Daily Brief For October 4, 2021

Market Commentary

Equity index futures were sideways to lower with bonds and the dollar.

  • Nordea: Macro backdrop worsens.
  • Ahead is a relatively light calendar.
  • October is volatile while Q4 bullish.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures auctioned sideways to lower overnight alongside reports that China was showing little interest in a direct bailout of Evergrande and U.S. political leaders remain at odds on the debt limit.

Ahead is data on factory orders and core capital goods orders (10:00 AM ET).

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

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

Adding, during the prior day’s regular trade, on a strengthening of intraday breadth, among other metrics including positioning measures, the best case outcome occurred, evidenced by a recovery of Thursday’s $4,365.00 untested point of control (VPOC). 

Given the overnight response at the top of Friday’s value area – the bulk of where trade was conducted – it looks as though participants are interested in slowing the pace of downside discovery. 

Still, the S&P 500 is well below its 20- and 50-day simple moving averages and multiple distribution profile structures denote emotion, as well as a lack of commitment

Graphic: S&P 500 daily chart with 20-, 50-, and 200-day simple moving average.

Further, the aforementioned trade is happening in the context of a traditionally volatile October and a fraying in the buy-the-dip psychology.

According to Nordea, despite a calm, upward-sloping term structure, there has been “a slightly upward tilting trend” in futures tracking the S&P 500 volatility index, likely warranted by several macro reasons including a worsening in liquidity, a slowdown in growth, cost/margin problems, and risks to the Fed put.

Graphic: Fed’s GDPNow estimate lowers expectations for U.S. economic growth, via The Market Ear

LPL Research adds that aside from October, no other month has seen more 1% moves, and the fourth quarter is “historically the best for stocks, with the third quarter the worst.”

Graphic: LPL Research unpacks S&P 500 seasonality. 

Moreover, for today, given expectations of heightened volatility, participants may make use of the following frameworks.

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,332.25 low volume area (LVNode) puts in play the $4,363.25 high volume area (HVNode). Initiative trade beyond the HVNode could reach as high as the $4,410.25 LVNode and $4,437.75 micro composite point of control (MCPOC), or higher.

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below the $4,332.25 LVNode puts in play the $4,299.00 VPOC. Initiative trade beyond the VPOC could reach as low as $4,260.00 overnight low (ONL) and $4,233.00 VPOC, or lower.

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


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

Volume Areas: A structurally sound market will build on 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.

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

Price Discovery (One-Timeframe Or Trend): Elongation and range expansion denotes a market seeking new prices to establish value, or acceptance (i.e., more than 30-minutes of trade at a particular price level).

News And Analysis

EM bond markets continue to grow, as do vulnerabilities.

There’s is no inflation without income; there’s no income.

Action on Evergrande to avoid financial, social instability.

Global growth steady as delta spurs big regional swings.

Doomsday clock for U.S. debt ticks on political clashings.

Global Credit Conditions Q4: supply strain, inflation pain.

What People Are Saying


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.


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.


Market Commentary For The Week Ahead: ‘Mostly Sunny’

Key Takeaways:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coming into the weekend, market liquidity suggested (1) buying pressure was leveling out and/or (2) buyers were absorbing resting liquidity (opportunistic selling or selling into strength), while speculative options activity was concentrated on the put-side. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the best case, the S&P 500 remains above the $3,840.00 volume area, and VWAP anchored from the $3,959.25 peak. This would suggest buyers, on average, are in control and winning since the February 15 rally-high.

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

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

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

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

Levels Of Interest: $3,840.00 HVNode.

Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric from Pexels.


Market Commentary For 12/28/2020

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

What Happened: As President Donald Trump moved to sign into law a $2.3 trillion pandemic aid bill, U.S. index futures auctioned to record highs.

What Does It Mean: Friday’s session found responsive selling surface near the $3,691.00 S&P 500 profile level. Since then, participants initiated past the level with conviction, and took out the $3,724.25 prior all-time high, before auctioning back into range and finding acceptance near $3,720.00.

What To Expect: The low-volume area (marked as the LVNode at $3,711.50) is representative of upside conviction after a break of the $3,691.00 boundary. This same low-volume area should offer support on a future test. Acceptance within the low-volume area, beneath $3,711.50, may portend a test of the $3,691.00 break point. Auctioning beneath the breakpoint would be the most negative outcome, negating the transition from balance to trend.

Noting: In most cases, a break-out (i.e., gap or auction failure) from balance is usually the start of a short-term auction. Therefore, placing trades in the direction of the gap is the normal course of action. Further, gaps tend to fill within the first half-hour of regular trade (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET). The longer a gap holds, however, the higher odds of continuation. Should responsive sellers auction through the entire gap, then conditions have changed.

Adding, the days leading up to the New Year, after Christmas, are historically bullish, dubbed the Santa Claus Rally. Here’s an excerpt from a Yahoo Finance article on the topic:

“Well, there isn’t a single seven-day combo out of the full year that is more likely to be higher than the 77.9% of the time higher we’ve seen previously during the Santa Claus Rally,” LPL Financial’s analysts observed after analyzing data going back to 1950. “Additionally, these seven days are up an average of 1.33%, which is the second-best seven-day combo of the year.“

Levels Of Interest: $3,711.50 LVNode and $3,726.50 all-time overnight high. Today’s go/no-go level in the S&P 500 is $3,691.00; remaining above is bullish.