by phil - January 23rd, 2015 8:31 am
It sounds like a lot of money but, already today, it's worth $40Bn less than it was on Tuesday. Since Draghi's QE program doesn't begin until mid-March, at this pace (-$20Bn a day) by March 20th the whole Trillion will be gone – how's that for a magic trick?
Of course we don't think the Euro will keep falling to zero over the next 50 days but losing 2% per day of your entire net worth, even for just a couple of days, is bound to have some investors jumpy about their Euro-denomiated assets. That's why the Euro continues to slip towards parity today ($1 per Euro), hitting $1.11 this morning, after opening yesterday at $1.165.
Our mighty Dollar flew up to 95.77 this morning as investors flocked to safer harbors. It's really the US or nothing now as Abe has desroyed they Yen and China's Bad-Loan Ratio jumped 10% in Q4, now making up 1.29% of outstanding debt and forecast to climb to 1.6% by the year's end.
The 0.13 percentage-point increase in the bad-loan ratio was the biggest since the regulator began compiling quarterly data in 2004 and another 0.31% by the end of 2015 will, of course, make this the worst year on record.
Nonetheless, we are back on a bullish run in the Global Markets as everyone loves free money. Well, everyone who's rich, anyway – and anyone else doesn't matter, so party on people!
As I mentioned in yesterday's post, we were long in the morning, then flipped short after Draghi's announcement gave us an initial pop and then we flipped long again at 10:28 in our Live Member Chat Room and you can see how well those calls went for the day.
Those of you who read us regularly know that our long line for Natural Gas Futures (/TF) is $2.825 and we got anoter entry there yesterday as well with a very nice $750 per contract run back to $2.90 yet again (and up over $1,000 this morning at $2.925).
by phil - January 22nd, 2015 8:23 am
I've got Draghi fever, she's got Draghi fever
We've got Draghi fever, we're in debt
She's gone Dollar crazy, I've gone Euro hazy
Ain't no thinking maybe, we're in Debt
The ECB kept rates on hold this morning but that doesn't matter.
What matters is the unveiling of Mr. Draghi's mad plan to boost the EU Economy (such as it is) through a bond-buying program of AT LEAST $55Bn per month. Anything less than that will be VERY DISAPPOINTING as the markets have already baked in some massive QE from Draghi and the ECB.
Realistically, there's almost nothing Draghi can do to "fix" Europe today or to meet the inflated expectations of the market.
Sure we may get a pop on a nice program but it's not likely to last and we still have the Greek elections on Sunday, which can throw the whole Union back into turmoil next week.
As you can see from the chart above, Draghi is expected to annound a stimulus program that already puts the ECB's balance sheet back to where it was at the height of the Greek crisis (the 2nd one) and that's without (officially) a new Greek crisis – so it's a Hell of a lot of firepower spent just to fight the deflationary bogey-man.
As noted by Bloomberg, Draghi still has to negotiate the tricky issue of buying government bonds at the negative yields currently prevailing across much of the euro zone. Paying for the privilege of storing money in, say, a three-year French bond effectively locks in a capital loss if you get back less than you paid.
A lawyer could argue that that constitutes "monetary financing" of governments, which is forbidden by the monetary union treaty. Draghi has already seen off one legal challenge to his power to buy bonds; that fight may be rekindled in the near future.
by phil - January 21st, 2015 8:15 am
The state of the union is STRONG!
That was the word from our President last night as he set the agenda for his last two years in office. The GOP response was a very predictable no way and Uncle Rupert's Journal didn't waste a second publishing a front-page editorial blasting the President for his ridiculous idea of having the rich pay their fair share of taxes in order to improve the lot of the middle class.
In the 1944 film “Gaslight,” a con artist manipulates his new wife psychologically to make her doubt her own sanity in a scheme to steal her inheritance. That’s increasingly the way to understand President Obama ’s behavior toward Congress and especially the tax increase he floated in Tuesday’s State of the Union. The only plausible rationale is that he thinks he can gain politically by driving Republicans nuts.
It goes downhill from there… The true State of the Union is going to be two years of gridlock and bickering with nothing much being done – not too different from the last 6 years or the rest of the century, which has seen average household income drop 10% while the top 1% tripled their wealth.
Can we really afford 2 more years of the same? Romney and Bush III want to make it 10 if they can. Joni Ernst (I know, who?) delivered the GOP response, which centered on a promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, "which has hurt so many American Families," though she couldn't actually name one, when asked later. Instead, in her speech she said:
by phil - January 20th, 2015 8:17 am
2,027 is our goal today for the S&P.
After that, we'll turn our attention to 2,040 tomorrow (the 10% line on our Big Chart) and we need 22 Nasdaq points to make that strong bounce line and then we'll look for 4,700 to come back on MORE FREE MONEY from the ECB on Thusday.
Our Bounce Lines from last were were (and still are):
China made their own weak bounce overnight and that's already enough to get our Futures back on track but, as you can see from the chart on the left – this morning's bounce to 3,173 erases only 50 points out of a 275-point drop, which just happens to be the very definition of a weak bounce per our 5% Rule™.
by phil - January 19th, 2015 5:21 am
It's Martin Luther King day so the markets are closed.
It's a good day to read his "I Have a Dream" speech – really is amazing when you think of the great social change in this nation that was set in motion by one man with a vision. Here's a great video of the actual event.
It is a testament to the power and effectiveness of Dr. King's movement that, even to those of us who were alive at the time, it seems like it must have been another world where a man had to speak out against such injustice as if it wasn't obvious to the majority of people that segragation, whether by law or by practice, was an outrage.
Sadly, many of the lessons he taught us have already been forgotten, some great quotes:
- Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.
- Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.
- It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it.
- The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.
- Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
- Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.
- We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
- The past is prophetic in that it asserts loudly that wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.
- A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.
- A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.
- One of the greatest casualties of
by phil - January 16th, 2015 8:14 am
It's been this kind of week:
The hits just keep on coming as bad news is suddenly bad news for the markets and even the promise of Draghi waving his money wand next week isn't enough to keep investors in equities. $4.1Bn flowed out of US-based stock funds according to Lipper while $4.3Bn went into bond funds – driving TLT all the way to $135, where we decided to initiate a short position in our Short-Term Portfolio.
Our STP finished the day yesterday up 92.5% and we're still very much on the bear side, up 16.6% for the week ($16,600) while the S&P fell 3.3% – AND THAT IS HOW YOU HEDGE! Yes, our bigger and bullish Long-Term Portfolio lost 1.8%, but that was "only" $8,600 so our net for the week is up $8,000 as our BE THE HOUSE – Not the Gambler strategy continues to pay off for the first two weeks of 2015.
Of course $8,000 a week is $400,000 a year (+66% to our $600K start), so it's not likely that we will be as much on the right side of trades all year as we were this week, but it's a fantastic example of how well our balanced portfolio approach works under extreme market conditions. We made only a couple of minor adjustments (like adding the TLT shorts) but, for the most part – we don't have to do anything to get that performance when we call the direction right.
Monday is a holiday in the US, so we're certainly not inclined to flip bullish today – or even neutral, for that matter. All of our weak bounce lines were broken, which is what we feared would happen on Tuesday, when we set them. Fortunately, our 5% Rule™ prevented us from capitulating during the run-up last week and now we are reaping the rewards on the way down!
Last Friday, for example, we mentioned that our Members had added $13,000 of TZA longs to our Short-Term Portfolio and TZA has rocketed up from $12.33 (a trade idea we published for free for…
by phil - January 15th, 2015 7:15 am
Oil hit $50 just after midnight, /NG topped out at $3.37, gasoline at $1.385 and the markets spiked up almost 1%. India cut their reserve rates 0.25% – a total surprise. Also, positive notes from China and /NKD is up from 16,600 yesterday to 17,200 just now (and I like /NKD short on that line with tight stops above).
Just two hours later, ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE and the Nikkei dropped 300 points (now more) and those /NKD shorts gained $1,500 in just two hours. That one was more luck than skill as the Swiss National Bank made a VERY SURPRISING announcement that they were removing their 3+-year currency peg to the Euro and that sent the EUR/CHF pair from the usual 1.20 all the way down to 0.85 before stabilizing at about 1.02, down 20% in minutes!
Needless to say, hedge funds who made the very usual, very normal short bet on the Swiss Frank are F'd this morning. As the Euro had been very weak recently, there were a large amount of short bets on the Franc (CHF) in expectations of the SNB stepping up their Euro-buying program to get back to their usual 1.20 goal.
But nooooooooooooooooooooo! They went the other way by 20% and, as I reminded our Members this morning, those wrong way currency contracts (and there are 1M of them on this chart) lose $1,100 PER PENNY move. That's $22,000 on a 0.20 move in CHF x 1M = $22Bn in losses this morning for currency traders. Someone is gonna have some 'splainin' to do!
I already sent out a detailed tweet on the subject earlier this morning, so you can delve further into the subject at your leisure. For now we should contemplate the…
by phil - January 14th, 2015 8:12 am
The World Bank has downgraded the Global Economy.
According to today's report, the Global Economy will slow to a 3% growth rate, down 10% from the previously projected 3.4% calculated in June. That's a pretty alarming rate of decline in the 2nd half of the year, don't you think? The report adds to signs of a growing disparity between the U.S. and other major economies while tempering any optimism that a plunge in oil prices will boost output. Risks to the global recovery are “significant and tilted to the downside,” with dangers including a spike in financial volatility, intensifying geopolitical tensions and prolonged stagnation in the euro region or Japan.
“The global economy today is much larger than what it used to be, so it’s a case of a larger train being pulled by a single engine, the American one,” World Bank Chief Economist Kaushik Basu told reporters on a conference call. “This does not make for a rosy outlook for the world.”
The bank sees average oil prices falling 32 percent this year, a decline that’s historically associated with a boost to global GDP of about 0.5 percent. Yet the impact on growth may be smaller in 2015 and 2016 because of other headwinds including weak confidence that encourages saving rather than spending, and a “significant” income shift from oil-producing countries to those that are net consumers, the World Bank said.
In other words, all those things we have been telling you to worry about were actually things you should have been worried about. As I mentioned to you in Friday Morning's post, we added back $13,000 worth of TZA (ultra-short Russell) spreads in expectations of negative economic news this week. Those spreads have a $17,000 upside (130%) if the Russell fails to hold 1,170, which is right where we bounced off yesterday (the -2.5% line).
We'll see if that line holds up today, as well as our two remaining Strong Bounce Lines (see yesterday's post for predictions that came true) of Dow 17,460 and Nasdaq 4,656. As we…
by phil - January 13th, 2015 7:52 am
Wow, I'm getting dizzy.
I'd say the market is like a roller-coaster but there are no roller-coasters that make moves this crazy. Unfortunately, all this zig-zagging up and down is only serving to exhaust the erstwhile dip buyers, who haven't been getting quite the easy ride they've become used to over the past few years.
More importantly, we are NOT making our Strong Bounce Lines per our 5% Rule™, which has kept us from chasing these bounces as we just haven't quite gotten over the hump at:
As you can see, only the Dow has really cleared it's goal by any significant amount with the S&P right on the line and the NYSE and Russell pulling up the rear. All should be over at the open as we're getting a 1% pop in Europe, where inflation is so low that investors are CERTAIN that Draghi will come and save the day a week from Thursday (22nd) at the next scheduled meeting.
by phil - January 12th, 2015 8:00 am
What an "impressive" recovery we had last week.
After starting out down 750 Dow points we took 500 of them back overall, which gives us a still-constructive picture on the weekly chart – much better than the dreaded head and shoulders formation we would have had if we had finished around 17,500.
So that should make the chart people happy and this morning the Futures are up a bit, even though oil is down 2.5% as Goldman Sachs took advantage of a sleepy Monday Morning to come out with a MAJOR DOWNGRADE ON OIL that calls for $41 oil in 3 months, down from their previously totally wrong forecast of $70 (for WTIC).
Since GS was "only" off by 42% in their previous forecast, of course their current forecast is moving the markets as the beautiful sheeple stampede out of long positions. We're thrilled to see GS send oil to new lows as it makes it cheaper for us to buy longs. Last week alone 35 rigs were shut down at Bakken (61 overall) and, as we already calculated in our ongoing oil study, the average rig pumps 1,000 barrels a day, which means 61 rigs takes 427,000 barrels out of inventory starting next week.
GS knows this and they know the bottom is much closer than April – they just want to force the retail buyers (including their own clients) out of long positions so they and their preferred clients (the top 0.01%) can load up on longs and make a fortune when oil does come back.
You can see on their chart (left) that they are still projecting a $65 average for 2016 but GS knows (as do we) that the average investor has more like a 3-month time-frame, at most, and has no interest in what will happen a whole year from now – even if it could make them 50% if they simply make an investment now.
Fortunately, at PSW, we teach our Members not to be sheeple and, as I often say to our Members:
"We don't care IF the game is rigged as