June 19, 2019

Global Market Comments
June 19, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(SH), (SDS), (PSQ), (DOG), (RWM), (SPXU), (AAPL),
 (VIX), (VXX), (IPO), (MTUM), (SPHB), (HDGE)

April 23, 2019

Global Market Comments
April 23, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:
(FXI), (RWM), (IWM), (VXXB), (VIX), (QCOM), (AAPL), (GM), (TSLA), (FCX), (COPX), (GLD), (NFLX), (AMZN), (DIS)

April 17 Biweekly Strategy Webinar Q&A

Below please find subscribers’ Q&A for the Mad Hedge Fund Trader April 17 Global Strategy Webinar with my guest and co-host Bill Davis of the Mad Day Trader. Keep those questions coming!

Q: What will the market do after the Muller report is out?

A: Absolutely nothing—this has been a total nonmarket event from the very beginning. Even if Trump gets impeached, Pence will continue with the same kinds of policies.

Q: If we are so close to the peak, when do we go short?

A: It’s simple: markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain liquid. Those shorts are expensive. As long as global excess liquidity continues pouring into the U.S., you’ll not want to short anything. I think what we’ll see is a market that slowly grinds upward until it’s extremely overbought.

Q: China (FXI) is showing some economic strength. Will this last?

A: Probably, yes. China was first to stimulate their economy and to stimulate it the most. The delayed effect is kicking in now. If we do get a resolution of the trade war, you want to buy China, not the U.S.

Q: Are commodities expected to be strong?

A: Yes, China stimulating their economy and they are the world’s largest consumer commodities.

Q: When is the ProShares Short Russell 2000 ETF (RWM) actionable?

A: Probably very soon. You really do see the double top forming in the Russell 2000 (IWM), and if we don’t get any movement in the next day or two, it will also start to roll over. The Russell 2000 is the canary in the coal mine for the main market. Even if the main market continues to grind up on small volume the (IWM) will go nowhere.

Q: Why do you recommend buying the iPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (VXXB) instead of the Volatility Index (VIX)?

A: The VIX doesn’t have an actual ETF behind it, so you have to buy either options on the futures or a derivative ETF. The (VXXB), which has recently been renamed, is an actual ETF which does have a huge amount of time decay built into it, so it’s easier for people to trade. You don’t need an option for futures qualification on your brokerage account to buy the (VXXB) which most people don’t have—it’s just a straight ETF.

Q: So much of the market cap is based on revenues outside the U.S., or GDP making things look more expensive than they actually are. What are your thoughts on this?

A: That is true; the U.S. GDP is somewhat out of date and we as stock traders don’t buy the GDP, we buy individual stocks. Mad Hedge Fund Trader in particular only focuses on the 5% or so—stocks that are absolutely leading the market—and the rest of the 95% is absolutely irrelevant. That 95% is what makes up most of the GDP. A lot of people have actually been caught in the GDP trap this year, expecting a terrible GDP number in Q1 and staying out of the market because of that when, in fact, their individual stocks have been going up 50%. So, that’s something to be careful of.

Q: Is it time to jump into Qualcomm (QCOM)?

A: Probably, yes, on the dip. It’s already had a nice 46% pop so it’s a little late now. The battle with Apple (AAPL) was overhanging that stock for years.

Q: Will Trump next slap tariffs on German autos and what will that do to American shares? Should I buy General Motors (GM)?

A: Absolutely not; if we do slap tariffs on German autos, Europe will retaliate against every U.S. carmaker and that would be disastrous for us. We already know that trade wars are bad news for stocks. Industry-specific trade wars are pure poison. So, you don't want to buy the U.S. car industry on a European trade war. In fact, you don’t want to buy anything. The European trade war might be the cause of the summer correction. Destroying the economies of your largest customers is always bad for business.

Q: How much debt can the global economy keep taking on before a crash?

A: Apparently, it’s a lot more with interest rates at these ridiculously low levels. We’re in uncharted territory now. We really don't know how much more it can take, but we know it’s more because interest rates are so low. With every new borrowing, the global economy is making itself increasingly sensitive to any interest rate increases. This is a policy you should enact only at bear market bottoms, not bull market tops. It is borrowing economic growth from futures year which we may not have.

Q: Is the worst over for Tesla (TSLA) or do you think car sales will get worse?

A: I think car sales will get better, but it may take several months to see the actual production numbers. In the meantime, the burden of proof is on Tesla. Any other surprises on that stock could see us break to a new 2 year low—that's why I don’t want to touch it. They’ve lately been adopting policies that one normally associates with imminent recessions, like closing most of their store and getting rid of customer support staff.

Q: Is 2019 a “sell in May and go away” type year?

A: It’s really looking like a great “Sell in May” is setting up. What’s helping is that we’ve gone up in a straight line practically every day this year. Also, in the first 4 months of the year, your allocations for equities are done. We have about 6 months of dead territory to cover from May onward— narrow trading ranges or severe drops. That, by the way, is also the perfect environment for deep-in-the-money put spreads, which we plan to be setting up soon.

Q: Is it time to buy Freeport McMoRan (FCX) in to play both oil and copper?

A: Yes. They’re both being driven by the same thing: China demand. China is the world’s largest new buyer of both of these resources. But you’re late in the cycle, so use dips and choose your entry points cautiously. (FCX) is not an oil play. It is only a copper (COPX) and gold (GLD) play.

Q: Are you still against Bitcoin?

A: There are simply too many better trading and investment options to focus on than Bitcoin. Bitcoin is like buying a lottery ticket—you’re 10 times more likely to get struck by lightning than you are to win.

Q: Are there any LEAPS put to buy right now?

A: You never buy a Long-Term Equity Appreciation Securities (LEAPS) at market tops. You only buy these long-term bull option plays at really severe market selloffs like we had in November/December. Otherwise, you’ll get your head handed to you.

Q: What is your outlook on U.S. dollar and gold?

A: U.S. dollar should be decreasing on its lower interest rates but everyone else is lowering their rates faster than us, so that's why it’s staying high. Eventually, I expect it to go down but not yet. Gold will be weak as long as we’re on a global “RISK ON” environment, which could last another month.

Q: Is Netflix (NFLX) a buy here, after the earnings report?

A: Yes, but don't buy on the pop, buy on the dip. They have a huge head start over rivals Amazon (AMZN) and Walt Disney (DIS) and the overall market is growing fast enough to accommodate everyone.

Q: Will wages keep going up in 2019?

A: Yes, but technology is destroying jobs faster than inflation can raise wages so they won’t increase much—pennies rather than dollars.

Q: How about buying a big pullback?

A: If we get one, it would be in the spring or summer. I would buy a big pullback as long as the U.S. is hyper-stimulating its economy and flooding the world with excess liquidity. You wouldn't want to bet against that. We may not see the beginning of the true bear market for another year. Any pullbacks before that will just be corrections in a broader bull market.

Good Luck and Good Trading
John Thomas
CEO & Publisher
Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader





February 21, 2019

Global Market Comments
February 21, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(SH), (SDS), (PSQ), (DOG), (RWM), (SPXU), (AAPL),
 (VIX), (VXX), (IPO), (MTUM), (SPHB), (HDGE),

June 12, 2018

Global Market Comments
June 12, 2018
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:
(SH), (SDS), (PSQ), (DOG), (RWM), (SPXU), (AAPL),
(VIX), (VXX), (IPO), (MTUM), (SPHB), (HDGE),

Time to Bail on the Small Caps

It now appears that the ?Alibaba? correction (BABA) is at hand.

I warned you, pleaded with you, and begged you about this yesterday, and on May 8 (click here for ?Will Alibaba Blow Up the Market?).

The longer the company postponed the mother of all IPO?s, the higher the prices flew, until we finally got a print at the absolute apex of the market. Now, it?s time to pay the piper.

The development is part of a broader move out of riskier, higher beta stocks into safe, large caps that has been underway for several weeks now. Those traders who are ahead want to protect their years. Those who aren?t are screwed anyway, so don?t bother returning their phone calls.

Look no further than my favorite, Tesla (TSLA), which topped out on September 3, along with the rest of the MoMo high technology, biotechnology and Internet names.

Still love the cars, though.

The (IWM) has really been sucking hind teat all year, falling by 3% year to date compared to an 8% gain in the S&P 500.

Yesterday, the sushi really hit the fan when the 50-day moving average pierced the 200-day moving average for the first time since August, 2011. Known as a much dreaded ?death cross,? this is the technical equivalent of slitting both wrists and thrashing about in shark-invested waters, heralding more declines to come.

Let me list the reasons why this is the sector traders love to hate when markets move from ?RISK ON? to ?RISK OFF?:

*Since small companies borrow more than large companies, they are far more sensitive to rising interest rates. Guess what? Rates have been rocketing this month.

*Since small companies are more leveraged (indebted) than big ones, they are more sensitive to a slowing economy.

*Small companies don?t have the international diversification of their bigger brethren, and therefore have less of a financial cushion to fall back on.

*The (IWM) has roughly 1.5 times the volatility of the S&P 500, making a short position here fantastic downside protection for a broader based portfolio of stocks. So you get a lot of selling here, as managers try to lock in performance for fiscal years that start ending as early as October 31.

*Did I mention that the stock market is at one of its most overbought levels in history, the worst since 1928? Bearish sentiment is at only 13%, the lowest since 1987. These are more reason to sell, as if you needed any.

My readers have made tons of money over the years playing the (IWM) on the short side. It?s time for another visit to the trough. I?m not finishing my year early.

Not yet, anyway.

If you can?t trade options, then buy the Short Russell 2000 Fund ETF (RWM) as a 1X play, or the Direxion Daily Small Cap Bear 3X ETF (TZA) for a 3X trade. However, 3X ETF?s of any kind are for intra day traders only.

IWM 9-23-14

RWM 9-23-14

TZA 9-23-14

TSLA 9-23-14

Burning BuildingTime to Bail on a Burning House

Where to Play From the Short Side

This time I am going to start with the fundamental argument first, then follow up with the Trade Alert.

We are getting perilously close to a substantial pull back in global risk assets. While this has already started in commodities, the ags, oil, copper, and precious metals, we have yet to see the whites of their eyes in equities. I believe at these levels stocks are the planet?s most overvalued assets, at least on a short term trading basis. So I have begun more aggressively searching for plays that would benefit from substantial moves southward.

My personal preference is to gain downside exposure on small capitalization stocks. You can achieve this through buying put options on the Russell 2000 iShares ETF (IWM).

You have several things going for you in falling markets with this ETF. Small stocks are illiquid and therefore suffer the biggest pullback during market corrections. If Heaven forbid, double dip fears return this summer, small caps will fall the farthest and the fastest. They are most dependent on outside financing which rapidly dries up during times of economic distress.

You can see this clearly during last year?s summer swoon. The last time we thought the world was going to end, the (SPX) fell by 20% while the (IWM) plunged by 29.5%. This means that small cap stocks are likely to deliver 150% of the downside compared to big cap stocks. Making money then with shorts in the (IWM) was like shooting fish in a barrel.

You see this on the upside as well. Since the October, 2011 lows, the (SPX) leapt by 30% compared to a much more virile 38% move by (IWM). The (IWM) really does present the scenario where the smaller (or higher) they are, the harder they fall.

If you go into the options market you get this extra volatility at a discount. June at-the-money puts for the (SPY) carry an implied volatility of 15%, compared to 20% for the (IWM) puts. That means you get 50% more anticipated movement in the index for a premium of only 33%.

For those who wish to avoid options, you can buy the inverse ETF on the sector, the (RWM). But the liquidity for this instrument is a mere shadow of its upside cousin, the (IWM). You are better off shorting the (IWM) than buying the (RWM).






These Look Pretty Interesting