We’ve also posted a snapshot of the mechanical program’s soybean meal results. This program is based on the commercial traders’ actions as reported to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s(CFTC) weekly Commitment of Traders(COT) report.
This week’s primary analysis focused on, “The Interest Rate Conundrum.” Since this is a macro piece, I thought I’d review the last bits of trading in more detail. The trades over the last two weeks are a great look into the real world of discretionary trading. We’ve had a loser that bounced back as quickly as it knocked us out (sugar), a non-event of a trade (bean meal), a nice winner (silver) and another fish on the hook (hogs). If we can land the last one, it’s a decent week trading….warts and all.
We began this week by revisiting the sugar futures market. We started talking about it a couple of weeks ago for Equities.com in, “Time to Sweeten on Sugar.” We updated this outlook Monday for TraderPlanet.com. This trade finally triggered on Thursday and currently sits above the $.1310 level that we believe will induce some speculative short covering. See, “Sugar Prices on the Decline.”
This morning’s unrevised Q4 GDP number at 2.2% on declining corporate profits provides just the right ambiance for a what has been a gloomy week. While we had a completely separate trade looking at multi-year lows in , “Time to Sweeten on Sugar,” most of our focus was on the financial markets.
This was a quiet week for our trading in spite of the explosive moves created by the Fed. Those brave souls willing to take currency positions ahead of the announcement based on our Discretionary COT Signals were handsomely rewarded as our COT Sell Signal in the U.S. Dollar Index was sent out before 10pm on the 17th.
Our focus took a macro view as we attempt to assimilate contradicting indicators into a general thesis upon which to base our long-term trading. We found, “Hidden Strength in the S&P 500,” in our piece for Equities.com. Once again, ahead of the Fed’s announcement.
This week, we took a step back and looked at the markets in groups. We focused on the metal and meat markets in general while only discussing specifically, a soybean meal trade.
Re-Shuffling the Metal Markets which we wrote for TraderPlanet focused on the growing commercial trader position in the precious metals. There’s no question they’ve been big buyers on the recent decline and their total positions are controlling a larger percentage of open interest with each additional contract they buy.
See our mechanical Soybean Meal program’s Equity Curve
We ended the week with a broad outline of the interaction between commercial traders and seasonal analysis in hogs and cattle. We featured the current seasonal charts by Moore Research and combined them with our own Commitment of Traders charts to demonstrate effectiveness of these tools when combined.
See all 9 charts and commentary in Hogs and Cattle Bottoming Out.
See the equity curve for the Meats Sample Portfolio.
This was a busy week. We began on Monday with an exclusive follow up on last week’s “Equity Rally Waves a Caution Flag”, for TraderPlanet in, “Commercial Traders Turn Negative Towards Equity Rally” which focused specifically on the Dow.
Meanwhile, our main piece for the week focused on, “Copper Traders Bailing Out of Record Position.” Specifically, what was going on with the record commercial net long position in the face of a market that appears to be rolling over.
Finally, the equity curve for our commercial live cattle trading program has been updated to show its recent success.
Most of the trading we do is based on some form of mean reversion. The idea is that a market that has moved too far away from its predicted value area is apt to return. This is the equivalent of buying low and selling high in a sideways market. The primary difference in our methodology is that we use the commercial traders within their respective markets to provide us with the two necessary keys required to make this work.
This has been a tremendously active week with big volatility and important market turns. We have to begin with last week’s gold platinum spread. We outlined the case in our Gold, Silver, Platinum and Copper Outlook. This week, April platinum traded down to nearly a $50 per ounce discount to April gold. Currently, this spread has rebounded to approximately a $5 discount. That’s as much as $4,500 profit depending on the entry point.
Unfortunately, we were unable to publish Monday due to the death of my main Mac. It looks like we’ll be evaluating our tech shortly as I’m already frustrated from working on this laptop all week.
Anyway, we were able to publish a Gold Sell Signal at $1,300 on Tuesday for Equities.com. This was a follow up to our, Gold, Silver, Platinum and Copper Outlook from last week. There are two points to be made here. First, the discretionary COT Signals nailed the turn downward in the metals markets. Secondly, the gold-platinum spread has COLLAPSED. We watched platinum fall to a $50 per ounce discount to gold during yesterday’s trade. We still believe that fundamentally, an ounce of platinum is worth more than an ounce of gold.
The main focus of our research this week has been the soybean market. There has been a measurable shift in commercial soybean trader behavior over the last several years as Brazilian soybean production has exploded. We explain what it looks like now, ahead of the Brazilian harvest in our Pre-Planting Soybean Outlook.
Coincidentally, David Hightower just published a special report on the soybean market. We’ve posted his analysis to our site, here. Their take suggests that the late winter, early spring rally our analysis focuses on may be missing the bigger picture; the summer post-planting sell off.