Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For January 27, 2023

Physik Invest’s Daily Brief is read by thousands of subscribers. You, too, can join this community to learn about the fundamental and technical drivers of markets.

Graphic updated 7:15 AM ET. Sentiment Neutral if expected /ES open is inside of the prior day’s range. /ES levels are derived from the profile graphic at the bottom of this letter. Click here for the latest levels. SqueezeMetrics Dark Pool Index (DIX) and Gamma (GEX) with the latter calculated based on where the prior day’s reading falls with respect to the MAX and MIN of all occurrences available. A higher DIX is bullish. At the same time, the lower the GEX, the more (expected) volatility. Click to learn the implications of volatility, direction, and moneyness. Breadth reflects a reading of the prior day’s NYSE Advance/Decline indicator. The CBOE VIX Volatility Index (INDEX: VVIX) reflects the attractiveness of owning volatility.

Week Recap

Monday’s newsletter was the first in-depth commentary on markets since the letter writer left on some travel. Discussed were recession expectations and traders’ bets on a policy reversal. The expectations of policy pivots and liquidity additions “due to the debt ceiling”, as well as the big monthly options expiration (OpEx) this January, manifested green shoots that likely do not last.

To be able to participate in the market’s upside (and take advantage of the S&P 500 and Cboe Volatility Index up environment) with limited downside, this letter offered some example trades that looked attractive.

Call structures with long options closer to the money and short options farther from the money (to lower the cost of the spread) have worked well, this letter explained.

February is likely to kick off with an interest rate hike. Traders are pricing the pace of rate hikes to slow, however. We’ll unpack this and more next week. Take care!

Graphic: Retrieved from CME Group Inc’s (NASDAQ: CME) FedWatch Tool.

Technical

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

The S&P 500 pivot for today is $4,061.75. 

Key levels to the upside include $4,100.25, $4,083.75, and $4,071.50.

Key levels to the downside include $4,049.00, $4,028.75, and $4,011.75.

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

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

Definitions

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

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

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


About

In short, Renato Leonard Capelj is an economics graduate working in finance and journalism.

Capelj spends most of his time as the founder of Physik Invest through which he invests and publishes daily analyses to subscribers, some of whom represent well-known institutions.

Separately, Capelj is an equity options analyst at SpotGamma and an accredited journalist interviewing global leaders in business, government, and finance.

Past works include conversations with investor Kevin O’Leary, ARK Invest’s Catherine Wood, FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried, Lithuania’s Minister of Economy and Innovation Aušrinė Armonaitė, former Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers, and persons at the Clinton Global Initiative.

Contact

Direct queries to renato@physikinvest.com or Renato Capelj#8625 on Discord.

Calendar

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

Disclaimer

Do not construe this newsletter as advice. All content is for informational purposes.

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For January 24, 2023

Physik Invest’s Daily Brief is read by thousands of subscribers. You, too, can join this community to learn about the fundamental and technical drivers of markets.

Graphic updated 7:00 AM ET. Sentiment Neutral if expected /ES open is inside of the prior day’s range. /ES levels are derived from the profile graphic at the bottom of this letter. Click here for the latest levels. SqueezeMetrics Dark Pool Index (DIX) and Gamma (GEX) with the latter calculated based on where the prior day’s reading falls with respect to the MAX and MIN of all occurrences available. A higher DIX is bullish. At the same time, the lower the GEX, the more (expected) volatility. Click to learn the implications of volatility, direction, and moneyness. Breadth reflects a reading of the prior day’s NYSE Advance/Decline indicator. The CBOE VIX Volatility Index (INDEX: VVIX) reflects the attractiveness of owning volatility.

Administrative

Monday’s letter had some holes. Let’s try to fill them in, today, and get a fuller picture.

Summary of today’s letter: though the real economy may be strong, sticky inflation likely results in higher rates for longer, as well as quantitative tightening. This is not good for the financial economy. Some suggest the equity market rally persists into mid-February before further weaknesses appear. Read on for more.

Fundamental

Many sentiment and positioning indicators are bearish.

For instance, surveys by Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC) point to allocators being very underweight US stocks. Also, investors are reporting some of their biggest one-month exits from stocks since BAC started surveying.

Graphic: Retrieved from BAC via Bloomberg’s John Authers.

The consensus is turning more bearish, we see, and some of this letter’s most quoted voices maintain that markets (not necessarily the economy) are in for more weakness.

That is in the face of a severely depressed S&P 500 (INDEX: SPX) crossing above key areas denoting technical resistance, a signal for trend-followers to get involved on the long side (i.e., buy stocks) Kai Volatility’s Cem Karsan explained in a video last week.

Graphic: Retrieved from Bloomberg.

Equity market strength drivers, Karsan said, include China reopening and increasing stimulus, Europe’s not-so-bad winter, and little worsening of conflicts (e.g., Ukraine and Russia situation).

Adding, as The Macro Compass’ Alfonso Peccatiello said, the bond market thinks the Fed will not hike into a recession. Inflation likely “slows down to 2.5% quickly, [with] the Fed cutting rates to neutral (and never below). [That’s] not recessionary pricing. It’s immaculate disinflation pricing.”

The base case is a landing that’s soft.

To elaborate, the data shows the Fed cut by about 350 basis points or so within 18 months of the start of a recession, Peccatiello said. Now, the markets are pricing a mid-2023 pivot with about 200 basis points of cuts between 2023 and 2024.

Graphic: Retrieved from Nasdaq Inc (NASDAQ: NDAQ).

“That must mean the bond market’s base case (60%) is a recession,” Peccatiello said, noting that the Fed Funds is not pricing “below reasonable estimates of neutral rate (2.25-2.75% in nominal terms)” in the next 2-5 years. That means this would be the first time ever the US is in a recession and the Fed doesn’t cut rates below neutral.”

Graphic: Retrieved from The Macro Compass.

And, though downside earnings revisions are happening, the “2023 EPS consensus at $225 implies a +4% earnings growth this year [while] in [past] recessionary episodes the average EPS decline is instead -30%.”

“[C]yclical sectors and countries are outperforming defensive,” and there is little fear and desire to protect against far-reaching weakness. “Protection in the S&P 500 is at the cheapest levels in 2 years” as evidenced by “the implied volatility in 20% out-of-the-money SPX puts … trading in the lowest” percentiles.

But, as Karsan implied in his recent appearance, there’s a disconnect. The economy is not the stock market, and the liquidity context is poor, which many may not recognize.

The economy performing well due to China reopening and strong demand among businesses surveyed, consumers’ savings excesses, persistent credit boom, and a strong labor market suggest inflation lasts longer.

Consequently, interest rates remain higher for longer and quantitative tightening is likely to persist. This is not so good for the financial economy.

Graphic: Retrieved from JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM) via Fabian Wintersberger.

“[B]lindly trusting the bond market could end badly,” Fabian Wintersberger added, noting that “recent bear market rallies in stocks and bonds will reverse” eventually. 

Karsan appears to agree: though green shoots are likely to push better than expected economic performance, the Fed “is in a box” and this rally likely ends in early spring.

Graphic: Retrieved from Nasdaq Inc (NASDAQ: NDAQ). Note that “[h]igher rates act as a headwind for valuations – prices should fall if earnings don’t change [and] increased earnings make PEs (valuations) fall and make stocks look more attractive.” Currently, “the market is currently pricing in a year where rates and earnings don’t change much … inflation could stay elevated [with China reopening and supply chain re-shoring] which means rates should too.”

For now, the break of the 200-day moving average is a significant impetus since it’s a level many watch (i.e., technicals matter if enough people look at them). The chase is manifesting an SPX up, Cboe Volatility Index (INDEX: VIX) up dynamic (i.e., those who fear they may miss a rally bid volatility while the underlying market trades higher).

The Daily Brief for January 13 said “the more depressed technology names to the upside for debits [looked] attractive.”

Accordingly, Tesla Call Ratio Spreads have performed really well.

The 1/2 BACKRATIO TSLA 100 17 FEB 23 160/180 CALL is pricing in excess of a $1.00 credit to close, up about 400% in the span of 14 days or so.

A push likely lasts until mid-February, after which a window for weakness may open, particularly with the liquidity context (see the below video) no longer as supportive. However, if the market consolidates for a period after, this would be bullish.

To end, the median projection puts the S&P 500 at a level above $4,000.00 by year-end with the worst estimate putting the index at $3,000.00.

Joseph Wang explained, also, that there is an “increasing probability of a second bout of inflation, an issue in the 1970s that the Fed is keen to avoid … [by] retighten[ing] financial conditions … through its balance sheet” with an extended quantitative tightening or QT maintained “even if policy rates are cut.”

Given that QT is the flow of capital out of capital markets, this context presents more pressure on the financial economy (not necessarily the real economy).

Technical

As of 6:55 AM ET, Tuesday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET), in the S&P 500, is likely to open in the bottom part of a negatively skewed overnight inventory, inside of prior-range and -value, suggesting a limited potential for immediate directional opportunity.

Our S&P 500 pivot for today is $4,028.75. 

Key levels to the upside include $4,045.75, $4,061.75, and $4,077.00.

Key levels to the downside include $4,011.75, $3,998.25, and $3,988.25.

Click here to load updated key levels into the web-based TradingView platform. All levels are derived using the 65-minute timeframe. New links are produced, daily. 

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

Definitions

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

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

Vanna: The rate at which the delta of an option changes with respect to implied volatility.

Charm: The rate at which the delta of an option changes with respect to time.

POCs: 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.

Options: Options offer an efficient way to gain directional exposure.

If an option buyer was short (long) stock, he or she could buy a call (put) to hedge upside (downside) exposure. Additionally, one can spread, or buy (+) and sell (-) options together, strategically.

Commonly discussed spreads include credit, debit, ratio, back, and calendar.

  • Credit: Sell -1 option closer to the money. Buy +1 option farther out of the money.
  • Debit: Buy +1 option closer to the money. Sell -1 option farther out of the money.
  • Ratio: Buy +1 option closer to the money. Sell -2 options farther out of the money. 
  • Back: Sell -1 option closer to the money. Buy +2 options farther out of the money.
  • Calendar: Sell -1 option. Buy +1 option farther out in time, at the same strike.

In the most basic way, if bullish (bearish), sell at-the-money put (call) credit spread and/or buy a call (put) debit/ratio spread structured around target price. Alternatively, if the expected directional move is great (small), opt for a back spread (calendar spread). Also, if credit spread, seek to capture 50-75% of the premium collected. If debit spread, seek to capture 2-300% of the premium paid.

Be cognizant of risk exposure. 

  • Negative (positive) Delta = synthetic short (long). 
  • Negative (positive) Gamma = movement hurts (helps)
  • Negative (positive) Theta = time decay hurts (helps).
  • Negative (positive) Vega = volatility hurts (helps).

About

In short, Renato Leonard Capelj is an economics graduate working in finance and journalism.

Capelj spends most of his time as the founder of Physik Invest through which he invests and publishes daily analyses to subscribers, some of whom represent well-known institutions.

Separately, Capelj is an equity options analyst at SpotGamma and an accredited journalist interviewing global leaders in business, government, and finance.

Past works include conversations with investor Kevin O’Leary, ARK Invest’s Catherine Wood, FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried, Lithuania’s Minister of Economy and Innovation Aušrinė Armonaitė, former Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers, and persons at the Clinton Global Initiative.

Contact

Direct queries to renato@physikinvest.com or Renato Capelj#8625 on Discord.

Calendar

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

Disclaimer

Do not construe this newsletter as advice. All content is for informational purposes.

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For January 23, 2023

Physik Invest’s Daily Brief is read by thousands of subscribers. You, too, can join this community to learn about the fundamental and technical drivers of markets.

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

Administrative

Your letter writer has returned after a period of travel. Now, there is a lot of content to cover, so we’ll give it a good shot today and fill in some of the missing points over the coming days. Thanks!

Fundamental

At its core, the expectation is that the US economy will fall into recession in the first half of 2023, and traders are betting policymakers will reverse in the second half of the year. This, in part, has boosted the S&P 500 (INDEX: SPX) over the past weeks.

However, many strategists think there is little reason for the policymakers to reverse course, and that will not be good for the markets.

Graphic: Retrieved from Bloomberg. Traders bet big on a peak in interest rates; some have amassed positions “in June 2023 SOFR options targeting a policy peak between 4.75% to 4.875%, and paying a premium of approximately $5.25 million for the hedge.”

As a recap, recall our past letters featuring the likes of Kai Volatility’s Cem Karsan and Credit Suisse Group AG’s (NYSE: CS) Zoltan Pozsar. The inflation conversation began when authorities cut rates and bought bonds, while money was sent to people.

Risk assets were the first to respond; it was easier to borrow and make bets on ideas with a lot of promise in the future. As the economy reopened and demand picked up, supply chains tightened, and prices in the real economy inflated. 

Graphic: Retrieved from Moody’s Corporation (NYSE: MCO).

As argued by Pozsar, Andy Constan, and Joseph Wang, inflation likely trends higher for longer. Trends in de-globalization, supply chain chokepoints and restructuring, and a large credit boom in the banking sector are among the factors to blame.

Policymakers will continue generating negative wealth effects. Collateral damages to the economy (e.g., Alphabet Inc [NASDAQ: GOOGL] [NASDAQ: GOOG] and Spotify Technology SA [NYSE: SPOT] layoffs) are expected, consequently.

Graphic: Retrieved from The Market Ear. Per Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), “the single most important driver of equities over the last year has been excess liquidity, and it’s about to turn more restrictive. The amount of liquidity in the system is about to change again – the Treasury is increasing bill issuance sizes, which will drain liquidity from the system. The Treasury could build cash by more than $200 billion over the span of a month – which on top of QT will effectively drain nearly $300 billion from bank reserves – which implies the S&P 500 should be 6% lower over the net month.”

Moreover, per Andreas Steno Larsen, markets likely bottoms in the middle of 2023.

“[Christopher] Waller said that the QT process will either have to slow or come to a complete halt if the amount of USD reserves is equal to 10-11% of USD GDP, which is around 2.5 trillion USDs relative to current GDP (but rising over time obviously).”

Because we have more than $3 trillion USD in the system, and “more to be added due to the debt ceiling, we need a withdrawal of another $5-600 billion before QT will end [or] slow in between weeks 34-40 on our calculations,” Steno Larsen added, noting that if GDP flatlines, that would help keep QT running for longer. 

“If the Fed is willing to bring reserves down to 10% of GDP, we should expect S&P 500 to bottom around $3,250.00 in the second half of the year,” Steno Larsen said. “The Waller Rule is not good news ultimately, but for now let’s enjoy the liquidity added in February and March due to the debt ceiling. When a debt ceiling deal is signed, run for the hills.”

Graphic: Retrieved from Andreas Steno Larsen.

Technical

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

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

Key levels to the upside include $3,998.25, $4,011.75, and $4,019.00.

Key levels to the downside include $3,979.75, $3,965.25, and $3,949.00.

Click here to load today’s key levels into the web-based TradingView platform. All levels are derived using the 65-minute timeframe. New links are produced, daily. 

As a disclaimer, the S&P 500 could trade beyond the levels quoted in the letter. Therefore, you should load the above link on your browser for more relevant levels.

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

Definitions

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

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

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

About

In short, an economics graduate working in finance and journalism.

Capelj spends most of his time as the founder of Physik Invest through which he invests and publishes daily analyses to subscribers, some of whom represent well-known institutions.

Separately, Capelj is an equity options analyst at SpotGamma and an accredited journalist interviewing global leaders in business, government, and finance.

Past works include conversations with investor Kevin O’Leary, ARK Invest’s Catherine Wood, FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried, Lithuania’s Minister of Economy and Innovation Aušrinė Armonaitė, former Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers, and persons at the Clinton Global Initiative.

Contact

Direct queries to renato@physikinvest.com or Renato Capelj#8625 on Discord.

Calendar

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

Disclaimer

Do not construe this newsletter as advice. All content is for informational purposes.

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For January 12, 2023

Physik Invest’s Daily Brief is read by thousands of subscribers. You, too, can join this community to learn about the fundamental and technical drivers of markets.

Graphic updated 8:45 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 this letter. Levels may have changed since initially quoted; click here for the latest levels. SqueezeMetrics Dark Pool Index (DIX) and Gamma (GEX) with the latter calculated based on where the prior day’s reading falls with respect to the MAX and MIN of all occurrences available. A higher DIX is bullish. At the same time, the lower the GEX, the more (expected) volatility. Click to learn the implications of volatility, direction, and moneyness. Breadth reflects a reading of the prior day’s NYSE Advance/Decline indicator. The CBOE VIX Volatility Index (INDEX: VVIX) measure reflects the total attractiveness of owning volatility.

Administrative

A quick letter today, apologies.

Given the large, post-CPI movement, the above dashboard may be out of date!

Separately, your letter writer will be heading to Davos, Switzerland during next week’s World Economic Forum. Let me know if you’ll be in town. Take care!

Fundamental

Today, market participants received data that appears in line with estimates.

Expected was a 6.5% rise year-over-year (YoY) and a 0.1% fall month-over-month (MoM). These numbers were +7.1% and +0.1% the release prior.

Mattering most is core inflation, which the Fed has more control over. The expectation was that core CPI rose 5.7% YoY and 0.3% MoM. In the release prior, these numbers were 6.0% and 0.2%, respectively.

Overall, the view that inflation is trending in the right direction is supported.

We often unpack the implications, but we will save that for a coming analysis.

Positioning

We saw meaningful outperformance in realized volatility (RVOL). This was, in part, a result of increased demand for short-dated exposures to movements (i.e., gamma), as well as a supply of farther-dated volatility (i.e., +gamma worked, +vega did not).

The trends, as your letter writer explained in recent write-ups, and in a Benzinga article, may eventually exhaust; measures like the VVIX, which is the volatility of the VIX or the volatility of the S&P 500’s volatility, are printing at levels seen in 2017. 

According to Kai Volatility’s Cem Karsan, markets are in a transition period and what’s worked in 2022 may not work as well in 2023; trades are becoming crowded and S&P 500 volatility skews have hit a lower bound of sorts. That was echoed by The Ambrus Group’s Kris Sidial who said that “we can get cheap exposure to convexity while a lot of people are worried.”

Since the start of the year, the skew shifted meaningfully higher while the S&P 500 and VIX have moved higher in sync, as well. Some, like SpotGamma, have their own explanation (e.g., the fear of missing out on a move higher results in call buying that bids volatility), expressing that this may be a trend that persists through events like Thursday’s consumer price update.

This letter’s takeaway is as follows. Markets can experience more of the same. As history has shown, the right trade may turn out to be short volatility across longer time horizons, and long/own volatility across shorter time horizons, for longer (i.e., current trends promoting realized volatility outperformance may persist longer).

However, should current trends persist, the market is likely to become far less well-hedged, as Karsan said in the video. If a catalyst arises, there may be a repricing in volatility which traders would not want to be on the wrong side of. Notwithstanding, as Sidial says, “[if] you’re trading volatility, let there be an underlying catalyst for doing so.” Don’t just buy it because it is cheap, or sell it because it is expensive.

We’ll go through the charts and implications in far more detail over the coming sessions. Your letter writer is stretched for time this morning. Take care!

Technical

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

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

Key levels to the upside include $4,000.25, $4,011.75, and $4,028.75.

Key levels to the downside include $3,979.75, $3,959.00, and $3,943.25.

Click here to load today’s key levels into the web-based TradingView platform. All levels are derived using the 65-minute timeframe. New links are produced, daily. 

As a disclaimer, the S&P 500 could trade beyond the levels quoted in the letter. Therefore, you should load the above link on your browser for more relevant levels.

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

Definitions

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

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

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


About

In short, an economics graduate working in finance and journalism.

Capelj spends most of his time as the founder of Physik Invest through which he invests and publishes daily analyses to subscribers, some of whom represent well-known institutions.

Separately, Capelj is an equity options analyst at SpotGamma and an accredited journalist interviewing global leaders in business, government, and finance.

Past works include conversations with investor Kevin O’Leary, ARK Invest’s Catherine Wood, FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried, Lithuania’s Minister of Economy and Innovation Aušrinė Armonaitė, former Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers, and persons at the Clinton Global Initiative.

Contact

Direct queries to renato@physikinvest.com or Renato Capelj#8625 on Discord.

Calendar

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

Disclaimer

Do not construe this newsletter as advice. All content is for informational purposes.

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For January 11, 2023

Physik Invest’s Daily Brief is read by thousands of subscribers. You, too, can join this community to learn about the fundamental and technical drivers of markets.

Graphic updated 7:00 AM ET. Sentiment Risk-On if expected /ES open is above the prior day’s range. /ES levels are derived from the profile graphic at the bottom of this letter. Levels may have changed since initially quoted; click here for the latest levels. SqueezeMetrics Dark Pool Index (DIX) and Gamma (GEX) with the latter calculated based on where the prior day’s reading falls with respect to the MAX and MIN of all occurrences available. A higher DIX is bullish. At the same time, the lower the GEX, the more (expected) volatility. Click to learn the implications of volatility, direction, and moneyness. Breadth reflects a reading of the prior day’s NYSE Advance/Decline indicator. The CBOE VIX Volatility Index (INDEX: VVIX) measure reflects the total attractiveness of owning volatility.

Fundamental

Ex-Federal Reserve (Fed) trader Joseph Wang said the 2020s credit boom is not over.

Per Wang’s analysis, there was “a boom in lending of epic proportions.” Bank loans totaled $1.2 trillion in 2022, while credit unions lent $0.23 trillion, about three times that of recent years.

Loan growth when rates are high is, in part, the result of the Fed’s post-GFC changes to transmitting monetary policy; “Higher rates mechanically raise net interest margins as funding costs are little changed.”

The banks’ strong position, coupled with households’ strong financial positions (i.e., higher net worth, favorable debt profile with the bulk of mortgages taken at low rates, and strong labor market) creates the context for credit growth amidst rising rates.

Graphic: Retrieved from @ginamartinadams via Daily Chartbook. “US households aren’t drawing on savings to support spending.”

Though this money must be repaid, borrowers “have $1.5 trillion more in purchasing power,” and this credit cycle “can last for years,” just as “[t]he housing led boom of the early 2000s continued for years even as rates rose.”

Graphic: Retrieved from CME Group Inc’s (NASDAQ: CME) FedWatch Tool. Rates are likely to rise.

Therefore, “the credit boom … should sustain demand for the coming years.” More detail on other contexts and implications in the coming letters. Have a great day!

Graphic: Retrieved from Joseph Wang via Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED).

Technical

As of 7:00 AM ET, Wednesday’s session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET), in the S&P 500, is likely to open in the upper part of a positively skewed overnight inventory, outside of prior-range and -value, suggesting a potential for immediate directional opportunity.

Our S&P 500 pivot for today is $3,955.00. 

Key levels to the upside include $3,965.25, $3,973.25, and $3,979.75.

Key levels to the downside include $3,943.25, $3,926.25, and $3,917.00.

Click here to load today’s key levels into the web-based TradingView platform. All levels are derived using the 65-minute timeframe. New links are produced, daily. 

As a disclaimer, the S&P 500 could trade beyond the levels quoted in the letter. Therefore, you should load the above link on your browser for more relevant levels.

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

Definitions

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

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

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

POCs: 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: Denote areas where two-sided trade was most prevalent over numerous (but not all) sessions. Participants will respond to future tests of value as they offer favorable entry and exit.


About

In short, an economics graduate working in finance and journalism.

Capelj spends most of his time as the founder of Physik Invest through which he invests and publishes daily analyses to subscribers, some of whom represent well-known institutions.

Separately, Capelj is an equity options analyst at SpotGamma and an accredited journalist interviewing global leaders in business, government, and finance.

Past works include conversations with investor Kevin O’Leary, ARK Invest’s Catherine Wood, FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried, Lithuania’s Minister of Economy and Innovation Aušrinė Armonaitė, former Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers, and persons at the Clinton Global Initiative.

Contact

Direct queries to renato@physikinvest.com or Renato Capelj#8625 on Discord.

Calendar

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

Disclaimer

Do not construe this newsletter as advice. All content is for informational purposes.

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For January 10, 2023

Physik Invest’s Daily Brief is read by thousands of subscribers. You, too, can join this community to learn about the fundamental and technical drivers of markets.

Graphic updated 6:50 AM ET. Sentiment Risk-Off if expected /ES open is below the prior day’s range. /ES levels are derived from the profile graphic at the bottom of this letter. Levels may have changed since initially quoted; click here for the latest levels. SqueezeMetrics Dark Pool Index (DIX) and Gamma (GEX) with the latter calculated based on where the prior day’s reading falls with respect to the MAX and MIN of all occurrences available. A higher DIX is bullish. At the same time, the lower the GEX, the more (expected) volatility. Click to learn the implications of volatility, direction, and moneyness. Breadth reflects a reading of the prior day’s NYSE Advance/Decline indicator. The CBOE VIX Volatility Index (INDEX: VVIX) measure reflects the total attractiveness of owning volatility.

Fundamental

Apologies for the delayed send. Please be subscribed to our Substack to receive updates sooner every day!

Last week, we added to our discussion on the “non-linear shocks” keeping inflation above target. In short, these shifts are not good for portfolio constructions like 60/40.

Moreover, in a January 6 Credit Suisse (NYSE: CS) follow-up, Zoltan Pozsar provided what he thinks may be a more optimal portfolio construction: 20% cash, 40% stocks, 20% bonds, and 20% commodities.

“[T]his ain’t your parents’ global macro environment,” Pozsar put forth, adding that some of the crises impacting the stability of money stem from the crisis of inflation “driven by mother nature and geopolitics.” Consequently, central banks’ responses may not be good for risk assets.

Amid a re-shaping of global flows (i.e., lower demands for the US dollar and Treasury securities), the Federal Reserve (Fed) may focus on backstopping bonds; if the usual marginal buyer won’t buy, in the context of geopolitical events, Treasuries may be at risk of tailing in auctions, which could, then, drive volatility in equities, credit, and EM.

By the end of 2023, the solution may be quantitative easing (QE) under the guise of yield curve control (YCC); QE will happen in the context of dysfunction in the Treasury markets, and seek to “police swap spreads at high levels of interest rates, not depress yields [and] inflate risk assets.”

Technical

As of 6:45 AM ET, Tuesday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET), in the S&P 500, is likely to open in the lower part of a negatively skewed overnight inventory, outside of prior-range and -value, suggesting a potential for immediate directional opportunity.

Our S&P 500 pivot for today is $3,908.25. 

Key levels to the upside include $3,926.50, $3,943.25, and $3,955.00.

Key levels to the downside include $3,891.00, $3,874.25, and $3,857.00.

Click here to load today’s key levels into the web-based TradingView platform. All levels are derived using the 65-minute timeframe. New links are produced, daily. 

As a disclaimer, the S&P 500 could trade beyond the levels quoted in the letter. Therefore, you should load the above link on your browser for more relevant levels.

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

Definitions

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

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

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


About

In short, an economics graduate working in finance and journalism.

Capelj spends most of his time as the founder of Physik Invest through which he invests and publishes daily analyses to subscribers, some of whom represent well-known institutions.

Separately, Capelj is an equity options analyst at SpotGamma and an accredited journalist interviewing global leaders in business, government, and finance.

Past works include conversations with investor Kevin O’Leary, ARK Invest’s Catherine Wood, FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried, Lithuania’s Minister of Economy and Innovation Aušrinė Armonaitė, former Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers, and persons at the Clinton Global Initiative.

Contact

Direct queries to renato@physikinvest.com or Renato Capelj#8625 on Discord.

Calendar

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

Disclaimer

Do not construe this newsletter as advice. All content is for informational purposes.

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For January 9, 2023

Physik Invest’s Daily Brief is read by thousands of subscribers. You, too, can join this community to learn about the fundamental and technical drivers of markets.

Graphic updated 7:50 AM ET. Sentiment Risk-On if expected /ES open is above the prior day’s range. /ES levels are derived from the profile graphic at the bottom of this letter. Levels may have changed since initially quoted; click here for the latest levels. SqueezeMetrics Dark Pool Index (DIX) and Gamma (GEX) with the latter calculated based on where the prior day’s reading falls with respect to the MAX and MIN of all occurrences available. A higher DIX is bullish. At the same time, the lower the GEX, the more (expected) volatility. Click to learn the implications of volatility, direction, and moneyness. Breadth reflects a reading of the prior day’s NYSE Advance/Decline indicator. The CBOE VIX Volatility Index (INDEX: VVIX) measure reflects the attractiveness of owning volatility. Green means that owning volatility is attractive.

Administrative

In last week’s letters, we discussed, mainly, fundamental and positioning contexts. Today’s letter will add to the discussion on the positioning.

Positioning

Last week, for an article published on Benzinga.com over the weekend, your letter writer spoke with The Ambrus Group’s co-chief investment officer Kris Sidial. Shared were the things to look out for in 2023 and tips for newer traders. The article can be viewed here, at this link.

In short, there are four big takeaways. 

First, though options prices could stay under pressure, naive measures like the VVIX, which is the volatility of the VIX, or the volatility of the S&P 500’s volatility, are printing at levels last seen in 2017. This means “we can get cheap exposure to convexity while a lot of people are worried.”

Graphic: Retrieved from TradingView. Cboe Volatility Index (INDEX: VIX) is on the top. The volatility of the VIX itself (INDEX: VVIX) is at the bottom.

Second, on the other side of the growing S&P 500 and VIX complexes is a small concentrated group of market makers taking on far more exposure to risk. 

Graphic: Retrieved from Ambrus’ publicly available research.

During moments of stress, these market makers may be “unable to keep up with the demands of frenetic investors,” Sidial said, pointing to GameStop Corporation (NYSE: GME) where “there was this reflexive dynamic” that helped push the stock higher in 2021.

“That same dynamic can happen on the way down”; market makers will mark up options prices during intense selling. As the options prices rise, options deltas (i.e., their exposure to direction) rise and this prompts so-called bearish vanna hedging flows.

Graphic: Retrieved from Ambrus’ publicly available research.

“Imagine a scenario where [some disaster happens] and everybody starts buying 0 DTE puts. That’s going to reflexively drive the S&P lower,” Sidial said. “Take, for example, the JPMorgan collar position that clearly has an effect on the market, and people are starting to understand that effect. That’s just one fund. Imagine the whole derivative ecosystem” leaning one way.

Graphic: Retrieved from Ambrus’ publicly available research.

The third is in reference to liquidity. As private market investors’ “deals are getting marked down, [t]o source liquidity, they may have to sell some of their holdings in the public equity markets.” Benn Eifert, the CIO at QVR Advisors, recently put forth that “late-stage technology is a great example where public comps are down 80-90% but privates marked down 20% or not at all. It is possible to imagine large institutions engaging in forced selling of liquid public equities to meet capital calls in private fund investments.”

And, lastly, investors often go “back and forth” and do not stick to a strict process. In trying to pick what will work at one specific time, investors can “miss what is going to work in the future.” Consequently, Sidial says investors should have an outlook and process to express that outlook. “It’s not as easy as saying: ‘Buy volatility because it’s cheap or sell it because it is expensive.’” 

As a validation, in the Benzinga article, your letter writer wrote about 2017 when volatility was at some of its lowest levels. Back then, the correct trade was to sell volatility, in some cases, due to volatility’s bimodality; if you sold volatility back then, you made money due to its clustering.

Graphic: Retrieved from TradingView. Cboe Volatility Index (INDEX: VIX) is on the top. Cboe Realized Volatility (INDEX: RVOL) is at the bottom.

So, “if you’re trading volatility, let there be an underlying catalyst for doing so.” That said, from a “risk-to-reward perspective, … it’s a better bet to be on the long volatility side,” given “that there are so many things that … keep popping up” from a macro perspective.

For Ambrus’ publicly available research, click here. Also, follow Sidial on Twitter, here. Consider reading your letter writer’s past two conversations with Sidial, as well. Here is an article on 2021 and the meme stock debacle. Here is another article talking more about Ambrus’ processes.

Technical

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

Our S&P 500 pivot for today is $3,926.50. 

Key levels to the upside include $3,943.25, $3,960.25, and $3,979.75.

Key levels to the downside include $3,908.25, $3,891.00, and $3,874.25.

Click here to load today’s key levels into the web-based TradingView platform. All levels are derived using the 65-minute timeframe. New links are produced, daily. 

As a disclaimer, note the S&P 500 could trade beyond the levels quoted in the letter. Therefore, you should load the key levels on your browser.

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

Definitions

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

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

Vanna: The rate at which the Delta of an option changes with respect to implied volatility.

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


About

In short, an economics graduate working in finance and journalism.

Capelj spends most of his time as the founder of Physik Invest through which he invests and publishes daily analyses to subscribers, some of whom represent well-known institutions.

Separately, Capelj is an equity options analyst at SpotGamma and an accredited journalist interviewing global leaders in business, government, and finance.

Past works include conversations with investor Kevin O’Leary, ARK Invest’s Catherine Wood, FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried, Lithuania’s Minister of Economy and Innovation Aušrinė Armonaitė, former Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers, and persons at the Clinton Global Initiative.

Contact

Direct queries to renato@physikinvest.com or Renato Capelj#8625 on Discord.

Calendar

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

Disclaimer

Do not construe this newsletter as advice. All content is for informational purposes.

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For January 3, 2023

Physik Invest’s Daily Brief is read by thousands of subscribers. You, too, can join this community to learn about the fundamental and technical drivers of markets.

Graphic updated 6:30 AM ET. Sentiment Risk-On if expected /ES open is above the prior day’s range. /ES levels are derived from the profile graphic at the bottom of this letter. Levels may have changed since initially quoted; click here for the latest levels. SqueezeMetrics Dark Pool Index (DIX) and Gamma (GEX) with the latter calculated based on where the prior day’s reading falls with respect to the MAX and MIN of all occurrences available. A higher DIX is bullish. At the same time, the lower the GEX, the more (expected) volatility. Click to learn the implications of volatility, direction, and moneyness. Breadth reflects a reading of the prior day’s NYSE Advance/Decline indicator. VIX reflects a current reading of the CBOE Volatility Index (INDEX: VIX) from 0-100.

Administrative

Morning, everyone, and happy new year! Today’s letter will only provide updates to key levels. In the next few days, we will unpack the drivers of long-lasting inflation and end the week with some context on positioning (featuring exclusive comments as part of an interview your letter writer is conducting for a Benzinga article).

You can view the content calendar at this link.

Take care and watch your risk!

Technical

As of 6:30 AM ET, Tuesday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET), in the S&P 500, is likely to open in the upper part of a positively skewed overnight inventory, outside of prior-range and -value, suggesting a potential for immediate directional opportunity.

Our S&P 500 pivot for today is $3,893.75. 

Key levels to the upside include $3,908.25, $3,926.50, and $3,943.25. 

Key levels to the downside include $3,878.75, $3,867.75, and $3,857.00.

Click here to load today’s key levels into the web-based TradingView platform. All levels are derived using the 65-minute timeframe. New links are produced, daily.

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

Definitions

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

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

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


About

In short, an economics graduate working in finance and journalism.

Capelj spends most of his time as the founder of Physik Invest through which he invests and publishes daily analyses to subscribers, some of whom represent well-known institutions.

Separately, Capelj is an equity options analyst at SpotGamma and an accredited journalist interviewing global leaders in business, government, and finance.

Past works include conversations with investor Kevin O’Leary, ARK Invest’s Catherine Wood, FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried, Lithuania’s Minister of Economy and Innovation Aušrinė Armonaitė, former Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers, and persons at the Clinton Global Initiative.

Contact

Direct queries to renato@physikinvest.com or Renato Capelj#8625 on Discord.

Calendar

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

Disclaimer

Do not construe this newsletter as advice. All content is for informational purposes.

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For December 27, 2022

Physik Invest’s Daily Brief is read by thousands of subscribers. You, too, can join this community to learn about the fundamental and technical drivers of markets.

Graphic updated 9:00 AM ET. Sentiment Neutral if expected /ES open is inside of the prior day’s range. /ES levels are derived from the profile graphic at the bottom of this letter. Levels may have changed since initially quoted; click here for the latest levels. SqueezeMetrics Dark Pool Index (DIX) and Gamma (GEX) with the latter calculated based on where the prior day’s reading falls with respect to the MAX and MIN of all occurrences available. A higher DIX is bullish. At the same time, the lower the GEX, the more (expected) volatility. Click to learn the implications of volatility, direction, and moneyness. Breadth reflects a reading of the prior day’s NYSE Advance/Decline indicator. VIX reflects a current reading of the CBOE Volatility Index (INDEX: VIX) from 0-100.

Administrative

On December 23, 2022, issued was an in-depth trade recap. Check it out here. Adding, in that recap, shortly after release, your letter writer found he made a mistake in the ~11th paragraph. The incorrect greeks were listed, and that issue has been fixed online. Apologies.

Fundamental

Last week, the Bank of Japan’s (BoJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda sparked a rise in the yen and a fall in domestic US bonds, potentially ahead of some policy normalization. 

Japanese government bond yields can rise 0.5% versus 0.25% after a change to the BoJ’s yield-curve control policy, a tool used to fight the persistent “stagnation,” per Andreas Steno Larsen’s letter.

“Whatever the BOJ calls this, it is a step toward an exit,” said Masamichi Adachi, chief Japan economist at UBS Group AG (NYSE: UBS) Securities. “This opens a door for a possible rate hike in 2023,” and no more negative interest rates.

This development is not that good for so-called carry trades, as Bloomberg explained, “in which investors borrow in cheaper currencies to finance purchases of higher-yielding peers,” or, even, equities and other risk assets.

Graphic: Retrieved from Japan Securities Clearing Corporation’s website. Who is getting the margin call? Those who may be leveraged short yields. Adding, per Interactive Brokers Group Inc (NASDAQ: IBKR), “those who had the carry trade on should be getting clobbered with the yen rising dramatically. It is now about 3.8% more expensive to pay back the borrowed yen.”

The yen was a popular funding currency. It may not be any longer if this “is the first step towards tightening,” wrote Brown Brothers Harriman strategists, though the BoJ said, yesterday, this was “definitely not a step toward an exit,” with Steno Larsen adding QE “actually increased by 25%.”

Though “higher yields at home [in Japan] could mean less investment” from Japan, Bloomberg said, US stock and bond flows after the news hit suggest the carry trade may not be as impactful, to add.

Graphic: Retrieved from Bloomberg. Equities’ “advantage over bonds” is slimming.

Some, like Steno Larsen, conclude concerns, albeit warranted, may be overblown; in mid-2023, global inflation pressures likely “fade[] sufficiently to allow BoJ to resume its dovish stance,” all the while on recession fears, a “Fed pause or pivot is ultimately what will bring the Japanese lifers and pension funds back to the US Treasury table and a reversal of the USDJPY trade.”

So what?

Liquidity, though appearing positive amid an “empty[ing of] the TGA (Treasury General Account) … ahead of the debt ceiling [cross]-over,” is on a downward trajectory into the second and third quarters, after which “a pivot from the Fed [prompts] … a disinflation rally.”

So, per Steno Larsen, markets go sideways to higher to start the year and, then, down. Therefore, favor “having some equity beta” heading into 2023.

Position in “sectors that can swallow a simultaneous drop in the ISM and CPI on a relative basis … [include] utilities, health care, and staples.”

Graphic: Retrieved from Andreas Steno Larsen. “New year’s liquidity looks positive before getting worse during Q2/Q3.”

Technical

As of 8:55 AM ET, Tuesday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET), in the S&P 500, is likely to open in the lower part of a balanced overnight inventory, just inside of the prior-range and -value, suggesting a limited potential for immediate directional opportunity.

Our S&P 500 pivot for today is $3,859.00. 

Key levels to the upside include $3,879.25, $3,893.75, and $3,908.25. 

Key levels to the downside include $3,838.25, $3,813.25, and $3,793.25.

Click here to load today’s key levels into the web-based TradingView platform. All levels are derived using the 65-minute timeframe. New links are produced, daily.

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

Definitions

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

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

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


Definitions

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

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

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


About

In short, an economics graduate working in finance and journalism.

Capelj spends most of his time as the founder of Physik Invest through which he invests and publishes daily analyses to subscribers, some of whom represent well-known institutions.

Separately, Capelj is an equity options analyst at SpotGamma and an accredited journalist interviewing global leaders in business, government, and finance.

Past works include conversations with investor Kevin O’Leary, ARK Invest’s Catherine Wood, FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried, Lithuania’s Minister of Economy and Innovation Aušrinė Armonaitė, former Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers, and persons at the Clinton Global Initiative.

Contact

Direct queries to renato@physikinvest.com or Renato Capelj#8625 on Discord.

Calendar

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

Disclaimer

Do not construe this newsletter as advice. All content is for informational purposes.

Categories
Commentary

Daily Brief For December 21, 2022

Physik Invest’s Daily Brief is read by thousands of subscribers. You, too, can join this community to learn about the fundamental and technical drivers of markets.

Graphic updated 9:35 AM ET. Sentiment Risk-On if expected /ES open is above the prior day’s range. /ES levels are derived from the profile graphic at the bottom of this letter. Levels may have changed since initially quoted; click here for the latest levels. SqueezeMetrics Dark Pool Index (DIX) and Gamma (GEX) with the latter calculated based on where the prior day’s reading falls with respect to the MAX and MIN of all occurrences available. A higher DIX is bullish. At the same time, the lower the GEX, the more (expected) volatility. Click to learn the implications of volatility, direction, and moneyness. Breadth reflects a reading of the prior day’s NYSE Advance/Decline indicator. VIX reflects a current reading of the CBOE Volatility Index (INDEX: VIX) from 0-100.

Positioning

Traders may have observed a unique market dynamic occurring in the past sessions.

In spite of a down S&P 500 (INDEX: SPX), fixed-strike and top-line implied volatility (IVOL) measures such as the Cboe Volatility Index (INDEX: VIX), are on a downward trajectory. Let’s unpack.

Heading into the December monthly options expiration (OPEX), traders were seeking to bet on and guard against large market movement. Traders’ demand for options, particularly those that are shorter-dated, bid IVOL markedly over the period running up to December OPEX.

Graphic: Retrieved from Bloomberg via Michael Kramer. “No reason for the Cboe Volatility Index (INDEX: VIX) to rise when OPEX every day allows precision hedging.”

In fact, based on the pricing of options, the “consensus was a large right tail move in stocks,” SpotGamma explained in a recent note. Just look at the prices of options expiring December 15. There was a big premium in ultra-short-dated S&P 500 call options (left) versus puts (right).

Graphic: Retrieved by Physik Invest via the thinkorswim platform.

The same can be viewed via low volatility skew, in part the result of traders’ decreased interest in owning downside protection (as there is less reason to hold downside protection if you have sold your long stock and/or you have monetized existing protection during the 2022 decline).

Graphic: Retrieved from Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS).

Anyways, as a result, counterparties (i.e., those who supplied traders their positive exposure to movement) were left “short a massive amount of Gamma,” or negative exposure to movement, which often results in hedging that reduces market liquidity and fattens the tails of the potential distribution of returns (i.e., buying strength and selling weakness), Kai Volatility said in a letter; positioning boosted “crash risk” and the potential for “more melt-ups.”

A clear display of this was after the “CPI release on Tuesday … In a matter of hours, [the] market gapped up 4% [and] then gave it all back,” Kai Volatility said.

Graphic: Retrieved from Danny Kirsch of Piper Sandler Companies (NYSE: PIPR). S&P 500 (INDEX: SPX) January $4,100.00 call volatility down, while the market is up big, offsets rally.

To further explain, that is because short-dated options gain and lose value quickly given their increased sensitivity to changes in market movement (Gamma), as time passes. When the S&P 500 moved higher after CPI, call options gained a lot of value (Delta) very quickly. Those on the other side of that trade (i.e., counterparts), who had exposure to -Gamma or negative exposure to movement, went from having, for sake of brevity, very little -Delta to a lot of -Delta. Therefore, counterparts bought stock and futures (added +Delta) to hedge against an imbalance bolstering rapid up-market movement. When the short-dated exposure rolled off, these options risks were no longer there. Counterparts removed the +Delta they added (sold stock and futures back to the market) resulting in a move back down to where markets had started.

Moving on.

Following the events of last week, the absence of the unexpected (i.e., what traders sought to hedge and/or bet on), resulted in options selling (supply of protection), a pressure on options prices that remained through December’s large monthly OPEX.

Graphic: Retrieved from Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS) via Bloomberg. OPEX removed open interest that was demanded at higher levels of IVOL and skew over the past three years, per Kai Volatility’s Cem Karsan. The associated compression of IVOL (Vanna flow) and the passage of time (Charm flow) you would expect to see this December period (i.e., bullish seasonality), coupled with a dash-for-cash and tax-loss selling seen following the calendar flip, was front-run creating the context for this market down, IVOL down environment.

These pressures are expected to last through January 10, as it’s easy to sell high IVOL likely to expire worthless (knowing there are good odds that nothing happens through the holidays), and own IVOL on the back of that period which is cheap.

Graphic: Retrieved from Danny Kirsch of Piper Sandler Companies (NYSE: PIPR). S&P 500 (INDEX: SPX) January $3,800.00 put volatility down while the market is down.

As Karsan puts it, “you’ll have some moments of minor excitement but no crazy tails,” until the week of January 10 when we are more likely to “see a countertrend rally.”

Following this period, as far out as May, there is a seasonal effect in the volatility space that could set the stage for a sharp leg lower. More on this later.

Technical

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

Our S&P 500 pivot for today is $3,867.75. 

Key levels to the upside include $3,893.75, $3,909.25, and $3,926.50. 

Key levels to the downside include $3,851.00, $3,838.25, and $3,813.25.

Click here to load today’s key levels into the web-based TradingView platform. All levels are derived using the 65-minute timeframe. New links are produced, daily.

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

Definitions

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

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

POCs: 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.


About

In short, an economics graduate working in finance and journalism.

Capelj spends most of his time as the founder of Physik Invest through which he invests and publishes daily analyses to subscribers, some of whom represent well-known institutions.

Separately, Capelj is an equity options analyst at SpotGamma and an accredited journalist interviewing global leaders in business, government, and finance.

Past works include conversations with investor Kevin O’Leary, ARK Invest’s Catherine Wood, FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried, Lithuania’s Minister of Economy and Innovation Aušrinė Armonaitė, former Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers, and persons at the Clinton Global Initiative.

Contact

Direct queries to renato@physikinvest.com or Renato Capelj#8625 on Discord.

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Disclaimer

Do not construe this newsletter as advice. All content is for informational purposes.