Updating The 3 Amigos And The Global Macro Message

This morning in pre-market the Amigos’ futures charts update the macro story…

global macro

…which goes something like this…

Copper, the cyclical Amigo (weekly chart) has furthered the intermediate trend line break we noted on October 25th. This is in line with the rally in US and global stock markets and even more so, the global macro reflation theme. It does not look so impressive yet on this weekly chart, but other components of the macro trade are starting to look impressive, especially on daily charts. So… steady as she goes. Continue reading "Updating The 3 Amigos And The Global Macro Message"

Options Trading And The Bull Market No One Saw Coming

2019 has ushered in one of the most surprising bull markets that nearly no one saw coming. The vast majority of Wall Street analysts underestimated the strength of this bull market as we enter into mid-November. Expectations for 2019 were largely muted when factoring in a slew of potentially negative economic issues such as the U.S./China trade war, Brexit, inverted yield curve, potential recession, Federal Reserve actions, and the presidential impeachment efforts. Despite all of these headwinds, the indices continue to post record highs with the Dow Jones and S&P 500 notching gains of 18% and 23%, respectively.

This market has been dubbed the “most hated bull market in history,” illustrating the point that the ability for anyone to predict market returns is a futile endeavor. Reiterating why 92% actively managed funds do not outperform their benchmark and why there’s only a 36% chance of picking a stock that will outperform the market. An options-based portfolio approach can offer a superior alternative to traditional stock picking and position your portfolio to thrive in any environment such as this surprise bull market. An option-based strategy mitigates risk and circumvents drastic market moves. Selling options and collecting premium income in a high-probability manner generates consistent income for steady portfolio appreciation in both bear and bull market conditions. This is all done without predicting which way the market will move. Options trading is a great way to generate superior returns with less volatility over the long-term regardless of market conditions such as this “most hated bull market in history.”

Options and the Most Hated Bull Market

Market headwinds aplenty coupled with coming off a tough 2018, Wall Street had a negative view of stocks for 2019, and as a result, the vast majority of analysts missed one of the best years of the longest bull market in history. This market continues to make new highs after new highs. Per CNBC, of 17 forecasters for S&P 500 price, just three have targets that are above where the broad market index traded as of November 4th, 2019 with still nearly two months left in the year. Furthermore, negative sentiment is seen in the put-call ratio (a measure of sentiment among options traders), has remained above one since mid-September, a contrarian indicator that the market could be headed higher due to overly negative sentiment. Continue reading "Options Trading And The Bull Market No One Saw Coming"

Zero Fee Trades Likely Means Lower Fee ETFs - Part 1

The investment world was flipped upside-down recently when Charles Schwab eliminated trading commissions on stocks, ETFs, and options last month. The move prompted TD Ameritrade, E*TRADE, and other players in the industry to follow suit quickly or risk losing clients. The move is not the first time we have seen trading commissions reduced, but never before have retail investors been able to trade literally for free.

Most people would claim that the late Jack Bogle started this ‘war on fee’s’ decades ago when he introduced the low-cost index fund at Vanguard. The first low-cost mutual funds offered investors an inexpensive, at the time, option for investors. The low fee option Vanguard introduced proved to be a good move as Vanguard grew its asset base into what is now more than $5.5 trillion. Over the years, other firms began to fight back by cutting their fees, but the war had already started, and investors began to see the value in low-cost options.

Jack Bogle himself would often talk about how fees cost investors hundreds of thousands of dollars over their investing lifetime. The simple idea of paying lower fees equates to higher account balances over time makes perfect sense, especially to anyone who understands the power of compounding returns.

Zero fees on trading commissions will leave millions of dollars in investors' hands. It has been estimated that Charles Schwab alone will lose out on somewhere between $90 and $100 million in quarterly revenue now that they cut their trading fee to zero. That is just $100 million for one firm and one quarter. Based on those figures only of Schwab, we could easily see somewhere close to $1 billion is left in the hands of investors over the course of a year.

Now that we have hit zero fees on trading commissions and investors continue to learn how low-cost investing helps their overall returns, it's likely we will see more fee-cutting throughout the investing industry. The high fee’s on mutual funds have already begun pushing investors to ETFs. And the ETF industry has already started fighting the battle to cut costs. Continue reading "Zero Fee Trades Likely Means Lower Fee ETFs - Part 1"

U.S. Crude Production Surged In August

The Energy Information Administration reported that August crude oil production averaged 12.365 million barrels per day (mmbd), up 599,000 b/d from July. The gain was primarily due to the fact that July production had dropped due to Tropical Storm Barry, which shut-in 9.2 million barrels, or 297,000 b/d for the month, based on real-time estimates. In addition, July production was revised downward by 40,000 b/d. Nevertheless, the net increase of around 250,000 b/d from the adjusted July figure was a large increase and confirms the EIA’s weekly estimates for the month.

Production in the Gulf of Mexico reached a new high at 2.006 mmbd. The previous record was 1.979 mmbd in April. Texas production also reached a new high of 5.121 mmbd, up 98,000 b/d from July. Other gains were 43,000 b/d in New Mexico, 28,000 b/d in North Dakota, 15,000 b/d in Louisiana and 12,000 b/d in Colorado. Alaska was down 66,000 b/d for seasonal reasons, and that production is likely to return.

Plains All American Pipeline LP’s (PAA) Cactus ll pipeline was expected to ship 300,000 b/d in August and to be at full capacity, 670,000 b/d, in September. EPIC Midstream’s crude oil pipeline began shipping 400,000 b/d. It is designed to ship 440,000 b/d from the Permian and another 150,000 b/d from the Eagle Ford.

Phillips 66 Partner’s Gray Oak pipeline is expected to ship an additional 900,000 b/d. It is scheduled to being shipments by year-end.

The effect of the pipeline additions will narrow the spread between Midland and the U.S. gulf prices, effectively lowering breakeven costs in the Permian.

Crude Production
Continue reading "U.S. Crude Production Surged In August"

Credit Delinquencies To Skyrocket In Q4

Farm delinquencies skyrocket +24% year over year as global trade issues and the ability to service credit continues to be a problem. This is a tell-tale sign that the US Fed decreased the Prime Rate recently as a result of broader credit issues related to higher interest rates for corporate and other borrowers. The last thing the Fed wants is another collapse on the lending markets similar to 2008-09.

source: zerohedge.com

Low growth continues to plague the global economy as this extended run in the US stock market continues to mature. There are many questions all traders are asking – will it continue higher or have we reached a new peak in price activity? Many economists believe we are ending an expansion period related to the revaluation of the global markets after the 2008-09 credit market collapse. The typical price cycle of approximately 6~7 years has extended beyond traditional bounds and many analysts are wondering how it may end?

If an economic cycle has truly come to an end, we should expect to see some change in economic activity levels, consumer confidence and mortgage/housing activities. The end of an economic cycle is usually aligned with some moderate level of economic contraction and a slowing of economic activity. The one thing that may continue throughout this end of the mature economic cycle is the “capital shift” where capital rushes away from risk and into the US stock market as long as the reversion event stays at bay. source: zerohedge.com

Consumer Confidence levels have fallen recently to new lows. This is a very clear sign that consumers expect the economy to contract a bit based on continued trade-related issues and the overall maturity of the economic cycle. Continue reading "Credit Delinquencies To Skyrocket In Q4"