Posts

September 30, 2019

Global Market Comments
September 30, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(MARKET OUTLOOK FOR THE WEEK AHEAD, or INTERESTING TIMES ARE UPON US)

(MO), (PM), (FXB), (SPY), ($INDU), (GS), (MTCH), (USO), (UUP)

September 20, 2019

Global Market Comments
September 20, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(SEPTEMBER 18 BIWEEKLY STRATEGY WEBINAR Q&A),
(TLT), (FDX), (FB), (HYG), (JNK), (EEM), (BABA), (JD), (TBT), (FXE), (UUP), (AMZN), (FB), (DIS), (MSFT), (USO), (INDU),
(THE GREAT TRADING GURU SPEAKS)

August 29, 2019

Global Market Comments
August 29, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(HOW THE MARKETS WILL PLAY OUT FOR THE REST OF 2019),
(SPY), ($INDU), (USO), (TLT), (UUP), (COPX), (GLD),
(HOW THE MAD HEDGE MARKET TIMING ALGORITHM WORKS)

August 16, 2019

Global Market Comments
August 16, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(DON’T MISS THE AUGUST 21 GLOBAL STRATEGY WEBINAR),
(WHY CRASHING YIELDS COULD BE SIGNALING AN END TO THE STOCK SELLOFF),
(TLT), (QQQ), (DBA), (EEM), (UUP)

July 31, 2019

Global Market Comments
July 31, 2019
Fiat Lux

SPECIAL FIXED INCOME ISSUE

Featured Trade:
(ITALY’S BIG WAKE UP CALL),
(TLT), ($TNX), (TBT), (SPY), ($INDU), (FXE), (UUP), (USO),
(WELCOME TO THE DEFLATIONARY CENTURY),
(TLT), (TBT),

Italy’s Big Wake Up Call

Those planning a European vacation this summer just received a big gift from Mario Draghi, the outgoing president of the European Central Bank. His promise to re-accelerate quantitative easing in Europe has sent the Euro crashing and the US dollar soaring.

Over the last two weeks, the Euro (FXE) has fallen by 2.5%. That $1,000 Florence hotel suite now costs only $975. Mille Gracie!

You can blame the political instability in the Home of Caesar, which has not had a functioning government since WWII. The big fear is that the extreme left would form a collation government with the extreme right that could lead to its departure from the European Community and the Euro. Think of it as Bernie Sanders joining Donald Trump!

In fact, Italy has had 62 different governments since WWII. They change administrations like I change luxury cars, about once a year. Welcome to European debt crisis part 27.

I can’t remember the last time markets cared about what happened in Europe. It was probably the first Greek debt crisis in 2011. As a result, German ten-year bunds have cratered from 0.60% to -0.40%. But they care today, big time.

Given the reaction of the global financial markets, you could have been forgiven for thinking that the world had just ended.

US Treasury Bond yields (TLT) saw their biggest plunge in years, off 120 basis points to 2.05%.

Even oil prices collapsed for an entirely separate set of reasons, the price of Texas Tea pared 20% since April on spreading global recession fears.

Saudi Arabia looks like it’s about to abandon the wildly successful OPEC production quotas that have been boosting oil prices for the past year. Iran has withdrawn from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, responding with an undeclared tanker war in the Persian Gulf, which I flew over myself only a few weeks ago. The geopolitical premium is back with a vengeance.

So if the Italian developments are a canard, why are we REALLY going down?

You’re not going to like the answer.

It turns out that rising inflation, interest rates, oil and commodity prices, the US dollar, US national debt, budget deficits, and stagnant wage growth are a TERRIBLE backdrop for risk in general and stocks specifically. And this is all happening with the major indexes at the top end of recent ranges.

In other words, it was an accident waiting to happen.

Traders are extremely nervous, global uncertainty is high, the seasonals are awful, and Washington is a ticking time bomb. If you were wondering why I was issuing so few Trade Alerts in July, these are the reasons.

This all confirms my expectation that markets could remain stuck in increasingly narrow trading ranges for the next six months until the presidential election begins in earnest.

Which is creating opportunities.

The global race towards zero interest  has the US as the principal laggard. So you should keep buying every serious dip in the bond market.

Stocks are still wildly overvalued for the short term, so I’ll keep my low profile there. As for gold (GLD) and the currencies, I keep buying dips there as well.

So watch for those coming Trade Alerts. I’m not dead yet, just resting. The contest here is to make as much money as you can, not to see how many trades you can clock. That is a brokers’ game, not yours.

 

 

 

 

Waiting for My Shot

July 26, 2019

Global Market Comments
July 26, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(JULY 24 BIWEEKLY STRATEGY WEBINAR Q&A),
(FCX), (VIX), (VXX), (UUP), (TLT), (EEM), (ELD), (CEW), (GLD),
(FXA), (FXE), (FXC), (FXY), (FXB), (AMZN),
(TESTING TESLA’S SELF DRIVING TECHNOLOGY),
(TSLA)

July 24 Biweekly Strategy Webinar Q&A

Below please find subscribers’ Q&A for the Mad Hedge Fund Trader July 24 Global Strategy Webinar broadcast from Zermatt, Switzerland with my guest and co-host Bill Davis of the Mad Day Trader. Keep those questions coming!

Q: What are your thoughts on the Freeport McMoRan (FCX) long position here?

A: We could take a profit here. We probably have about 50% of the maximum potential profit, but I want to hang on and go to the max on this because we’re so far in the money. Cash always has a premium ahead on any Fed interest rate decision. But long term, I think the stock could double, and with the earnings report now out of the way, we have room to run.

Q: What can you say about semiconductor stocks?

A: Long term we love them, short term they are too high to chase here. I would wait for any kind of pullback and, better yet, pull back from the other side of the next recession. We’re not seeing an improvement in prices or orders so this is strictly a technical/momentum-driven trade right now.

Q: How do you play the Volatility Index (VIX)?

A: There are numerous ways you can do it; you can buy call options on the (VIX), you can buy futures on the (VIX), or you can buy the iPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures ETN (VXX). We are probably a week away from a nice entry point on the long side here.

Q: Does a languishing U.S. dollar mean emerging market opportunities?

A: It absolutely does. If we really start to get a serious drop in the U.S. dollar (UUP)—like 5-10%—it will be off to the races for commodities, bonds (TLT), emerging stock markets (EEM), emerging bond markets (ELD), emerging currencies (CEW), and gold (GLD). All of your weak dollar plays will be off to the races—that’s why I went straight into bonds, the Aussie (FXA), and copper through Freeport McMoRan (FCX). All of these trades have been profitable.

Q: When should we sell the U.S. dollar?

A: How about now? For any kind of strength in a dollar against the (FXA), (FXE), (FXC) and (FXY), I would be buying any dips on those foreign exchange ETFs. We’re about to enter a six-month – one-year period weakness on the dollar. It could be the easiest trade out there. The only one I would avoid is the British pound (FXB) because of its own special problems with Brexit. You never want to go long the currency of a country that is destroying itself, which is exactly what’s happening with the pound.

Q: Should I start selling pounds?

A: It’s pretty late in the pound game now. We went into Brexit with the pound at $1.65 and got all the way down to $1.20. We’re a little bit above that now at $1.21. If for some reason, you get a surprise pop in the pound, say to $1.25, that’s where I would sell it, but down here, no.

Q: I missed the (FCX) trade—would you get in on the next dip?

A: Yes, we may not get many dips from here because the earnings were out. Today, they were not as bad as expected, and that was keeping a lot of buyers out of the market on (FCX), so any dips you can get, go a dollar out on your strikes and then take it because this thing could double over the medium term. If the trade war with China ends, this thing could make it to the old high of $50.

Q: Is now a good time to refi my home?

A: Yes, because by the time you get the paperwork and approvals and everything else done (that’ll take about 2 months), rates will likely be lower; and in any case you’re looking to refi either a 7/1 ARM or a 15-year fixed, and the rates on those have already dropped quite substantially. I was offered 3.0% for a 15-year fixed loan on my home just the other day.

Q: On trades like (FCX), why not sell short the put spread?

A: It’s really six of one, half dozen of the other. The profit on either one should be about the same. If it isn’t, an options market maker will step in and arbitrage out the difference. That’s something only an algorithm can do these days. I recommend in-the-money call spreads versus shorting sell short vertical bear put credit spreads because for beginners, in-the-money call spreads are much easier to understand.

Q: The Mueller hearings in Congress are today. Is there any potential impact on the market?

A: The market has completely detached itself from Washington—it couldn’t care less about what’s happening there. I don’t think politics have the capacity to affect stock prices. The only possible impact was the prospect of the government shutdown in September. That seems to have been averted in the latest deal between the House and the White House.  

Q: What about Amazon (AMZN)?

A: Like the rest of technology, long term I love it, but short term it’s overdue for a small correction. I’m looking for Amazon to go to $3,000 a share—it’s essentially taking over the world. The antitrust threats will go absolutely nowhere; Congress doesn’t even understand what these companies do, let alone know how to break them up. I wouldn’t worry about it.

Q: I just received an email inviting me to buy a new Bitcoin auto trading system that is guaranteed to make me a millionaire in four months. It is being promoted by Nicole Kidman. Do you think I should try it?

A: I wouldn’t touch this with a ten-foot pole. No, wait. I wouldn’t touch this with a 100-foot pole! Whenever a new type of security comes out, these types of “get rich quick” investment scams come out of the woodwork. Cryptocurrency is no different. Nicole Kidman was probably paid $500,000 to make the pitch by a promotor. Or more likely, Nicole Kidman has nothing to do with these people and they just swiped her picture off the Internet. I hear about these things daily. Follow their plan and you are more likely to get completely wiped out than become a millionaire. There are NO get rich quick schemes. There are only get rich slowly strategies, such as following this newsletter. Click here to see the above-mentioned scam which you should avoid at all cost. Gee, do you think Nicole Kidman would be interested in promoting the Mad Hedge Fund Trader?

 

July 25, 2019

Global Market Comments
July 25, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(HOW TO HEDGE YOUR CURRENCY RISK)
(FXA), (FXC), (UUP)
(HOW TO EXECUTE A VERTICAL BULL CALL SPREAD)
(AAPL)

How to Hedge Your Currency Risk

Let’s say you absolutely love a stock but despise the currency of the country it comes from.

The United States comes to mind. The US Federal Reserve is about to commence with a policy of cutting interest rates that could last a year. That means the greenback is about to become the weakest currency in the world. Look at the ten-year chart below and you’ll see that a major double bottom for the Aussie may be taking place.

Most American technology stocks are likely to gain 30% or more over the next two years. However, it’s entirely possible that the US dollar declines by 30% or more against the Australian (FXA) and Canadian (FXC) dollars during the same period. Making 30% and then losing 30% leaves you with precisely zero profit.

There is a way to avoid this dilemma that would vex Solomon. Simply hedge out your currency risk. I’ll use the example of the Australian dollar as we have recently had a large influx of new subscribers from the land down under.

Let’s say you want to buy AUS$100,000 worth of Apple (AAPL), the world’s most widely owned stock.

Since Apple is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, its shares are denominated in US dollars. When you buy Apple in Australia, your local broker will automatically buy the US dollars for your account to settle this trade in the US, taking out a small commission along the way. You are now long US dollars, thus creating a currency risk.

Getting rid of this currency risk is quite simple. You need to offset your US dollar long with a US dollar short of equal value. Long dollars/short dollars give the Australian investor a currency neutral position. The US dollar can go to hell in a handbasket and you won’t care.

There are several financial instruments with which you can do this. Buying Invesco Currency Shares Australian Dollar Trust ETF (FXA) is the easiest. This ETF invests 100% of its assets in long Australian dollar/short US dollar futures and overnight cash positions.

I’ll do the math for you on the final hedged position assuming that the Australian dollar is worth 70 US cents.

BUY AUS$100,000 long US dollars X US$0.70 cents/dollar = US$70,000.

US$70,000/$210 per share for Apple = 333 Apple shares

BUY US$70,000/$70 (FXA) price = US$1,000 shares of the (FXA)

Thus, by owning AUS$100,000 worth of Apple shares and 1,000 shares of the (FXA), you have completely removed the currency risk in owning Apple. You have in effect turned Apple into an Australian dollar denominated stock. Apple can rise, the US dollar will fall, and you will make twice as much money in Australian dollars.

There are a few problems with this precise trade. The liquidity in the (FXA) is not great, especially during US trading hours. Understandably, the bulk of Aussie liquidity takes place during Australian business hours.

There are other instruments with which you can hedge out the currency risk of Apple, or any other US dollar-denominated investment.

You can take out your own short dollar position in the futures market. You can ask your bank to create a short position in the US dollar in the cash market. Or, you can simply ask your broker to hedge out your US dollar currency risk for which they will charge you another small commission.

Hedging out currency risk is not only free, the market will pay you to do it. That’s because Australian dollar overnight interest rates at 1.00% are lower than US dollar overnight interest rates at 2.50%. By shorting Aussie against the buck, you get to keep this 1.50% interest differential.

You don’t have to be Australian to want your Apple shares denominated in Australian dollars. In fact, hedge funds do this all day long. They pursue a strategy of keeping their long position in the world’s strongest securities (Apple), and their shorts positions in the world’s weakest securities (the US dollar). This, by the way, is also the strategy of the Mad Hedge Fund Trader. It’s called “global long/short macro.”

The better ones often make money on both sides of the equation with the longs rising and the shorts falling. You can do the same in your own personal online trading platform.

I should urge a word of caution here. What happens if you hedge out your US dollar risk, and the dollar continues to appreciate? Then you will get none of the gains from that appreciation and will end up losing money in Australian dollars if Apple shares remain unchanged.

In the worst case, if both Apple and the Aussie could go down, this accelerates your losses. So, currency hedging can be a double-edged sword. Yes, this may be irrational given the fundamentals of the Aussie and Apple. But as any experienced long term trader will tell you, “Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain liquid.”

Many thanks to John Maynard Keynes.

 

 

 

Looks Like a Good Bet to Me