DXY

Fading the calls

$940bn worth of options traded on Thursday last week, making it the single biggest volume day for U.S. options… ever. Interestingly, 70% of the options traded have expiries less than one week. Also worth of note is that options volume was 140% equities volume and the vast majority of those options being bought were calls. …

Fading the calls Read More »

Bigger picture

There are not many good looking setups on the local market for us this week, so we’ve decided to rather look at some bigger picture themes. On that note, last week we wrote about how the market is looking and feeling a little stretched, although it seems that we got it wrong. Overall, sentiment is neither extremely bullish or bearish at this stage and equity positioning by larger active funds is still mostly underweight.

Headed for new highs

The market has become very strange indeed. The trend is so strong and there are so many dip buyers around that it seems the part will never stop. Although, whenever there are a few down days, the mood turns really dark and a semi-panic seems to take over. This is one more thing that worries us when thinking with the longer-term hat on. Why are traders to extremely negative when the market ticks down only a few percent? How much is the average trader geared and long the market? What happens when the market pulls back 10%? What happens when the Fed actually hikes interest rates? And what happens if the Fed hikes rates and starts tapering at the same time? These are some of the questions that we are pondering. But for now, the show goes on and the bulls keep dancing. Buckle up, because we’re headed for new highs.

The bull is strong yet!

We saw some fear and panic… for about a whole week. Well, in truth, the institutional money didn’t even flinch. The market bounced hard. The Evergrande situation unfolding in China is still rather risky, although it seems that the CCP are doing a rather good job at a ‘controlled demolition’. They might be making an example of Evergrande in an effort to cool off property speculation in general. There have also been some large repurchase agreement (repo) activity over the weekend, which is indicative of monetary stimulus measures to prevent contagion into other sectors. For now it seems, with some help from central banks (as usual), that the bull is strong yet!

It might get a little bumpy

Last week we pondered the idea of hedging longer-term portfolios for some downside protection. We also looked at a few instruments that could easily be added to your portfolio in order to provide that protection. This week we do not really have much to add, other than to reiterate the warning given last week. We think that it might get a little bumpy over the coming weeks. Thus we are happy to sit with some short protection and wait for better setups.

Nothing to see here

Sometimes markets can be fairly boring. Well, that very much depends on where you look, but if you are looking at the major indices now, things seem fairly boring to be honest. The market keeps grinding higher on better and better looking market fundamentals. Sure at some point the tapering will start and we’ll all suddenly wake up and realise that inflation was not transitory afterall…

No tapering until November?

So the much anticipated Jackson Hole symposium is over and believe it or not, the wheels did not fall off. Fed chair Jerome Powell was rather dovish in fact. Although he said that the process to begin tapering can begin, he also implied that there is not set (or anticipated) start date. Thus the market infers that there will be no tapering until November. In the meantime, the delta-variant of the covid-19 virus still poses the most immediate risk in the form of further global lockdowns and supply chain disruptions. It seems that the central bankers will remain ‘accommodating’ until they feel this threat is no longer a threat. Apologies to the next generation that has to foot the bill.

Jackson Hole week

All eyes are on Jerome Powell and the Jackson Hole symposium this week. Jerome Powell is expected to talk on the 26th of August and the market is waiting to hear when we can expect tapering. Although tapering the does not mean a sudden and abrupt end to QE, the market certainly will pretend that it does up until the very minute that it actually happens. We think it is almost inevitable now that we see some tapering by the end of the year. This does not mean that we see interest rate hikes, or a complete end to bond/asset purchases by the FED. It does mean though that the rate at which they are providing liquidity to the market will slow down. This could cause a bit of a speed wobble and some risk-off sentiment.

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