Intraday Market Thoughts

What will the Fed do?

Jul 5, 2022 14:52 | by Ashraf Laidi

Is the US already in a recession? Will July's Fed rate hike be the final rate hike of 2022? Will the Fed follow up with one more rate hike in September, and more in Q4 or will it pause in Q4, before resuming in Q1 2023? Which of the below do you think is the most appropriate? Select your choice in the poll below, then iew the results.

What will the Fed do? - Poll Fed Hike Jul 5 2022 (Chart 1)

From Inflation to Slowdown

Jun 30, 2022 17:10 | by Ashraf Laidi

The final week of the month and the quarter is delivering its share of negative US economic surprise, to the extent of moving growth worries nearer to inflation fears—at least in the eyes of the bond market. Fed officials reiterated how inflation remains the top priority, while attaching the ubiquitous disclaimer on the difficulty of avoiding recession. The 7 charts below encapsulate the broadening pullback in bond yields, inflation expectations and gasoline prices. 

Click To Enlarge
From Inflation to Slowdown - Boj Vs Inflation Vs Breakevens June 30 2022 (Chart 1)

The key points of the charts are the following:

1. The divergence between the declining US-JPN 10yr spread and the rising USDJPY, opened the door for an all too likely catch-down in USDJPY to a preliminary target of 134.70s. We told our Whatsapp Broadcast Group to go short near 136.30 earlier this morning. 

2. As the yield on the 10-year Japanese govt bond pulls away from the Bank of Japan's tolerable cap of 0.25%, the central bank is under less pressure to buy JGBs, thereby no downside pressure on JPY, which would help drag down USDJPY and the rest of currencies against JPY.

3. The 3-week decline in US gasoline prices, coupled with falling US Crude oil (partly helped by anticipation of OPEC output hike) is helping to guide inflation expectations lower. 

4. An intensification of the downward trend of inflation expectations may temporarily weigh on metals, but start to serve temporary support for equity indices.

I tweeted yesterday about the considerable drop in the 3-month/10-year spread and its importance in joining the other three popular measures of US yield curve steepening/inversions (2-10s, 2-5s and 3-5s). The crucial aspect with 3-mth/10-yr spread is that by the time it has inverted (10 yr yield below 3 month yield), each of the other three measures would have already inverted. As the 3m-10y drops below the 1st support of 133, the next target stands near 114. Such prolonged declines, would be accompanied with sharp selloffs in the 10-year yield, with which additional declines in USDJPY and rerating of growth and earnings estimates would be inevitable. 

We turn our focus to Friday's release of June services ISM, expected at 54.5 from 56.1. Bond bulls will have a field day in the event of a sub-52 print, or/and a drop in the price paid component below 75. We're not sure about the extent of any rebound in equities due to the challenging earnings season starting next week. Gold, however, should start gaining despite the recession threat to industrial metals. 


ما تعني إشارة القطاعات للمؤشرات

Jun 21, 2022 15:16 | by Ashraf Laidi

ماذا يحدث للمؤشرات عندما تبدأ أسهم الشركات التقديرية في الاستقرار بالنسبة لأسهم ضرورات المستهلك؟ هل فتحت الإشارة الخضراء للمؤشرات؟ التفاصيل في هذا الفيديو التفصيلي مع أشرف العايدي

200 WMAs & Retracements

Jun 17, 2022 16:54 | by Ashraf Laidi

Is 3500 on the SP500 inevitable? And what's beyond it? Another 4% from here and we reach 3500, coinciding with the 200-week MA as well as the 50% retracement of the rise from March 2020 bottom to this year's high. The relevance of such confluence is further reinforced with NASDAQ100 and DOW30 about 2% away from their respective 200-WMAs. 

As certain as the above analysis appears to be, you have to be careful if you're shorting on leverage. Recall the analysis, flagging the 200-WMA target back on May 12, highlighting the fact breakdowns below the 100-WMA lead to swift continuation down to the 200-WMA at each of the 4 occasions over the past 15 years. There was, however, one slight difference: The break below 100-WMA in summer 2015 was not followed by a break below the 200-WMA until February 2016…and even that was not a break but a “touch”.

Why I bothered to flag that minor exception ?

Simply put, anyone reading that May 12 chart, would have assumed that the break of 100-WMA would imply an immediate resumption of selling down to the 200-WMA. And just as that was not the case in 2015, it was not the case these past 3 weeks. Anyone who had shorted SPX on the week ending May 13t, would have been massacred by a 10% rally in the index, followed by a 13% drop in the ensuing 2 weeks. 

I don't want to belabor the point on moving averages, rebounds etcs, but it is essential warn about these recurring patterns, which may appear valid and powerful, but must be flagged with details and possible diversions. 

So what does it mean for next week?

Next week will lbe business as usual. Bank of Japan gets off with buying more bonds to cap their 10-yr yields at 0.25% at the expense of a 137-bound USDJPY. Fed Chair Powell will testify to Congress on Wednesday, with plenty more time (and less pressure) to convince them inflation is more of a priority for their constituents than tumbling stock/bond/crypto portfolios and soaring mortgage rates.

Speaking of Cryptos, Bitcoin has 3 days prevent a close below its 200-WMA, a moving average coinciding with crucial bottoms and rallies over its 13-year life.   

As tempting as it may be to want go short SPX here at 3685 to target the 3500 (confluence of 200-WMA and 50% retracement), I am anticipating a bounce to start building next week into month-end. This may take us to as high as 4000. If instead, more selling ensues and we reach 3500s, then those who missed the drop, may embark on another bear-market rally. 

A blast from 2009: 2-month retracements [Pls CLICK ON IMAGE BELOW]

3 Takes on Gold's Response to CPI

Jun 10, 2022 18:17 | by Ashraf Laidi

US inflation hit a new 41-year high of 8.6%, bond yields surged back towards their 4-year high of 2.0%, so why gold did rally $50 to $1870? Those who say “gold is a hedge against inflation, therefore gold must rise” are conveniently ignoring the dangers of surging yields to the yellow metal. Remember this time last year, when gold broke down on the mere mention of taper? Now, the Fed has not only ended QE, but is widely expected to raise rates by at least an additional 200 bps this year, not to forget QT (selling the assets it bought 2 years ago). NOTE: if you made money going “long gold” this week you will read this piece differently from those who lost betting against the metal.  That's how the mind usually works. Here is my take on the 3 possible reasons to the rally in gold. 

Click To Enlarge
3 Takes on Gold's Response to CPI - Breakeven 10 2 Gold June 10 2022 (Chart 1)

The 1st reaosn is obvious, the 2nd not so obvious and the 3rd reason needs some thinking.

One possible reason (not the best reason) is that annual core inflation slowed to 6.0% in May from 6.0%, posting its 2nd straight monthly decline. This may not be so significant due to base factors and the removal of surging energy prices. But it may be telling us that inflation is starting to consolidate, when removing energy factors. 

The better explanation for today's surge in metals is what emerged 90 mins after the release of the CPI. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment plunged to a record low of 50.2 in June from 58.4, highlighting people's pessimism with surging fuel prices, broad rise in inflation (food, transports, shelter and health) and tumbling wealth effect from stocks and bonds. When the consumer is suffering at the same time the Fed is expected to raise rates by 150-bps between next week and September, gold traders have to cheer. Why? They're anticipating either a policy error by the Fed (hiking too much forcing them to backtrack on rates), or Fed pausing for an extended period of time. Either outcome, should see inflation peak or pull down modestly, but not as fast the decline as bond yields. Such an outcome would be negative for real bond yields.  

Should we wait for the Conference Board's own index of consumer confidence on June 28, which is so far after next week's Fed decision? Let's see. 

How about a 3rd reason (far from obvious) to the rise in gold? Let's consider breakeven inflation, which is the difference between nominal bond yields and the real yield on an inflation-linked bond (designed to make up for the extent to which the yield exceeds inflation). As gasoline prices picked up fresh momentum two weeks ago, inflation expectations rose across the breakeven curve. More in breakevens here.  

Most specifically, 2-year breakeven inflation has accelerated its pace of advance relative to 10 and 5 year breakevens, highlighting the urgency to which inflation is gaining in the short-term horizon. And so in order to highlight the difference between near-term and longer-term inflation expectations, I plotted the 10-2 inflation spread against gold, showing how the decline in the inflation spread (jump in 2-year over 10-year) feeds into higher gold prices. Regardless of whether the Fed hikes through the autumn or not, gold will stick around for the eventual Fed capitulation. 

1st Positive Signal since April 2020

Many of your are tempted to short indices on Fed week, with the intention to targetting the lows of May 20/21. The problem with this, is the ensuing volatility. How deep will the whispaws be? Between the rate hike, dissents, Fed dot plot, and Powell's presser, it will be violent. But there's a trade that's fairly inversely correlated with indices (-0.4) without the volatility of indices or the JPY (no, it is not a JPY or AUD or CAD cross). We stuck to it with the WhatsApp Broadcast Group over the past 4 weeks and it has continously delieved. More importantly, it's just given me a crucially positive signal for the 1st time since April 2020.