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A Good Place to Pause

The SPX is bumping up against 1400 which is a good place to pause and catch its breath.  Our Twitter support and resistance levels (all the red dots) put 1400 as a target with some influence.  It has been mentioned repeatedly on Twitter so it’s a logical place for people to take profits or adjust their portfolio allocations.  If this uptrend is to continue then a consolidation at or near 1400 for several days would be healthy. One indication that we’ll stall at these levels is our Twitter Sentiment Indicator (top panel).  It fell sharply today even as the market broke even.  Previous occasions of sentiment weakness when SPX was making new short term highs has brought 3 to 5 days of selling.  If sentiment improves while the market consolidates we should see a continuation of the up trend. Once 1400 is cleared convincingly then 1422 will be the next logical level to consolidate.  However, not too many people are talking about that level anymore.  It was mentioned much more

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Active Bear Plummets

Published on August 7, 2012 by in Market Comments

HDGE plummeted 3.38% today on heavy volume.  In the past, this type of action has signaled the beginning of a multi-week rally in stocks.  We’re also seeing underlying strength in our core indicators that could expose us more to the market if this rally continues.  We’re encouraged by the internals even though the past two sessions showed weakness in the last hour of the day.          

 
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Watching Emerging Markets for Strength

Published on August 6, 2012 by in Market Comments

We’re watching emerging markets closely here looking for signs that the world economy is strengthening. EEM is a good instrument to watch for clues to the economy because it is heavily weighted to financials, information technology (chips), energy, and materials.  These are all sectors that do well when the economy is growing.  In addition, EEM is weighted to Asia and Brazil, two areas that are sensitive to world economic conditions. EEM has been in a down trend for well over a year even as SPX has worked its way higher.  In March as SPX was breaking above the 2011 highs, EEM tested its down trend line.  It was a failure that signaled the world economy was weakening.  It appears that EEM will test the down trend line again if SPX makes new highs above 1422.  We’re watching EEM closely because a break above the trend line would be one sign the economy has some underlying strength.  Another failure or non confirmation by EEM would point to a continued stall in

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Twitter Sentiment for Precious Metals Rising

My views on gold and gold stocks haven’t changed over the past two weeks.  We’re still waiting for a confirmation of the up trend or a break down from support to give us a direction.  As a clue to the future direction in GLD we’re seeing some positive divergences with price and our Twitter Sentiment Indicator.  As GLD paints a triangle, twitter sentiment is pushing higher and gathering believers rather than consolidating with the metal.  This is an encouraging sign. The inflation vs. deflation debate is still raging as evidenced in the charts of precious metals.  Gold put in an intermediate term top almost a year ago and now appears to have a durable low. However, the charts have some work to do before a low risk entry point for precious metals will occur.   Silver is much more sensitive to the economy and it more clearly shows the concern that we may be heading into a recession.  Over the last two months SLV has been fighting a battle to

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SPX Twitter Sentiment Compressing

Our Twitter Sentiment Indicator for the S&P 500 Index continues to compress and paint a triangle pattern as the market moves higher. Based on the smoothed average of sentiment, twitter users still don’t quite believe this rally. It can’t get above zero and is painting lower highs even as SPX is painting higher highs. On the positive side sentiment is painting higher lows as well. We’ll have to see if the market follows the direction of sentiment once the triangle pattern breaks to the upside or down side.       Our Twitter Support and Resistance numbers for SPX are starting to show some life to the upside again.  People are talking about 1500, the old highs at 1422, and 1400.  On the down side 1267 and 1300 are being mentioned, but less frequently.  There continues to be clusters of people tweeting the recent lows around 1330.

 
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Long Short Strategy Removing Some Hedges

Our core indicators improved enough today to remove a portion of our hedges.  We added exposure by removing some of our hedge and using the money to add to our long portfolio. We are now 60% long and 40% short (using a short of the S&P 500 Index). The current hedge ratio is .67. Several of our core indicators are lagging so it’ll probably be more than a couple of weeks before we add additional exposure.  But as always, we’ll keep you updated with any changes. The green lines on the chart below represent us adding exposure to the long portion of our portfolio.  The yellow lines represent adding hedges.  The red line represents aggressive hedging.  

 
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Long Cash Adding Exposure

Our core indicators strengthened enough today to increase our exposure to the market to 20%.  We’re 80% cash and 20% long in our Long/Cash strategy.  We’re dipping our toes in the water as the underlying strength in the market could propel the market higher. The yellow lines on the chart represent raising cash and the green lines on the chart represent buying stocks (by lowering our cash position).        

 
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Active Bear Outperforms Short of SPX

Published on August 2, 2012 by in Market Comments

In an up trending market HDGE an actively managed bear fund, and SH an inverse of the S&P 500, tend to move together and paint similar chart patterns.  HDGE, however, under performs in an up trending market.  During the rally from last October’s low to early February HDGE was down roughly 30% while SH was down only about 21%. In mid February as the S&P 500 was continuing to rally, HDGE started to out perform SH.  Both bear positions were still falling, however HDGE slowed it’s decline.  Then at the first of April as the market began to fall both securities started to rise. The small rally into the the first of May brought the arrival of big divergence between HDGE and SH that has continued until today.  This isn’t a good sign for the markets as  it signals to us that market participants are separating the good stocks from the bad.  It is often one of the first signs of a weakening market so we’re watching this carefully. What makes

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When Machines Take Control

Today it was reported that Knight Capital had a problem with their trading and market making algorithms which caused the NYSE to review the trades of 148 stocks earlier in the day.  Their review concluded that trades in six stocks would be canceled if they fell outside of a 30% band (either high or low from the day’s open).  Bottom line, a machine ran amok. Days like today make us feel glad we hedge.  Just as we did on May 6th, 2010…the flash crash. We didn’t see any problems in the market and in fact our hedging strategy was adding exposure.  We got 60% exposed (80% long and 20% short) on 4/5/2010.  It looked to us according to all our core indicators that this was a rally that might stick.  Then during the week of of April 26th 2010 our market risk indicator flashed.  It closed the week with a Market Risk Warning so on Monday the 3rd our portfolio was fully hedged.  The first few days of the week

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BIDU The Stock You Hate to Hate

Even after a 40% sell off it’s hard to keep twitter sentiment in BIDU down.  Over the last couple of months as BIDU has been making new lows, it’s twitter sentiment has only had brief periods below zero.  The next couple of weeks should tell us whether everyone still believes in BIDU or if they’ll finally bail.  $100 is the place to watch.  Does sentiment strengthen or will it capitulate?  As of today, there is a little fear about this being a short term top.          

 
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