Gold hasn’t made much headway since the beginning of the month, when COMEX futures surged $50 in the space of two days. With the dollar suffering from the vapors, there’s no compelling reason why the December contract should have loitered near $1000 ever since. Granted, that’s a nice, round number, and it probably works smoothly with put-and-call hedges that allow bullion dealers to borrow as much of the stuff as they’d care to without risk. It is the same thing we see on expiration Fridays in the equity options market. When a stock gets “pegged” to a strike price, it’s possible for even small players to transact » Read the full article
That 1053.00 target may be so stale by now that it can be shorted without fear of bumping heads with amateur riff-raff. I won’t get in your way by suggesting the usual niggling stop-loss, but let me reiterate that the target itself is as clear and compelling as can be — a bet-the-ranch number if it had been hit last week on the the first try. If you’re superstitious and would rather play the December contract, the equivalent target, a Hidden Pivot, lies at 1048.25. ______ UPDATE (10:16 a.m.): This trade worked beautifully, since the futures have so far fallen 11.25 points after topping at exactly 1053.25 an hour before the day session began. You’re on your own from here, but if you initiated the trade on multilots, save some contracts for a potential four-bagger.
It’s not often that we find potentially great camouflage on the hourly chart, but if December Gold moves as I have hypothesized in the accompanying chart, it will set up a beautiful entry opportunity at ‘X’ that seems very likely to give buyers a pleasurable ride. I am not going to complicate my instructions by telling you how to get long in a hundred words or less, but will instead leave it up to pivoteers in the chat room to do the explaining if and when opportunity knocks Tuesday morning. _______ UPDATE (10:05 a.m.): Gold eased lower overnight, and so the entry opportunity we were looking for did not materialize. The weakness hints of more downside to 988.40, or to 988.50 if any lower. Alternatively, an upthrust that touches 1006.40 would put bulls back in the driver’s seat. _______ FURTHER UPDATE (2:13 P.M.): A trade flagged in the chat room is working nicely for anyone who went long mechanically by-the-numbers. On the 15-minute chart, using the one-off ‘A’ at 995.90 that was advised, the target lies at 1011.30 — two ticks from where the futures have just made a (presumably) short-term top.
The 192.91 target given here earlier will make for a juicy shorting opportunity if and when Goldman gets there, but I’m reluctant to play the upside unless we can get in at a retracement target. The best such opportunity tied to a Hidden Pivot would be down near 175.05, the midpoint sibling of 192.91.
The Dollar Index’s fall to a 75.57 target has been so long in coming that we should be on the alert for a reversal before it is reached. On the hourly chart, this would be signaled by a 77.25 print, but if 77.38 is touched, bears had better dive for cover.
Trading the E-Mini S&Ps used to be as easy as shooting fish in a barrel, but no longer. In fact, the futures have gotten so cunning when they reverse direction that I’d all but given up on using camouflage tactics to corral them. It’s not that the turns haven’t been occurring precisely where they are supposed to — just that they haven’t been doing so with the kind of subtle abc patterns that yield easy ‘camouflage’ trading opportunities. My hunch is that this behavioral change is the result of machine trading’s growing dominance.
From our standpoint, the way around this problem turns out to have been so obvious that I failed to see it until recently. Very simply, we should go back to trading the E-Minis the old-fashioned way — i.e. without camouflage. This means putting up a bid against the minor trend, which can be scary. But we can mitigate the fear factor by being especially choosy about the kinds of patterns we trade. The one shown in the inset is a case in point. It is what I like to call ‘beautiful-ugly’, meaning that although it is not very abc-like visually — it’s pretty gnarly, actually — it meets our abc criteria perfectly, with a point ‘B’ low that has surpassed out two distinctive ‘external’ lows.
Those who were in the chat room yesterday got a taste of the near-certitude that such price patterns can inspire. With the futures trading around 1790.00, I stated that the E-Mini was bound for a tradable low at exactly 1785.75. (A Tradestation quirk caused me to err by two ticks, but several chat-roomers got the 1786.25 Hidden Pivot target precisely right.) An hour later, with the futures still noodling around a few points north of the target, I posted the following: “[The E-Mini] is taking its time getting there, but it doesn’t have any choice about it. The trade desks of the world are the unwitting lackeys of Hidden Pivots.”
So it would seem. A short while later, with about 100 minutes left in the session, the futures made their final descent to an intraday low at…1786.25. At least one person in the room reported nailing the trade and coming away with a quick profit of $200. This was the second day in a row that the futures bottomed exactly where we’d expected. A cheap parlor trick, for sure, but one that anyone can learn. To reserve your seat for the upcoming Hidden Pivot/Camouflage Trading Webinar on December 11-12, or to find out more about it, click here. The early-bird special is still valid for a $560 discount.
At the Mining & Minerals Conference that I attended last week in San Francisco, I found Altius still to be high on the list of many savvy investors. With $130 million cash in reserve and a royalty stream that nicely offsets fixed outlays of $5 million per year, the company is well positioned to ride out whatever further pain bullion’s bear market inflicts on investors. Altius is waist-deep in iron ore investments these days, causing some to remark that bullion is no longer much of a concern to the company. This is an exaggeration, but investors should be happy in any case that the firm is doing what it takes to survive gold’s fall from $1900 to a recent $1220.
From a technical standpoint, the stock has been in a holding pattern centered on a $9-$11 range for more than three years. The weekly chart shows ‘dueling impulse legs’, implying that the tedious battle between bulls and bears could continue for yet some time, perhaps with an exhaustion skew down to $8 or a little lower. At that price, especially considering Altius’ enviable cash position, the stock would represent a back-up-the-truck buying opportunity.
We hold twelve December 145 puts, offset in ’straddle’ fashion by bullish NFLX call spreads we own. To simplify accounting, and to consolidate the risk, I’ve imputed the cost of the puts to the NFLX position so that we now hold eight December 400-410 calls spreads with an effective cost basis of 0.55. Keep in mind, however, that the DIA puts still have value. As such, I’ll recommend that you offer them to close, good-till-canceled, for 0.02 less than the market makers. To do this, wait until the options have opened each day to see what bid/asked is being reflected by DaRapacious Dirtballs. At the moment, they are showing a bid of 0.06 and and offer of 0.12 (!). This means you should be offering the puts for 0.10. Please notify me in the chat room if your order fills, since it would be nice to have the puts off the sheets even though we are carrying them for zero.
In the current forum discussion, Cam Fitzgerald focuses on coffee’s bear market to provide some lucid insights into the deflationary dynamic at work in the commodity markets. He notes that although the price of coffee beans has collapsed, falling by two-thirds since 2011, Starbucks is still charging the same four bucks for a large latte. This profit-friendly anomaly has held true for many other companies that benefit from a widening spread between commodity prices and end products. It would seem to flout the laws of supply and demand, but Cam says the textbook relationship will reassert itself with a vengeance as consumers become increasingly frugal under the weight of a deepening Great Recession.
From a technical standpoint, his theory looks quite solid. The weekly chart (see inset) implies that a pound of coffee currently trading on NYMEX for $1.03 is about to fall by half. If the futures were in fact to achieve the Hidden Pivot target of 53 cents, that would represent an 83% drop from 2011’s all-time high of $3.08. Coffee lovers may have something to look forward to, but they should be careful what they wish for, since the implication of coffee beans selling for 50 cents a pound is that the world by then will be chest-deep in a deflation of falling wages, plummeting asset values and significantly lower corporate profits.
A query in the chat room Friday concerning the Dow Transports sent me to the charts in search of the inevitable rally-stopping Hidden Pivot. The index has been on a tear this year, up 35% since January. Much of the gain can probably be attributed to a new airline business model that has been great for carriers but horrible for passengers. We’re talking about things like Spirit’s $35 charge for storing carry-ons in the overhead bin. Lower fuel costs have also helped, especially since the carriers have evidently chosen not to share any of this windfall with passengers via lower ticket prices. And no passenger who has sat in the increasingly cramped economy section can be unaware that capacity has shrunk so drastically that nearly all flight are full or nearly so.
Perhaps it will be the full-force resumption of The Great Recession that stops the rally cold. In any case, the 7444 target shown, representing a 6 percent premium over Friday’s closing price, looks formidable enough to provide more than a little challenge for bulls. Those who trade this vehicle or related issues can use it as a minimum upside objective for now, but you’ll want to reverse the position and go short — tightly stopped, of course — if and when it is reached. _______ UPDATE (November 5, 8:45 p.m. EST): If it’s going to be an easy cruise to the 7444 rally target noted above, we should see the correction from Monday’s high reverse today from near the 7077 midpoint support (see inset), but certainly from no lower than the d correction target at 7042. More downside than that could be our first, subtle warning that all is not well with the Transports, which have flourished even as airline profits have soared on a suicidal model that would nickel-and-dime passengers to death. _______ UPDATE (November 19): You go, girl! Wall Street’s best and brightest fly first class, presumably desensitizing them to the fact that the fabulous recovery in airline profits that has helped push the Transports into a vertical climb is being driven by the steep deterioration in amenities once enjoyed by passengers, even those who flew economy.
My outlook has been bearish, with a 45.29 downside target, notwithstanding a couple of short-covering eruptions along the way. I am now lowering the target to 43.83, however, on the basis of the chart shown. Your trading bias should be bearish until the target is reached, or very nearly reached, but if and when that occurs, you should reverse the position and get long with a stop-loss as tight as 0.20 cents. I’d suggest a good-till-canceled bid of 43.88, since it’s possible the stock will turn without quite having reached our number. If the order fills and survives the stop, tune to the chat room or this page for further guidance. _______ UPDATE (November 13, 8:33 p.m. EST): The stock has lost my interest and attention, so I’m taking it off the front page for a while. One final note, however, that could prove useful to camouflage traders: At Wednesday’s closing bell, it reversed the bearish polarity of the last three weeks with the bullish impulse leg shown (see inset, a fresh chart). ________ UPDATE (November 26): After taking its sweet old time reaching my 43.83 target, Facebook has taken a lunatic bounce this morning from within 23 cents of it, hitting a so far high of 46.08. If you loaded up near the low, please let me know in the chat room and I’ll provide tracking guidance. Whatever you may have bought, half should have been exited by now for a partial gain.
December Silver bettered our bullish benchmark at 16.730 by a single tick yesterday, hinting of more upside to come. If so, the futures 16.850 will need to touch 16.850 today to demonstrate their eagerness to challenge last Friday’s 17.015 peak. Once above it, the futures would be an odds-on bet to reach a minimum 17.275 over the very near-term.