A busy schedule for us on this side, sto this week we offer only some brief thoughts and a handful of offshore trading ideas.
$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. …
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.
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!
As anticipated, the FOMC made no changes to interest rates last week and are unlikely to make any real moves without very clearly communicating it to the market. Our focus now shifts to the Jackson Hole symposium to be held near the end of the month. We think that Jerome Powell will likely use Jackson Hole as the platform on which to start communicating tapering warnings to the market. At some point the FED must admit that the printing is creating inflation. Although it will likely not do so directly, we can watch the language use around the topic. It was interesting to note that Powell essentially admitted that he does not know ‘where’ inflation is coming from. He also stated that inflation is likely to stay around longer than initially anticipated.
Well then, that’ll teach us to think that markets can actually come down from time time! Jokes aside, the bearish setups from last week have all be nullified and a fresh set of breakouts have taken place. Guess when it comes to equity market rallies, you really can’t stop a good thing. We’re not entirely convinced from a long-term perspective, but for the short-term traders… well, the job is to follow the market. So if you can’t stop a good thing, you might as well join in the fun.
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.
We’ve said a few time in the past that patience is key. The main benefit of being patient when it comes to trading is that we can wait for the really good setups to mature and then take trades in which the odds are firmly skewed in our favour. Some of the stocks we’ve been watching for a long time have finally triggered buy signals.
Well, after all that bearishness, all we got was one day of #marketcrash trending on twitter and a bounce so glorious I’m sure people will be singing songs about it at some point in the future. It seems that ‘buy the dip’ is not dead just yet. In truth, the irrationality of this whole market is starting to scare me a little, although I am not going to fight the ‘buy the dip’ crowd.
The U.S. market is closed on Monday for Presidents’ Day, which means that our market will likely be rather quiet at the start of the week. Overall though, the bullish trend is strong and has been for some time. I rang some alarm bells last week, although it seems that I was wrong. This doesn’t mean that we should all rush out and put on a thousand new long positions. Patience, caution, always.