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.
months! It has not retraced this much, and this fast since the infamous COVID-crash. The question is; is this just a tantrum, or a trend change? To be fair, a case can be made for both and honestly right now I think (at least for me) it is too early to tell.
Two weeks ago in our last post, we proposed that buying into the sell-off and VIX spike would make for a good long entry, both on equities (offshore) as well as on Oil. That play worked very well and markets are bouncing back rather hard. From here we think it is most probable that the market (U.S.) goes on to make a new all-time high. We do harbour some concerns around market breadth, especially within the Nasdaq index (US100), but even so we believe that over the short-term (until the end of the year), it is most likely that markets will remain bullish and push a few new highs.
Gees guys, we take one week off from posting and the whole place falls to pieces!? Who broke the market is perhaps not the question we should be asking though. We’re asking, will the dippers win again? There are some mixed feelings on this at the moment. Our local market looks, well, not very good. We had a hard time finding any kind of setup that was not bearish. Things are looking dire here. In the offshore world though, although there is an similarly high level of confusion, we do have some ‘reliable’ buy indicators that give us hope for a bounce next week. So let’s look at why it might be time to buy the VIX spike.
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.
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.
Our bullishness last week was clearly not the right call. Volatility has crept into the market and there is a lot of uncertainty around what happens next. Therefore, in order to clear our own minds of bias, we will be looking at markets from purely a technical perspective this week.
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!
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.
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…
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.
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.
excited about. Overall though, we expect the week ahead to be ‘risk on’. At least for the developed world. South African markets might be facing its own headwinds and continued currency fallout as a result of the cabinet reshuffle last week. Setups are sparse, so play defense and don’t try to force trades that are not there.
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.
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 last two weeks have been tough. In all honesty, the reason this blog post is only being posted now is because I found it difficult to not express an opinion on the current happenings in our country. It is deeply concerning. I must have written and rewritten this first paragraph at least ten times. It just feels disingenuous to write up a blog post that optimistically looks for opportunities, while our cities are burning. So with a heavy heart, I have to force myself to clear my mind of the anxiety and noise and focus on the charts.
We have to admit that today’s post was difficult to write. It is hard to focus on opportunities in the week ahead while our country appears to be… well, having a really rough time. We often say that we must filter out the noise and focus only on those things that can accurately analyse (aka. the chart), so that is exactly what we are going to do. Besides, the world’s financial markets are looking fairly good and we’ve positioned well for strength in the offshore portfolio’s. The only thing to do now really is to be patient and hold our positions.
We are all guilty of overcomplicating trading. Often we have to remind ourselves that most of the work is done by the market and that trend following is often the easiest way to interact with markets. This week we look at a few of the better trend following ideas we have for the week ahead.
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.
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.
It’s an age old saying in the market, and for good reason. The trend is your friend. Often we try to fight it and mostly, it wins the day. Markets are currently trending higher, and thus our plan is to find opportunities to get onboard with the trend and allow it to make the returns for us.
Once again we’re doing things a little differently this week, just because we can really. So instead of giving some broader market trade ideas as we usually do, we’d thought that we would do a CFD account update and share the current open CFD trades in our managed CFD accounts.
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.
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.
The age old adage of “Sell in May and go away”… Well, it’s May. What now?
Ironically, the bullish breakouts that took place last week, for the most part, seem to be failing. Perhaps “Sell in May and go away” is rooted in more than just seasonality and superstition? Either way, charts are looking a lot less bullish than they did over the last three or so weeks.
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.
Volatility is subsiding and markets are feeling more confident than they have for some time. We can debate about logic and valuations and inflation for days on end. In the end though, it will boil down to “yes, nothing makes sense” and “don’t fight the FED”. The money printer is going brrrr and all we can do is hold tight while the bulls give another run.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.