We’re swing traders, rarely holding a position more than two weeks. Even so, it’s important to understand the macro environment of the market being traded. The idea is to predict volatility expansion and market surprises in the correct direction, thereby providing a profit taking opportunity. Given the tremendous disagreement on the Federal Reserve Board’s expected actions by the general public and within the Board itself, it makes the likelihood of volatility expansion following next week’s unemployment numbers much more likely. Furthermore, it’s possible that the market could be handed consecutive reports pushing the market in the same direction, rather than instantly reversing course as has been the recent case with any two reports. This combination could push the Dollar through the last year’s resistance making the current weakness an opportune buying moment.
We looked at the recent commercial buying in the US Dollar Index on Monday, noting that, “Even though commercial traders remain heavily net short, their recent purchases have been strong enough to shift their momentum back to the positive side.” We also looked at technical support that has been tested and held, throughout this week.
You can find the full piece featured at TraderPlanet.
Tuesday was probably our best call. Equities.com featured our crude oil analysis in, “Crude Oil Spike is a Selling Opportunity.” We stated that, “our simple take on the way these usually work is that we’ll get one more spike of some type above the recent congestion that has built up. This morning’s trade near $61 is the spike we’ve been waiting on. ”
The market peaked Wednesday around $62.50 and has quickly fallen back near $58 per barrel.
We went macro with our own piece again this week as a follow up to, “The Interest Rate Conundrum” of two weeks ago. Originally, we focused on the world’s central bankers and the recent International Monetary Fund meeting in Washington. Their primary purpose was to discuss what it would take to US and global interest rates to rise and when. Apparently, Bill Gross had the answer and the markets listened in a BIG way. Even if interest rates aren’t your topic, the swings on the charts I posted are truly dramatic.
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.”
Something happened on the way to parity between the US Dollar and the Euro currency. Amidst the rhetoric of Mario Draghi and his Quantitative Easing forever platform, both the Dollar and the Euro have accumulated record positions among the commercial traders. Given the trend and considerable decline this seems reasonable until the data is actually absorbed consciously and it becomes clear that the record positions in both markets are opposite the trend and bode strongly for this spread to narrow.
The U.S. Dollar has been the best house in a bad neighborhood since the U.S. Federal Reserve Board announced its intentions to taper the U.S. economy off of its monthly stimulus supplements. Protracted issues in Ukraine and the sanctions levied against Russia have created a major capital flight from Eastern Europe as a whole. The European Union recently announced its own form of Quantitative Easing and finally, on Halloween, Japan dropped the mother of currency bombs. Their announcement that they would not only invoke another round of currency destruction but would also become direct investment participants in their own stock markets created a shock through the investment landscape that I’ve not heard in non-crisis times.
Today’s Scottish secession vote takes a 300-year-old issue and covers it with 21st century journalism. There’s hardly any angle that hasn’t been talked to death. Surprisingly, I’ve found something of major importance leading up to the vote that isn’t being discussed anywhere. The commercial traders in the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitment of Traders report are making a clear point that they collectively feel that the currency markets are about to tighten, rather than continuing to widen as they have for the last month or so.
Thursday’s landmark vote to return Scotland to its own sovereignty is becoming a tighter race with each passing day. The interesting part in the analysis is that the money has been flowing into the British Pound and Euro Currency and out of the U.S. Dollar Index. This places the commercial traders’ actions directly at odds with the currency markets’ collective movement over the last two to three months leading into the Scottish secession vote.
We cover the analysis of the following charts in Equities.com.
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The commodity markets have been unkind to long only funds and indexes in 2014. Most of the commodity markets have been sideways to lower with a couple of exceptions like cocoa and cattle. This week, we’re focusing on the broader commodity landscape due to an article published on Bloomberg by Debarati Roy in which she stated that open interest in gold had slumped to a five year low. We’ve expanded on this topic to include 27 general commodity markets and compared their current open interest to where they stood both one month and one year ago respectively. The purpose is to determine whether smart money is headed into or, out of the commodity markets in general as well as what affect this may have on the markets going forward.