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May 21, 2022 | Trading Desk Notes For May 21, 2022

Stock market sentiment is extremely negative – with good reason! The leading stock market indices have closed lower for seven consecutive weeks (the DJIA is down for eight straight weeks – its worst in 90 years.) The S+P was briefly down >20% from ATH on Friday before rallying into the close. Virtually all sectors, save […]

May 14, 2022 | Trading Desk Notes For May 14, 2022

Stock indices down, US Dollar up for six consecutive weeks Looming American exceptionalism in monetary tightening (a determination to reign in no-longer-transitory inflation by discouraging demand) has magnified negative stock market sentiment (fear of inflation, then recession). In contrast, the US Dollar has surged higher against virtually all other currencies as capital flows to America […]

May 7, 2022 | Trading Desk Notes For May 7, 2022

Stocks are down, interest rates and the US Dollar are up The leading American stock indices closed the week at their lowest levels in over a year. They have closed lower for five consecutive weeks, while investor sentiment has become extremely bearish, which some folks think is a BUY signal. This week’s daily price action […]

April 30, 2022 | Trading Desk Notes For April 30, 2022

Stocks down – US Dollar and interest rates up Leading American stock indices fell to their lowest levels in over a year this week while the US Dollar Index hit a 20-year high. The Fed will launch an extended run of tighter monetary policy at their meeting next week. Stocks From All-Time Highs in January 2022, the S+P […]

April 23, 2022 | Trading Desk Notes For April 23, 2022

Stock indices finally got the message from the credit markets, and they didn’t like it! Interest rates across the curve have been surging higher since December, with the “rate of change” accelerating since early March, but the leading stock indices remained no more than a few percentage points away from All-Time Highs. Late this week, with Fed […]

April 16, 2022 | Trading Desk Notes For April 16, 2022

Are price reversals coming, or did we enter a new paradigm? There are trend followers, and there are people who like to pick tops and bottoms. Some people love to believe that a new era is dawning, while others believe it is never different this time. Some folks are convinced that “X” is going to […]

April 9, 2022 | Trading Desk Notes For April 9, 2022

Bond yields continue to surge higher The announcement on Tuesday by Fed Governor Lael Brainard, a former dove (and Biden’s nominee for Fed Vice-Chair), that the Fed will launch an aggressive program of Quantitative Tightening (QT) (monthly sales of $60B of Treasuries and $35B of mortgages after a three-month phase-in period) beginning with the May […]

April 2, 2022 | Trading Desk Notes For April 2, 2022

The Fed is finally ready to roll After much hesitation, the Fed is signalling that it will raise interest rates aggressively over the next several months. Here’s what the market expects from the Fed (h/t to The Macrotourist): The Chicago Mercantile Exchange futures market pricing of Fed funds through March 2023: After the sharp rise […]

March 26, 2022 | Trading Desk Notes For March 26, 2022

Interest rates are surging higher American interest rates hit All-Time Lows in August 2020. Short rates stayed close to zero for the next fifteen months while mid-term and especially long-term bond yields rose (prices fell.) In October 2021, forward markets for short-term rates began to rise. The rate of change accelerated in January and February, […]

March 19, 2022 | Trading Desk Notes For March 19, 2022

The best weekly equity market rally in two years was “setup” by extremely negative sentiment The Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) had its lowest weekly close in nearly a year last Friday – down ~14% from January’s All-Time Highs. In last week’s TD Notes, I wrote: Equity market sentiment is currently very negative. If/when prices […]

March 12, 2022 | Trading Desk Notes For March 12, 2022

The inevitable consequences of soaring commodity prices In last week’s Notes, I wrote: “There are always unexpected consequences. Somewhere in the world, there is a massive “short commodity” position that may “blow up” as a result of soaring commodity prices – causing severe “collateral damage.” My first guess is that soaring European energy costs will blow a fuse, and my second guess […]

March 5, 2022 | Trading Desk Notes For March 5, 2022

Existential stress is causing extreme capital flows The Euro plunged ~5% against the USD and ~6% against the Swiss Franc since February 10th. It is at All-Time lows against gold. When gold and the USD are both sharply higher, you know markets are fearful. Perceived supply shortages across commodity markets have driven prices sharply higher […]

February 26, 2022 | Trading Desk Notes For February 26, 2022

The Russian Blitzkrieg invasion of Ukraine initiated DRAMATIC surges and reversals across markets The S+P plunged to a 9-month low early Thursday morning (down ~15% from January All-Time Highs) but then rallied hard into Friday’s close. The DJI tumbled and bounced back ~1,700 points in this 4-day week to close almost precisely where it closed […]

February 19, 2022 | Trading Desk Notes For February 19, 2022

Interest rates have steadied after surging higher since November The Dec 2022 Eurodollar futures contract closed red for 11 consecutive weeks but finally closed green this week as the relentless surge in short-term interest rates took a breather. (Eurodollar futures trade at a discount to par, or zero, so a price of 98 = a […]

February 12, 2022 | Trading Desk Notes For February 12, 2022

Interest rates rocket higher Interest rates have been climbing steadily since early December but rocketed higher this week on the one-two punch of surging CPI and a call from St. Louis Fed President Bullard for the Fed to “immediately” take aggressive hawkish action. Last week I noted the dramatic “rate of change” in European interest rates when Christine Lagarde […]

February 5, 2022 | Trading Desk Notes For February 5, 2022

Interest rates surge higher everywhere Christine Lagarde surprised markets Thursday by opening the door to higher interest rates this year from the ECB. On Friday, markets were stunned by an unexpected (and suspect, given the massive “seasonal adjustments”) US Employment report. The net result? Interest rates everywhere surged higher this week. Think of Euribor as the […]

January 29, 2022 | Trading Desk Notes For January 29, 2022

Reassessing The Fed = Market Mayhem On January 15, the lede for my TD Notes was: “Peak Fed Hawkish – Or Minsky Moment?” Since then, particularly since Wednesday’s Fed meeting, price action would tell you that we’ve had a “Minsky Moment” – that the Fed is a LONG way from Peak Hawkish. I’m taking the other side of that […]

January 22, 2022 | Trading Desk Notes For January 22, 2022

This was the worst week for the leading stock indices (including the TSE) since the February/March 2020 meltdown Market sentiment is extremely bearish, and markets are extremely oversold. Significant “technical support” levels have been broken. With the markets closing on their lows, expect further selling pressure early next week. The S+P is down ~9% from its January […]

January 15, 2022 | Trading Desk Notes For January 15, 2022

Peak Fed Hawkish – Or Minsky Moment? Peak Fed hawkish means the markets have WAY over-anticipated the consequences of Fed tightening (the Fed will stand down) – Minsky moment means there has been a sea-change at the Fed, and you ain’t seen nothing yet! Both opinions have eloquent spokesmen; recent short-term price action has been […]

January 8, 2022 | Trading Desk Notes For January 8, 2022

Interest Rates Surge Higher – Consequences Follow The 10-year US Treasury bond yield hit a 2-year high of 1.8% on news that the national unemployment rate fell to only 3.9% in December and that year-over-year average hourly earnings had surged by 4.7%. American futures markets are now pricing four quarter-point interest rate increases within the […]

January 1, 2022 | Trading Desk Notes For January 1, 2022

Here’s what I really think We’ve had an extraordinary run of bullish enthusiasm since the March 2020 Covid panic lows. The S+P has rallied ~120%. A tidal wave of new money has come into the equity markets, with more than half of that going into passive index-linked investments. A handful of (richly-valued) Big Cap Tech […]

December 18, 2021 | Trading Desk Notes For December 18, 2021

Are you de-risking into yearend? Day-to-day and intra-day price action since Thanksgiving Friday has been very choppy. Big Cap Tech has been fading. Are Portfolio Managers de-risking before yearend to preserve stellar track records? Big Cap Tech fading? Big Cap Tech has been THE most significant part of YTD gains in the S+P and NAZ […]

December 11, 2021 | Trading Desk Notes For December 11, 2021

Bullish enthusiasm came roaring back this week – the S+P registered an All-Time High close – the DJIA rallied >2,000 points from last week’s lows The S+P hit All-Time Highs Monday, November 22, but closed down on the day. Three sessions later, waves of heavy selling in illiquid conditions on Thanksgiving Friday caused the index […]

December 4, 2021 | Trading Desk Notes For December 4, 2021

A vicious circle of aggressive selling, thin liquidity, volatility and fear Given the drama since Thanksgiving Friday, it’s hard to believe that the leading North American stock indices were at All-Time Highs Monday of last week. It’s also hard to believe that, with the DJIA, S+P, NAZ, TSE and VTI indices down only ~6% on […]

November 27, 2021 | Trading Desk Notes For November 27, 2021

Risk Happens Fast The S+P 500 hit All-Time Highs on Monday’s opening – but closed 165 points (3.5%) lower by Friday’s close. The daily S+P futures volume on Friday was the highest since early October – and was probably the highest EVER for a Thanksgiving Friday. The DJIA closed at a 7-week low, down ~1,800 […]

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