MNP

Are we turning?

The market has been really difficult these past few months. Well, to be honest, these past few years. It seems though that finally the retail army has been filled with fear and we saw retail flows sell en masse last week (the week before we saw institutional selling) while institutions started buying again. Although this by itself is not a reliable indicator on which to take action, it does show that ‘the smart money’ is starting to nibble at equities again. There is also around $33bln worth of US equity buying to do before the end of the quarter in order for pensions funds to rebalance and remain withing legislated asset allocations. Add quarter end and the ‘window dressing’ phenomenon and you the makings of a bull potion. Bigger picture wise, there is no real change and the world economy still looks very much in trouble, but in the short-term, Friday’s bounce might have legs for another few days.

Look out below!

The markets got smashed last week and even managed to close the US session on the lows. Strangely, sentiment is not at an extreme and it seems that through all of this, retail investors and traders have been net buyers. To us, this sounds like more pain is on the way. So without too much pontification, let’s look at some charts and see what we can find (other than ‘look out below!’ signs nailed to pretty much everything).

Still a time to be careful

It’s been a good while since we lasted posted a weekly game plan and we thought that the time had come to wipe the dust off our blog and get to sharing the weekly game plan again. On that note, the last time we posted we indicated that we preferred to stay on the side-lines, but now we find ourselves asking if it is still a time to be careful, or not time to get back into the market?

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.

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.

Buy the dip

The second half of last week got really wild, really fast. Given the fact that hardly anything has changed – in the sense that there are no interest rate hikes on the table for at least another year and a half, and that the FED will continue to buy $120bn worth of bonds every month – we think that the market might have had a bit of a strong ‘knee-jerk’ reaction to the FOMC minutes. Thus, we say buy the dip. As long as the free money keeps flowing, it will be difficult for the market to sustain downside.

Follow the trend

Sometimes we just need to be patient and follow the trend. We often get so caught up in the short-term news flow and happenings of the market that we lose focus of the bigger picture. Right now markets are trending higher, so our job is simply to look for opportunities to get on the bus.

No pullbacks, only new highs please

Markets bounced hard in the second half of last week. It’s almost hard to believe how fast things are changing in the current landscape. Although there are so very many reasons to be cautious, if not flat out bearish, the market is just pulling its ears back and making its way higher despite the conditions of the world around it. Thus, given the strong footing the market ended on last week, and of course the charts, we think that we’ll likely see new highs in the week ahead.

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