$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. …
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!
are the fund managers. In fact, allocations into equities are the highest they’ve been since the 2009 global financial crisis. This worries us. Which has us asking if it’s time to hedge portfolios?
markets) seem to be very attractive ‘underperformers’ that seemingly offer a huge amount of value. Generally the thinking is that we are entering into a new global growth phase and that the underperforming emerging markets ‘should’ catch up to developed markets. That is an enticing narrative and one probably worth positioning for. However, there are some warning signs that are not going away and are difficult to ignore.
The events of the last week have been nothing short of horrific. But once again, we have shown that the South African spirit cannot be broken! People of all kinds have rallied to not only protect their communities and loved ones, but also to rebuild, repair and bring support to those most severely impacted by the attempted insurrection. Our ability to indiscriminately band together in the face of adversity is perhaps our nation’s greatest strength. And to that end, I want to use this week’s post to encourage you to support KZN this Mandela Day.
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.
Our view has been that one should treat cryptocurrencies much like you would treat any normal individual stock in your portfolio. With the recent rout in cryptocurrencies, we think that it’s time to buy bitcoin. There are many loud voices out there right now (let’s call them paper hands) that are ranting on about how bitcoin is dead… ignore them. Treat it like a normal stock, don’t take massive (or geared) exposure and don’t bother about the opinions of the paper hands. It’s time to buy bitcoin.
Very often we overcomplicate things for ourselves. The easy truth is that trend following it often the best way to interact with markets. Since the trend is currently very firmly up, we’re happy to toe the trend following line for as long as the trend stays in tact.
Markets have been uneasy for a rather long time now. Well, uneasy is perhaps a mild way to put it. Markets have been uneasy for the last few months, maybe, but just over a year ago markets were in a full-blown panic. Thankfully those crazy times have passed. Over the last two weeks, we’ve even seen the VIX below 20, which is something that has not happened in a mighty long time. Lower volatility signals higher risk appetite and we think a VIX below 20 signals risk on in equity markets.
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.