since I won’t have all the tools at my disposal.

That said, I’ll try to be objective and concise in today’s note to ensure you have the proper direction for the volatile trade ahead.

Market Commentary

Key Takeaways: Index futures in balance.

  • Bitcoin’s weekend crash churns stomachs.
  • Tone on adjusting monetary policy altered.
  • Indices were sideways-to-higher last week.

What Happened: Last week, U.S. stock index futures auctioned sideways-to-higher, as participants looked to price in emerging dynamics with respect to rising inflation, fiscal and monetary tightening, COVID-19 concerns, political risks, and the like. 

In pricing in these dynamics, the movement was both volatile and mechanical, halting short of key visual references suggesting the participants involved were short-term (i.e., technically driven) in nature.

Adding, amid this rotation, quite a bit of poor structure was cleaned up (i.e., low volume areas), but still, judging by a lack of excess at certain points on the composite volume profile, odds point to limited conviction and commitment.

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.

Holistically, equities are in a seasonally weak period. At the same time, inflation and uninspiring economic data are major worries investors are attempting to price in.

Just last week, the Federal Reserve’s minutes showed that some on the committee were interested in tapering discussions. 

“It was a surprise to hear the talk about Fed tapering,” Joyce Chang, JPMorgan’s chair of global research, said. “The market had been thinking there might be a couple of months before you really saw this particular issue come into focus.” 

Generally speaking, inflation and rates move inverse to each other. Low rates stimulate demand for loans (i.e., borrowing money 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.

Graphic: JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM) analysts believe yields on the 10-year note will stay rangebound before breaking higher this summer, via The Market Ear.

How may the market absorb a move higher in rates? Looking back, according to The Market Ear, during the so-called Taper Tantrum, in the early 2010s, rates settled in a wide range, and equities rallied big. Adding, research by JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM) suggests equities may be getting cheap with reflationary themes the go-to play, still.

In support, during the May 19 reversal, in the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100, participants increased exposure to the upside with relatively cheap, longer-dated calls.

Still, overall, the flows point to a lot of opportunistic hedging (see graphic below).

Graphic: SHIFT search suggests participants were most interested in put strikes at and below current prices in the cash-settled S&P 500 Index (INDEX: SPX) and Nasdaq 100 Index (INDEX: NDX), last week. To note, however, participants began paying up for longer-dated upside exposure (evidenced by call activity).

What To Expect: In the coming sessions, participants will want to focus their attention on where the S&P 500 trades in relation to its $4,177.25 composite 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.

In the best case, the index trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,177.25 HVNode puts in play 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 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 $4,122.25 HVNode puts in play the $4,071.00 POC. Thereafter, if lower, 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: 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). Note Russell’s “toppy” rotation, and similar pullbacks to trend in the S&P 500 and Nasdaq. One last push, higher?
Graphic: Physik Invest maps out the purchase of call and put options in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY), for last week. Though activity in the options market was primarily concentrated in short-dated tenors, increased trade in farther-dated call-side strikes is observed as a commitment to higher prices.

News And Analysis

Markets | Rotation from growth into value strengthens bull market. (ARK)

Recovery | Two COVID shots effective against the India variant. (REU)

Economy | U.S. inflation is transitory and consistent with recovery. (S&P

Crypto | Google search volume for cryptocurrency breaks ATH. (Block)

Economy | PBOC will maintain its exchange rate basically stable. (BBG)

Markets | Global chip shortages cost automakers 5% of production. (Fitch)

Markets | JPMorgan cross-asset strategy head warns of drop. (BBG)

Markets | Nomura, UBS, UniCredit fined over bond trading cartel. (TT)

Recovery | CDC probes reports of myocarditis in the vaccinated. (Axios)

Economy | U.S. home prices push to record highs, buying slows. (WSJ)

What People Are Saying

Innovation And Emerging Trends

FinTech | How cryptocurrency fits into Brazil’s vision for banking. (Block)

FinTech | Major Asia-Pacific region banks upping their fintech bets. (S&P)

FinTech | U.S. Federal Reserve plans to publish a paper on CBDC. (Block)

Real Estate | Manhattan’s apartment vacancy rate stubbornly high. (WSJ)

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 May 21, 2021

Market Commentary

Index futures in balance.

  • Global tax revamp is gathering pace.
  • Ahead: Home sales, PMI, Fed speak.
  • Indices sideways-to-higher overnight.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures auctioned within prior-range, overnight, alongside calls for a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15%, data on existing home sales and PMI, as well as Fed speak.

Graphic updated 7:25 AM EST.

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

Adding, during the prior day’s regular trade, the best case outcome occurred, evidenced by initiative trade beyond the S&P 500’s $4,134.00 spike base, which is significant because it marked a so-called pivot on the composite profile (i.e., above = bullish, below = neutral-to-bearish).

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).

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

This recent ongoing rotation at higher prices comes as participants have been attempting to price in emerging dynamics with respect to rising inflation, fiscal and monetary tightening, COVID-19 case rises, geopolitical conflict, and the like.

In pricing in these dynamics, the movement has been both volatile and mechanical, halting short of key visual references suggesting the participants involved are short-term (i.e., technically-driven) in nature. Adding, amid this rotation, quite a bit of poor structure has been cleaned up (i.e., low-volume areas), but still, judging by a lack of excess at certain points on the composite volume profile, odds point to limited conviction and commitment.

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.

The major takeaway? Without follow-through to the downside, it is difficult to get pessimistic. As the saying goes, “never short a dull market.” The case for higher prices, as high as $4,300.00-$4,400.00, per JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM) research remains in play.

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

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,153.25 high volume area (HVNode) targets the $4,177.25 HVNode. Initiative trade beyond the $4,177.25 HVNode could reach as high as the $4,227.00 POC. 

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below the $4,153.25 HVNode puts in play the $4,136.25 and $4,122.25 HVNodes. Trading below those two references is negative; participants should look for the $4,071.00 POC to offer some response.

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

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

POCs: POCs (like HVNodes described above) are valuable as they denote areas where two-sided trade was most prevalent. Participants will respond to future tests of value as they offer favorable entry and exit.
Graphic: 65-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures.
Graphic: Daily candlestick charts of the S&P 500 (top left), Nasdaq 100 (top right), Russell 2000 (bottom left), and Dow Jones Industrial Average (bottom right). Relative strength is shifting back to the Nasdaq.
Graphic: Physik Invest maps out the purchase of call and put options in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY), for May 20. Activity in the options market was primarily concentrated in short-dated tenors, in call strikes at and above current prices.
Graphic: SHIFT search suggests participants were most interested in call and put strikes across available strikes in the cash-settled S&P 500 Index (INDEX: SPX) and Nasdaq 100 Index (INDEX: NDX), May 20.

News And Analysis

Economy | Global tax revamp gathers pace as Europe salutes U.S. proposal. (BBG)

Economy | Markets still pricing in first rate hike well ahead of Fed guidance. (Moody’s)

Economy | Housing outlook facing more uncertainty as 2022 growth revised. (MND)

Economy | Global corporate rating stabilization continues as recovery unfolds. (Fitch)

Economy | Uneven economic, population trends contribute to diverging credit. (Moody’s)

Economy | How the post-pandemic labor crunch is curbing U.S. manufacturing. (REU)

Economy | Eurozone business growth hits a high on services resurgence. (REU)

What People Are Saying

Innovation And Emerging Trends

FinTech | Nasdaq, Benzinga partner over actionable market intelligence. (BZ)

FinTech | Analysis: How to borrow cryptocurrencies with more certainty. (VV)

FinTech | MX adds Lexi Hall to empower regulatory innovation in fintech. (BZ)

Crypto | U.S. Treasury calls for stricter cryptocurrency rules, reporting. (TC)

Energy | Ford’s powerhouse EV F-150 can actually power your house. (TC)

FinTech | Harris, CHC discussed digital banking for Northern Triangle. (Axios)

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.