This week will be a short myopic view of the internal workings of the interest rate futures market sector focusing on a potential short selling opportunity in the 10-year Treasury Note futures.
We track the Commitment of Traders report in four major domestic metals markets – gold, silver, platinum and copper. Currently, the commercial trader category is roughly bullish on the lot of them. Very rarely do we see all four metals markets telling us the same thing. While the markets may seem similar, their uses in both industry and investing provides each of the four with subtle nuances and slightly negative correlations that keep them from syncing up very often. Currently, the commercial long hedgers, the ones who take metal off the market for use in finished products or locked up in investments feel that the platinum market is a nearing bargain levels as it hasn’t traded this low since 2009.
The silver market has been remarkably quiet in the wake of China’s destruction of the gold market. This week, we’ll touch on a couple aspects, specific to silver that show while commercial traders have been buying this decline, it may be prudent to wait a bit longer before stepping in. Normally, I take a bottom up approach to putting these pieces together beginning with macro issues and finishing with trade details. This week, we’ll set the stage and then move from myopically focusing on the current setup before discussing the potential dangers of this viewpoint.
The live cattle market spent all of spring and early summer in a tight trading range roughly bound by $155 on the high side and supported near $147 on the low side. The market has finally created some action by falling through the support near $148 over the last two weeks with the current low now near $145. 50. Chart readers would see the fall through this level as a breakout and anticipate further weakening of the cattle market. However, there are two very good reasons this may be a short trap triggering a reversal rally into expiration.
Tough week in the markets as we generally got continuation where we were looking for rebounds. This led to a a pair of losers in gold and the Canadian Dollar against a winning trade in the stock indices due to their rebound.
We’ve discussed the peculiarities of the stock index futures’ expiration cycle in detail here before.
Commercial traders in the stock index futures behave quite differently than the Index traders or, small speculators who act as their counterparts. Collectively, this is perfectly logical. Index traders are positive feedback traders. Positive feedback traders add on to their bullish positions as the market climbs and scale out of their bullish positions as the market declines. This keeps their portfolio balanced to their available cash resources. This also places them on the side most likely to buy the highs and sell the lows. Typical trend following. Small speculators are a sentiment wild card. Their position is more price and sentiment based than anything else. The randomness of their sentiment makes their positions too yielding to lean on.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission publishes a weekly report entitled, “Commitments of Traders.” This report breaks each domestic futures markets’ participants into four main categories – large speculators, small speculators, index traders and commercial traders. Our research has shown a consistently significant advantage in following the trend of the commercial trader group. This week, we’ll look at its application to the Canadian Dollar over the last year and what it says about our current position in the market’s cycle.
It is time to look at alternative ways to hedge against rising interest rates. Unfortunately, with the huge increase in volatility due to so many headline issues from Greece to trading halts on the NYSE, that it makes it tough to hold onto positions. Fortunately, the most liquid interest rate market is structured in such a way that hedging against inflation can be done with a reasonably fixed amount of risk.