Posts Tagged ‘yield curve’

$10,000 Tuesday – One Trade To Make Your Month!

RUT WEEKLYHow would you like to make $10,000?

If the Russell can finish this option period (24 days) 2.5% higher, at 1,178 or higher, we can turn net $1,000 or less cash into $10,000 for you.  After all, if the Fed is going to give away money – why shouldn't we get our share?

I'll preface this by saying that our Members are already long on Russell Futures at the 1,150 line, as we made that call in our live Member Chat Room (become a Member here) earlier this morning.   

If the market is going to remain bullet-proof (and missile-proof too, it seems) then the RUT is now the lagging index and we can construct a play to take advantage of it breaking back up by making a play on TNA, the 3x Ultra-Long Russell ETF.  

Very simply, if we buy the August $72.50 calls for $3.45 and we sell the Aug $76.50 calls for $1.70, we have a net cost of $1.75 on the $4 spread that's $4.64 out of the money (at goal) and that's 6.4% out of the money so, to be safe, we'll need a 2.5% gain on the Russell, from 1,150 to 1,178.75 to make the full $4.  25 contracts at $4 = $10,000 so we can work with that.

But what about the cost of the 25 contracts (at $1.70 x 2,500, that's $4,250)?  Well, there's a couple of ways to offset that.  One way is to sell 25 TNA Aug $65 puts for $1.70 to offset the cost.  The danger there is, if the Russell goes down 2.5% (to 1,121) or lower, we'll be assigned 2,500 shares of TNA for $65 ($162,500) – that could be unpleasant. 

Instead, we can commit to being long TNA at $45 in 2016 by selling just 5 2016 $45 puts for $8, and that raises $4,000 and commits us to owning "just" 500 shares of TNA at $45 per share ($22,500).  

Now, if you don't want to be bullish on the Russell when TNA is down 37% (Russell 1,006), then why are you long on it at 1,150?  

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There are few indicators more prescient than the yield curve. Over the years the curve has successfully predicted all but two post WW2 recessions.  In the last 40 years it is 7 for 7 in predicting recessions.  A negative yield curve is generally consistent with a Federal Reserve that is attempting to cool the economy.  Clearly, they have a tendency to overshoot.

The current curve, however, is quite steep and tends to be consistent with a Federal Reserve that is attempting to stimulate the economy (something they also have a tendency of overshooting).  Based on past readings the Cleveland Fed says the current environment is consistent with 1% growth in real GDP:

“Projecting forward using past values of the spread and GDP growth suggests that real GDP will grow at about a 1.0 percent rate over the next year, the same projection as in October and September. Although the time horizons do not match exactly, this comes in on the more pessimistic side of other forecasts, although, like them, it does show moderate growth for the year.”

But meager growth is better than no growth.  At current levels the probability of recession is virtually 0%. Unfortunately, low growth means this is going to continue feeling like a recession for a large portion of the country.  And in a balance sheet recession the usual Fed toolbox of altering interest rates is unlikely to have the usual stimulative impact.


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Treasury Rally Continues in Normal Fashion; No Reason to be Short Treasuries

Treasury Rally Continues in Normal Fashion; No Reason to be Short Treasuries

Courtesy of Mish

In the wake of anemic retail sales in July, treasuries could have been expected to rally and they did.

Yield Curve as of 2008-08-13

Curve Watchers Anonymous notes that the biggest treasury gains (drops in yield), occurred on the longest durations. This is a normal yield curve reaction.

This is in contrast to the pattern we have been seeing for weeks, with the middle of the curve reacting the strongest.

Here is a chart over time from Front Running the Fed – Who Knew?

Once again the 7-year treasury is in the sweet spot.

click on chart for sharper image

Yield Curve May 2009 Thru Present

click on chart for sharper image

The 30-year long bond has finally broken through that shelf at the 4% mark. There is plenty of room for further rallies is the economic data remains weak. There is no reason to expect anything other than weakness, thus no reason to be short treasuries here.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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Albert Edwards Explains How The Leading Indicator Is Already Back Into Recession Territory And Why The Japan “Ice Age” Is Coming

Albert Edwards Explains How The Leading Indicator Is Already Back Into Recession Territory And Why The Japan "Ice Age" Is Coming


Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Albert Edwards reverts to his favorite economic concept, the "Ice Age" in his latest commentary piece, presenting another piece in the puzzle of similarities between the Japanese experience and that which the US is currently going through. A.E. boldly goes where Goldman only recently has dared to tread, by claiming that he expects negative GDP – not in 2011, but by the end of this year.  After all, if one looks beneath the headlines of even the current data set, it is not only the ECRI, but the US Coference Board’s Leading Index, Albert explains, that confirms that we are already in a recesion.

If one takes out the benefit of the steep yield curve as an input to the Leading Indicator metric, and a curve inversion physically impossible due to ZIRP and the zero bound already reaching out as far out as the 2 Year point (it appears the 2 Year may break below 0.5% this week), the result indicates that the US economy is already firmly in recession territory. Edwards explains further: "one of the key components for Conference Board leading indicator is the shape of the yield curve (10y-Fed Funds). This has been regularly adding 0.3-0.4% per month to the overall indicator, which is now falling mom! The simple fact is that with Fed Funds at zero, it is totally ridiculous to suggest there is any information content in the steep yield curve, which will now never predict a recession. Without this yield curve nonsense this key lead indicator is already predicting a recession."

All too obvious double dip aside, Edwards focuses on the disconnect between bonds and stocks, and synthesizes it as follows: "investors are finally accepting that what is going on in the West is indeed very similar to Japan a decade ago. For years my attempts to draw this parallel have been met with hoots of derision  but finally the penny is dropping." The primary disconnect in asset classes as the Ice Age unravels, for those familiar with Edwards work, is the increasing shift away from stocks and into bonds, probably best summarized by the chart below comparing global bond and equity yields – note the increasing decoupling. This is prefaced as follows:…
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Bernanke Says Economic Outlook is “Unusually Uncertain”, Fed Prepared for “Actions as Needed”

Bernanke Says Economic Outlook is "Unusually Uncertain", Fed Prepared for "Actions as Needed"

ben bernanke Courtesy of Mish

Be prepared for Quantitative Easing Round 2 (QE2) and/or other misguided Fed policy decisions because Bernanke Says Fed Ready to Take Action.

Treasuries rose, pushing two-year yields to the fourth record low in five days, as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the economic outlook is “unusually uncertain” and policy makers are prepared “to take further policy actions as needed.”

Ten-year note yields touched a three-week low as Bernanke said central bankers are ready to act to aid growth even as they prepare to eventually raise interest rates from almost zero and shrink a record balance sheet.

“An unusual outlook may call for unusual measures, and that means the Fed may take more action as needed, which would lead to lower rates,” said Suvrat Prakash, an interest-rate strategist in New York at BNP Paribas, one of the 18 primary dealers that trade with the central bank.

The Fed chief didn’t elaborate on steps the Fed might take as he affirmed the Fed’s policy of keeping rates low for an “extended period.” Economic data over the past month that were weaker than analysts projected have prompted investor speculation the Fed may increase monetary stimulus in a bid to keep the economy growing and reduce a jobless rate from close to a 26-year high.

“Bernanke acknowledged that things weren’t very strong economically and left action on the table without going into details, and that’s sending investors from stocks into bonds,” said James Combias, New York-based head of Treasury trading at primary dealer Mizuho Financial Group Inc.

Monetary Policy Report to the Congress July 2010

Inquiring minds are slogging through the 56 page Monetary Policy Report to the Congress July 2010. Here are a few key snips.

Summary of Economic Projections

Participants generally made modest downward revisions to their projections for real GDP growth for the years 2010 to 2012, as well as modest upward revisions to their projections for the unemployment rate for the same period.

Participants also revised down a little their projections for inflation over the forecast period. Several participants noted that these revisions were largely the result of the incoming economic data and the anticipated effects of developments abroad on U.S. financial markets and the economy. Overall, participants continued to expect the pace of the economic recovery to

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Bernanke Reiterates the Fed’s “Whatever It Takes” Pledge for the Thousandth Time

To summarize and save you time, Jr. Deputy Accountant writes

Bernanke Reiterates the Fed’s "Whatever It Takes" Pledge for the Thousandth Time

I won’t call Bernanke a one trick pony since he’s got more tricks than a Hollywood madam but I will say this: the man is nothing if not consistent.

USA Today:

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress Wednesday the economic outlook remains "unusually uncertain," and the central bank is ready to take new steps to keep the recovery alive if the economy worsens.

Testifying before the Senate Banking Committee, Bernanke also said record low interest rates are still needed to bolster the U.S. economy. He repeated a pledge to keep them there for an "extended period."

Whatever it takes!

Full text of Bernanke’s semi-annual monetary policy check-in with Congress may be found via the Board of Governors

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ECRI Weekly Leading Indicators at Negative 9.8; Has the ECRI Blown Yet Another Recession Call?

ECRI Weekly Leading Indicators at Negative 9.8; Has the ECRI Blown Yet Another Recession Call?

Courtesy of Mish

Inquiring minds have been watching the ECRI’s weekly leading index plunge nonstop since October of 2009. Moreover the WLI has been in negative territory for 6 consecutive weeks.

click on chart for sharper image

Is that a recession call by the ECRI? 

Absolutely not, at least as of June 14, according to Lakshman Achuthan managing director of ECRI who blasted the Wall Street Journal for misleading reporting.

The Business Insider discusses the situation in Why Last Week’s Collapsing ECRI Leading Indicator WASN’T A Recession Signal.

Following the Business Insider link back one step takes us to Jeff Miller’s "A Dash of Insight" Weighing the Week Ahead: Negativity Prevails where I see that I was cited along with the Wall Street Journal, Zero Hedge, the Pragmatic Capitalist, and the Financial Times for incorrect intrepretation of the WLI.

Miller quoting a comment in response to the Wall Street Journal article writes…

Meanwhile, in the comments there was a stern rebuke. Lakshman Achuthan wrote: 

While we certainly appreciate the attention given to our Weekly Leading Index, I’d like to clarify a few points raised in the article. First, according to the Economist magazine, “the ECRI” has not ever given false alarms on a recession forecast.

The purported false alarms from “the ECRI” mentioned in this article come from a mistaken and simplistic view that negative growth in ECRI’s Weekly Leading Index (WLI) is tantamount to a recession forecast. In fact, since 1983, cyclical downturns have taken WLI growth under the zero line a dozen times, but recessions have followed on only three of those occasions – times when ECRI actually made a recession forecast.

Since ECRI itself has never used WLI growth going negative as a recession signal, it is important that such “false alarms” are attributed not to ECRI or even to the WLI, but to what is a mistaken interpretation of the WLI.

In fact, at the very least, ECRI itself would need to see a “pronounced, pervasive and persistent” decline in the level of the WLI (not merely negative readings in its growth rate) following a “pronounced, pervasive and persistent” decline in ECRI’s U.S. Long Leading Index (not discussed in the article), before it makes a recession call.

Just The Facts Maam, Not The Spin
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Are we “Trending Towards Deflation” or in It?

Are we "Trending Towards Deflation" or in It?

Courtesy of Mish 

Paul Krugman is worried we are Trending Toward Deflation.

Inflation has been falling, but how close are we to deflation? I found myself wondering that after observing John Makin’s combusting coiffure, his prediction that we might see deflation this year.

Here’s the thing: the usual way inflation is measured is by looking at the change from a year earlier. But if inflation is trending lower, that’s a lagging indicator — if prices have been falling for the past few months, but were rising before that, inflation over the past year will still be positive. On the other hand, monthly data are noisy. So what to do?

Well, a crude approach would be simply to fit a trend line through those noisy monthly numbers. Here’s what happens when you do this for the Cleveland Fed’s median consumer price inflation number. On the vertical axis is the monthly inflation at an annual rate, on the horizontal axis months with Jan. 2008=0:

What I take from this is that deflation isn’t some distant possibility — it’s already here by some measures, not far off by others. And of course there isn’t some magic boundary effect when you cross zero; falling inflation is raising real interest rates and making debt problems worse as we speak.

There is a second chart and further discussion in Krugman’s article.

The Rising Threat of Deflation

The article Krugman referred to is The Rising Threat of Deflation. Here are a few snips highlighting Makin’s and Krugman’s concern over prices.

U.S. year-over-year core inflation has dropped to 0.9 percent—its lowest level in forty-four years. The six-month annualized core consumer price index inflation level has dropped even closer to zero, at 0.4 percent. Europe’s year-over-year core inflation rate has fallen to 0.8 percent—the lowest level ever reported in the series that began in 1991. Heavily indebted Spain’s year-over-year core inflation rate is down to 0.1 percent. Ireland’s deflation rate is 2.7 percent. As commodity prices slip, inflation will become deflation globally in short order.

Meanwhile in Japan, while analysts were touting Japan’s first-quarter real growth rate of 5 percent, few bothered to notice that over the past year Japan’s gross domestic product (GDP) deflator had fallen 2.8 percent, reflecting an accelerating pace of deflation in a country where the price level has been falling

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Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

Much has been made about the recent action in the bond market.  Yields have fallen to unheard of levels.  The inflationistas and curve steepener traders are bewildered.  It’s clear that bond investors are expecting very low inflation in the coming decade, but some fear it is portending far worse.  Famed bond guru Bill Gross is worried about the action in the bond markets – so much so that he says the current environment is pricing in a depression.   The Cleveland Fed recently released a note on the predictive nature of the yield curve.  Their conclusions – a slowdown is on the horizon, but no double dip will follow:

“Since last month, the three-month rate has dropped to 0.09 percent (for the week ending June 18) from May’s 0.17, and this also comes in below April’s 0.16 percent. The ten-year rate dropped to 3.26 percent from May’s 3.33 percent, also down from April’s 3.85 percent. The slope increased a mere 1 basis point to 317 basis points, up from May’s 316 basis points, but still below April’s 369 basis points.”


“Projecting forward using past values of the spread and GDP growth suggests that real GDP will grow at about a 1.00 percent rate over the next year, just up from May’s prediction of 0.98 percent. Although the time horizons do not match exactly, this comes in on the more pessimistic side of other forecasts, although, like them, it does show moderate growth for the year.”


“the expected chance of the economy being in a recession next June rises to 12.4 percent, up from May’s 9.9 percent and April’s 7.1 percent, despite the slight rise in the spread. Recent data has shifted the predicted value upward, though it still remains low.”


So, very slow growth, but no double dip.  Of course, this is all assuming the recession actually ended which I think is absolute nonsense.  This is and remains a consumer driven balance sheet recession.   The reason policymakers have failed to solve the problems on Main Street is because they have failed to properly diagnose this as a problem rooted on Main Street.

As for the predictive nature of the yield – I think we have to seriously wonder if this time isn’t different.  Monetary policy has proven to…
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Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

John Hussman is officially sounding the double dip siren.  He issued a similar call in November of 2007:

Based on evidence that has always and only been observed during or immediately prior to U.S. recessions, the U.S. economy appears headed into a second leg of an unusually challenging downturn.

A few weeks ago, I noted that our recession warning composite was on the brink of a signal that has always and only occurred during or immediately prior to U.S. recessions, the last signal being the warning I reported in the November 12, 2007 weekly comment Expecting A Recession. While the set of criteria I noted then would still require a decline in the ISM Purchasing Managers Index to 54 or less to complete a recession warning, what prompts my immediate concern is that the growth rate of the ECRI Weekly Leading Index has now declined to -6.9%. The WLI growth rate has historically demonstrated a strong correlation with the ISM Purchasing Managers Index, with the correlation being highest at a lead time of 13 weeks.


Taking the growth rate of the WLI as a single indicator, the only instance when a level of -6.9% was not associated with an actual recession was a single observation in 1988. But as I’ve long noted, recession evidence is best taken as a syndrome of multiple conditions, including the behavior of the yield curve, credit spreads, stock prices, and employment growth. Given that the WLI growth rate leads the PMI by about 13 weeks, I substituted the WLI growth rate for the PMI criterion in condition 4 of our recession warning composite. As you can see, the results are nearly identical, and not surprisingly, are slightly more timely than using the PMI. The blue line indicates recession warning signals from the composite of indicators, while the red blocks indicate official U.S. recessions as identified by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Read the full article here.

Source: Hussman Funds 

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Zero Hedge

Russia Unveils First Images Of Nuclear Missile Capable Of Reaching US Soil

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Alexander Mercouris via,

Russia reveals photos of a new highly advanced liquid fuelled heavy ICBM capable of evading anti-missile defences and hitting US territory with 10 tonne nuclear payload.

The Makeyev Design Bureau – the designer of Russia’s heavy liquid fuelled Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (“ICBMs”) – ie. of missiles capable of reaching US territory from R...

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Chart School

Tech Hold Breakout,.but S&P Wedge Bound

Courtesy of Declan.

It was a mixed day for indices. Large Caps remain bound by wedge support/resistance, but Tech broke upside yesterday from similar wedges and held those breakout today.

There was little change for the S&P over the last couple of days. The one technical change was the MACD trigger 'buy' as other technicals stayed on the bearish side.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq cleared wedge resistance yesterday, and was able to hang on to the breakout despite today's loss. It too enjoyed a MACD trigger 'buy', but had an On-Bal...

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Phil's Favorites

Kansas Ends Bad Economic News by Not Reporting It

In evaluating the results of real-life economic policy experiments it is important to measure them. Avoiding this step in the experimental process detracts from what could be a valuable learning experience, which could, potentially, put some incorrect theories to rest. For instance, consider Kansas. 


“What’s measured, improves.”

So said management legend and author Peter F. Drucker about the value of using metrics to define specific objectives within an organization.

Drucker is no longer with us; if he were, he might want ...

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Timely (Free) Advice

By BroyHill. Originally published at ValueWalk.

This wonderful advice from Fred Schwed was originally published in 1940 – some things never change.

“When there is a stock-market boom, and everyone is scrambling for common stocks, take all your common stocks and sell them. Take the proceeds and buy conservative bonds. No doubt the stocks you sold will go higher. Pay no attention to this – just wait for the depression which will come sooner or later. When this depression – or panic – becomes a national catastrophe, sell out the bonds (perhaps at a loss) and buy back the stocks. No doubt the stocks will go lower still. Again pay no attention. Wait for the next boom. Continue to repeat this operation as long as you live, and you’ll have the pleasure of dying rich”.


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Kimble Charting Solutions

U.S. Dollar Rally: A tale of two chart patterns

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

This article was originally written for See It Market.

The U.S. Dollar Index has been trading in a wide consolidation pattern over the last 18 months or so.  But after the recent U.S. Dollar rally, that consolidation has formed two distinct chart patterns.

And as you may have guessed… one is bullish while the other is bearish.



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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

Oil Rises as OPEC Chief Barkindo Seeks to Resolve Output Plan (Bloomberg)

Crude advanced as OPEC’s secretary-general was due to visit Baghdad on Tuesday for talks aimed at resolving a deal on output after Iraq said it should be exempt from planned cuts.

Iron Ore Hoisted on Coat-Tails of Coal’s Record Rally in China (Bloomberg)

Iron ore is surging thanks to its bulk-commodity compatriot, coal. Iron ore futures in Singapore ad...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of October 24th,2016

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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Members' Corner

World Series 2016

Courtesy of Nattering Naybob.

The good news... Waiting since 1945, after 71 years, the Chicago Cubs have a chance to win their first WS since 1908.  The bad news... The Cubs face an Indian's team that has been waiting since 1948 to win a WS and last appeared in 1997.

CLE swept BOS, and took out TOR who had swept TEX, and has only lost ONE post season game.  That being Game 4 ALCS at TO, yet, during that series, no Indians starting pitcher made it through more than six innings. 

In fact, Trevor Bauer, only lasted two outs during his one start, leaving Merritt and the pen to bear the burden of over eight innings of baseball.  Mid range reliever Merritt notched a victory in that game with ERA 1.80; WHIP 0.60 with 5 IP. 

What does all that tell you? Oddly enough, without Carr...

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Mapping The Market

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

Via Jean-Luc

Good article on investing success:

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

By Morgan Housel

There is a reason no Berkshire Hathaway investor chides Buffett when the company has a bad quarter. It’s because Buffett has so thoroughly convinced his investors that it’s pointless to try to navigate around 90-day intervals. He’s done that by writing incredibly lucid letters to investors for the last 50 years, communicating in easy-to-understand language at annual meetings, and speaking on TV in ways that someone with no investing experience can grasp.

Yes, Buffett runs an amazing investment company. But he also runs an amazing investor company. One of the most underappreciated part of his s...

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Digital Currencies

Gold, Silver and Blockchain - Fintech Solutions To Negative Rates, Bail-ins, Currency Debasement and Cashless

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

By Jan Skoyles

I was so pleased yesterday by the announcement that I have joined the Research team at GoldCore as it meant that I could finally start talking about it and was back in a role that lets me indulge in my passion by researching and geeking out on all things gold, silver and money.


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Epizyme - A Waiting Game

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

Epizyme was founded in 2007, and trying to create drugs to treat patient's cancer by focusing on genetically-linked differences between normal and cancer cells. Cancer areas of focus include leukemia, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer.  One of the Epizme cofounders, H. Robert Horvitz, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2002 for "discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death."

Before discussing the drug targets of Epizyme, understanding epigenetics is crucial to comprehend the company's goals.  

Genetic components are the DNA sequences that are 'inherited.'  Some of these genes are stronger than others in their expression (e.g., eye color).  Yet, some genes turn on or off due to external factors (environmental), and it is und...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan 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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PSW is more than just stock talk!


We know you love coming here for our Stocks & Options education, strategy and trade ideas, and for Phil's daily commentary which you can't live without, but there's more! features the most important and most interesting news items from around the web, all day, every day!

News: If you missed it, you can probably find it in our Market News section. We sift through piles of news so you don't have to.   

If you are looking for non-mainstream, provocatively-narrated news and opinion pieces which promise to make you think -- we feature Zero Hedge, ...

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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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