Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Saturday, June 13, 2020
No need to comment on things that have been going on over the past few weeks. Craziness to the max. Suffice it to say that no indicator or past experience has been able to lend any thoughts to what can come.
Despite the euphoria that saturated markets, including the tremendous bid in companies that had already declared bankrupcy, I continue to hold on to the idea that we are in a B wave of a corrective phase.
June had been targeted for the three month test of the low but as it is now mid-month already, it may drag out even further into July or beyond. As others have confessed, I also am truly humbled by the magnitude and consistency of the bid in the market. I step back in awe but am truly aware that making millions in the market, that is driven solely through increasing debt and currency devaluation means absolutely nothing. While not professing to be a socialist by any means, the value of our and other currencies are truly nonexistent. When my bank account shows excess, I can't wait to get rid of it either by hiring those poor souls who worship this green paper and will sacrifice their time and energy as a way to obtaining it. How sad is it that they don't realize that governments, corporations and well-off individuals can obtain as much of it as they wish at no cost. Even to the extent that governments and banks are begging them to take more. Yet these poor souls sacrifice time away from their spouses and children, away from their friends and loved ones, to enter into servitude for something that has little true value.
So I digress of course as I see the further decline in the markets to be tumultous. Even on Friday as the markets appeared to be opening down, I heard that the Treasury Secretary was vowing to add another $trillion to the market/economy or whatever/wherever this money is to go. There is desperation in the air.
My only evidence that I will put forth in my prediction in lower prices is evidence that a cycle indicator that I conjured up out of various bits of market data has turned the corner. Last week marked perhaps the top. It was a three week test of the peak and it exceeded the previous peak. That often would lead me to suggest that a top is not yet in. But there is little doubt in my decades-long work that the market is as overvalued as I had ever seen. The strength of the move has been without comparison, perhaps in my lifetime or at the very least, since I became a serious student of the market after 1988. I do follow the cycles very closely and while price does not often move in dramatic fashion as these cycles fluctuate, it is a good guide to be selling call premium instead of put premium or lighten up on bull positions and even double down with SDS, DXD, and other leveraged inverse market instruments.
I have been dead wrong in my last calls for the top. Few people ever get it right. My down positions were mere pilot positions. As despair filled my soul with these ever greater moves higher, I exited everything but on Friday, again established a position in SDS. The inverse for the Russell 2000 may have been the best option as this segment of the market has shown to be the weakest. Yet even in the past weeks, it has begun to move higher with the final nail in the coffin being the sudden run up in bankrupt companies. Can anything signal a top and euphoria more than a rush into worthless bankrupt companies? Now I have seen it all, beyond imagination.
Even though the overall pattern might have played out a bit differently, the looks are pretty much the same. With this in mind, I think that Silver also can head down in a three month test of the low. It might play out along even further into July.
It is not lost on me however that if we don't have a serious move down, we may be setting up a very meaningful reverse head and shoulders formation. It is not lost on me that my predictive powers as of late have been nil. I play the paper side of metals holding long term bull spreads topping at 25. These are not traded. Also the physicals are the foundation that are also never traded or hedged. Other long calls and puts are spread off on weekly bases generating income. Also a bag of short 12 calls are on hand should we get that dramatic move down to test or exceed the lows.
I'm pretty amazed at how well the metals have held up in the paper market though. Dips appear to have been bought up. That is something that few of us have experienced in a very long time. So with complacency setting in, I want to ensure that I maintain these deep in the money shorts because big silver slam downs are more of the norm than what we are seeing these past weeks.
It's surely been quite a ride. Have to say that I lost a little on the stock upmove. Since 2008, I have not been a believer in stocks. But I am not distressed at all of the money I could have made. My only fear is that the money that I do maintain might have any value at all in the years to come. What is next in this world, I don't have a clue.
Friday, June 5, 2020
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Saturday, May 30, 2020
Stocks continued to defy gravity rising ever higher with tech stocks even making new highs! As the table shows, DIA, a Dow 30 ETF, rose 3.9% this week. Dollar sensitive instruments such as EFA, a basket of foreign stocks, and SLV (silver) rose 4% or more. Bonds (TLT) and gold (GLD) eased slightly after running up significantly for the year. TLT remains up 20.7% (not including dividends) while gold continues with a strong year, up 14%.
Silver began achieving a better relationship to gold.
From a recent high of 126.43 ounces of silver to 1 ounce of gold, the ratio fell better than 4% this week to a more reasonable 96.846. There appears to be strong long term support at the 81 level but many of us believe that this ratio has long been out of alignment with reality. Current reports from silver miners indicate that the actual ratio of silver coming out of the ground to gold is 8:1. Historically, through the centuries historically, silver has had a 15:1 ratio to gold. As for many centuries, silver has been used as currency, this weighting may have been designated by things other than mining statistics.
We can see on the far right, center of this graphic, with the continued “dollar printing” carried out by the US Central Bank, a fair value of an ounce of silver could be $3,105 an ounce. The chart shows the Dollar to Gold ratio as $25,745 The ratios provided here do bring us to a bit over 8. $25,745/$3,105 = 8.29.
Where can Stocks Go?
I still contend that we are in a correction phase of the market but again, I continue to be proven wrong, just as I have been for the last 12 years!!! I often think of how silly it is for me to write a blog using any form of analysis other than Federal Reserve Actions.
“Money Printing” is off the charts. The markets dismiss how worthless the US dollar is so putting a price on anything is so misleading. If my stock portfolio is worth $1 million dollars, it might as well be $1 million in Monopoly money. It is insignificant. When one looks at a value of the stock market in terms of this money printing, we can see that even as the markets rise trying to maintain some sense of real value, stocks still fall short.
In light of this view, it appears that being invested in stocks is better than not.
Back to the market interpretation. I had early on suggested that a correction can often be in a zig-zag shape.
We can see two types of corrections here, a flat and a zig –zag. A flat correction could even reach the start of the down move, which was the market highs.
I suggested this possibility https://www.tradingview.com/chart/SPX/zNBwBPzn-SPX-A-test-of-the-highs-as-a-possibility/
on April 17th. One viewer’s comment on this was:
Lol .. I think this chart is insane .. no jobs ... no rent payments .. and stock higher ? This is euphoria phase .. big boys soon gonna bail out on $1200 checks
It’s usually when I get abused by outlandish calls, although within the realm of possibilities, I believe that I am on to something.
One thing for sure, get out of the way when the Fed and other central banks are lavishly dumping money into the financial sector. You can be sure that it is not going into your pocket, but Mr. Market’s.
Focusing on the Dollar
One has to think as the Federal Reserve increases the money supply, the value of the dollar needs to decrease. This is simple logic as the value of the dollar is supported solely by the government’s tax base and it’s ability to pay interest on its debt. With interest rates down so low, perhaps the “strong” dollar can continue to be supported. This instrument above UDN is a way to play or view the dollar going down. We can see that UDN increased 1.6% this week but remains down 2.2% on the year, reflecting the US Dollar’s strength against other foreign currencies. It appears to be reaching resisting just overhead at the green line (50 week Exponential Moving Average).
I continue to like Silver at the moment although it is reaching it’s high level. In this view, we can see a clearly formed down trend. Just as stocks have shown an A-B-C correction format, silver also appears to be in a B wave correction mode and can possibly fall back to lower lows.
Another view of silver that I had contemplated recently is this:
Both scenarios are on the radar and I will be watchful of.
Especially with Precious Metals, it appears to be prudent to buy physicals such as gold and silver bullion or American Eagle coins and keep them secure in your elements, not at a bank safe deposit vault. The real value of holding these are in some event affecting the banking system, if you are unable to access cash machines, sudden collapse of the dollar (with ever increasing tensions with China, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, ...), or some other event that is only foreseen in prophesy, stuff can happen and as we have seen recently with the restrictions of our freedoms, holding a physical that might hold value and be used in exchange for goods and services is important. While a word of caution needs to be injected here, it had been illegal to hold gold three times in our history: 1919, 1933 and as recently as 1973. As there is to any risk of our properties in this day and age, our precious metals, held within our borders, governments can and have confiscated our property. But it’s your best bet for being diversified.
And buying physical gold and silver is much like buying real estate. The spreads between the buy and sell price are much wider than in the paper trading markets so any impulse to trade it in small quantities does not make sense. The big banks hold massive quantities of precious metals but sell options, futures and other instruments in the paper market to leverage their holdings. I tend to do the same thing. I hold physicals and long term SLV options. I often sell options against my ETFs to generate regular income.
In stocks, I currently hold very small positions for the SPX and QQQ (tech index) to go down. I have been dead wrong this far in both as markets have risen higher and higher. I have resisted impulses to buy more down positions (SDS, two times down for the S&P, and QID, two times down for QQQ). I am looking to buy next TWM, two times down for IWD that is an ETF for the Russell 2000, a broad base stock index.
We can see that the smaller companies, as reflected in the Mid-Cap. Russell 2000 and micro cap segments, the worst the annual performance. I would expect that the IWM would begin to start off the market decline so will look to enter into a down position for this instrument.
In the weekly chart of IWM, we can see that it was repulsed at the .618 Fibonacci retracement level. Many expected this to happen with SPX (large cap stocks) but this has not happened. The Russell 2000 is the weakest of the SP 500, QQQ (tech sector that is challenging its highs) and mid cap.
For grins, here is QQQ for comparison:
FINAL NOTE - 3 Month Test of the Lows
I often like to look for tests of highs and lows. Regular periods of these tests are three, sometimes four periods. On a monthly view, we see that we are at four months up, trying to take out the highs. On QQQ we tried hard over the past few days to rally above but failed. SPX above is still well below the highs. We might expect things to turn and now go down for a three month test of the lows, possibly four. With this next potential move down, we can see what kind of correction plays out. Is it a Flat? Or a Zig Zag? In SPX, it would form a zig zag implying even lower prices on the way down.
If we ever start moving down, I will comment more. Unfortunately, any move down has been met with fierce Federal Reserve stimulus and Government interventions. They cannot allow the markets to go down nor can they allow corporations to default on debt. The consequences would make you very glad that you have physical gold and silver on hand.
Thanks for your attention.
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Markets continue to soar. Nothing is going down, with the exception of oil.
Stocks, bonds, precious metals all are maintaining strong levels despite the fact that more than 26 million people have lost their jobs in the past month.
But this is my last call for a sell as we move to the .618 Fib level. Experts contend that moving above that level can signify a trend change. Once again, I will have been wrong about this market, just as I have been wrong about the market since 2009. In the end, it doesn't matter, does it? In reality, your assets are worthless!
This chart exhibits the level of the M1 money supply. We can see that since 2009, the money supply has more than tripled. Has your salary? Not likely. Unless you control the means of production, which seems to be shifting more and more to the hands of the government and government cronies, we are all in the same boat. Any wealth that you believe you might have is an illusion.
The fact that the Federal Reserve has been printing unlimited amounts of money now cannot be denied. Yet the effects of inflation have yet to be seen in obvious ways like in Venezuela. But while we are blinded by the reality, that is the inevitable outcome.
Seems that any market analysis is pure folly. There are no markets anymore.
Here is the cost of money, very close to $0. Soon, like oil, holders of money will have to pay others to take their money! Hey, that's what is already happening in Europe!
MONTH ENDS ON THURSDAY
As I discussed in last weekend's writing, we are doing a three month test of the highs, more pronounced in the QQQ instrument that is a proxy for the Nasdaq and tech stocks in general. In premarket this morning, we are at 217 so a mere 2 points away from the monthly closing high.
The next couple of days will be interesting. In the end though, whether you win or lose, the money you win or lose is quite worthless.
Saturday, April 25, 2020
Stocks took a breather this week despite continued monetary stimulation from central banks across the globe.
Gold continued to shine, up over 2% on the week. Bonds, represented by TLT also did well. On the year, TLT is up 26%, outpacing Gold by 2X.
Decliners outpaced Advancing issues in my work Adv 55 - Dec 111. Last week, it was 50/50 and the prior week, there were only 3 decliners. While the averages are holding higher, the vast majority of stocks are reflecting more of the reality. No one can possibly predict what is to come next.
Latin America Pains
Looking across the Americas, Latin America was hard hit, led by political turmoil in Brasil along with oil woes faced by Mexico.
Latin American investors are looking at market valuations not seen in decades.
Not much was working in terms of broad based sectors. But quite a few stocks were doing very well.
As mentioned last week, Wheaton Precious Metals and Franco Nevada shares continued making new highs.
I continue to like and look for more opportunities to buy more should any sell-offs hit. There is little doubt that even while the market prices of gold and silver continue to disappoint, these shares are getting noticed by buyers. I have yet to hear anything though on the main stream market channels. Once the mainstream catches on, the potential for considerably higher prices will be released.
Healthcare, technology and services led the way but keep in mind that even in these sectors, most stock charts looked lackluster or hitting resistance.
Some of the shares I'd like to display
Scotts Miracle Grow
Momentum strong, looking as it might take out the highs. Maybe it's waiting for Michigan seed sales to begin again.
Picking up steam here. Maybe if you can't go to the beach, you need to put in a home pool?
Johnson and Johnson
Healthcare stocks continue to make headlines for a multitude of reasons as corporations race to supply health care works, produce easy to use virus tests, and create vaccines. Seems that in every event there are winners and losers if you are alert.
Quite a number of stocks in this sector that looked good. I chose this one to illustrate as it appeared to have good momentum for hitting the highs. Otherwise, technology overall appears to be highly valued so if you are a value investor, which probably no one is anymore, finding true value is pretty difficult
There was nothing that looked good in the Industrial, Finance and Utility sectors.
What's Coming Next?
Those that have followed me over the years know that I look at 3-period tests of highs and lows to help confirm buy and sell signals. Over the past 12 years, few sell signals manifested as stocks were in an ever ascending mode. Terms such as the "Fed Put" always emerged as stocks continued to dazzle the trend followers.
We can see in this chart of QQQ, a proxy for the Tech sector, we are very close to the three month test of the high. Thursday marks April 30 so next week's report will confirm if stocks are to continue rallying or if a tentative sell is issued. I find it so interesting when I can watch the market closes around tests of highs and lows. It's a real concept. You can see the battle often raging between buyers and sellers at the critical closing price.
One thing that I am cautious about though is that while the January closing price is the highest closing price, prices did go higher in February but then closed lower. So it's still possible that even if April's closing price was below January's, prices can still go higher in May, testing the ultimate top.
As the QQQ monthly close is but a few points away from January's close, it will be most interesting to see what happens here. Tech has been the strongest sector by far.
S&P 500 Monthly
The S&P 500 chart is far below January's close so a massive move can be anticipated. Crazy as it sounds, this is the formation set-up so I'd be cautious about shorting as we anticipate an unfathomable test of the high.
Let's see what happens.
One key dynamic to watch is how much money central banks will be continuing to throw into the economies. At some point though, the reality of what continued money creation will hit home. What actually backs currencies? Is it merely backed by the tax base? the government's ability to service debt? With interest rates close to 0% and actually negative in other places in the world, Debt servicing may not be such an issue, especially if you are a country that can create more currency to pay that interest.
So many claim that there is no inflation. Can you really believe that? Highly educated economists actually say this, inflation is low or there is little chance of inflation. I can only guess that these individuals earn so much money that the incremental shifts in prices are not noticed.
Last year, I was able to buy grapes for $0.99/lb. I have not seen them under $1.99 this year. Same with other produce that I regularly buy. Apples were $0.49 and now if you can get them for under $1, you've got to stock up. Plant-based milk was going for $2.29 to 2,49. At best I'm lucky if I can find 2 for $7 and many places it is up to $4.49.
I don't know if you've looked at home prices. I have started looking as I am anticipating that real estate will take a nose dive if the pandemic situation does not get resolved quickly. I'll see a home that is tiny, perhaps a 2 bedroom one bath at most. Basic basic. I would think $125K tops? Nope, try close to $300K. This is insanity and fueled by all of the monetary stimulus to Federal Reserve has been injecting into the system. Yes the asset prices go up because the money is there and it has to be invested less it total devalue into nothingness.
What Effect Money Printing?
If we look at the value of the S&P 500 and take into consideration the amount of currency, as measured by M1, we can see that stocks have been going down ever since their peak in 2000
How sad it is that in reality, we are getting trashed.
I often am thinking, what can I do with the money? Where can you invest it? Is there any way that one can stay afloat?
Is this reality?
Silver at $2,455an ounce?
Gold at $20.351 an ounce?
Why are prices so depressed?
There are 173 times the amount of physical silver in the silver "paper" market. 88 times in the gold market.
Someday, perhaps not in my lifetime, there will be reality. Don't really see buying stocks as part of my reality, other than the gold/silver stocks that I had mentioned.
Looking for the tests of the monthly highs this week. a clear failure, especially in QQQ may spur me on to buy some SDS or SPXS.
Saturday, April 18, 2020
Standard and Poors 500 index continued its rally, advancing some 3% to 2874.56, up almost 85 points on the week.
The advance/decline line went to neutral in my stock universe with 84 advances against 82 decliners. Last week there were only 3 decliners.
Markets were led by the usual suspects, FANG stocks. Netflix and Amazon made new highs. AMD also showed good gains.
When sorted by 10-week gains, I was surprised to see Wheaton Precious Metals leading the lot with a 20% move. WPM has been one of my core holdings as I focus on precious metals and gold and silver stocks.
Wheaton is a gold and silver streamer. Basically, it's a middle man that buys from the mines and sells to users. It wasn't too long ago that the prices of both Wheaton and SLV (silver ETF) were the same.
Wheaton's price has doubled since then as SLV has declined some 10-20% from those levels.
I also like Franco Nevada FNV
Had been hoping for it to drop in price to buy more but like stocks in general, prices have continued to rise. Notice how these precious metals stocks are making new highs along with only a few of the leading tech stocks.
While I continue to look for some pull back in the precious metals sector, it as it is highly correlated with the movement in stocks in general, it has not provided a hedge to the overall stock market as one would expect in this sector.
Still looking for some retracement perhaps testing the lows. While stocks have continued to rally, the levels still are merely approaching a 50 week moving average and the .618 retracement. Still is within the realm of a normal retracement.
I was looking at some different wave formations and am open to a new hypothesis. Previously, I had been looking at the move from the highs as the First wave (A) down in a corrective phase. Normally, a correction goes through an A-B-C correction phase before continuing along its merry way. In reviewing a line chart, I was noticing how the last wave up may not have been a normal 5 wave Up move. It might only been three waves and that would indicate that it might be part of a correction. Corrective formations often go with a 3-3-3 or 3-3-5 wave count. As we can see in the above chart, we could have had an a-b-c down for the big A followed by an a-b-c up for the Wave B and now can be on the final C wave. This could be either an a-b-c or a five wave move down. Elliott Wave analysis is not predictive but a historical perspective of waves. Few agree on what the current wave structures are and often, those who have made historical analyses are often required to make revisions based on more recent moves.
So it's all a crap shoot so to speak. Fundamentally, there is nothing to hang your hat on here. The chatter is that stocks are looking out one year now but we all know the reality. The economy is shut down to a large extent, some 20 million people or more have lost their jobs while millions more are in furlough status. No one can predict what can come and for this reason, I am not currently in anything except for the gold and silver stocks along with a smattering of oil stocks that are horribly cheap. Whether they will survive or not probably depends on who will win the presidential election in November. The current president wants to preserve and enhance the oil sector to the point of being a net exporter. The previous administration shut down coal and was less favorable to the oil industry to the point where law suits were considered over environmental concerns.
And that is more or less how I have been advising people all through the year. Even at the highs, it seemed pretty likely that some event would happen to try to bring down the stock market in an effort to discredit the current president, who has flaunted the market highs as an indication of his great success. The bottom line was, if you feel that the president can rebuild the economy quickly, then buy stocks. It would be a vote for the president. If you believe that he will fail and will lose the next election, then don't buy stocks.
My lack of conviction in the market is not a vote for or against the president, it is my general opinion that even from the 2009 to 2020 bull run, I have felt that the market is all smoke and mirrors, propped up by Federal Reserve stimulus, Computer-driven market activity, corporate buybacks and even foreign central bank stock buying. With interest rates paying next to 0 and pensions and insurance companies moving to stocks to generate any kind of return, if the markets falter, the whole system will collapse, including my pensions. Ugghhh. I guess that's why I am an advocate of precious metals because if all else fails, and a continued collapse in stock prices might ensure that, what's left?
And the downside even there is that three times in the past, the US government has made it illegal to own gold. At this point, I shake my head knowing the futility there is in trying to plan for the future.
Ignorance is bliss I suppose.
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
The stock market continued rallying after a brief resistance that the 50% retracement level.
Some are already throwing in the towel admitting that some are just buying what the Fed is buying. Investing is Dead
This was exactly my point last week in noting that the Fed is now committed to buying corporate bonds, including Exchange Traded Funds that are less than stellar quality.
The market continues to soar even as the economy is shut down with no idea when it will reopen and what consumer attitudes will be. It will be a brand new world perhaps.
The irony here in this scene is the continual narrative that we have been hearing for the past 12 years and even longer. The rich continue to get richer, thriving despite millions of American workers being laid off or furloughed.
The classic tale of two cities. I remember way back when, I would hear Rick Santelli on CNBC jumping for joy as economic numbers would come in weaker than expected, dropping interest rates further. This is great for the homeowners, he would exclaim, you can refinance at a lower rate.
Markets would rally across the board, even as they are doing today. But the economic fundamentals continue to weaken.
What can one do? I can imagine many are kicking themselves for getting out of the market only to see it come roaring back. Most certainly it will probably keep roaring on until every last one gets sucked back in. And who knows, the market can go much higher.
As one theory goes, a 50% correction would be normal. Basing from the lows of 2009, we came close to a 50% correction, but not quite. A rebound from the 50% retracement can be expected to move to the -.23 Fib level, above 4000 on SPX.
We can see that Stochastics, the lower indicator, is coming out of a bottom and could start heading up.
Anything is possible I suppose but the markets are being levitated on the same old suspects, the FANG stocks: Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google.
Amazon hit new highs today as did Netflix.
Just as in the past, it's been but a few stocks boosting up the indices. These are the highly capitalized stocks that have the biggest influence on the market averages.
Compare those to a former market darling, DuPont. Traditionally one of the bluest of blue chip stocks, DuPont along with other "quality" stocks.
I will stick by my guns and anticipate that a further market decline will play out. While I don't hold the possible depression scenario that I posted a few weeks back, a normal correction should at least exhibit an A-B-C corrective wave.
At some point, we should get another leg down, retesting the low or breaking through to a lower low.
Still that won't be the end of the world. I view the move from 2009 to our recent highs as merely a Wave 1 of a 5 wave bullish structure that can carry us higher for at least another decade.
While some states might begin opening up next month, there are going to be quarters to come showing very bad economic numbers. The emerging optimism is fueled by incredibly massive amounts of Federal Reserve and Treasury Department stimuli. Markets are pretty much machine run these days and previously, much of the fuel came from corporate buybacks. Those buybacks may be drying up as those corporations taking the federal stimulus will be restricted from buying back stocks.
Seems certain that earnings will fall and PE ratios, book value and other fundamental metrics will look awful.
Bottom line, the market continues to be a casino, a ponzi scheme, a bigger fool theory scam. I continue to favor cash and gold. Massive money creation SHOULD result in precious metals prices improving.
Gold continues to surge and broke through to new multi year highs this week. Gold stocks as well have been soaring, many touching new high levels as well.
Physical gold remains scarce and that which is available is fetching close to a 10% premium over spot price. Keep in mind, physical metals as well as gold stocks are a tiny market. If institutional buyers start moving into this area, prices can be expected to surge.