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Weekly game plan

Every week needs a new plan! Markets change all the time. New fundamental drivers emerge, technical setups mature or fail and our trading plan must adjust in order to keep up with the ever changing environment. Here we will highlight some of the trade ideas that are generated within our client community so that you can stay on top of what our HCA trading community is looking out for and planning to trade at the beginning of each week. 

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VIX below 20 signals risk on

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.

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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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Time for a pullback?

Over the last few weeks, markets have remained rather strong in the face of many challenges. Last week we finally got confirmation that more stimulus cheques are in the mail for Americans, although it seems that $1.9 trillion was not enough to help equity indices end the week in the green. Risks remain elevated and volatility is stubbornly not abating, thus we are starting to think that it is time for a pullback. There are a few long indeas in precious metals and commodities, but for the most part, caution is advised.

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Stimulus cheques are in the mail

Once again the U.S. Fed has tossed the kitchen sink across the room in a bid to keep the music going. We’re still to see how markets react, but from what we’ve seen so far, once the stimulus cheques are in the mail, stonks only go up!

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Buy the dip?

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.

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Trading Gold in trying times

As equity valuations reach closer and closer to the stratosphere, trading Gold has become a little more tricky than what it was when all the stimulus was just announced. In fact, Gold has been fading ever since August last year. Now, after all is said and done, we’re finally starting to see Bond Yields start to rise and the Dollar start to strengthen. These two forces might be enough to catch some the bulls trading Gold offside. Things are looking fairly bleak for the shiny yellow metal.

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A dose of patience needed

The fast paced world out there always tries to get us to take action immediately. There is a sense of urgency that is ever pressing. You have to buy this useless trinked right now! You have to act now to make money on the stock market! Cryptocurrencies are exploding and you must act immediately lest you want to ‘enjoy staying poor’. This is all garbage. The reality is that there is a lot of patience needed if you want to make any sustainable, long-term progress. The same is true with trading. The patience needed to wait for the right trades, at the right levels is something that almost never talked about. So although there are a few decent setups this week, there are a few markets on which we have to respect the patience needed and wait for a more clear setup.

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The trend is strong with this one

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.

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Technical trade ideas

This week I am keeping things a little less ‘opinion’ and focusing just on technical trade ideas. Well, trying to keep opinion out of it at least and just following what the chart says. So let’s get into it.

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Can’t stop. Won’t stop. GameStop.

Oh, the madness that is 2021! Never in my life did I think I would see a bunch of internet nerds take down hedge funds and brokerages… just for the lols. But here we are; Robinhood is basically dead in the water, Melvin Capital has offered a job to u/DeepFuckingValue (who made $46 million on GameStop since October 2020), Wall Street losses on GameStop and other heavily shorted stocks are tracking well over $70 billion and there is no sign at all that the Redditors have any intention of stopping. It boggles the mind!

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Hurricane trade ideas

The weather in the northern parts of South Africa is likely to be a little wild in the week ahead. We just hope that the hurricane that has made landfall in Mozambique does not cause large scale damage. Spending the week indoors, sadly, is nothing new thanks to lockdown. Now we just have to hope that the coal stays dry so that we don’t have electricity disruptions. These are strange times to be living in to be sure. At least we have markets to look at and keep us busy while a hurricane and a virus rage outside.

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The mighty Dollar fights back

Fresh new stimulus cheques in mail and record high options trading volumes. The market is a very confusing place right now to be honest. Well, maybe not actually. It’s fairly obvious that stimulus money is finding its way to extremely speculative trading instruments (which includes Bitcoin) and that the greed ruling markets at the moment is firmly cemented in place. Even with all this additional money in the system diluting its value, the mighty Dollar is fighting back and strengthening.

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The blue wave lifts all ships

Very often it’s better to not listen to the news, or the hype of all the mad things happening in the world around us. Most of the time, it’s better to just sit down and focus on the things that we can measure. So to a large extend we try to do that this week, although we must admit the the blue wave in the U.S. is probably the primary driver behind the strength we saw last week. It’s very likely going to be the source of a whole lot more strength in the week ahead.

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2021 roadmap for Bitcoin

The week that lies ahead though is usually the ‘Santa rally’ week, so perhaps our caution and maybe even slight bearishness might again be off the mark. Nonetheless there are some good trading setups out there. Furthermore, we thought that this week we would share our 2021 roadmap for Bitcoin. Next year, we think, is going to be wild!

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Santa loves US Fed stimulus

Well, technically the Santa rally is only really the period between Christmas and New Years, although traders have been ‘front running’ this seasonality a little over the last few years. Furthermore, from what we’ve seen on the newswires over the weekend, it seems that another round US Fed stimulus is almost certainly going to be finalised before US markets open on Monday. Nothing like a freshly minted $900 billion to get markets into the festive mood.

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Hopes of a Santa Rally

There are still a few weeks to go before Christmas, but hopes of a Santa Rally are starting to take root. For now, most of our watch-list still appears bullish, although there are some warning signs. We could be seeing some early signs of fading momentum on the major indices, although it might still be too soon to tell.

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Stonks only go up

The exuberance of markets can never be underestimated. “Stonks only go up” has become a meme. But we know that memes have the power to influence millions of people. As long as the market is trading from vaccine headline to vaccine headline, we can expect that markets will probably keep pushing higher and people will likely keep chanting “stonks only go up”.

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Trading the oil price

It seems that there are a ton of people out there trading the oil price in some way or another. Most people of course have either been getting involved with Sasol or have been thinking about it. We’ve received a ton of requests from all over, from people asking about the oil price and particularly about Sasol.

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It’s really not all about Bitcoin

We suspect that over the next few weeks and months, mainstream media is going to get swept up in the ‘all about Bitcoin’ narrative. More importantly, Thanksgiving sets off a number of seasonal patterns as well. We need to combine several of them for one trade.

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Opportunities in Gold miners

Last week, after a strong start to the week, we saw the moves fade and the rest of the week resolve in directionless action on the major indices. Locally our banks popped well, although started pulling back a little in the second half of the week. For the coming week, we see opportunities in Gold miners for high risk-reward long positions at the start of the week. With some luck we’ll see decent pullbacks in the banks for good long setups in the second half of the week.

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Biden wins! What now?

Finally the US election is behind us! We’ll still see how far Trump goes to contest the election outcome, but so far it seems the the courts are not entertaining the idea. So ok, Biden wins, what now? It is reasonable to expect that more COVID related stimulus will done and the Dollar should keep weakening on that. This likely leads to more ZAR strength and might direct some investment flows into emerging markets.

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Weekly game plan 1 November 2020

Thinking about the week ahead and the craziness that is about to unfold with the US elections, my initial thought was that there would not be too much to do. In fact, I’d been planning to basically just put out a warning about this week and recommending that we just keep it small and keep it tight. To a large extent that is still what I am doing, because it’s going to be wild out there. That said, there are some charts and ideas floating around inside the HCA trading community that are worth sharing. Just keep those stops tight and the trades small. The money is made by being around long enough to capitalise when it’s easy, and allowing the market trends to do the work.

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Weekly game plan 25 October 2020

Generally markets are feeling fairly good going into next week and the weekly game plan is centered around buying some pullbacks in the banks and avoiding long positions in resources and precious metals. We have been seeing good old fashioned sector rotation locally, with funds flowing into banks and retailers and seemingly local property as well. This is likely being driven by investors looking for value, of which there is much to be found among the ‘locals’.

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Weekly game plan 18 October 2020

Overall markets are feeling a little ‘in the middle of nowhere’ at this stage and thus our weekly game plan is to mostly be patient and wait for better setups. We look at some of the major U.S. indices and note that there are no really good setups to be had at this stage, although Gold, Sliver and Oil might be setting up for some decent trades. On the local front, we’re probably complaining too loudly about low volumes, but there seems to be a select few good setups.

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Weekly game plan 11 October 2020

Every week in 2020 seems to get stranger and stranger. Last week we saw the death and rebirth of stimulus talks and Trump uses his ‘art of the deal’ tactics to look good for the election. Make no mistake, the election is a big deal and it’s coming closer. Odds are that volatility will pick up a little heading into the election and thus we’re happy to take it very slowly. That said, markets are looking generally strong and confident at the moment.

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Weekly game plan 27 September 2020

Things are starting to get a little wild out there as we approach the U.S. elections. Most of the charts that we look at this week are or larger market indices. Volatility is likely to remain elevated for the rest of the year. We’re not quite ready to start buying the dip just yet, nor are we sure that we’ve even really seen the dip yet. A bit of a zoomed-out macro view this week.

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Weekly game plan 20 September 2020

Over the last few weeks we’ve shared some thoughts about the fundamental picture we are seeing, and thus fired off a few warnings about the sustainability of the tech rally. This week we’ll keep things simple and only consider the charts, without having the fundamentals interfere with our thinking.

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Weekly game plan 13 September 2020

Being overly bearish is bad for your health, so please take the this week’s game plan with a pinch of salt. Overall we are becoming more and more concerned with what we think is irrational exuberance in the market. We look at some of our concerns and identify some trading opportunities for the week ahead. We also have a look at some requested charts.

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Weekly game plan 6 September 2020

The ‘tech call option whale’ that’s been doing a lot of this buying has now been identified as SoftBank. We also had news that Tesla will not be included in the S&P500 index. Perhaps the Nasdaq melt-up might have finally come to an end?

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Weekly game plan 30 August 2020

Over the last few weeks the tone of the Weekly game plan and the trade ideas coming out of the International outlook blogs have become somewhat more bearish. Whether or not we are completely missing the mark here is still to be seen, however we are becoming more and more concerned about the sustainability of the current developed market (particularly U.S.) rally.

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Weekly game plan 23 August 2020

Building on some of the thoughts we shared in our blog post last week (U.S. commentary), we want to start off the weekly game plan by urging caution. We need to remain ‘trend followers’ and keep dancing while the music is playing, but we must acknowledge the possibility that the carpet can be swept out from under us at any minute. Most importantly, we need to be ready to jump when the carpet is pulled so that we don’t fall flat on our faces… but also not spend the entire party just jumping up and down in the middle of where everyone else is trying to have a good time. It is best then to keep a flexible ‘everything is temporary’ mindset, and be open and ready to change our views when presented with evidence contrary to what we might think we know.

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Weekly game plan 16 August 2020

We’re not going to get into too much detail here today. The world is looking forward to a COVID-19 vaccine and we think that markets will likely continue to respond positively. On the home front, it seems that most of the lockdown restrictions are being lifted as well, which will likely positively boost selected sectors and stocks in the week ahead.

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Weekly game plan 9 August 2020

There does not seem to be too many good setups around at this stage, and the only relatively attractive setups are slightly longer-term in nature. That is, on a swing trading basis were trades are taken for a number of weeks, rather than just a few days or hours. A catalyst might come in the form of Trump signing an executive order to provide further coronavirus relief directly to US households.

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Weekly game plan 2 August 2020

After strong earnings reports from tech stocks in the U.S. and more rhetoric around continued stimulus, markets closed last week on a strong note. We’re sticking to the good old technicals for this week and highlighting some of the stocks that we have been watching.

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Weekly game plan 26 July 2020

During the last week we started seeing some signs of distress in the Nasdaq, with some heavyweights beginning to show a little bit of weakness. Our strategists put up two posts on the current outlook on the Nasdaq on the International Outlook blog, which showed some key support levels being tested and broken. With those in mind we are slightly more cautious this week.

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Weekly game plan 19 July 2020

One of the things that we’ve been thinking about over the last few weeks is; the past. We find ourselves wondering how similar this current situation is to the one back in 2009/10. Could the monetary stimulus just refuel the rally and keep the market (first) and the world economy (second) pushing higher and harder? Possibly, yes.

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Weekly game plan 12 July 2020

The world is mostly mad, but luckily our views and beliefs about the world around us has little to do with what is actually happening, and the key to moving forward is to respond appropriately to the external environment, regardless of whatever it is that we might believe. Our job as traders is now and has always been to simply follow the market. Therefore we look mostly at technical analysis again this week so that we stay unbiased.

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Weekly game plan 5 July 2020

This week we are looking at a few local charts from a technical perspective only. Sometimes we get a little caught up in the noise that comes with consuming news around the market. Thus, sometimes it is helpful to just block out all the noise and just look at the charts. The mantra we often have to repeat to ourselves as traders is ‘allow the market to lead’.

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Weekly game plan 28 June 2020

It’s no secret that this is probably one the most hated stock market rallies of all time. In fact, that is probably pretty accurate for the entire bull market since 2009, really. The question is when? Another good question is, is our idea of what fair value is anywhere near what it really is? In truth, we don’t really know how things will turn out. All we can do is trade the setups that we see and make sure that we manage risk accordingly.

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Weekly game plan 21 June 2020

We’re not going to spend too much time this week getting into views and opinions, but rather just focus on the signals that a few of the charts we are looking at giving us. So let’s get straight into it.

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Weekly game plan 14 June 2020

If there is going to be COVID related fallout from the demonstrations, we should start seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases around the world in the coming week or two. This will be an interesting metric to watch as it could potentially send half the world back to hard-lockdown. We’ve already seen the state of Florida (in the U.S.) record a record number of new cases last week. Should that trend continue and emerge in other states or even in other countries, we think that it could create a reasonable amount of fear in markets once more.

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Weekly game plan 7 June 2020

It is amazing how having a bias in the market can work against you as a trader and investor. As anyone who has been in markets for long enough knows, being early is the same as being wrong. We reflect on this lesson and have a look at some charts.

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Weekly game plan 31 May 2020

Perhaps that market is trading higher on Robinhood accounts fueled by free money from the U.S. government, or short covering leading to massive buying volume as bearish traders get caught with their hands in the cookie jar? From a fundamental perspective, it does not make sense to us how world markets can be trading towards the highs while the world is still in the process of collapsing.

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Weekly game plan 24 May 2020

It would seem that even though the world is feeling a little better about the coronavirus, fears and uncertainties around the trade relations between the U.S. and China are flaring up again. Moreover, it seems that relations between China and Hong Kong could be a negative catalyst that could bring some risk off sentiment into the market. Overall our feeling is still slanted toward bearishness.

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Weekly game plan 17 May 2020

It is sometimes difficult to remain objective when it comes to market analysis. The more we look at charts, the more bearish we become. This might not be the right outlook as it could just be various forms of biases that we are unable to overcome. The primary objective of any investor or trader is to remain objective and see things for what they are, not as what we would like for them to be.

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Weekly game plan 10 May 2020

The market mechanics are starting to feel broken again… Equities are halfway to completing a V-shaped recovery, Tech stocks in the US are green for the year (this part makes sense actually), Volatility is coming down fast and markets are calming down. All this while the global economy has basically shut down and literally millions upon millions of people around the world has lost their jobs…? Also, bitcoin halving taking place next week. Careful of the bull trap.

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Weekly game plan 3 May 2020

Once again we focus on pure technical analysis this week by simply focusing on the charts and setups. The overall market is still a very noisy place and thus we feel that simply looking at what that ‘maps’ say is the wiser course of action at this stage.

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Weekly game plan 26 April 2020

We are choosing to ignore the noise and focus on the charts so that we don’t get too swept up in the confusion and irrationality of the market. We do realise though that the economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will very likely linger for some time, especially in South Africa. Exactly how this all turns out though, we have no idea. For now, we remain focused on short-term opportunities.

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Weekly game plan 19 April 2020

To be rather honest, our outlook has not really changed all that much from last week until now. We still largely expect the local market to trade a little stronger, the Rand to firm up and U.S. markets to trade up to resistance.

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Weekly game plan 5 April 2020

It feels as if we are on the edge of battle. The air is still and so thick with tension that it is hard to breathe in. Nonetheless, the market goes on. In fact, it is starting to offer some interesting opportunities to those who are patient. We look at the S&P500, USDZAR, Clicks, Shoprite, Sibanye and Anglo American.

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Weekly game plan 29 March 2020

So we’re on lockdown. Nobody is really surprised about that if we’re honest. We are just grateful that our government has acted to quickly and desivesly to curb the rate of infections in South Africa.

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Weekly game plan 22 March 2020

First and foremost, we want to encourage everyone reading this to take social distancing seriously. As for trading; for now we are being very, very careful. Most of last week we hardly traded any swing-CFD positions and we expect that it will be the same in the coming week. We will not entirely sit out the week, but we will be very selective with our trades. Risk management is absolute.

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Weekly game plan 15 March 2020

We’re not sure where to start. We have ever seen anything like what has been happening over the last three weeks before. These truly are extraordinary times.The Fear & Greed Index hit 1 last week, the CBOE Volatility Index hit highs last seen in 1987 and 2008 with the highest print at 77.6. This was real, unfiltered panic. The question now is; is it over?

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Weekly game plan 8 March 2020

The last few weeks have been some of the most extreme times in recent market history, at least from our perspective. We’ve seen a pretty extreme sell off, largely driven by fears around the coronavirus. What is of even more concern to us is that the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank cut interest rates by 50 bps in an emergency rate cut. Historically, when the FED responds this drastically it is usually a sure sign that something big is happening.

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Weekly game plan 1 March 2020

We also saw that Chinese PMI numbers came in the lowest on record. In other words, lower manufacturing and production activity in China than even in the depths of the 2008/9 financial crisis. Lower than ever recorded. Considering that China now makes up almost 20% of the global economy and accounts for two-thirds of global growth, this record low PMI reading is truly concerning. The real question now is, when do factories come back online?

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Weekly game plan 23 February 2020

It is starting to feel a little like the roll-over we were on the lookout for in U.S. markets last week is beginning to happen. Gold is pushing a lot higher on the back of growing coronavirus concerns as Italy enters the early stages of lock-down due to the virus spreading within its borders rapidly. We’ve seen videos of scores of people queuing outside banks in China and rumours of Chinese banks not having liquidity for withdrawals. The situation is getting worse.

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Weekly game plan 16 February 2020

It just feels like the entire world is actively choosing to not believe that anything really bad is happening there. We’ve put a lot of thought into what our view needs to be on this topic and it is our feeling that we would rather be “the boy who cried wolf”, and thus make a few errors in an attempt to be extra-careful, before we join the rest of the crowd and just pretend that nothing is wrong.

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