Posts

September 12, 2019

Global Market Comments
September 12, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(WILL ANTITRUST DESTROY YOUR TECH PORTFOLIO?),
(FB), (AAPL), (AMZN), (GOOG), (SPOT), (IBM), (MSFT)

July 12, 2019

Global Market Comments
July 12, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(THE QUANTUM COMPUTER IN YOUR FUTURE),
(AMZN), (GOOG),

(THE WORST TRADE IN HISTORY), (AAPL)

 

July 11, 2019

Global Market Comments
July 11, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(THE INSIDER’S VIEW ON THE FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY),
(AMZN), (GOOG), (DELL), (MSFT), (EBAY),

(MY DATE WITH HITLER’S GIRLFRIEND)

June 21, 2019

Global Market Comments
June 21, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(MONDAY, JULY 8 VENICE, ITALY STRATEGY LUNCHEON)
(PLAYING THE SHORT SIDE WITH VERTICAL BEAR PUT SPREADS), (TLT)
(WHY TECHNICAL ANALYSIS DOESN’T WORK)
(FB), (AAPL), (AMZN), (GOOG), (MSFT), (VIX)

Why Technical Analysis Doesn’t Work

Santa Claus came early last year as the long-expected Christmas rally started in the wake of the chaotic midterm elections.

We have rocketed back from negative numbers to a feeble 5.7% return for the Dow Average for 2018. By comparison, the Mad Hedge Fund Trader is up a nosebleed 32.82% during the same period.

If you had taken Cunard’s around-the-world cruise three months ago as I recommended, you would be landing in New York about now, wondering what the big deal was. Indexes are nearly unchanged since you departed with the Dow only 3.00% short of an all-time high.

This truly has been the Teflon market. Nothing will stick to it.

In September when the economic data was great, we braced ourselves for a blowout GDP growth rate of 3.5% or better. The market crashed.

In October, global economic growth turned sickly, shares crashed.

Go figure.

It makes you want to throw up your hands in despair and throw your empty beer can at the TV set. All this work and I’m delivered the perfectly wrong conclusions?

Let me point out a few harsh lessons learned from this most recent meltdown and the rip-your-face-off rally that followed.

Remember all those market gurus claiming stocks would rise every day for the rest of the year? They were wrong.

This is why almost every Trade Alert I shot out for the past seven months has been from the long side but only after cataclysmic market selloffs.

We have just moved from a “Sell in May” to a “Buy in November” posture.

The next six months are ones of historical seasonal market strength. Click here for the misty origins of this trend at “If You Sell in May, What to Do in April?”

Most importantly, last year’s “Sell in May” got you out of the best performing sectors of the year at their highs.

Those include big tech including Facebook (FB), Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), Google (GOOG), and Microsoft (MSFT), all stocks that I was banging the table about during the first half of 2018.

The other lesson learned last summer was the utter uselessness of technical analyses. Usually, these guys are right only 50% of the time. In 2018, they missed the boat entirely.

When the S&P 500 (SPY) was meandering in a narrow nine-point range, and the Volatility Index (VIX) hugged the $11-$15 neighborhood, they said it would continue for the rest of the year.

It didn’t.

When the market finally broke down in October, cutting through imaginary support levels like a hot knife through butter ($26,000? $25,000? $24,500?), they said the market would plunge to $24,000, and possibly as low as $22,000.

It didn’t do that either.

When the end of October rally started, pitiful technical analysts told you to sell into it.

If you did, you lost your shirt. The market just kept going, and going, and going.

This is why technical analysis is utterly useless as an investment strategy. How many hedge funds use a pure technical strategy? Absolutely none, as it doesn’t make any money.

At best, it is just one of 100 tools you need to trade the market effectively. The shorter the time frame, the more accurate it becomes.

On an intraday basis, technical analysis is actually quite useful. But I doubt few of you engage in this hopeless persuasion. 

This is why I advise portfolio managers and financial advisors to use technical analysis as a means of timing order executions, and nothing more.

Most professionals agree with me.

Technical analysis derives from humans’ preference for looking at pictures instead of engaging in abstract mental processes. A picture is worth 1,000 words, and probably a lot more.

This is why technical analysis appeals to so many young people entering the market for the first time. Buy a book for $5 on Amazon and you can become a Master of the Universe.

Who can resist that?

The problem is that high-frequency traders also bought that same book from Amazon a long time ago and have designed algorithms to frustrate every move of the technical analyst.

Sorry to be the buzzkill but that is my take on Technical analysis.

Hope you enjoyed your cruise.

 

 

 

 

June 14, 2019

Global Market Comments
June 14, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(WEDNESDAY JUNE 26 BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA STRATEGY LUNCHEON)
(MAY 29 BIWEEKLY STRATEGY WEBINAR Q&A),
(TSLA), (BYND), (AMZN), (GOOG), (AAPL), (CRM), (UT), (RTN), (DIS), (TLT), (HAL), (BABA), (BIDU), (SLV), (EEM)

June 12 Biweekly Strategy Webinar Q&A

Below please find subscribers’ Q&A for the Mad Hedge Fund Trader June 12 Global Strategy Webinar with my guest and co-host Bill Davis of the Mad Day Trader. Keep those questions coming!

Q: Do you think Tesla (TSLA) will survive?

A: Not only do I think it will survive, but it’ll go up 10 times from the current level. That’s why we urged people to buy the stock at $180. Tesla is so far ahead of the competition, it is incredible. They will sell 400,000 cars this year. The number two electric car competitor will sell only 25,000. They have a ten-year head start in the technology and they are increasing that lead every day. Battery costs will drop another 90% over the next decade eventually making these cars incredibly cheap. Increase sales by ten times and double profit margins and eventually, you get to a $1 trillion company.

Q: Beyond Meat (BYND)—the veggie burger stock—just crashed 25% after JP Morgan downgraded the stock. Are you a buyer here?

A: Absolutely not; veggie burgers are not my area of expertise. Although there will be a large long-term market here potentially worth $140 billion, short term, the profits in no way justify the current stock price which exists only for lack of anything else going on in the market. You don’t get rich buying stocks at 37 times company sales.

Q: Are you worried about antitrust fears destroying the Tech stocks?

A: No, it really comes down to a choice: would you rather American or Chinese companies dominate technology? If we break up all our big tech companies, the only large ones left will be Chinese. It’s in the national interest to keep these companies going. If you did break up any of the FANGS, you’d be creating a ton of value. Amazon (AMZN) is probably worth double if it were broken up into four different pieces. Amazon Web Services alone, their cloud business, will probably be worth $1 trillion as a stand-alone company in five years. The same is true with Apple (AAPL) or Google (GOOG). So, that’s not a big threat overhanging the market.

Q: Is it time to buy Salesforce (CRM)?

A: Yes, you want to be picking up any cloud company you can on any kind of sizeable selloff, and although this isn’t a sizeable selloff, Salesforce is the dominant player in cloud plays; you just want to keep buying this all day long. We get back into it every chance we can.

Q: Do you think the proposed merger of United Technologies (UT) and Raytheon (RTN) will lower the business quality of United Tech’s aerospace business?

A: No, these are almost perfectly complementary companies. One is strong in aerospace while the other is weak, and vice versa with defense. You mesh the two together, you get big economies of scale. The resulting layoffs from the merger will show an increase in overall profitability.

Q: I had the Disney (DIS) shares put to me at $114 a share; would you buy these?

A: Disney stock is going to go up ahead of the summer blockbuster season, so the puts are going to expire being worthless. Sell the puts you have and then go short even more to make back your money. Go naked short a small non-leveraged amount Disney $114 puts, and that should bring in a nice return in an otherwise dead market. Make sure you wait for another selloff in the market to do that.

Q: What role does global warming play in your bullish hypothesis for the 2020s?

A: If people start to actually address global warming, it will be hugely positive for the global economy. It would demand the creation of a plethora of industries around the world, such as solar and other alternative energy industries. When I originally made my “Golden Age” forecast years ago, it was based on the demographics, not global warming; but now that you mention it, any kind of increase in government spending is positive for the global economy, even if it’s borrowed. Spending to avert global warming could be the turbocharger.

Q: Why not go long in the United States Treasury Bond Fund (TLT) into the Fed interest rate cuts?

A: I would, but only on a larger pullback. The problem is that at a 2.06% ten-year Treasury yield, three of the next five quarter-point cuts are already priced into the market. Ideally, if you can get down to $126 in the (TLT), that would be a sweet spot. I have a feeling we’re not going to pull back that far—if you can pull back five points from the recent high at $133, that would be a good point at which to be long in the (TLT).

Q: Extreme weather is driving energy demand to its highest peak since 2010…is there a play here in some energy companies that I’m missing?

A: No, if we’re going into recession and there’s a global supply glut of oil, you don’t want to be anywhere near the energy space whatsoever; and the charts we just went through—Halliburton (HAL) and so on—amply demonstrate that fact. The only play here in oil is on the short side. When US production is in the process of ramping up from 5 million (2005) to $12.3 million (now), to 17 million barrels a day (by 2024) you don’t want to have any exposure to the price of oil whatsoever.

Q: What about China’s FANGS—Alibaba (BABA) and Baidu (BIDU). What do you think of them?

A: I wanted to start buying these on extreme selloff days in anticipation of a trade deal that happens sometime next year. You actually did get rallies without a deal in these things showing that they have finally bottomed down. So yes, I want to be a player in the Chinese FANGS in expectation of a trade deal in the future sometime, but not soon.

Q: Silver (SLV) seems weaker than gold. What’s your view on this?

A: Silver is always the high beta play. It usually moves 1.5-2.5 times faster than gold, so not only do you get bigger rallies in silver, you get bigger selloffs also. The industrial case for silver basically disappeared when we went to digital cameras twenty years ago.

Q: Does this extended trade war mean the end for emerging markets (EEM)?

A: Yes, for the time being. Emerging markets are one of the biggest victims of trade wars. They are more dependent on trade than any of the major economies, so as long as we have a trade war that’s getting worse, we want to avoid emerging markets like the plague.

Q: We just got a huge rebound in the market out of dovish Fed comments. Is this delivering the way for a more dovish message for the rest of the year?

A: Yes, the market is discounting five interest rate cuts through next year; so far, the Fed has delivered none of them. If they delayed that cutting strategy at all, even for a month, it could lead to a 10% selloff in the stock market very quickly and that in and of itself will bring more Fed interest rate cuts. So, it is sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The bottom line is that we’re looking at an ultra-low interest rate world for the foreseeable future.

Good Luck and Good Trading.

John Thomas
CEO & Publisher
The Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 16, 2019

Global Market Comments
April 16, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(WHY YOU WILL LOSE YOU JOB IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS,
AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT),
(BLK)

April 15, 2019

Global Market Comments
April 15, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(MARKET OUTLOOK FOR THE WEEK AHEAD, OR QE IS BACK!),
(SPY), (TLT), (TSLA), (DIS), (FCX), (GOOG), (MSFT), (AMZN)

The Market Outlook for the Week Ahead, or QE is Back!

Let me warn you in advance that I am only going off drugs long enough to write this newsletter.

This year’s flu has finally laid me low and let me tell you it is a real killer. Perhaps it is my advanced age that has magnified its effects. Then I developed an allergic reaction to the flu medicine I was taking. For a couple of days there, I was looking like the Michelin Man.

However, I did have a lot of time to read research. And what I learned was sobering.

For a start, we are fully back to a quantitative easing market. In one fell swoop, the Fed went from an expectation of four interest rate hikes in 2019 to none. By ending quantitative tightening early, it has cut the amount of cash it is withdrawing from the financial system from $4.3 trillion to only $1.5 trillion.

The Fed is in effect reflating the bubble one more time. And what do you do in a QE-driven economy. YOU BUY EVERYTHING! This explains why stocks, bonds, commodities, and energy have all been marching upward in unison this year even though that is supposed to be theoretically impossible.

Yes, the decade long liquidity-driven bull market may have another leg up to go.

A higher high inevitably leads to a lower low. The trades you are executing now may be akin to picking up pennies in front of a steam roller. We are clearly planting the seeds of the next financial crisis. But for now, the pain trade is clearly to the upside.

Those of who who traded through the dotcom bubble are seeing déjà vu all over again. Huge money-losing tech companies are now floating IPOs on a daily basis. This too will end in tears, which is why I have recommended to followers to avoid all of them. This is a sucker’s game.

There is a cloud behind this silver lining. After a ballistic 21.43% move in the Dow Average in four months, markets are trading as if risk is a thing of the past. The euphoria is here and complacency rules. That means the number of new possible low risk/high return trades out there has fallen to zero.

There is another cloud to worry about. The more excess stimulus the Fed provides the economy now, the fewer resources it will have to get us out of the next recession, which might be only a year off. As a result, everyone is long but extremely nervous. They are still participating in the party but are standing next to the exit door. Pent up volatility is building like a volcano ready to explode.

The other great revelation is that markets have been trading extremely short term in nature, only one quarter ahead of what the real economy is doing. So, a stock market meltdown in Q4 2018 discounted a collapsing GDP growth in Q1 2019 of a 1% rate or less. That is down 80% from a year ago peak.

The ultra-strong market in Q1 is anticipating an economic rebound in Q2, After that, who knows?

That’s why I am moving both of my trading portfolios for Global Trading Dispatch and the Mad Hedge Technology Letter to 100% cash positions in the coming week.

Last week was the week when Walt Disney (DIS) morphed from being a has-been media stock hobbled by a failing holding in ESPN to a dynamic company that is suddenly taking over the world. The reward was an eye-popping 25% move in three weeks, which we caught.

Copper demand is rocketing, off of soaring global electric car production. Each vehicle needs 22 pounds of the red metal, and 4 million have been built so far. That number reached 5 million by June. Take a second bite of the apple with (FCX) as well.

General Electric got slaughtered again, with an earnings downgrade from Morgan Stanley. It will take years to sort out this mess. Avoid (GE).

The 30-year fixed rate mortgage plunged to 4.03% and may save the spring selling season for residential real estate.

Apple Topped $200. It looks like the market is finally buying the services story. Stand aside for the short term. It’s had a great run, up 42% from the December low. I’m waiting for 5G until I buy my next iPhone, probably next year.

The Mad Hedge Fund Trader hit a new all-time high briefly, up 15.46% year to date, and beating the pants off the Dow Average. Good thing I didn’t buy the bearish argument. There’s too much cash floating around the world. However, my downside hedges in Disney and Tesla cost me some money when I stopped out. I was late by a day.

We are taking profits on a six-month peak of 13 positions across the GTD and Tech Letter services and will wait for markets to tell us what to do next.

April is so far down -1.50%, as my downside hedges in Tesla (TSLA) and Disney (DIS) cost me some sofa change.  My 2019 year to date return retreated to +13.92%, paring my trailing one-year return back up to +27.22%. 
 
My nine and a half year return backed off to +314.06%. The average annualized return appreciated to +33.65%. I am now 100% in cash.

The Mad Hedge Technology Letter has gone ballistic, with an aggressive and unhedged 30% long which expires this week. It is maintaining positions in Microsoft (MSFT), Alphabet (GOOGL), and Amazon (AMZN), which are clearly going to new highs.

It’s going to be a dull week on the data front after last week’s fireworks.

On Monday, April 15 at 8:30 AM, we get the April Empire State Index. Citibank (C) and Goldman Sachs (GS) report.

On Tuesday, April 16, 9:15 AM EST, we learn March Industrial Production. Netflix (NFLX) and IBM (IBM) report.

On Wednesday, April 17 at 2:00 PM, we get the Fed Beige Book Indicators. Morgan Stanley reports (MS).

On Thursday, April 18 at 8:30 the Weekly Jobless Claims are produced. At 10:00 AM EST, we obtain the March Index of Leading Economic Indicators. American Express (AXP) reports.

On Friday, April 19 at 8:30 AM, the markets are closed for Good Friday.

As for me, I am staying planted in my bed reading up on research and watching HBO until I kick this flu. After that, I should be good for the rest of the year.

Good luck and good trading.

John Thomas
CEO & Publisher
The Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flat on my Back