Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For September 9, 2021

Editor’s Note: Daily market commentaries to pause until Thursday, September 16, 2021, due to travel commitments. A weekend commentary will be in your inbox earlier this week.

All the best, 

Renato

Market Commentary

Equity index futures trade lower with yields, dollar, and bitcoin. Most commodities were green.

  • Narratives around slower recovery rising.
  • Ahead is jobless claims data, Fed speak.
  • Positioning risks mounting case for lower.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures auctioned lower overnight alongside narratives surrounding a slowed economic recovery and stimulus reductions. 

Ahead is data on jobless claims (8:30 AM ET), as well as Fed-speak by Bowman (1:00 PM ET) and Williams (2:00 PM ET).

Graphic updated 6:30 AM ET. Sentiment Neutral if expected /ES open is inside of the prior day’s range. 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 approximation. 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, 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, on weak intraday breadth and divergent market liquidity metrics, the best case outcome occurred, evidenced by sideways trade at the $4,510.00 pivot, the low end of a recent consolidation (i.e., balance) area. 

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

Modus operandi is responsive trade (i.e., fade the edges), rather than initiative trade (i.e., play the break).

To note, participants had a tough time separating value and expanding range lower.

This is evidenced by the minimal excess at yesterday’s regular trade low (RTH Low), coupled with an overnight response at the 20-day simple moving average (i.e., a visual level likely paid attention to by short-term, technically-driven market participants). 

In other words, we’re carrying forward the difficulty participants had, in days prior, to moving prices out and away from balance. The path of least resistance – at least in prior trade – was not down; stronger sellers are not yet on board.

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.

Value-Area Placement: Perception of value unchanged if value overlapping. Perception of value has changed if value not overlapping (i.e., outside day). Delay action in the former case.
Graphic: 30-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures and market liquidity, via Bookmap, for the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY). Notice the volume delta (CVD) or buying and selling power as calculated by the difference in volume traded at the bid and offer.
Balance-Break Scenarios In Play: A change in the market (i.e., the transition from two-time frame trade, or balance, to one-time frame trade, or trend) has occurred.

Though we expect sideways to lower trade – for the time being – we monitor for rejection (i.e., return inside of balance) which portends a move higher, to the opposite end of the balance.

Further, the aforementioned trade is happening in the context of peak growth and a moderation in the economic recovery, as well as non-seasonally aligned inflows, impactful options market dynamics, divergent sentiment, and fears of a mid-cycle transition.

The implications of these themes on price are contradictory

To elaborate, Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Citigroup Inc (NYSE: C), and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS) cautioned investors about equity outlooks. Of concern, in particular, is a rise in cases of the delta variant, tensions between inflation expectations and yields, as well as seasonality. 

Among other risks, as SqueezeMetrics summarizes, “[p]eople pretty much stopped buying S&P 500 puts [last] week. At the same time, people are overexposed to changes in VIX, and will be hurt more than usual if VIX starts moving up. Historically, this means SPX down, VIX up.”

Moreover, for today, given an increased potential for moderate volatility and responsive trade, participants may make use of the following frameworks.

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,495.00 high volume area (HVNode) pivot puts in play the $4,510.00 low volume area (LVNode). Initiative trade beyond the LVNode could reach as high as the $4,526.25 HVNode and $4,550.00 overnight high (ONH).

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below the $4,495.00 HVNode puts in play the $4,481.75 HVNode. Initiative trade beyond the $4,481.75 HVNode could reach as low as the $4,454.25 LVNode and $4,427.00 untested point of control (VPOC).

Note the developing volume-weighted average price (VWAP) pinch. VWAP is 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. We look to buy above a flat/rising VWAP pinch. Sell below a flat/declining VWAP pinch.

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 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 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 updated 6:30 AM ET. 

News And Analysis

Traders rush to dump China tech stocks as gaming targeted again.

Decision Guide: The ECB counts risks in setting bond-buying pace.

Aluminum notches fresh 13-year high on supply woes and demand.

China’s zero-COVID approach will aggravate rising corporate risks.

Fauci: We don’t even have “modestly good control” over COVID-19.

Coinbase threat shows there’s a new cryptocurrency sheriff in town.

White House eyeing increased hacking around the coming holidays.

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

Daily Brief For July 28, 2021

Market Commentary

Equity index futures trade higher ahead of key fundamental events.

  • ECB comments, COVID, geopolitics.
  • Ahead: Trade data, FOMC, earnings.
  • Mixed bag. No follow-through lower.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures auctioned sideways to higher ahead of some key fundamental developments.

In addition to the 8:30 AM release on advance trade in goods, as well as key earnings from heavily-weighted index constituents like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB), participants will look to also price in the 2:00 PM ET Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announcement and Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s press conference.

As stated in the Weekly Brief, the U.S. is in a different place from the rest of the world and is likely to eliminate its output gap this year which would call for a tightening in policy and dollar strengthening, helping douse inflation.

Moody’s strategists note: “The impressive growth in value across many asset classes is projected to taper off within the next couple of years as supportive policy is unwound. The 10-year Treasury yield will rise above 2% by 2022 and the fiscal tailwinds will also have faded by then.”

Graphic updated 7:00 AM ET. Sentiment Neutral if expected /ES open is inside of the prior day’s range. See here for more on the Dark Pool Index and Gamma. 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 7:00 AM ET, Wednesday’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 Tuesday’s volatile trade, the best case outcome occurred, evidenced by the S&P 500’s trade above a developing Volume Weighted Average Price (VWAP) pinch. This suggests the average buyer since the overnight high – $4,416.76 ONH – is in a winning position.

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

Moving on, it’s important to take note of some topline and internal divergences. 

After establishing the new ONH, weakness in China spilled over; U.S. equity index futures, led by the Russell 2000 and Nasdaq 100 sold fast and heavy up until the Nasdaq 100 found responsive buyers at a key technical level – the 20-day simple moving average – that corresponded with a thick base of resting liquidity. After, the entire market reversed and closed in range.

In terms of internal divergences, breadth was significantly weaker on the Nasdaq side.

Graphic: Equity indexes traded lower as internal metrics – like the ratio of advancers to decliners – weakened.

Given the technical 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 $4,392.25 high volume area (HVNode) pivot likely puts in play the $4,406.25 low volume area (LVNode). Trade beyond the LVNode could reach as high as the $4,416.75 ONH and $4,428.25 Fibonacci extension.

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below the $4,392.25 HVNode pivot likely puts in play the $4,381.75 LVNode. Trade beyond the $4,381.75 figure could reach as low as the $4,364.50 LVNode and $4,353.00 untested Point of Control (VPOC).

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 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 updated 6:55 AM ET.

News And Analysis

The COVID trauma has changed economics forever. 

Credit Suisse probe is showing due diligence failings.

Spiraling debt crisis confronts Evergrande billionaire.

American job market optimism reached 21-year high.

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

Daily Brief For July 27, 2021

Market Commentary

Led by the Russell 2000, U.S. equity index futures explored lower overnight.

  • Risk-off everything China-related.
  • Ahead: Data dump and earnings.
  • S&P stuck in range, VWAP pinch.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures auctioned sideways to lower as equity weakness in China deepened. Chinese government bonds and the yuan fell also, alongside fears that U.S. funds are selling Hong Kong and China assets aggressively.

In light of the volatility, Crescat Capital portfolio manager Otavio Costa tweeted: “A yuan devaluation is one of the main deflationary risks today. I know you heard this over and over again… but something is indeed unraveling. Chinese banks and ADRs are in big trouble. PBOC will be forced to act.”

A devaluation is indeed something to fear. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) roiled global equity markets after its 2015 yuan devaluation.

In addition to this context, ahead, participants will receive data on durable and nondefense capital good orders, the S&P Case-Shiller home price index, consumer confidence, housing vacancies, as well as Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL) earnings.

Graphic updated 6:40 AM ET. Sentiment Neutral if expected /ES open is inside of the prior day’s range. See here for more on the Dark Pool Index and Gamma. 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 6:40 AM ET, Tuesday’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.

After establishing a new high – $4,416.75 – overnight, weakness in China spilled over; U.S. equity index futures, led by the Russell 2000, traded lower in conjunction with yields, a boost to the tech- and growth-heavy Nasdaq 100.

Rates: Low rates have to potential to increase the present value of future earnings making stocks, especially those that are high growth, more attractive. To note, inflation and rates move inversely to each other. Low rates stimulate demand for loans (i.e., borrowing money is more attractive). In conjunction with the rapid recovery, lower rates may solicit hawkish commentary as policymakers look to inhibit inflation.

To note, Monday’s trade happened on positive, albeit weak breadth, similar to Friday’s session. At the same time, a Volume Weighted Average Price pinch developed.

Volume Weighted Average Price (VWAP): 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. ​​

Look to buy above a flat/rising VWAP pinch. Sell below a flat/declining VWAP pinch.

All that said, similar to Monday, a key thing to watch for is an auction failure and subsequent liquidation break, confirmed by trade below the $4,372.50 regular trade low (RTH Low).

Liquidation Breaks: The profile shape suggests participants were “too” long and had poor location.

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 $4,398.75 high volume area (HVNode) pivot puts in play the $4,408.75 low volume area (LVNode). Initiative trade beyond the LVNode could reach as high as the $4,416.75 overnight high (ONH) and $4,428.25 Fibonacci extension.

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below the $4,398.75 HVNode pivot puts in play the $4,390.50 minimal excess low. Initiative trade beyond the $4,390.50 low could reach as low as the $4,374.25 HVNode and $4,353.00 untested Point of Control (VPOC).

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.

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

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

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 updated 6:40 AM ET.

News And Analysis

China’s yuan, bonds tank amid fears of foreign selling.

U.S. infrastructure talks are encountering some snags.

Bitcoin steady below $40,000 on Amazon speculation.

Hypothetical look at 35 years of SPX option strategies.

The Federal Reserve meeting starts today. Watch this.

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

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

Daily Brief For July 16, 2021

Market Commentary

Equity index futures higher overnight.

  • Watching: Delta variant, HK warning.
  • Light day ahead: OPEX, retail sales.
  • Indices rotating, recover lost ground.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures auctioned sideways to higher last night ahead of the Friday monthly options expiry (OPEX). 

Key developments include a bump in the consumer price index (CPI), expectations the Biden administration will issue an advisory about the risks of doing business in Hong Kong, and the spread of COVID-19 variants.

Today, participants get data on retail sales, Fed speak, and earnings.

Graphic updated 7:00 AM ET. Sentiment Neutral if /ES open is inside of the prior day’s range. Sentiment Risk-On if /ES open is above the prior day’s range. Sentiment Risk-Off if /ES open is below the prior day’s range. See here for more on the Dark Pool Index and Gamma. 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: Friday’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 worst-case outcome occurred, evidenced by trade below the $4,357.75 low volume area (LVNode) pivot. This is significant because that pivot marked a break from a multi-session balance 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.

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

The downside resolve was the result of initiative sellers stepping in. For weeks, equity indices – particularly the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 – rose with tremendous speed, leaving behind low volume (poor) structures. Thereafter, responsive sellers surfaced, evidenced by sideways trade in the day’s prior. That said, weak breadth transpired into material price action with the Nasdaq 100 losing its relative strength – a deviation from prior trade – as it and the Russell 2000 sold into trend support. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average traded strong, in comparison, with the Dow positioned for a potential break higher. 

All of this push-pull and divergence comes ahead of the options expiration (OPEX) cycle which starts on the third Friday of each month (July 16). Associated hedging forces make it so there’s more liquidity and less movement. 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 shows 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.”

Given the expectation for so-called unpinning in coming sessions, for today, participants can trade from the following frameworks. 

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,357.75 LVNode pivot puts in play the $4,371.00 untested Point of Control (POC). Thereafter, if higher, participants can look for responses at the $4,384.50 regular trade high (RTH High) and $4,398.50 Fibonacci price extension.

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.

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below $4,357.75 puts in play the $4,346.75 high volume area (HVNode). Trade beyond $4,346.75 could reach as low as the $4,332.25 LVNode and $4,314.75 HVNode.

Graphic: 65-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures. Note the developing VWAP pinch. Buy above a flat/rising VWAP pinch. Sell below a flat/declining VWAP pinch.
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). See the response to trend support in the Nasdaq 100 and Russell 2000. Also, note the Dow’s relative strength.

News And Analysis

Politics | U.S. warns investors on Hong Kong, citing China’s pressure. (BBG)

FinTech | Ethereum is the most important technology since the internet. (DDI)

Politics | Ocasio-Cortez warns progressives can ‘tank’ infrastructure bill. (BBG)

Markets | OPEC sees world oil demand reaching pre-pandemic levels. (REU)

Mobility | Biden looks into lifting Europe travel ban, a boost for airlines. (BBG)

Economy | Biden to reappoint Jerome Powell as Fed chair, some saying. (REU)

Markets | “Bad omen” for meme stocks as novice traders stop investing. (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 that’s interviewed 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.

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

Market Commentary For The Week Ahead: ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go’

Notice: Physik Invest’s daily market commentaries will be suspended for the next five regular trading sessions or February 22-26.

Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience and thank you for the support!

Key Takeaways:

  • Debt, inflation threatening low-rate regime.
  • Markets most complacent in two decades.
  • Sentiment turns hot from hotter amid slide.
  • Global equity fund net inflows decelerated.
  • Markets fret about economic performance.
  • Retail sales and industrial production gain.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures auctioned lower last week.

What Does It Mean: Market participants witnessed a rapid de-risking event, as a result of individual stock volatility, and a subsequent v-pattern recovery, that was later taken back as Friday’s large February monthly options expiration (OPEX) neared.

More On The V-Pattern: A pattern that forms after a market establishes a high, retests some support, and then breaks above said high. In most cases, this pattern portends continuation.

At the same time, bond and equity market volatility diverged, materially. 

In other words, a rapid move up in rates — as investors become increasingly concerned over the value of their bonds due to rising debt levels and inflation — has yet to be priced in as an equity market risk.

Graphic 1: The Market Ear unpacks divergence in volatility across different markets.

Adding, the risk of inflation comes alongside a potential for slowing in economic growth, which may have knock-on effects, such as savers protecting their capital by investing in non-productive assets, thus helping form speculative asset bubbles.

Risk Of Monetary Support: The increased moneyness of financial markets; investors look to exchange-traded products (e.g., S&P 500) as savings vehicles, thereby forcing participants, like the Federal Reserve, to backstop market liquidity, and promote market and economic stability in times of turmoil.
A great paper on the impact of central bank intervention, passive index investing, and asymmetric liquidity provisioning.

Still, as Bloomberg suggests, reasons to not panic include an overreaction by market participants, premature Fed tightening, and a risk asset rout (i.e., rising rates may eventually increase demand for safety assets).

“Typically it’s a good environment for risk assets. Neither the pace nor the extent of the move so far has been unusual relative to other historical moves coming out of a recession,” said Pimco’s Erin Browne. “It would take a significant move in real yields in order to disrupt risk markets broadly.”

Graphic 2: Benchmark 10-year real rate in solidly negative territory.

Moving on, given OPEX, participants have a clue as to why the market failed to resolve directionally over the past week: 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.

Aside from OPEX, we must talk more about the v-pattern recovery and a prior week’s spike exit from balance, as well as low broad market volatility.

In light of the v-pattern, balance, and spike, the S&P 500’s long-term uptrend remains intact. In support of this uptrend, systematic and hedge fund participants are increasing their long-exposure, given the economic recovery, and a drop in volatility.

Beyond that, speculative activity in the options market and measures of market liquidity fail in offering much information.

Graphic 3: 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 February 19, 2021. Activity in the options market was primarily concentrated in short- and long-dated tenors, near the $390, a strike that corresponds with $3,900.00 in the cash-settled S&P 500 Index (INDEX: SPX).

What To Expect: U.S. stock indexes are positioned for directional resolve.

This comes alongside the acceptance of higher prices (inside a prominent high-volume area, or HVNode) and an overnight rally-high at $3,959.25.

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

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

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

What To Do: In the coming sessions, participants will want to pay attention to the VWAP anchored from the $3,959.25 peak and $3,909.25 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.

In the best case, the S&P 500 opens and remains above the $3,909.25 volume area.

Additionally, auctioning above the $3,915.00 VWAP would suggest buyers, on average, are in control and winning, since the February 15 rally high.

Auctioning beneath $3,909.25 turns the HVNode, nearby, into an area of supply, offering initiative sellers favorable entry and responsive buyers favorable exit. 

The situation would drastically deteriorate with trade beneath the $3,880.00 HVNode, the last reference before participants find acceptance in an area of low-volume.

In such scenario, future discovery ought to be volatile and quick as participants repair some of the poor structures left in the wake of a prior advance, and look to the next area of high-volume (i.e., $3,830.75) for favorable entry and exit.

Graphic 4: Profile overlays on a 65-minute and 4-hour chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures. See all decision levels of /ES and /NQ here, also.

Conclusions: The go/no-go level for next week’s trade is $3,909.25. 

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: $3,909.25 HVNode.

Photo by Charles Parker from Pexels.

Categories
Commentary

Market Commentary For 1/14/2021

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

What Happened: Market participants further digested higher prices, as evidenced by U.S. index futures balancing within prior range.

What Does It Mean: For ten sessions in a row, the S&P 500 has consolidated near the $3,800 high-open interest strike.

What To Expect: Thursday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET) will likely open in prior-balance and -range, suggesting no immediate directional opportunity, again.

Given the open inside of a developing balance area, participants can expect higher volatility. As a result, focus should be directed to price levels that, if broken, would denote a change in tone, as well as the following dynamics:

  1. The failure to resolve directionally points to the absence of larger, other time frame participants (i.e., institutions that don’t transact at technical levels). Still, all broad-market indices are in an uptrend, evidenced by higher prices and value. This recent pause is healthy; consolidation after trend allows prices to converge with value, forming high-volume areas. The prices in this area are valuable and offer favorable entry and exit.
  2. The minimal excess rally high at $3,824.25 remains intact. Excess forms after an auction has traveled too far in a particular direction and portends a sustained reversal. The absence of excess, in the case of a high, suggests not enough conviction; in such case participants will (1) liquidate (i.e., back off the high) and strengthen the market, before (2) following through. Participants have already accomplished the first reaction.
  3. The pinch and subsequent recovery of the volume-weighted average price, anchored from the Sunday evening open, suggests further upside resolve as the average participant, from the anchoring point, holds a profitable position.
  4. The week ending January 8 established a v-pattern recovery, a price sequence that ought to be followed by further price discovery, as high as the 100% price projection, which happens to be near the multi-month upside breakout target at $4,000.
  5. Unsupportive speculative flows and delta (e.g., commitment of buying or selling), as can be viewed by the order flow graphic below.
Pictured: Divergent delta in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY), the largest ETF that tracks the S&P 500

Moreover, in light of the above dynamics, the normal course of action is responsive trade. However, any break that finds increased involvement (i.e., supportive flows and delta) above $3,824.25 or below $3,763.75, in the S&P 500, would favor continuation.

Noting: In most cases, a break-out from balance is usually the start of a short-term auction. Therefore, placing trades in the direction of the break is the normal course of action. Trading back into the consolidation, thereby invalidating the break-out, would portend a move to the other end of balance.

Levels Of Interest: $3,824.25 regular trade high and $3,763.75 balance low.