Sunday, December 30, 2018

My Stock Watchlist for January 2019


- On my Thinkorswim trading platform, I manage several watchlists, differentiating them according to the instruments it contains. There are stocks, futures, ETFs, sectors, and indices.

- My ETFs watchlists (not shown) usually keep the same symbols in time, diversified by sectors, industries, countries, commodities, both at 1X normal speed and 3X triple speed, combining long and shorts positions.

- My Indicessectors, and futures watchlists (not shown) are also fixed, covering the main index and commodities in Wall Street and major foreign exchanges, the usual managed by all traders. 

- Those that do change permanently (usually weekly) are the symbols of my stock watchlists, shown below.
- I divided them into two groups for follow-up: Main15, which I follow on a daily basis, and Active, important stocks to follow due to news topics, popularity, unusual volume in shares or options, or huge changes in price or volatility. Over time, appears there a new stock, disappear other, some ascend to Main, or vice versa, according to the importance they are acquiring, in my opinion. Keep in mind, there are watchlists (longs and shorts), not "Buy" Lists.


That a certain stock is in these lists does NOT mean any BUY or SELL recommendation. My suggestions and ideas regarding these stocks, in which I'm longshort or neutral, I do in this blog through the "Watchlist Update" or "Stocks to Watch" posts. And mainly through Twitter or StockTwits, which are much more friendly and dynamic platforms for a chat and get feedback from traders. 

- So, these are my Stock Watchlists for January 2019:


Images were taken on December 30th, 16:58pm EST
Read more »

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Elder: A Major Buy Signal on Stand-By


By kind permission of Elder.com, the website of the recognized trader, Alexander Elder, I reproduce for you, literally, its article "Books and Trades #254: A major Buy signal on stand-by" of November 27th, about the actual behavior of the market and its incredible behavior in the Christmas week.


December 27, 2018

Dear Trader,

In my experience, the New High – New Low Index is the best leading indicator of the stock market.  It works by tracking market leaders: the New Highs are the leaders of strength, New Lows of weakness.  I track this indicator on both weekly and daily charts, in four look-back time windows.  We post nightly updates of this indicator at SpikeTrade.com


My research during the past decade shows that the strongest signal of NHNL is a Spike – it occurs when the weekly NHNL drops below the minus 4,000 level and then rallies about it, showing that the decline has become exhausted.  Let’s take a look:

This chart shows Spike signals during the 2008 bear market.  Even in the midst of a severe bear market they delivered tradable rallies, lasting several weeks to several months.

A powerful bullish divergence in 2009 delivered its buy signal at the start of a multi-year bull market.  A similar signal occurred at the start of the latest bull market, in February 2016.




This chart, updated on December 26 of this year, shows the weekly NHNL well below -4,000. It may rise above that line very soon, giving us its buy signal.  Those signals always occur when the market looks most scary.  The big question is: will that signal be of the 2008 type (a strong countertrend rally) or of the 2009 and 2016 type (the start of a multi-year bull market).  That is the question currently discussed in SpikeTrade.

I’d like to share with you this one-minute video, a holiday greeting, from SpikeTrade.com


Read more »

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Stock Market reading through its main indices


SP500, close 2416.62


I omit the Dow Jones in this article on the main indices of the market, because, to my liking, it is only a traditional index of Wall Street, a classic, but only useful as a daily reference ('how many points rose or fell today'), but unreliable for a serious analysis, because it is very small (only 30 companies) and limited to the industry sector, which does not reflect the entire market as the SP500 SPX does.

It is important to refer to the FED, the protagonist of the week, which raised interest rates by 0.25% to the range of 2.25-2.5%. In my opinion, an erroneous Rate Hike and also with a tone not as dovish as expected by investors. With a clear deceleration of its economy a few months ago due to effects of the Trade War among other factors, with forecasts of growth to the downside, with stagnant inflation and lower than expected, with the crude oil /CL prices falling to levels of $45, with a dangerously flat yield curve, I don't understand the reason for a Rate Hike in this moment. 

Also, with discussion among its members, the FED decided to lower the rates hikes from 3 to 2 for the next year, leaving among the traders a sense of uncertainty about the path that the i-rates should follow. Is because its previous statement is still fresh, when they said that in 2019 anything could happen with the i-rate in each meeting depending on the macroeconomic data.

The fact is that Powell does not tune with the markets: every time he speaks, all indices fall. With this last Rate Hike, he tried to mark a distance from Trump (who likes a low dollar), because he says that if he have to raise more rates by 2019, he will. Close by saying that nothing will prevent the FED from doing what they think is the right thing to do. Consequences: yesterday it was rumored that Trump plans to dismiss him. And then Mnuchin denied it: a new war is beginning.

Add to this unclear panorama the already partial shut down of US government and the consequences that may have in the short term, the picture does not look very encouraging for markets already established in a bearish environment with high volatility, after this brutal week (SPX -7%),  its worst December since 1930 and with no-Christmas Rally.

Within the technical analysis, the weekly SPX chart shows that the Fibonacci 23.6% retracement and especially the SMA200 average, are the next key support for this index. Note that it doesn't lose the SMA200 level since mid-2010 (rebounded in early 2016) and it would be very dangerous if it does this time. If this happens, in addition to having already lost the Ichimoku support cloud in October, the SPX (and the entire market) would be placed in a long-term bearish environment, or what everyone fears: this is, the beginning of the great correction of the stock market.

Weekly chart of the SPX since the 2009 rebound: as I explain above, levels 2350-2400 are extremely important for the future of markets in 2019.
That is a good place for a rebound, as in 2016. But, its rupture could have unsuspected consequences for the stock market.


Nasdaq Composite, close 6332.99


One of the several causes for the present collapse of the market is the performance of the Nasdaq Composite COMP, today 'officially' in a bear market after falling almost 22% since its peak in September. Curious definition of 'bear market', when for weeks we have been saying that the market is clearly on the downside without having to reach that 'magical' level of 20%. In my opinion, this bearish tune comes since November when the monthly chart of the SPX closed below its moving average SMA10.

As long as the overvalued FAANGs, considered the Nasdaq's engine (until when they will be?) are not recovered, it's difficult for the COMP to reverse. Historically the pullbacks of the Nasdaq are the most powerful on Wall Street: in the crisis of 2008 it corrected 55% in a year and a half, in the dot-com crisis it lasted almost two years with a fall of more than 75%. Other shorter and more violent was in 1980: in just one month, the index collapsed 25%. My suggestion, like I said in the previous post, is to follow Apple AAPL news, every day. How they move will define the following months of this index. Remember that their bad news pulled down the FAANG and then the Nasdaq. The sad thing is that its outlook does not look very beneficial for 2019...

Already in the technical analysis, the Nasdaq COMP shows a similar chart to the SPX although its growth has been greater since the crisis of 2009 because it has appreciated almost 6.5 times its value. Since this month, it's below the Fibonacci support at 23.6% and the Ichimoku cloud, so its next big support is its average SMA200, even at 400 points away. If it does not bounce on that level, the pullback could be historical as the mentioned above, because the next support is very far.


Weekly chart of the Nasdaq COMP since the 2009 rebound: it still seems a bit far from your SMA200 average and it might not reach that level. It will depend a lot on the improvement of Apple and the FAANG, and a better macroeconomic environment, like a final agreement on the Trade War between the US and China.

Russell 2000, close 1292.09


One of the big losers of this sell-off is the small business index, the Russell2000 RUT. Recently it was the great beneficiary with the Trump's Tax Reform, but today comes in a tailspin and with few signs of recovery, and even more so with the recent Rate Hike.

With this FED rate increases, financing becomes more expensive for Russell companies that have a large part of their debt in the high yield category. It is enough to see the total collapse of the price of the high yield corporate bonds in December, followed by the ETF HYG, to understand that their companies could start to struggle in 2019. As traders, a good option is to monitor corporate bonds with investment grade, followed by the ETF LQD, which can do better than the high yield.


Daily chart of two ETF US Bonds prices: the High Yield Corporate Bond HYG and the Investment Grade Corporate Bond LQD. Note the best performance of the latter since October, falling less than 2% against high yields that fall almost 7%. Clearly, their MACD places them even in bull territory, being an interesting niche to follow for these weeks, if the recovery of the markets is given.

Conclusion


Simple and brief: due to my own rules of risk management, as I write in recent posts or tweets, I am out of the market since mid-November, without any long or short-term stock in my portfolio. I still see its very premature and risky for a "buy the dip" trade, I will wait for more fundamental and technical signals. My trade is limited to day tradings purchases based on technical signals of strategies such as the ADX- Ichimoku, here explained, or to swing trades in safe haven values such as gold GLD and yen FXY.

I'm always looking for sure niches, such as the corporate bonds with investment grade mentioned above. Of course, you can not miss the stock earnings, with calls and puts purchases after results, or option straddles ATM before them. Finally, the volatility, through the VXX ETN, also in the very short-term, all with adjusted stop loss. A "war-style trading", until better days come.

Read more »

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Trader Notes: Importance of the Yield Curve



The Basics:


Mentioned in several posts, the yield curve,  take importance in these weeks because it's reaching a flat level that had not since 2007, with possibilities to invest for 2019, this with clear damage to the stock market. Why? Let´s briefly explain you.

Understanding how this curve is drawn, its types (normal-reverse-flat-humpback), its inclination (steep or flat) and its relationship with the market, will allow us to make better trades. Also knowing its basic principle: the direct influence of the short-term yield bonds is the i-rate assigned by the FED, while the long-term ones depend, also directly, on inflation and how it is eroding the value of the bonus in time.

The yield curve is formed on an XY chart with the maturity times of the US Treasury Bond on one axis and the interest rates on the other. In an expansive cycle, there is a growing slope, as it is obvious that, at a longer time, higher yield is expected through a higher interest rate. Flattening occurs when the differential or spread between the extremes approaches. 

In StockCharts you can observe the yield curve and the SPX index at any moment. Verify its flattened form today, here: https://stockcharts.com/freecharts/yieldcurve.php


On the stockcharts link: just choose a year in the SPX to see how the yield curve was that moment.

Yield Curve behavior


Depending on the state of the economy, four cases can occur:

1. Bull steepener: occurred after the crisis in 2008 when the FED became dovish and in order to heat the economy, began to lower rates, so the short-term i-rate fell faster than the long-term. Notice that a bubble was created in the price of the short bonds, whose consequences are seen until today.

2. Bear steepener: it´s seen only the first months after Trump's victory, when an increase in inflation and FED Rate Hikes were foreseen. The steep slope was a sign of an expanding economy.

3. Bear flattener: occurs this year, when the FED adopts a more hawkish tone and short-term rates rise faster than long-term rates. The slow pace with which inflation advances flattens the curve, with the risk that it will reverse, which is a sign of the beginning of a recessive cycle.

4. Bull flattener: after a recession, reactivation is appreciated when the influence of inflation decreases in long-term rates and these fall faster than short-term ones. It is usually a good time to buy long-term bonds.


Understanding the rate curve is decisive to invest taking advantage of the inflation and i-rate data. Check this didactic article by Felix Baruque for more information.





Divergences in Wall Street and a crucial chart


Already since January 2017 I wrote about the beginning of the flattening. With the months it was accentuated and today its investment is a worrying possibility. Some important FED members express their opinion: for example the dovish James Bullard consider the yield curve inversion a real possibility and a bearish signal for markets. On the other side, a hawkish John Williams said yesterday that FED shouldn't be afraid, because he considers that wages are still slow and with the field to continue growing.  Also Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary and promoter of the Trump's tax reform, said he´s perfectly content the flat yield curve...

The fact: a way to see graphically what can occur to economy, and therefore the stock market, is checking the differential between the bond rates. It is usually used as a spread data, the 2-year and 10-year bond yields, although other authors prefer to use the 3-month and 10-year bond. On this Bloomberg chart the spread is shown between the 2 and 10 year bonds since 1977. Look: whenever there was a recession cycle (in green) the spread became negative a few months earlier.



Also Wall Street main banks, Citibank C, Bank of America BAC and JP Morgan JPM, had been having a tough year, this flat yield curve not benefit them, despite the tax reform and the 10-year Treasury Bond TNX near to the 3% rate, its higher since 2013 . The financial etf XLF also had a negative YTD. 


Conclusion


Consider the following:
- The current flattening is due to successive FED Rate Hikes, in addition to the slow progress of inflation. 
- In the US more than 50 years ago, this behavior has meant the preamble of recession, which usually pulls down in the stock market. 
- There is almost consensus that two consecutive quarterly GDP decreases signals the start of a recessive cycle.
- Today the jump in Average Hourly Earnings (2.9% vs 2.8% consensus) tell us a lot about how inflation and wages are moving, and fears of more Rate Hikes.

From the point of view of the bonds, which always anticipate the stocks, it does not seem time to enter long on stocks, because the historical statistics shows that when the curve is reversed the recession begins, and that event is close to occur.So my best advice is to check the evolution of this spread in the next days and weeks. Swing trading, with risk management emphasis is, in my vision, the best option for the market today

Read more »

Friday, December 7, 2018

Wild sessions last week in Wall Street


Market Pulse.


Ends a wild week in Wall Street, with the SP500 and the Nasdaq, already settled in a bearish environment, with its worst week since March, and almost all technical indicators negatives. Both started the week very optimistic (Monday + 2%) after the G20 and the news of an apparent truce in the US-China trade war, a fact that was losing strength as details of it were known, and protagonists of it, like Trump or Kudlow, began to spoke. The final thrust occurred half a week ago with the arrest of Ms. Meng Wanzhou, Huawei CFO, a police-diplomatic event that, if misused by the Chinese as it seems to be, can cause major problems for the markets. Wall Street understood it, finally closing with a worrying cumulative weekly drop of -5% in its main indices. And, technically, SPX has already lost the key SMA 200-day support, and now is facing a 'death cross' pattern between the moving averages 50 and 200-day, a clear bearish signal. It is not infallible but it must be taken into account, as well as the following points:


This 2018 SPX chart shows, in the circle, the "death cross" pattern between the moving averages of 50 and 200-day, which is produced for the first time this year. Also seems to be formed, not very clear, a bearish downtrend channel in which the SPX is bouncing. Finally, the fundamental aspects, which will be commented on in this post, will determine if this year the usual Christmas mini-rally will take place.


The Yield Curve flattening


This curve is decisive for the next weeks' market behavior. Some of its yield spreads have already been reversed this week. The main one, the 2 and 10-year is one step away from doing so. Historically, whenever this investment occurred, it marked the beginning of a recessive cycle in the US and the consequent fall of the stock markets. The 10-year T-Bond yield TNX has been falling to 2.8% levels, flattening the curve more and more, favoring the bonds and hurting the dollar and the financial sector XLF that has been sinking since October. The word recession comes more and more in the US, and signals begin to appear everywhere ...


The chart that everyone in Wall Street fears: whenever there was a recession cycle (shadow in green), the spread between the 2 and 10-year US T-Bond became negative a few months earlier. We are at that point now. This data is so important that it's possible that FED may back off its Rate Hike program for December. 





Market Volatility spike


This week exceeded the psychological value of 20, its average for years and generally used as a reversal point in the markets. However, this does not happen, and the fear index VIX continues to rise, closing the week above 23. You know, when it spiked, stocks come under pressure. The smart thing to do when its above 20, approaching 30, is waiting for the VIX decline: check market fundamentals and, technically, its Bohlinger Bands and SMA200, before playing a buy order. 


Chart of the "fear index" behavior this year. As you see, the popular Bohlinger Bands works fine with the VIX: as it trades, volatility rises or falls as it bounces off the upper and lower bands, that means overbought and oversold conditions. Except for some specific peaks, the whole year has moved between these bands, which makes it an efficient indicator, regardless of the tone of the market, bullish or bearish.
Another simple and good indicator for the VIX is its moving average 200-day: its signal varies rapidly from support to resistance according to the behavior of the market. Its best application is given when price touches it: since October the SMA200 is acting three times as a powerful support. Use the ETN VXX, that follows the fear index, or the UVXY, at triple speed, with this two easy indicators.


The Trade War influence


Some indicators published this week suggest that it has not been so convenient for the US, because the applied tariffs have not helped to reduce its gigantic fiscal deficit as expected, because the Chinese, in fiscal surplus, do not buy anything from US. Was a Trump's error pushing it? Assuming this, it is possible that the influence of this 'war' on the stock market's behavior diminishes, this judging by a recent Trump tweet that usually moves the market, was ignored by it.


In other months of this year, a tweet like this meaning a +1% spike of the SPX. This week: nothing...

The FAANGs pullback


The FAANG stocks, with its prices falling, continue pulling all the values of the Nasdaq, with such force that the usual effective 'buy the dip' method that is applied by many traders in each pullback no longer works, and rather the investors are taking profits as soon as they achieve them ('sell the highs'), a short-term attitude that resembles what is happening with the yield curve. 

The Nasdaq has fallen more than 13% since its peak in October and at the moment there is no technical support for a rebound, so the fundamentals, that we are discussing here, will probably indicate the end of this fall.


Bad week, once again, for the FAANGs (Since highs in early October: Facebook FB -10%, Amazon AMZN -10%, Apple AAPL -25%, Netflix NFLX -20% and Google GOOG -9%). It is insistently talked about on Wall Street that its prices are exaggeratedly overvalued and they need a clear correction like the one that has been taking place. 
The big question: are prices ready now for buying the dips? The first thing that a trader usually does is see the ratio P/E, which has decreased strongly in all the FAANGs, however, I think it is not enough. I prefer to check Apple news and reports first, and now there aren't positives: Apple predicted a weaker-than-expected holiday shopping quarter in November and other reports about the slow demand for iPhones, analysts have cut the Cupertino company's net income estimates for the month of December by almost 1,000 million dollars. So, better wait some weeks before entering long here.





OPEC agreements on Crude Oil production


It seems to have found a good support at the psychological price of $50, as it comes ranging all week. Apart from the decisions of the trio USA-Russia-Arabia, those that really command the price of crude oil, this half-week we have an agreement between the OPEC and non-OPEC countries to reduce their production in 1.2mbd helps in this sense, but it's not enough even for the large existing supply, generated by the US, which continues to increase its production. In my opinion, a difficult 2019 awaits for crude, although Goldman Sachs forecasts /CL price hovering around $ 70 in next Q1.


The three "defensive" Sectors leading

This comparison chart shows the performance of the nine main sectors during 2018. Show in blue sky is the SPX. As we see, by far, the three default defensive sectors (Staples XLP, Health XLV, and Utilities XLU) continue leading this bear market, signing a clear downtrend, confirm by the Sector Rotation Model, above, deeply in the red. More recession signals.
Read more »

Saturday, December 1, 2018

December depends on the Trump-Xi meeting this weekend



SP500: two resistance levels to break.


This week closes with a strong rebound of all Wall Street indices, starting with the most important one, the SP500 SPX, which recovered 5% since last Friday, at its last pullback, reaching again its crucial SMA200 average, and also the lower part of the Ichimoku cloud. Attention to these two important resistances because if it exceeds them, it can be the starting point to the traditional Christmas mini-rally. It is known that December is, seasonally, the best month in the stock markets, not only in the US but globally. But... wait for Trump -Xi meeting...


Technically, important week for the SPX facing the two resistances indicated in the circle. However, with an event as crucial as the Trump-Xi meeting, any analysis loses relative value today, until Monday.



Factors


What factors have originated this bullish week? I see several. Perhaps the main one is the change of tone in the messages of the FED, recently hawkish, encouraging more Rate Hike adducing were necessary to boost the economy, to the completely dovish image of Powell this week, now announcing that the i-rate is in levels "just below neutral", that is, 'if I raise the i-rate I could cool down the economy and if lower it, I could heat it too much.' Clear message that the Rate Hike can be stopped for a time, and the decisions will be taken exclusively as indicated by the economic indices in the short term. Even the Rate Hike that was taken for granted in December, today may seem somewhat distant.

Another key factor, as I mentioned in the previous post, is the drop in the price of Crude Oil /CL. Brutal, impressive, for almost two months, reaching below the $50 level. And regardless of the crisis it generates in the sector, this has immediate consequences for the world economy: inflation will stop, or slow down at least for a while. The dollar /DX will begin a correction to the downside, for Trump' happiness who wants it that way, and sadness for the banking sector XLF. Another key consequence of lower inflation is given in the bonds: this week bonds TLT went up, and so, the rate of the 10-year T-Bond TNX, the benchmark, reached down the psychological level of 3%. This causes that an inverted yield curve is very close, with all the consequences I mentioned in this earlier post.


Crude Oil /CL: ranging at the $ 50 level a few days ago, awaiting decisions by the Trump-Putin-Bin Salman trio in the G20, and in a lesser degree the OPEC decisions.
US Dollar /DX: after its powerful rise, it can change course after the dovish tone assumed by Powell and the FED.
10-year US T-Bond TNX: closing the month at the $ 3 level, it will also be affected by the reduction in inflation. Predictions failed, including mine, which put them in ranges of $ 3.25
Finance Sector XLF: they do not like the recent dovish tone of the FED. Technically it will be difficult to get out of the lateral range in which it has been since April. Also, there is a bearish "death cross" in the short term between its SMA50 and SMA200 averages.


December Outlook


Given the sensitivity of the market today, it is clear to everyone that the likely historical Trump-Xi meeting this weekend in Argentina, on the occasion of the G20, will be decisive for the short term of the stock markets. At the moment there are many news, opinions, rumors, and few certainties: Trump, true to his style, throwing critical tweets against China, and on the other hand, officials auguring a success in the meeting. Wall Street expects decisions of the type "we will reduce tariffs, or we will agree in some areas or topics". Any other unclear decision can lead to a red session this Monday 3 that open markets. And good news could mean a big jump in global markets and a happy Christmas for all!

Read more »
.