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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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All about Gold stocks

Last week was all about gold stocks and this week is no different! Well, we do have some Silver sprinkled in here and there you’ll notice. Overall, though, we think that gold stocks are very much being overlooked at the moment. Maybe the world has gotten so focused on NVIDIA that it’s temporarily forgotten about the Goldies? We haven’t though.

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Uncertain times

Markets have been, well, strong in the U.S. and weak here in South Africa. These certainly are uncertain times for local traders and investors.

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Dancing close to the door

It’s been a bit of a bumpy ride these last few weeks and there are many mixed signals around. Thus, we are trying to hold our opinions rather loosely and stay willing to change our minds whenever new evidence emerges that might contradict our views. Dancing close to the door is what we are constantly reminding ourselves of, as we might have to bail on some of our ideas rather quickly if our views turn out to be wrong. That said, let’s look at some trade ideas.

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Short and sweet

We’re keeping it short and sweet this week, as we think that is likely the right positioning on DM indices right now.

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Staying flexible

Staying flexible in your views and convictions is a vital skill if you plan to survive in markets for a long time. At the end of the day, being right or wrong hardly matters. Being able to change your mind when you are wrong and remain convicted when you are right is really the only skill that deserves to be trained.

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Up she goes!

Not all bears get honey. We expected markets to come off last week and pretty much exactly the opposite happened. Up she goes!

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Time to wobble

The market has remained persistently strong. Relatively at least… U.S. markets are slightly higher, but locally markets are slightly lower. So, no real fireworks just yet. Perhaps the momentum finally shifts down, and we see the market come off a little? Particularly in the over-hyped tech sector. Let’s look at some charts and get a better idea of why we’re thinking what we’re thinking.

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Kansas City Shuffle

One of the more important lessons we’ve learned from participating in markets for the last almost two decades is that the Kansas City Shuffle is very often a very reliable move. What are we talking about you ask? Well, when everyone is looking right, go left. Still, what are we talking about? In a nutshell, the market has become very bullish, despite the enormous amounts of negative economic data and overall headwinds.

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It’s buy time!

Once again, we come to you with charts that are bullish in an economic landscape that is everything but. Like we’ve said many times though, our job as traders is to follow the market and take the opportunities it presents to us, not to ‘make sense of it all’. So, while we could ramble on about all the various macro headwinds like U.S. government and student debt, stressed liquidity and bank balance sheets, looming recession and so many other factors that cause worry, we will not. Instead, we will simply quote Jesse Livermore for the millionth time and say ‘a bull market climbs a wall of worry’. It’s buy time!

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The little bull that could

Like we said last week, it doesn’t need to make sense to work. The little bull that could is doing all it can to get up and rallying, and we’re not about to stand in its way.

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American Bull

The American Bull stumbles blindly forward, without caution, directly into a looming credit crisis. Not perturbed by reality, the American Bull just keeps rallying without a care in the world, resolute to let the next generation pay for its foolishness. And so, headline U.S. Equities Indices, just, keep, trading, higher.

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Confusing markets

Perhaps we see a strong reversal of the Rand on Monday morning now that the U.S. ambassador has done a 180? All we know is that we don’t know. These are confusing markets. Best to remain cautious and defensive and ‘take the quick turn’ – as the saying goes.

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Tug of war

The tug of war between the bulls and bears is intense and volatility is wild. Our stance is to use any strength the might be available in the week to come as an opportunity to get out of stocks and manage our exposure. The time for nimble positioning is upon us, and we must stay flexible and willing to react to a fast changing market.

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Bulls start to unravel

Where the picture for the bulls start to unravel a little is when you look at Oil and the VIX in particular, and also when you consider that the S&P 500 has not managed to clear resistance. Let’s look at some charts and we’ll show you what we mean.

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It’s looking a little bullish

Well, we’re about ready to get some egg on our faces again by saying that the market is starting to look a little more bullish. We’ve tried that not so long ago and got proper whipsaw for our troubles, but once again we’re going to put it out there. The fact of the matter is that there is a ton of fear, and probably two tons of good reasons why the market should be crashing. It’s not though. Thus, we block out the news and fear and FUD, and we look at the charts. And by the looks of things, it’s looking a little bullish.

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Whipsaw city!

Well, alright then. This market is wild. Three weeks ago we ran for cover saying the ‘the bear is here’, the following week we’d thought that maybe because the market failed to push a new low that maybe ‘the bull is back’. It turns out that the market is full of bull… and last week the wheels properly fell off the bus. So, welcome to whipsaw city, where nobody knows what is going to happen next, but everyone can be sure they’ll get injured! What a vibe -_-

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The bear is here!

We’re going to start off this weeks post by telling our readers the same thing we’ve been telling our clients for over a year now. Be careful, trade smaller, trade less often, protect your capital. The market is wild and will likely stay wild for a while. Trust us, taking chunky losses is scary and will almost certainly lead to you losing the opportunity to make the big trades when they finally come around. Be patient and conservative. The bear is here and is not taking prisoners.

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Short-term bullish trends have broken

Another week of painfully low volume markets locally, and nothing but a slow sideways grind in the offshore world. This current environment continues to reinforce our bearish view. Markets are feeling a little like they are about to test some key support levels as the current short-term bullish trends have broken. Let’s look at some charts and get a feel for what to expect next week.

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When good charts go bad

Markets started pulling back a little last week and we’re likely to see that momentum carry for a few more weeks. Next week is likely to be dominated by inflation and interest rates as focus on CPI and PPI reports could influence sentiment.

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It’s tough to be a bear

Lat week did not go as expected. We’d thought that after the FOMC rate decision on Wednesday, that the market would come under some pressure. Instead, the market rallied its face off for two days and only showed some weakness on Friday. Granted, the Friday weakness has us feeling a little pessimistic going into next week, but it is tough to be a bear at the moment

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To squeeze or not to squeeze

Last week we saw a bit of a squeeze from most global markets while China takes a break for Lunar New Year. We expect much the same this week, although in the second half fortunes could change as U.S. data and the FOMC interest rate decision could turn the tide. So, to squeeze or not to squeeze… that is the question?

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China waking up

Trying to figure out if this bear market is about to end or not is proving rather difficult. There are signs that inflation has topped out and that Emerging Markets are leading disinflation. Odds are good that we will likely see a few more interest rate hikes, although not as aggressive as before, to give us the ‘higher for longer’ regime that has so clearly been communicated by central banks. On one side we think that the slowing easing inflation is a product of higher interest rates and global economies slowly grinding deeper into recession, while on the other side China is waking up and there can be no doubt that this is hugely positive for Emerging Markets and commodities prices in general. Will that reignite inflation, or will that merely push Emerging Markets to outperform Developed Markets as they capitalise on China waking up? Time will tell if this is truly the turning point or not, but odds are good that we are in for a strong short-squeezy kind of week.

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Some simple trade ideas to kick off 2023

Hello and welcome to 2023! We’re in for another interesting and intense year by the looks of things. We’ll get to putting together a full ‘expectations for the year ahead’ post in due course. For now though, we wanted to share some simple bigger picture trade ideas to kick off 2023 and shake off the cobwebs from not only our blog, but also our charting eye. We’ll get into the local market again over the weekend, but for now let’s get started with the larger markets. So, let’s get straight into it and see what the charts have to offer.

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It’s not looking captain!

I’ve been a little bearish of late. and well, I still am. Looking at how charts are playing out right now, it’s not looking good captain! In general though, a short update this week. The December feeling is creeping in… even though it’s a bearish one.

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Moment of truth

Well, the end of the year approaches and markets find themselves at a rather pivotal point. The moment of truth is upon us, and we will soon learn whether or not the down trend is over, or here for another six months.

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Santa might not come this year

The end of the year nears, and it seems like Santa might not come this year. Historically, December is one of the strongest months on the calendar, but we think this year might be a little different.

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Buy Bitcoin

Well, well, well… the world is once again laughing at bitcoin and I am once again advocating that it is time to buy bitcoin. Sadly, this week I do not have much time to write this as our wonderful power utility has made my life rather challenging this Sunday and it is already well past 9pm, so I encourage you to look through the previous posts I’ve done about bitcoin and crypto’s and have a read

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Volatility is king

Volatility is king in whipsaw city! Markets have been wild these last weeks and going into US midterms will be no different. Trade carefully.

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Volatility reigns

Volatility reigns supreme and markets remain unpredictable. Thus, we place our faith in the charts and let the probabilities fall where they may.

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One earnings season to rule them all

Well, the time has come for U.S. corporate earnings to show us the way. We’ve mentioned a few times, both here on the blog and in various other media appearances, that the near-term future of the market is likely to be determined by how the upcoming U.S. earnings season goes. Well, now it is here and we’re about to find out. The Dollar (DXY) has been super strong for some time now and we’re finally going to see if U.S. domiciled companies are starting to ‘feel the heat’ and are seeing a reduction in earnings. Naturally we have our view, that yes, things are about to get sicey… but that doesn’t necessarily mean that our view is right. Regardless of whether our view going into the one earnings season to rule them all is right or not, we are certain that this is a very important one.

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Bulls can’t get up

Well, clearly the idea of a Black Monday last week was misplaced. Even though we saw a weekend filled with fear, the market just shrugged it off and rallied hard on Monday and Tuesday. By the end of the week though, most markets were only slightly higher for the week. It seems that the bulls just can’t get up. The question is why?

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Traders meet up

We are excited to host another series of traders meet up events. It’s been a long lockdown, followed by what is turning out to be

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Credit Suisse = Black Monday?

You can almost the fear and confusion on twitter this evening. Rumours abound that Credit Suisse is on the verge of going bust thanks to some pension fund liabilities. So… Credit Suisse = Black Monday?

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Nothing but shorts

Well, another very difficult week is behind us and to be honest we think there are many more difficult weeks ahead over the next few months. The realities of a global recession are starting to ‘hit home’ so to speak and global equity markets are not happy. Although we are seeing nothing but shorts in the shorter-term, we do think the most important message to get across in difficult times such as these is two-fold:

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Options-led squeeze

Markets bounced pretty hard last week on the back of an options-led squeeze, and it’s fairly likely that we see more of the same in the coming week.

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Welcome to winter

Ok, ok, spring just started here in South Africa… but in the northern hemisphere winter is fast approaching and looking at all the charts, economic indicators and just general happenings in the conflict with Russia… let’s just say that things are looking pretty dire. Welcome to winter northern hemisphere, I hope you are ready for a cold one.

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Where’s the bear?

It is a confusing time to be involved in stock markets. On one hand we have rising stock prices and breaking down trends, while on the other hand (Darren) we see continued signs of economic slowdown in the U.S. This paints a confusing picture and honestly makes it difficult being a bear.

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How much more squeeze?

Although markets have rallied hard in the last few weeks, we are not convinced that we are out of the woods. How much more squeeze is left in this rally?

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Just be patient

Investor sentiment is at almost historic lows. Most of the time it pays to be a contrarian, although sometimes is better to just be patient.

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It’s all about earnings

The time is finally here and soon we will know the fate of markets for the next six months. It’s all about earnings as companies start to report 2nd quarter numbers this week. If we see that earnings is down broadly, we think that could lead to the second leg lower of this current bear market. Until now, despite high inflation and the odd absolutely counterintuitive personal stimulus cheques American’s have been getting, corporate earnings have been rather robust. The post-covid world has served the world’s largest corporations well… but has the money printer eventually managed to do more harm than good? In our view, yes.

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Independence day!

It’s the 4th of July on Monday and the day that the US celebrates independence day! Which means two things… the US markets are closed (and it will be a bit of a rudderless day for us on Monday) and that we can probably show you the most accurate picture of how markets have been trading so far this year.

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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.

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Don’t be a hero

Wowzers! What a week that was. I’ll keep the post brief this week as there really isn’t much in the way of positivity on my radar, so the overall message is really just trade small, be careful, stick to stop losses or maybe just take the next few weeks off. Don’t be a hero in this market. So many people are trying to catch the bounce and ‘use this volatility to make the big bucks’, but trust me, for every 10 that enter, 1 will leave. So best stay out of the market until the culling is over. That said, many charts are in the weekly timeframe this week as some longer-term perspective is often helpful.

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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).

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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?

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Side-lines for now

inflation narrative circulating at the moment, as well as the key indicators kind of being on a knifes edge and giving mixed signals… it is probably wise to say on the side-lines for now.

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How I got Bitcoin wrong

I have been rather vocal over the last few years on what my price target was for Bitcoin in December 2021. As some regular readers might remember, I had called for a price of $200k (yes, two hundred thousand Dollar) per Bitcoin. Clearly, I got that one wrong. It was a forecast made in 2018 and one that got rather close to being perfect, even though it was ultimately wrong. Let’s look at how I got Bitcoin wrong.

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Just a tantrum, or a trend change?

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.

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Remain bullish and push a few new highs

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.

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Buy the VIX spike

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.

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Brief thoughts

A busy schedule for us on this side, sto this week we offer only some brief thoughts and a handful of offshore trading ideas.

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Fading the calls

$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

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Bigger picture

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.

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Looking a bit stretched

Last week we called for new highs and we got them. Now we’re kind of sitting here thinking that is is looking a bit stretched and wondering if the market is not due a bit of a breather.

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