This is an interesting analysis by Rob Hanna who has studied and quantified the gap activity Phil mentioned in his double week review. He came to a similar conclusion – very odd market behavior. – Ilene
A trader I know pointed out the unusually large gap activity lately. I track the 10-day absolute average gap over the 100-day absolute average gap on the charts page in the members section of the site. Meanwhile I observed the average true range is still below normal. I’ve copied the two charts from the website to illustrate.
The real odd behavior here is with the average gap size. Such gappy behavior is unusual with the market near new highs. It’s also unusual when there isn’t also a substantial increase in the intraday range. I looked at this a number of different ways last night. The 10/100 Absolute Avg Gap is 1.38 (meaning the 10ma is 38% larger than the 100ma of the overnight gap size). I looked at other instances where similar levels were approached and the market was near a new high. It’s been fairly unusual over the last 15 years and results were inconclusive.
I then look at comparing the size of the average gap to the size of the average intraday range (not the true range as shown above). Here again I found we are at very high levels but past history was choppy and inconclusive.
Lastly I looked at times where the 10-day average gap was well above normal and the 10-day average intraday range was well below normal. Again I could find nothing suggesting a significant directional edge.
So is this activity suggestive of anything? Perhaps. While the readings themselves don’t seem to help greatly in predicting direction, they do indicate some unusual behavior. My take is that the market is being influenced more by outside forces than is customary. It’s been noted by many that the dollar has been leading everything by the nose lately. Outside influences like Dubai debt have also had an overnight influence lately. This would seem to explain why such a large percentage of action is occurring overnight.
So what should we do about it as traders? Two things come to mind – 1) Be more cognizant
A Wall Street economist was in our office the other day to update us on his forecast. He said he had been on the road a lot lately talking to a wide range of institutional investors, and that “nine-and-a-half out of ten are bearish.” As anyone who reads our blog can tell, we count ourselves in that group.
Rather than take comfort in the fact that we are not alone in our view, the contrarian in us is restless. If the vast majority of professionals are expecting continued weakness, we have to consider the probability of the opposite outcome. After all, the market will always find a way to inflict maximum pain on the maximum number of investors. So we check our assumptions and challenge our conclusions.
This exercise brought to mind economist Herbert Stein’s maxim, “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.” Usually we apply this rule to asset bubbles, like tech stocks in 1998-99 or home prices in 2004-07, as a way to justify our belief that periods of great overvaluation tend to be followed by periods of mean-reversion. So when we see the record drops in housing starts, home prices and business inventories, or the huge jumps in productivity and the savings rate, we have to remember that reversion to the mean works both ways.
All of the dislocation and contraction that is going on in the economy is painful, and it will last for a while, but it is a prerequisite to the turn in the cycle. While there is clear evidence that progress is being made in correcting the pre-2008 above-the-mean conditions, we are not convinced that the current below-the-mean correction has begun. We are sticking with our view of the world for now-credit performance in residential and commercial mortgages, overleveraged household balance sheets, oversupply in the housing market and structural deficits in municipal and federal finances are still in the process of correcting the bubble’s excess. The turn will come at some point, and we have to be mindful of that fact.
On a related note, how to read today’s jobs numbers? The headline numbers were surprising
Hey everyone. Well, the week was definitely interesting one for the market. We had some real home runs and one real dud in this week of The Oxen Report. Let’s take some time to review what we did this week and what we can expect from the market next week.
Winners of the Week:
1. Aeropostale Inc. (ARO) – Our Monday Buy Pick of the Day was a winner for us. On Monday, we recommended Aeropostale as a strong play because we were excited about the retail sector. On Monday, however, it was getting the kind of movement I thought it should get. Therefore, in my Midday Alert on Monday for Oxen Alert members, I recommended holding this one overnight into Tuesday. The hold worked brilliant. With an entry on Monday at 31.50, we were able to exit at 32.13 for a solid 2% gain.
2. Direxion Daily Energy Bear ETF (ERY) - Our Short Sale of the Day for Monday was also a quick winner. We saw that there was a big gain in oil and a weak dollar in Monday morning before the market opened. That meant there should be good movement in this 3x ETF to the downside, but it was not there. It created a great value play on some unpriced movement. We were right. Got in the morning at 11.85 and exited at 11.51 for the quick 3% gain.
3. Ultrashort Proshares Oil and Gas ETF (DUG) - On Wednesday, we continued a play on oil as we saw the inventories coming out worse than expected from the API. The market was also looking down, and it looked like a solid buy in the morning. We got in at 12.40, looking for a 12.65 – 12.78 exit. We did not hit our 2% range, but we still sold off at the end of the day for a gain at 12.55 for 1.25%.
4. Big Lots Inc. (BIG) - The Gamble of the Day on Thursday was in Big Lots Inc. (BIG). THIS WAS OUR BIG WINNER OF THE WEEK. We got into BIG on Thursday afternoon at 23.75. The stock we sold at 9:30 AM on Friday for the overnight gain after the company reported extremely solid earnings. We sold at 27.00. That was a gain of 9.5%. It was a solid play, and I hope you all benefitted from it.…
Gold fell for the first time during last week, off 4% on Friday to $1,162.40 an ounce, the biggest drop since Dec. 1, 2008 after the new U.S. jobs data showed unexpected strength. The Dollar rallied against rival currencies while traders reversed the “Sell Dollar/Buy Gold” strategy. (Fig. 1)
The Dollar’s decline has been a key factor in the record rising gold price this year by boosting the metal’s appeal as an alternative investment along with other commodities and high-yielding currencies.
Though gold briefly touched a low of $1,136.80 during the Thanksgiving week on fears of a possible debt default in Dubai, the precious metal had otherwise continued its vertical ascend into uncharted territory advancing in 21 of the past 23 sessions.
While gold has some underlying support from central banks and investment funds, there are some indications suggesting gold is moving mostly on momentum, and that a deeper correction may be due.
India Leading the Gold Rush
Gold’s rally in the past couple weeks was largely on speculation that India’s central bank may buy more gold from the IMF adding to the 200 ton purchase it made last month.
This second purchase by India would be the fourth central bank sale this quarter of IMF bullion. The three prior sales were Sri Lanka’s $375 million purchase of 10 metric tons; India’s initial $6.7 billion purchase 200 metric tons, and Mauritius bought 2 tons for $71.7 million.
The three sales so far leave about 190 tons up for grabs from the 403.3 tons the IMF announced Sept. 18 it would divest to shore up its finances.
China, The New King of Gold
Private Chinese gold buying, for both jewelry and investment, will overtake Indian demand this year, predicts metals consultancy Gold Fields Mineral Services (GFMS). China is now the world’s No.1 gold mining nation. The People’s Bank is widely thought to have grown its gold reserves by buying domestic production direct.
In addition, China has cut the import tax on jewelry and allowed select commercial banks to sell gold bars, and gold is now traded freely on the Shanghai Gold Exchange.
Russia & Vietnam Not Far Behind
On Nov. 23, Russia’s central bank announced it had bought 15.6 metric tons of gold in October and…
Electronics stores, toy retailers and certain teen-oriented apparel companies were big winners over the Black Friday holiday weekend, with door-crashing specials and price discounts attracting much of the traffic and sales, analysts say.
Best Buy, Walmart and Amazon were the shining stars as all three successfully used heavy marketing strategies and doorbuster prices, especially in electronics, to lure shoppers.
The losers were largely retailers who a) did not have big electronics offerings, b) did not offer huge Black Friday discounts or c) are not worshipped by teens. Count among them J. Crew, Chico’s and Banana Republic, which offered fewer discounts and saw traffic fall, says Goldman Sachs analyst Michelle Tan, in a note. Pacific Sunwear, Ann Taylor, Talbots and Gap stores were also weak, noted Credit Suisse analyst Paul Lejuez.
Electronics, far and away, was the lightning rod for bargain-hungry shoppers this year both in stores and online. Traffic at Best Buy was "materially bigger" and cash-register ring-ups exceeded last year’s sales, says Barclays Capital senior research analyst Michael Lasser.
Analysts cannot get a complete picture of Black Friday’s success until companies report fourth-quarter earnings early next year. But they closely monitored retailers on Black Friday weekend for shopper traffic and sales action. "The crowds were more significant than last year and they were moving products faster than last year," Lasser says.
Best Buy’s doorbuster specials drew large Black Friday crowds with customer lines snaking around the block at many of its stores in the wee hours of the morning. Other retailers, such as Staples, Radio Shack, GameStop and hhgregg, also reaped benefits from the electronics frenzy, notes Credit Suisse analyst Gary Balter. Many offered sharp discounts on gadgets, ranging from laptops and high-definition TVs to GPS devices and e-readers, as they jockeyed to fill the void left by the demise of Circuit City in the past year. "There is an insatiable hunger for these devices and they make great gifts during the holidays," says Lasser.
"The electronics stores all did really well — I think that everybody’s wish list this year has a flat-screen TV," says Rachel Weingarten, president of Octagon Strategy Group, a retail marketing consultant.
Walmart and Amazon were the wild cards, though, as both challenged electronics retailers on price every step of the way, allowing them to gain market share…
The recent surge in lumber prices might be one of the brighest signs for the economic recovery. On the back of the housing meltdown and the ensuing credit crisis investors are largely relying on a rebound in housing to confirm the consumer balance sheet recovery. As we’ve noted previously, lumber has had a very high correlation with housing activity and the recent move higher in lumber prices, though somewhat inexplicable at the time, is now being confirmed by data out of the Engineered Wood Association. Though not robust, this is anything but a good sign:
APA — The Engineered Wood Association is forecasting plywood production to increase 4% in 2010. OSB production is forecast to increase 14%, glulam timbers 8%, wood I-joists 35%, and LVL 25%. U.S. and Canadian structural wood panel exports are expected to finish 2009 down 45% from 2008. Demand for structural panels from the residential construction, remodeling, and industrial markets are expected to see 2010 increases of 24%, 7%, and 5%, respectively. APA forecasts U.S. housing starts to reach 665,000 units in 2010. – 12/4/2009
Julian Robertson’s greatest fear may be coming to fruition. There are growing signs of reluctance on the part of foreign banks, to buy American debt. The problem of debt is beginning to cause even greater problems in Japan. There is now speculation that Japan will be forced to sell treasuries in order to meet their own budget needs.
Bloomberg reports that Japan has been the biggest buyer of treasuries this year:
Japan has been this year’s biggest buyer of Treasuries, which means it has done more to help finance the widening U.S. budget deficit than any other country. Its holdings have risen by $125.5 billion, according to data compiled by the Treasury. The comparable figure for China, which surpassed Japan last year as the largest international investor in the securities, is $71.5 billion — 43 percent lower.
For now, Japan is denying such rumors, but the very thought is just one more reminder of the problem of debt that continues to plague the global economy.
“There’s absolutely no such proposal right now,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano told reporters today in Tokyo. “That kind of talk often surfaces at this season.”
This post will be 99% anecdotal, 1% empirical, because I haven’t the time or energy to go dig up supporting data for what we all know: Most years, the market rips higher during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve and this one week run is commonly referred to as The Santa Claus Rally.
You can check the Stock Traders Almanac for the percentages and stuff, or just use your memory, it happens almost every year.
One of the most well-known aspects of the Santa Claus Rally is the fact that the junkiest stocks tend to do the best. Year after year, I’ve seen serious fireworks in some of the most absurdly trashy names and sectors you could think of. So I’m starting to get my list together now because I don’t really follow junk stocks during the other 51 weeks of the year. Here’s where my search begins:
Junk Stock Categories I’m Digging Through…
Single Digit Telecom Gear Makers
Southeastern Regional Banks
One-Drug Biotech Companies
Stocks With Ticker Symbols That End In "X"
China Automotive Suppliers
China Agricultural Companies
China Pharmaceutical Plays
China Anything, Come To Think Of It
Dry Bulk Shippers
Canadian Gold Miners Trading Under $4
Nuclear Power-Related Names
Wind Technology Plays
Geothermal Energy Stories
Great Product/ Bad Business Stocks
Companies Pretending To Have Swine Flu Cures
Stocks That issue More Press Releases Than A Tiger Woods Mistress
Anything Nanotechnology Related
Bankruptcy Candidates With Newly Extended Credit Lines
Any Stock Held By Mark Cuban
Stocks Nicknamed The "blank" Of Asia
Stem Cell Anything
I don’t recommend anyone follow me into this type of thing, only the big boys and the hair-triggers should really play this game. Its an ugly, filthy, risky way to take advantage of the last week of the year, but it sure is fun to watch these stocks get worked up!
Quick reminder: Never trade based on anything you read here. My opinions are subject to change 30 seconds after writing.
This is the second installment in my comments on Bo Cutter’s essay defending Treasury Secretary Geithner. Bo was a managing partner of Warburg Pincus, a major global private equity firm and led President Obama’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) transition team. He was Bob Rubin’s deputy at the National Economic Council. The first installment discussed Bo’s extraordinary indictment of the finance industry.
Bo views Geithner as a martyr subjected to unfounded, ungrateful attacks for his actions that prevented the Second Great Depression. Bo doesn’t have much use for Americans that are upset with the senior managers of the finance industry. (This is a bit weird because Bo denounces these senior managers as universally incompetent, cowardly, and unethical.)
[L]iberals hate [Geithner] because he did not take over or dismember the banks, and publicly execute their senior managements.
This passage tells us nothing about liberals, but much about Bo and his peers’ fears of the public. The finance leaders know they are guilty of destroying much of the global economy — while growing extraordinarily wealthy in the process. They know that their primary means of destruction was accounting “control fraud.” They cannot understand why the public has not turned on the finance industry and demanded that the fraudulent financial leaders be prosecuted and their immense gains from fraud recovered. They also cannot understand why we allow the continued existence of systemically dangerous institutions (SDIs). Geithner, Paulson, and Bernanke have warned that the failure of any SDI could cause a global crisis. Under their logic, SDIs are ticking time bombs that will cause recurrent global crises. Geithner, like Paulson, is making the SDIs much larger and much more dangerous by using them to acquire other large, failed financial institutions. This policy is insane. Virtually no one (that isn’t on their payroll) supports the continued existence of SDIs and no one publicly argues they should…
Bill Black explains how Bo Cutter’s defense of Tim Geithner reveals the fraud and failure that plagued the financial sector long before the crisis.
Bo Cutter has presented the best possible defense of Treasury Secretary Geithner.
It is a remarkable defense because it is premised on a scathing indictment of Wall Street, theoclassical economics, modern finance, and the sycophants that the financial community installed as anti-regulators. Indeed, Bo’s account is sometimes particularly credible because it is a confession. Bo was a managing partner of Warburg Pincus, a major global private equity firm and led President Obama’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) transition team. His defense of Geithner provides so rich a vein of ore that I will mine it in three installments: (1) Bo’s indictment of the finance industry, Greenspan, Geithner, Paulson and Bernanke, (2) the martyrdom of Geithner, and (3) Geithner as Bo’s Last Action Hero.
Bo’s explanation of Geithner’s unique virtues begins the indictment.
It comes down to this: the combination of brains, guts, calmness, and a willingness to act are virtually non-existent in Washington in any era, but particularly in this one. When you find the combination in a significant cabinet level job, you should value it.
[T]his crisis was long in coming and it was a totally integrated failure of intellectual traditions, global macro-economic imbalances, government policy making, regulatory supervision, financial sector greed, incomprehensible boards of directors, absences without leave, and breath-taking management short-sightedness. No one and no institution put together an understanding of the set of factors that triggered this particular debacle. Tim [Geithner] is included in this “no one”, but so is everyone else.
I think the last two years have revealed the single largest failure of senior management in the financial sector, and of the board system in American history. I think I am correct in saying that there was not a single independent director in America who stood up on this issue. I do not understand why every board of every institution that failed was not asked to resign immediately.
Bo’s indictment is compelling, but his logic proves a deeper failure. There is no reason to restrict his indictment to “the last two years.” The senior managers’ and directors’ failure did not begin with the recession.…
The warning signs have been everywhere since the beginning, growing ever clearer with each new valuation round, IPO launch, and earnings cycle emanating from Silicon Valley.
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of the post Dot-Com ruins people were told not only was it “different this time,” they were also instructed to observe even the phoenix bird itself had morphed into what is now commonly referred to as a “Unicorn.” And any comparisons to the prior meltdown in the land of Dot-Com were met with howls and scowls of, “You just don&rs...
A quick post before the Superbowl begins. Friday's action was very disappointing if you were in the bullish camp; poor jobs data contributing to the malaise. However, investors can view this as another buying opportunity, with the Nasdaq clocking the 10% percentile of historic weak prices dating back to 1971, and the Russell 2000 making fast work of a push back to 958. Again, it's not about investing everything at once, but perhaps using the coming year(?) to build long term positions. I would be happier to see a 40-60% trim from highs - keep an eye on my bottom watch table, but this is the kind of action which helps reset the bulls count.
The S&P registered a clear break of rising trend. Volume was lighter, so it wasn't necessarily a panic sell. And while it could be viewed as a breakown, the glass half full crew would see this as a drop back...
Last week, I discussed the boost the market received as the BOJ made an unexpected move into negative interest rate territory combined with end of the month buying by portfolio managers. I wrote:
“However, the announcement by the Bank of Japan (BOJ) to implement negative interest rates in a desperate last attempt to boost economic growth in Japan was only the catalyst that ignited the bulls. The “fuel” for the buying came from the end of the month portfolio buying by fund managers.”
But more importantly, was the push higher by stocks that I have been discussing with you over the last couple of weeks. ...
Throughout the past 30 days of wild volatility, here’s what I didn’t do.
Panic. Worry. Sell.
In fact, the best I did was add to a couple of positions yesterday. The world was already in an uncertain state for the past 3+ years. It’s just that with the market rising, we pushed the issue to the back of our mind and ignored it.
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A number of systemic, structural forces are intersecting in 2016. One is the rise of non-state, non-central-bank-issued crypto-currencies.
We all know money is created and distributed by governments and central banks. The reason is simple: control the money and you control everything.
The invention of the blockchain and crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin have opened the door to non-state, non-central-bank currencies--money that is global and independent of any state or central bank, or indeed, any bank, as crypto-currencies are structurally peer-to-peer, meaning they don't require a bank to function: people can exchange crypto-currencies to pay for goods and services without a bank acting as a clearinghouse for all these transactions.
Last year, the S&P 500 large caps closed 2015 essentially flat on a total return basis, while the NASDAQ 100 showed a little better performance at +8.3% and the Russell 2000 small caps fell -5.9%. Overall, stocks disappointed even in the face of modest expectations, especially the small caps as market leadership was mostly limited to a handful of large and mega-cap darlings.
Notably, the full year chart for the S&P 500 looks very much like 2011. It got off to a good start, drifted sideways for...
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Baxter Int. (BAX) is splitting off its BioSciences division into a new company called Baxalta. Shares of Baxalta will be given as a tax-free dividend, in the ratio of one to one, to BAX holders on record on June 17, 2015. That means, if you want to receive the Baxalta dividend, you need to buy the stock this week (on or before June 12).
Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself.
This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible. Feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts. After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.) Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.
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