Daily Brief For April 13, 2021

Market Commentary

Index futures are attempting to balance and validate higher prices.

  • U.S. calls for pause to one vaccine.
  • Participants await data on inflation.
  • Futures off new highs, but in-range.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures auctioned higher overnight before liquidating alongside calls to stop using the Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) vaccine after clotting cases.

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

Adding, during the prior day’s regular trade, the best case outcome occurred, evidenced by range-bound trade above the $4,104.00 spike base, which is significant because it validated Friday’s late-day knee-jerk rally away from value, or the fairest price to do business for that session.

Coming up, consumer-price index numbers will be released at 8:30 a.m. EST; participants increasingly see the risks of inflation and taxes as a big headwind

As an aside, as noted in the Weekly Brief, Friday, April 16, will mark an end to the monthly options expiration. As that date approaches, and volatility continues to drop, given how participants are positioned, odds of sustained directional resolve are low.

For today, participants can trade from the following frameworks. 

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,104.00 spike base targets $4,117.25, the 50% overnight retracement. Initiative trade beyond the 50% retracement could reach as high as the $4,127.00 ONH. In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below $4,104.00 puts the rally on hold and targets the $4,069.00 and $3,943.00 high-volume areas (HVNodes).

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.

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

If participants were to auction and find acceptance into areas of prior low-volume, then future discovery ought to be volatile and quick as participants look to areas of high volume for favorable entry or exit.
Graphic: 4-hour profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures.
Graphic: Physik Invest maps out the purchase of call and put options in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY), for April 12. Activity in the options market was primarily concentrated in short-dated tenors, in strikes as low as $398, which corresponds with $3,980 in the cash-settled S&P 500 Index (INDEX: SPX).
Graphic: SHIFT search shows that trade in the cash-settled S&P 500 Index (INDEX: SPX) was concentrated in put strikes below current prices. 

News And Analysis

Technology | Nvidia challenges Intel with Arm-based ‘Grace’ server chip. (REU)

Markets | Large U.S. Treasury auctions could restart the rise in yields. (REU)

Markets | Bank returns to rebound dramatically amid reserve releases. (S&P)

Markets | U.S. put off derivatives rule for a decade before Archegos failure. (FT)

Markets | Extreme contango in Bitcoin futures curve is raising eyebrows. (BBG)

Markets | The SEC announced a review of the WisdomTree Bitcoin ETF. (CD)

Markets | Yellen plans to spare China from a currency manipulator label. (BBG)

Recovery | COVID strain that emerged in U.K. not as deadly as feared. (BBG)

Economy | Simple mathematics is about to cause an inflation problem. (BBG)

What People Are Saying

Innovation And Emerging Trends

FinTech | Coinbase’s direct listing to drive a wave of crypto innovation. (CB)

FinTech | Binance launches tokenized stock trading, starting with Tesla. (TB)

FinTech | State Street allows use of platform for cryptocurrency trading. (BD)

Banking | Crypto shadow banking explained and why yields are so high. (BBG)

FinTech | Machine learning futures algo trading surges at JPMorgan. (TT)


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

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


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: ‘Hello, Goodbye’

Key Takeaways:

What Happened: Coming into the extended holiday weekend, on tapering volumes, U.S. index futures balanced for four regular trading sessions (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET), before breaking out.

Pictured: Profile overlays on a 15-minute candlestick chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures

What To Expect: Thursday’s session found initiative buying surface above the $3,731.00 high-volume node (HVNode), the market’s most recent perception of value.

Given four-sessions worth of unchanged value, and the failure to fill the gap beneath a weak low (i.e., a visual level that attracts the business of short-term, technically-driven market participants) at $3,714.50, participants will come into Monday’s session knowing the following:

  1. Amid Thursday’s late-day buying, price diverged from value.
  2. The overnight rally high at $3,747.75 was recovered (i.e., based on historical trade, there were low odds that the overnight all-time high would end the upside discovery process).
  3. The multi-month upside breakout targeting S&P 500 prices as high as $4,000.00 remains intact.

In light of the above dynamics, the following frameworks apply for next week’s trade.

In the best case, the S&P 500 remains above its $3,731.00 HVNode. Expectations thereafter include continued balance, or a response followed by initiative buying to take out the price extension at $3,756.75.

In the worst case, the S&P 500 initiates below its $3,731.00 HVNode. Expectations thereafter include a test of the weak, minimal excess low at $3,714.50, and subsequent follow-through as low as the $3,691.00 break-point. 

Noting: Excess forms after an auction has traveled too far in a particular direction and portends a sustained reversal. Absence of excess, in the case of a low, suggests minimal conviction; participants will cover (i.e., back off the low) and weaken the market, before following through.

Two go, no-go levels exist; trade that finds increased involvement above $3,752.75 and below $3,714.50 would suggest a change in conviction. Anything in-between favors responsive trade.

Conclusion: From an uneven recovery, stimulus, elections, trade, and the like, it helps to boil it down to what actually matters: price and value. 

Though risks remain, markets are pricing in the odds of a continued rebound. All broad-market indices are in an uptrend. A break below $3,600.00 in the S&P 500 would denote a substantial change in tone.

Pictured: Retest of the upside breakpoint on a weekly candlestick chart of the cash S&P 500 Index

Levels Of Interest: $3,752.75 rally-high, $3,714.50 weak low, $3,731.00 HVNode, $3,756.75 price extension, $3,691.00 break-point.

Bonus: Here is a look at some of the opportunities unfolding.

Photo by Max Walter from Pexels.


‘Rising Tide Lifts All Boats’: Market Commentary For The Week Ahead

Key Takeaways:

What Happened: U.S. index futures auctioned to new all-time highs before weakening into Friday’s derivative expiry.

What Does It Mean: After participants established a rally-high in the December 9 overnight session, the S&P 500 liquidated down to the balance-area boundary near $3,625.00.

After the December 14 gap open on COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine and stimulus progress, for the remainder of the week, indices negated prior selling, establishing a new all-time high. Friday’s trade managed to repair some structural deficiencies left in the aforementioned advance.

Pictured: Profile overlays on a 65-minute candlestick chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures

What To Expect: Friday’s session found responsive buyers surface at the low-volume node (LVNode) near $3,680.00. Low-volume areas denote directional conviction and ought to resist future auction rotations. Auctioning through the LVNode would foreshadow further rotation and trade as low as the balance-area low.

Given that the higher-time frame breakout remains intact and selling appears non-committal, participants will come into Monday’s session knowing the following:

  1. Both sentiment and positioning are historically stretched, while the recovery remains uneven
  2. Inflation remains cool due to the profound influence of disruptive innovation.
  3. U.S. Congress reaches deal on COVID-19 aid package, plans votes for Monday. 
  4. The decline in realized correlation due to factor and sector rotation, as well as the return of systematic option selling strategies will push the long-gamma narrative in which volatility is suppressed and the market pins or slowly rises in a range-bound fashion.
  5. The S&P 500’s higher-time frame breakout remains intact (see chart below); JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) confirms equities will rally short-term with the S&P 500 auctioning as high as $4,000.
  6. Despite high CAPE ratios, stock-market valuations aren’t that absurd.

Therefore, the following frameworks for next week’s trade apply.

In the best case, buyers maintain conviction and hold the index above the $3,680.00 LVNode. Auctioning below said reference denotes a change in conviction. Participants would then look for a response near the $3,667.75 HVNode. Failure to remain above the HVNode would portend rotation, further balancing. 

In the worst case, participants initiate below the $3,625.00 balance-area low, jeopardizing the higher-time frame breakout.

Conclusion: As BlackRock Inc (NYSE: BLK) said, “a rising tide lifts all boats”; though financial markets have largely priced in positive news surrounding vaccines and stimulus, the rally remains intact, bolstered by a drive for yield — technical factors as a result of systemic and hedge fund strategies, among other things.

Pictured: Retest of the upside breakpoint on a daily candlestick chart of the cash S&P 500 Index

Levels Of Interest: $3,740.75 and $3773.75 price extensions, $3,724.25 all-time rally high, the micro-composite HVNode at $3,707.75, $3,691.00, and $3,667.75, as well as the $3,680 LVNode and poor structure near the $3,625.00 balance-area low.

Bonus: Here is a look at some of the opportunities unfolding.

Photo by Fede Roveda from Pexels.