WELCOME

Welcome and thank you for visiting!

The charts, graphs and comments in my Trading Blog represent my technical analysis and observations of a variety of world markets...
* Major World Market Indices * Futures Markets * U.S. Sectors and ETFs * Commodities * U.S. Bonds * Forex

N.B.
* The content in my articles is time-sensitive. Each one shows the date and time (New York ET) that I publish them. By the time you read them, market conditions may be quite different than that which is described in my posts, and upon which my analyses are based at that time.
* My posts are also re-published by several other websites and I have no control as to when their editors do so, or for the accuracy in their editing and reproduction of my content.
* From time to time, I will add updated market information and charts to some of my articles, so it's worth checking back here occasionally for the latest analyses.

DISCLAIMER: All the information contained within my posts are my opinions only and none of it may be construed as financial or trading advice...

Dots

...If the dots don't connect, gather more dots until they do...or, just follow the $$$...

Beach Picnic

Beach Picnic
Enjoy your Memorial Day long weekend!

Events

UPCOMING (MAJOR) U.S. ECONOMIC EVENTS...
* Mon. May 28 ~ U.S. markets closed for Memorial Day Holiday
* Wed. May 30 @ 2:00 pm ET ~ Beige Book Report
* Fri. June 1 @ 8:30 am ET ~ Employment Data
* Tues. June 12 @ 8:30 am ET ~ MoM & YoY CPI & Core CPI Data
* Wed. June 13 @ 2:00 pm ET ~ FOMC Announcement + FOMC Forecasts + @ 2:30 pm ET ~ Fed Chair Press Conference
* Tues. July 3 ~ U.S. markets close early at 1:00 pm ET
* Wed. July 4 ~ U.S. markets closed for Independence Day Holiday
* Thurs. July 5 @ 2:00 pm ET ~ FOMC Meeting Minutes
* Wed. Aug. 1 @ 2:00 pm ET ~ FOMC Announcement
* Mon. Sept. 3 ~ U.S. markets closed for Labour Day Holiday
*** Click here for link to Economic Calendars for all upcoming events

IMPORTANT BLOG POST UPDATES...
* JCPOA - Will President Trump recertify the JCPOA on May 12?...stay tuned...May 8 the answer is "No"...US pariticipation in the deal
is scrapped...new sanctions coming for Iran and, possibly, for nations supporting Iran.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Geopolitical Influences on World Markets

The following year-to-date percentage gained/lost graphs of the U.S. Major Indices and Major Sectors show that market participants have favoured riskier technology, small-cap, and consumer cyclical stocks.

U.S. Major Indices Year-to-Date

U.S. Major Sectors Year-to-Date

As you can see from the following monthly charts of the S&P 500 Index, MSCI World Index, and Emerging Markets ETF (EEM), money has been flowing in and out of them on increased volatility all year since they peaked at or near their all-time highs in January...pretty much as I speculated in my Market Forecast for 2018 post at the end of last year.

With rising tensions related to the upcoming U.S. November mid-term Congressional election and other domestic political pressures, world politics and markets, North Korea, Iran, China, trade imbalances, emerging market challenges, increasing inflation and interest rates, and Central Bank money tightening measures in various countries, it's difficult to see where these markets will gain and hold traction to increase much beyond their highs of this year, on a broad scale.

As such, we may see this kind of money 'ebb and flow' scenario continue throughout the remainder of the year, with markets either stuck in their current trading ranges while rotating in and out of various sectors, or maybe drift higher in a slow, choppy and volatile manner, until some kind of major catalyst propels the markets decisively one way or the other. Perhaps we'll have a clearer idea once second quarter earnings releases begin in July as to company forecasts for the second half of 2018 and beyond, as well as more well-defined Central Bank and geopolitical policies and agendas.




Sunday, May 13, 2018

FYI: 1/2 Hour Video Series Worth a Look re: Iran & Oil

I last wrote about WTIC Crude Oil here. My comments posted there remain unchanged...and we now know that President Trump withdrew US participation in the JCPOA deal on May 8 and that new sanctions will be implemented against Iran and, possibly, nations supporting Iran.

BNN Bloomberg TV's market commentator/analyst, Andrew McCreath's market wrap up and interview last Friday regarding Iran and Oil was interesting and worth a look. His 1/2 hour program is split into the following 4 videos (watch them in order).

Israel's Tel Aviv 125 Index Poised for a Rally

As Israel prepares for the relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Monday, the Tel Aviv 125 Index (TA125) appears to be poised for a rally.

Price closed on Friday just above major support of 1325 and is trading in between the 50 and 200 moving averages, as shown on the following daily chart.

A break and hold above the 50 MA at 1337, along with a rise in the RSI above 50 and further strength in the MACD and PMO indicators, could see price retest 1400, or higher. The higher swing high on the RSI is hinting of further strength. If such a scenario were to materialize, it's important that the 50 MA remain above the 200 MA, lest we see a bearish Death Cross form, followed by selling.

Tel Aviv 125 Index Daily

This index is trading under the bullish influence of a moving average Golden Cross and price is above both moving averages, as shown on the weekly chart below.

Look for the RSI to move above 50 and for new bullish crossovers to form on the MACD and PMO indicators on any price rally in order to support a retest of 1400, or higher. There is a large gap yet to be filled above 1425ish, so if price makes it that far, we may see that gap close at some point.

Otherwise, a drop and hold below 1325 could see price weaken to retest minor support at 1300, or even major support at 1225.

Tel Aviv 125 Index Weekly


Happy Mother's Day!

I don't know how many Moms read my Blog, but for all who do, Happy Mother's Day! 😊


Saturday, May 12, 2018

From This Week's "Smile File"...President Trump Makes Cash Great Again...

Congratulations, Mr. President...


Bitcoin's Slippery Search for Fair Value

My last post on Bitcoin made reference to a bearish engulfing candle that had formed on the daily timeframe.

Since then, its price drifted slightly upwards, then plunged and closed below the low of that candle on Friday, as shown on the following daily chart.

The momentum and rate-of-change indicators did not confirm the recent higher price high, but are both in an accelerating diverging downtrend, and are below their zero levels.

Bitcoin Daily

This week closed out on a bearish engulfing candle formation on the weekly timeframe, as shown below.

Both the momentum and rate-of-change indicators are below their zero levels and have been drifting lower over the past few weeks.

Daily and weekly price action on Bitcoin reflects systematic, measured selling since it made its record high in mid-December 2017, and it has failed to stabilize since then. There is no indication that is about to change any time soon.

Rather, these charts paint a picture of a highly unstable cryptocurrency which experienced an initial frenzied parabolic rise, followed by high frothy volatility, and which has yet to find its fair value or prove that it has any at all.

Bitcoin Weekly

Friday, May 11, 2018

VIX "Normal" Price Range Using TPO Profile Study

TPO stands for Time Price Opportunity. By using a TPO profile chart, you are able to analyze the amount of trading activity, based on time, for each price level that the market traded at for any given time period. The Point of Control (POC) is the price where it spent the most time during that period and in that timeframe.

If you look at the following monthly chart of the VIX with the TPO profile study added to it along the right hand side, you'll see that its POC (on a monthly basis) since 1986 is 20.53.

Whereas, the TPO POC on a daily timeframe from 1986 is 14.66, as shown on the daily chart below.

This tells me that the average "normal" range of the VIX during the past 33 years is between 14.66 and 20.53, regardless of its trading activity on either a monthly or daily timeframe.

I'd also go a bit further and say that any time it traded outside that range for any length of time, it was "unusual" and, therefore, unsustainable...something to consider when you're taking longer position trades in equities.

As of Thursday's close, the VIX was trading in "unusual" territory at 13.23...below the "normal" range, where it has spent most of its time since the November 2016 general election.

The last time it spent the majority of its time below the "normal" range was from 2005 to 2007 leading up to the 2008/09 financial crisis.

Is today's trading environment any different than it has been during the past 33 years where we'll see the VIX held below its "normal" range for a very long time going forward? We'll see...

VIX Monthly

VIX Daily

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Political Headwinds Await US Markets As November Mid-Term Election Approaches

* See UPDATES below...

As economic benefits of last year's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act begin to filter into the US economy, the S&P 500 Index appears to be headed towards a retest of its all-time high of 2872.87 set in January of this year, as shown on the monthly chart below. This record high was accompanied by an all-time momentum (MOM) high, as well...hinting of further strength ahead at some point on this timeframe.

It has broken above what was near-term resistance of 2680 (as I described in my post of May 4).

Watch for a break and hold above its next major resistance level (top of long-term uptrending channel) at 2750. Otherwise, a break and hold below 2680 could see price retest its next support level of 2620, or lower.


However, political headwinds are lurking as Congresswoman Pelosi promises to roll back those tax cuts (like Pac-Man on steroids gobbling up "crumbs") if Democrats retake Congress in the November mid-term election...as well as Congresswoman Waters' non-stop demands for President Trump's impeachment.

Just how much such inflammatory rhetoric will affect the equity markets remains to be seen...perhaps not much until we get into the late Summer/early Fall with both parties further defining their policies and priorities that they wish to implement going into the mid-term and beyond into the 2020 general election...besides obstruction and impeachment.



* UPDATE May 17...

Democrats continue to put the well-being of MS-13 gang members (who have entered the country illegally) ahead of that of American citizens...



And, with comments like the one below, Democrats continue to push their gender card and now conflate it with the health of financial markets.

Exactly what their overall agenda is remains a mystery at this point...and whether or not that will be explained in detail before the mid-term election is anybody's guess.


* UPDATE May 22...

We'll see if Republicans can build on this shift in momentum in their favour over the Democrats through to the mid-term election. How will President Trump contribute to this momentum, not only to November 2018, but through to the general election in 2020, and beyond? We'll see...

Source: NationalReview.com

* UPDATE May 25...


It's "interesting" and odd that Democrats, and their media cohorts, don't want full cooperation of the Intel agencies and transparency in order to uncover all the facts pertaining to the 2016 pre- and post-general election campaign activities of both the Democratic and Republican parties, as well as activities of foreign operatives/governments, DOJ, FBI, CIA, State Department, etc.

Only by exposing all the facts, can appropriate remedies be employed in the future to prevent further meddling by any foreign entities or governments in future elections...as well as arming Americans with such information and safeguards.


Source: WSJ.com




Monday, May 07, 2018

Is the Iran Nuclear Deal Illegitimate?

* See UPDATES below...

I watched Prime Minister Netanyahu's recent speech on TV where he described the extent to which Iran's nuclear program had been developed before the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was reached between Iran and six countries -- the US, UK, Russia, France, China and Germany.


From the information he provided, it appears that the parameters around which that deal were structured were false and no longer exist, and, therefore, one could argue that the deal is now illegitimate.

President Trump will have to decide whether or not to recertify the JCPOA by May 12.

By staying in the Iran deal, it sends a message to other countries such as North Korea that they, too, can make deals with the US based on false facts. It sets a precedent and a framework around which future deals could be structured and puts the US and its allies in a more weakened position than they were in before entering into such an agreement, inasmuch as they become tied to the conditions of the agreement.

Stay tuned...


* UPDATE May 8...

President Trump withdrew US participation in the Iran deal today...new sanctions will be implemented against Iran and, possibly, for nations supporting Iran.


Source: NationalReview.com

* UPDATE May 25...


Source: ZeroHedge.com

Friday, May 04, 2018

Will the SPX Break Out Ahead of the JCPOA Recertification Deadline?

Perhaps we'll have a clearer picture of direction on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) on a break one way or the other after President Trump decides by May 12 whether or not to recertify the JCPOA.

At the moment, it's trading within a tight range between 2620 and 2680, as shown on the daily chart below.

The momentum (MOM) indicator is in downtrend and trading below the zero level. The relative vigor index indicator (RVGI) is also in downtrend and is below zero, but has just formed a bullish crossover to the upside.

Any sustained breakout of the SPX to the upside will need to be confirmed by both indicators breaking and holding above their zero levels. Otherwise, it may be short-lived and followed by a sharp, swift drop.


Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Stalled Markets, Baby Boomers, and Accelerating Information

BABY BOOMERS & THE INFORMATION AGE


The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a Baby Boomer as a member of the generation born between 1946 and 1964. If the average age of Baby Boomers is 65 years, then 1953 would be an important year for them. A lot of stuff happened that year, including the end of the Korean War.

Read more at ThePeopleHistory.com

At the age of 65, a person is also considered a senior citizen. With that "badge of honour" comes a whole host of pros and cons. Baby Boomers' young adult lives were much more simple without distraction of home computers, cell phones and social media platforms. This kind of simple life meant that one could live in a more "linear-thinking" kind of mode, where people could more easily define their goals and create strategies and tactics on how they could be achieved at an early age, then work towards those as they aged.

The rapid onset of technology, nano-technology, nuclearization, globalization, pandemics, medical advances and cures, fluctuating climates, and mass human migration that we've seen emerge since the Sixties has brought with it a lot of rising challenges related to the adaption of social, economic, cultural, religious, racial and political differences and discord...as well as an oversaturation of information that's been thrown at us on an ever-accelerating pace.

I'm not sure that the average human brain has kept pace with, and has a full grasp of, all that has occurred during those years and what it will mean for younger generations going forward.

No doubt, Baby Boomers have been and are in the process of retiring and downsizing their homes and possessions. Priorities have changed from work-related and family-raising activities, to ones more focused on health, pensions, friends, and comfort, as well as drawing down their investments for such purposes.

Younger generations are debt-ridden and information-overloaded. They will be saddled with the problems of yesterday, today and tomorrow at an ever-increasing pace and are required to think in a more "lateral" fashion...not an easy task, as they'll need to keep an open mind and a keen eye open. Their disposable income may not be sufficient to plough into the stock markets.

We're now living in that hand-off period between Baby Boomers and these younger people as they begin to step into those roles. What that transition period means for the markets is unknown at the moment...at least I don't have a handle on that aspect (no crystal ball, darn it).

We may see a period of instability or chaos occur on a world-wide basis at some point where indecision becomes the norm for awhile, until new order and direction can evolve...one where markets stall and whipsaw for some time.

WHAT THAT MEANS FOR CURRENT EQUITY MARKETS


In the meantime, the technical indicators on the following monthly chart of the S&P 500 Index (SPX) can be monitored to gauge the strength or weakness of equities.

While the parabolic stop & reverse (SAR), momentum (MOM) and relative vigor index (RVGI) indicators are displayed with their default input values, I've shown the average true range (ATR) input value as 1 month.

In this regard, my observations are:
  • The SAR has flipped from a buy to a sell signal.
  • The RVGI has formed a bearish crossover and is accelerating to the downside.
  • The MOM has broken its recent uptrend from the beginning of 2016 and is accelerating to the downside.
  • The ATR registered its second-highest reading in history during February of this year...second only to the one made in October 2008 during the financial crisis.

These tell me that markets have reached a level of saturation and indecision...something I've written about in more detail all year in a variety of articles on a variety of markets. And, these technical indicators are additional tools to the ones I've mentioned that can be used to monitor equity strength/weakness/volatility going forward.

Whether this pause reflects, or is the beginning of, what I posited above regarding the generational hand-off is anybody's guess...but it may be...keep an open mind, eyes open and think laterally

As a Baby Boomer, myself, I intend to do just that, to the best of my abilities.


Tuesday, May 01, 2018

WTIC Oil Churns as World Leaders and Markets Digest Israel's Report on Iran

The price of WTIC Crude Oil (CL) continues to churn in a tight sideways consolidation range as markets and world leaders digest Israel's latest release of information regarding Iran's nuclear program.


As shown on the following daily chart of CL, it's still in uptrend on this timeframe, and this latest consolidation zone (green zone) may be a "bull flag" formation...suggesting higher prices ahead.

If price drops and holds below its near-term support of 66.00, we may see an accelerated level of selling occur. So, keep an eye on the velocity of both the momentum and relative volatility index indicators for confirmation. I've shown an input value of 1 day so you get an idea of day-to-day activity in both directions.

Otherwise, watch for a breakout and hold above 70.00 as it, potentially, could reach its next major resistance level of 80.00, as I recently described here.

We may not get clarification one way or the other until President Trump reaches a decision on May 12 regarding the recertification of the JCPOA.


Monday, April 30, 2018

Our Evolution from the First Bite of the Apple to Data Analytics

Who says science and religion can't mix? At first glance, they seem to be polar opposites.

Science relies purely on the collection and analyzing of data and facts and then developing theories around them.

Religion relies on faith and a personal belief system in an unseen entity or supreme being.

One could argue that the Biblical story of Adam and Eve taking a bite from the apple from God's "forbidden tree of knowledge of good and evil" foretold of a time when humans would have the capacity to collect and analyze data and facts ("good" and "evil" knowledge), then develop theories/hypotheses around them for some purpose that could, ultimately determine our survival or our demise.

It seems that we, as a human species, have travelled from the time of humanity's first bite of the apple to today's massive technological data collection and analytics capabilities. We have the ability to undertake:
  • descriptive analytics (answer what happened)
  • diagnostic analytics (why it happened)
  • predictive analytics (what may happen)
  • prescriptive analytics (what we should do)

What we will do with all of that data, and for what purpose, remains a mystery, so far, and whether or not it will benefit humankind remains to be seen. More importantly, who will make those decisions is in question, i.e., humans or artificial intelligence. This is happening right now as Facebook is developing artificial intelligence (algorithms) to determine what data is considered acceptable on their social media platform. Additionally, algorithmic institutional trading in the markets has been widely implemented for awhile, now. As well, intelligence agencies have been gathering and analyzing data for years.

So, really, it's not a question of whether or not science and religion can mix, but it raises a question as to which came first...and leaves me wondering how can they be blended to most beneficially enrich our lives, collectively. It seems to me that if artificial intelligence ends up making those decisions, there would be no room for such blending and our current enjoyment of "free will" becomes extinct.

At what point does artificial intelligence take over? It begins the day we first cede our power to it.

Time is of the essence in figuring out these answers before irreversible mistakes are made and it's too late for the survival of the human race.


Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Media's Idea of "Entertainment?"...P.S. Your Legacy is Showing

Dear Media,

How low can you go to amuse yourselves with this kind of "entertainment?" The following video is from last night's White House Correspondents' Dinner.

No wonder people don't trust and are turned off by the mainstream media, as well as so-called comedians, with this kind of divisive...vile...hate-filled...racist...diatribe!

As an aside, why Netflix will be airing this woman's new talk show is beyond me.


Link to article: The Washington Post

In any event, Ms. Wolf just proved Sarah's comments from a year ago...


Lastly, I wonder why on earth any self-respecting international foreign investor would be attracted to plough money into job creation for Americans when most (not all) of the media has insisted in broadcasting a non-stop narrative that has sought to demean President Trump and his entire administration (including his cabinet), as well as his wife and family (including his 12-year old son), since his 2016 election and make a mockery of the democratic process by which he was duly elected.

First you elect him, then minutes later seek to impeach him!

Such destructive activities only create a "banana-republic-like" atmosphere of instability and economic weakness in the USA for all the world to see.

Is that really the legacy you wish to leave behind? Because you're writing your legacy every day...and it's showing.


Saturday, April 28, 2018

Can The South Korea ETF Hold Onto Its Record Breakout?

* See UPDATES below...

The monthly chart below of the South Korea ETF (EWY) shows January's breakout to new all-time highs, followed by a brief pullback and rally back to close above its prior record high of 75.05 in March (now near-term support). Price is cautiously extending these gains, so far this month, while experiencing quite a bit of whipsaw movement on a daily basis.

It's also sitting just above the bottom of a long-term uptrending Andrew's Pitchfork channel around the 70.00 level (major support). Its next major support level is around 60.00 on this timeframe.

Both the momentum and rate-of-change indicators have been waning since last October, but remain above zero. A drop and hold below zero, as well as price drop below 70.00, could see price retest 60.00, or lower.


The daily chart below of EWY shows this whipsaw action (which began last October and which has formed a diamond pattern), and volumes have been high for the past couple of months.

Price is still above the 50-day MA and the RSI, MACD and PMO indicators have just formed a new "BUY" signal. However, this diamond pattern can be a bearish topping formation after a lengthy run up, so a certain amount of caution is warranted, especially with price near its recent all-time high.

Beware of a break with force on escalating volumes below the diamond bottom around 70.00 (which sits below the 200-day MA) as price could very well drop back to 60.00, or lower.


We'll see what happens following Friday's opening talks between the North and South Korean leaders to denuclearize the Korean peninsula and forge a peace agreement, and how further discussions may affect the EWY over the coming days/weeks, particularly in the lead-up to President Trump's proposed meeting with Kim Jong Un in the next couple of months.



* UPDATE April 30...

However, judging from NOKO's past violations of all previous nuclear agreements over the years, I wouldn't hold my breath that the words "Nobel Peace Prize" and "North Korea" will ever appear in the same sentence, despite what some are now excitedly hypothesizing.

Leopards (predators) don't change their spots...they only wish to make themselves relevant by pretending that they will...so, the onus is on Kim Jong Un to be the first to do so on that front and prove that as a verifiable and irreversible fact, while holding onto his power and control in NOKO...good luck with that.

Source: Reuters.com April 30/18

* UPDATE May 16...

Now that Kim Jong Un is revealing his true intentions (with his return to inflammatory rhetoric these past couple of days) that he will not actually disarm and denuclearize NOKO and that his recent (and past) words and promises to do so are empty, I really don't see any good reason for President Trump to meet with him in June. What's the point?

Once again, Chairman Kim is just show-boating and wasting everybody's time with his propaganda and insincerity...and still wearing his leopard skin...that's clear for all to see. He craves and loves attention and limelight and is a nobody without it.

Let him remain a nobody, Mr. President. Instead, use your time more wisely to further fulfill your election agenda to your citizens, including protecting their national security and economic well-being.

 

* UPDATE May 24...

President Trump cancels the June 12th summit with North Korea after North Korea failed to show up for scheduled pre-summit meetings in Singapore (while U.S. representatives waited there for 3 days) and didn't answer repeated phone calls for days on end, as well as made new threats of a nuclear orgy...

Twitter Link to video



And, once again, childish and anti-American/national security rhetoric come from Democrats (and, most of the media) in order to mock President Trump (it sounds like they're on North Korea's side and don't want the U.S. to succeed with peace-making efforts)...

Source: InsiderFoxNews.com

* UPDATE May 25...


Mr. President, I repeat...don't waste your breath on North Korea. 

Kim and his regime are clearly not serious and will never completely and irreversibly denuclearize and give up their weapons. Nor will they ever allow full and transparent inspections or allow their citizens to enjoy peaceful democratic freedom. They do not value western democratic principles, so do not expect them to embrace such a concept because it's simply beyond their capability.