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Posts Tagged ‘indicators’

On Reflexivity & Animal Spirits: What Moves the Market from Here?

Kent Thune’s wonderful blog The Financial Philosopher is not just a financial site, it’s a "learning experience."  I highly recommend that you visit him and read some of his latest inspirational articles, such as Get Busy Livin’ or Get Busy Dyin’To Embrace Death is to Embrace Life, and Entrepreneurs: Use Your Delusion, Sell the Illusion. – Ilene

On Reflexivity & Animal Spirits: What Moves the Market from Here?

ITAR-TASS 02: IRKUTSK REGION, RUSSIA. NOVEMBER 30, 2008. Early twentieth century German pendulum clock with a statuette of Mnemosyne, Greek goddess of memory, on display at the Clock Museum, Angarsk, Irkutsk Region, Russia. (Photo ITAR-TASS / Nikolai Ryutin) Photo via Newscom

Courtesy of Kent Thune, at The Financial Philosopher

Are capital markets leading economic indicators or do they provide fuel for a growing economy? Or is it both? Isn’t the function of capital markets to raise capital for the financing of corporate and government operations through the sale of securities (stocks and bonds)?

If the stock market is rising, would this not then create the economic condition it is "predicting" as an economic indicator? In the absence of government stimulus, might financial markets save themselves? If so, how? Can financial markets rise spontaneously or do they require a fundamental boost or outside stimulation?

Capital markets have many functions and their participants have numerous objectives; however, we may simplify them all into two basic categorical functions: 1) Passive and 2) Active. Depending upon economic conditions and variables, capital markets can play one or both rolls. Consider recent comments by George Soros (Hat tip to Captain Jack):

…financial markets do not play a purely passive role; they can also affect the so-called fundamentals they are supposed to reflect. These two functions that financial markets perform work in opposite directions. In the passive or cognitive function, the fundamentals are supposed to determine market prices. In the active or manipulative function market, prices find ways of influencing the fundamentals. When both functions operate at the same time, they interfere with each other. The supposedly independent variable of one function is the dependent variable of the other, so that neither function has a truly independent variable. As a result, neither market prices nor the underlying reality is fully determined. Both suffer from an element of uncertainty that cannot be quantified. I call the interaction between the two functions reflexivity…

Mr. Soros’ idea of reflexivity asserts, as he says, "that financial markets do not necessarily tend toward equilibrium; they can…
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S&P 500: On a knife’s edge

S&P 500: On a knife’s edge

Courtesy of Prieur du Plessis, Investment Postcards from Cape Town

Last Thursday was a so-called 90% down-day for American stock markets (and many other bourses also recorded downward dynamics). A 90% down-day is defined as a day when downside volume equals 90% or more of the total upside plus downside volume and points lost equal 90% or more of the total points gained plus points lost. The historical record show that 90% down-days do not usually occur as a single incident on the bottom day of an important decline, but typically on a number of occasions throughout a major decline. As far as the very short term is concerned, 90% down-days are often followed by two- to seven-day bounces.

The stock market is on a knife’s edge at the moment as seen in the chart below, showing the long-term trend of the S&P 500 Index (green line) together with a simple 12-month rate of change (ROC) indicator (red line). Although monthly indicators are of little help when it comes to market timing, they do come in handy for defining the primary trend. An ROC line below zero depicts bear trends as experienced in 1990, 1994, 2000 to 2003, and in 2007. And 2010? With the ROC delicately perched just above the zero line, the primary trend is still bullish, but barely so.

Source: StockChart.com.

Regarding seasonality, I have done a short analysis of the historical pattern of monthly returns for the S&P 500 Index from 1950 to August 2010. The results are summarized in the graph below.

Source: Plexus Asset Management (based on data from I-Net Bridge).

As shown, the six-month period from May to October has historically been weaker than the period from November to April as seen in the average monthly return of 1.05% for the “good six months” compared with 0.25%% for the “bad six months”. Importantly, when considering individual months, September (-0.18%) and October (-0.19%) have historically been the only two negative months of the year. (A word of warning, though: one should take cognizance of seasonality but understand that it is not a stand-alone indicator and it is anybody’s guess whether a specific year will conform to the historical pattern.)

Where does this leave us at this juncture? Considering an array of indicators, we are somewhat in no-man’s land regarding whether the bull or bear will…
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Fibozachi Forecast: Week of April 26th

Trading ideas for early next week. Courtesy of Fibozachi.

FF

  

Short Trade Candidates

GME: Gamestop (Short-Term to Intermediate-Term) 

Current Price25.22

Candlestick PatternsNone

 

After rallying for eight consecutive weeks, Gamestop appears due for a pullback that allows price to digest gains and consolidate before re-testing a wide band of horizontal resistance that spans 26 – 28.  With price quickly approaching resistance at 26.05, the chances of registering a multi-week swing high appear well above-average.  Last week’s narrow range (near doji) plotted alongside the highest weekly volume tally since the first week of January.  This type of high-volume ‘churn’ is a flashing yellow light, warning of possible inflection ahead.

 

EntryImmediate (with daily confirmation) or with a move below 24.77

Target (Short-Term)22.75

Target (Long-Term)21.11

Stop-Loss26.06 or higher

Potential Risk:  $1.29

Potential Reward (Short-Term)$2.02

Potential Reward (Long-Term)$3.66

Reward: Risk Ratio1.6  &  2.8

 

GME

 


WAT: Waters Corporation (Short-Term to Long-Term)

Current Price70.03

Candlestick PatternsDoji

 

Last week’s high-volume doji marked an end to WAT’s eleven week non-stop rally from 56 – 72 and now is an ideal time to begin looking the other way.  WAT appears primed to pullback towards 63 over the next few weeks, where even a bull flag would target 64 – 65 before inflecting.  An extended move would carry price down towards the previous swing low area of 56 – 57 from the first week of February.

 

EntryImmediate (with daily confirmation) or with a move below 68.36

Target (Short-Term)63.00

Target (Long-Term)57.00

Stop-Loss71.62 or higher

Potential Risk$3.26

Potential Reward (Short-Term)$5.36

Potential Reward (Long-Term)$11.36

Reward: Risk Ratio1.6  &  3.5

 

WAT

 


 

LINTA: Liberty Media Holdings (Intermediate-Term to Long-Term)

Current Price16.38

Candlestick PatternsDoji (Perfect)

 

LINTA has now registered back-to-back dojis up at a previous swing high, which is a specific trading setup that we scan across markets for each and every day.  While last week finally provided a bit of venting for Liberty’s eleven week monster rally, price popped back up at week’s end to close just a single penny lower for the week; some weekly…
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THE BIG MONEY IS BULLISH WHILE SMALL MONEY IS BEARISH

THE BIG MONEY IS BULLISH WHILE SMALL MONEY IS BEARISH

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist  

Bear and bull sculptures outside the Frankfurt stock exchange

As a futures trader I routinely check the commitment of traders report released by the CFTC.  For those who aren’t familiar with the report it is a breakdown provided by the CTFC of each Tuesday’s open interest for market positions in which 20 or more traders hold positions equal to or above the reporting levels established by the CFTC.  It’s widely followed in trading circles and gives a glimpse into what the big money, commercial money and even the small money is doing with their positions.

What piqued my interest in this data were comments in Tuesday’s “Breakfast with Dave” by Gluskin Sheff’s David Rosenberg implying that the equity markets were overly bullish because the commitment of traders showed a net bullish position of 151,000 contracts.  Let’s put this in context, however.  (See here for the current allocation of large institutions – a much more useful indicator).

I have found over the years that the commitment of traders report tends to be a fairly weak short-term indicator.  In fact, the COT tends to be more useful in following the long-term trends of large institutions and where they are currently investing money.  Mr. Rosenberg’s implication that the current net bullish position should be seen as a contrarian sign is not necessarily true.  After all, big money moves prices and knowing where the big money is going is more often than not a good indicator of where to put your money as opposed to what to avoid.  But let’s go even further.

One of my favorite indicators is actually the reporting of small speculators in the CFTC’s report.  This shows us what the amateur and small-time futures traders are doing with their money.  I have found over the years that this is a fairly reliable contrarian indicator.  As you can see in the chart below these traders were net bullish in just 4 weeks over the last year.  The last time small traders were substantially net bullish was just before the market crumbled at the beginning of 2009.  But what is it telling us now? As of last week’s report it is showing the largest net short position since the week following the March 8th bottom.  In other words, small speculators were this…
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Phil's Favorites

Pact With the Devil? Syriza Projection 150 Seats; Coalition Deal Already; "Indisputable Mandate to Leave Austerity"

Courtesy of Mish.

One Short of Outright Majority

With vote counting nearly over, it appears Syriza captured exactly half of the 300 member Greek parliament with approximately 36.3% of the vote compared to 27.8% for New Democracy.

That was a solid trouncing, nearly double the 4-5% expected margin (see Syriza Trounces New Democracy; Greeks Stop Paying Taxes; Run on Greek Banks Escalates; Get Out!)

Syriza is one vote short of an outright majority. However, Syriza has already secured an alliance with the Independent Greeks, a right-wing party that shares little common ground with Syriza except for its rejection of austerity measures.

The coalition would have at least 162 seats, and that's an allegedly comfortabl...



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Sabrient

Sector Detector: With the Fed fading into shadows, investors look overseas for new catalysts

Reminder: Sabrient is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

By Scott Martindale

Last week, the S&P 500 put an end to its streak of weekly losses, despite giving back some gains on Friday. Thursday provided the big catalyst, with the ECB’s announcement of its bold new monetary stimulus plan. Investors were cheered and soothed for the moment. And U.S. fundamentals still look strong. But with Greece trying to turn back time, with volatility elevated (and likely to continue as such), and with the technical situation still dicey, the near term outlook is still worrisome.

In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart...



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Zero Hedge

Israel's President Refuses To Meet With Obama

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

While Obama is doing everything in his power to show that when it comes to commiserating with the Saudis, he is first in line, the US relationship with that "other" US ally in the region, Israel, is in a fast and furious state of "crash and burn."

Recall, that it was yesterday when it was revealed that President Obama will forgo a visit to the Taj Mahal during his visit to India in order to pay respects in Saudi Arabia after the death of King Abdullah, the White House announced early Saturday morning. Vice President Biden was initially scheduled to lead the U.S. delegation, but he will instea...



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Chart School

Three Charts to Watch

Courtesy of Declan.

A bit of a hodgepodge of charts to review. I'll start with my favourite of the bunch: the relationship between oil and gold prices. Peaks in the relative price between these commodities have historically provided swing lows for commodities - oil in particular. Certainly, sufficient time has passed between peaks to mark a major low.


The relationship between Nasdaq Highs and Lows doesn't suggest we have reached any major inflection yet. Ideally, Nasdaq Lows should spike above 100 to mark a major low, with 200+ for 'back up the truck' style low.

...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: David is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of January 19th, 2015

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Market Shadows

Are You Trading or Gambling?

ARE YOU TRADING OR GAMBLING?

An interview with John Ehlers of Stock Spotter and Mesa Software

By Ilene

Ilene: John, in our last discussion about trading systems in general and yours in particular (Can trading be reduced to cycles, stresses and vibrations?) you mentioned Monte Carlo simulations and their use in measuring performance. Can you explain more about how you measure the performance of a trading system?

John: Let's start with comparing trading with gambling. The two have several things in common.  In both ...



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Digital Currencies

Jitters After Bitcoin Exchange Suspends Services

So as I was saying yesterday (Bitcoin: The Biggest Clown Show In History?), Bitcoin has several obstacles on the path to potential success as an alternative currency. But I forgot to mention hacking and theft at Bitcoin exchanges and other technical problems. This is related to the lack of government backing and the fact that the value of Bitcoins is based entirely on confidence.  

Jitters After Bitcoin Exchange Suspends Services 

By 



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Pharmboy

2015 - Biotech Fever

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

PSW Members - well, what a year for biotechs!   The Biotech Index (IBB) is up a whopping 40%, beating the S&P hands down!  The healthcare sector has had a number of high flying IPOs, and beat the Tech Sector in total nubmer of IPOs in the past 12 months.  What could go wrong?

Phil has given his Secret Santa Inflation Hedges for 2015, and since I have been trying to keep my head above water between work, PSW, and baseball with my boys...it is time that something is put together for PSW on biotechs in 2015.

Cancer and fibrosis remain two of the hottest areas for VC backed biotechs to invest their monies.  A number of companies have gone IPO which have drugs/technologies that fight cancer, includin...



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Stock World Weekly

Stock World Weekly

Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW, comments are found below each post.

Here's this week's Stock World Weekly.

Click here and sign in with your user name and password. 

 

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Option Review

SPX Call Spread Eyes Fresh Record Highs By Year End

Stocks got off to a rocky start on the first trading day in December, with the S&P 500 Index slipping just below 2050 on Monday. Based on one large bullish SPX options trade executed on Wednesday, however, such price action is not likely to break the trend of strong gains observed in the benchmark index since mid-October. It looks like one options market participant purchased 25,000 of the 31Dec’14 2105/2115 call spreads at a net premium of $2.70 each. The trade cost $6.75mm to put on, and represents the maximum potential loss on the position should the 2105 calls expire worthless at the end of December. The call spread could reap profits of as much as $7.30 per spread, or $18.25mm, in the event that the SPX ends the year above 2115. The index would need to rally 2.0% over the current level...



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Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

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 jennifersurovy@yahoo.com 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.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-get-shadowfax-out-from-the-darkness-of-medical-bills-/126743

Thank you for you time!




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Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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