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Author: Christian Hsieh, CEO of Tokenomy
This paper examines some explanations for the continual global market demand for the U.S. dollar, the rise of stablecoins, and the utility and opportunities that crypto dollars can offer to both the cryptocurrency and traditional markets.
The U.S. dollar, dominant in world trade since the establishment of the 1944 Bretton Woods System, is unequivocally the world’s most demanded reserve currency. Today, more than 61% of foreign bank reserves and nearly 40% of the entire world’s debt is denominated in U.S. dollars1.
However, there is a massive supply and demand imbalance in the U.S. dollar market. On the supply side, central banks throughout the world have implemented more than a decade-long accommodative monetary policy since the 2008 global financial crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the need for central banks to provide necessary liquidity and keep staggering economies moving. While the Federal Reserve leads the effort of “money printing” and stimulus programs, the current money supply still cannot meet the constant high demand for the U.S. dollar2. Let us review some of the reasons for this constant dollar demand from a few economic fundamentals.
Demand for U.S. DollarsFirstly, most of the world’s trade is denominated in U.S. dollars. Chief Economist of the IMF, Gita Gopinath, has compiled data reflecting that the U.S. dollar’s share of invoicing was 4.7 times larger than America’s share of the value of imports, and 3.1 times its share of world exports3. The U.S. dollar is the dominant “invoicing currency” in most developing countries4.
This U.S. dollar preference also directly impacts the world’s debt. According to the Bank of International Settlements, there is over $67 trillion in U.S. dollar denominated debt globally, and borrowing outside of the U.S. accounted for $12.5 trillion in Q1 20205. There is an immense demand for U.S. dollars every year just to service these dollar debts. The annual U.S. dollar buying demand is easily over $1 trillion assuming the borrowing cost is at 1.5% (1 year LIBOR + 1%) per year, a conservative estimate.
Secondly, since the U.S. has a much stronger economy compared to its global peers, a higher return on investments draws U.S. dollar demand from everywhere in the world, to invest in companies both in the public and private markets. The U.S. hosts the largest stock markets in the world with more than $33 trillion in public market capitalization (combined both NYSE and NASDAQ)6. For the private market, North America’s total share is well over 60% of the $6.5 trillion global assets under management across private equity, real assets, and private debt investments7. The demand for higher quality investments extends to the fixed income market as well. As countries like Japan and Switzerland currently have negative-yielding interest rates8, fixed income investors’ quest for yield in the developed economies leads them back to the U.S. debt market. As of July 2020, there are $15 trillion worth of negative-yielding debt securities globally (see chart). In comparison, the positive, low-yielding U.S. debt remains a sound fixed income strategy for conservative investors in uncertain market conditions.
Last, but not least, there are many developing economies experiencing failing monetary policies, where hyperinflation has become a real national disaster. A classic example is Venezuela, where the currency Bolivar became practically worthless as the inflation rate skyrocketed to 10,000,000% in 20199. The recent Beirut port explosion in Lebanon caused a sudden economic meltdown and compounded its already troubled financial market, where inflation has soared to over 112% year on year10. For citizens living in unstable regions such as these, the only reliable store of value is the U.S. dollar. According to the Chainalysis 2020 Geography of Cryptocurrency Report, Venezuela has become one of the most active cryptocurrency trading countries11. The demand for cryptocurrency surges as a flight to safety mentality drives Venezuelans to acquire U.S. dollars to preserve savings that they might otherwise lose. The growth for cryptocurrency activities in those regions is fueled by these desperate citizens using cryptocurrencies as rails to access the U.S. dollar, on top of acquiring actual Bitcoin or other underlying crypto assets.
The Rise of Crypto DollarsDue to the highly volatile nature of cryptocurrencies, USD stablecoin, a crypto-powered blockchain token that pegs its value to the U.S. dollar, was introduced to provide stable dollar exposure in the crypto trading sphere. Tether is the first of its kind. Issued in 2014 on the bitcoin blockchain (Omni layer protocol), under the token symbol USDT, it attempts to provide crypto traders with a stable settlement currency while they trade in and out of various crypto assets. The reason behind the stablecoin creation was to address the inefficient and burdensome aspects of having to move fiat U.S. dollars between the legacy banking system and crypto exchanges. Because one USDT is theoretically backed by one U.S. dollar, traders can use USDT to trade and settle to fiat dollars. It was not until 2017 that the majority of traders seemed to realize Tether’s intended utility and started using it widely. As of April 2019, USDT trading volume started exceeding the trading volume of bitcoina12, and it now dominates the crypto trading sphere with over $50 billion average daily trading volume13.
An interesting aspect of USDT is that although the claimed 1:1 backing with U.S. dollar collateral is in question, and the Tether company is in reality running fractional reserves through a loose offshore corporate structure, Tether’s trading volume and adoption continues to grow rapidly14. Perhaps in comparison to fiat U.S. dollars, which is not really backed by anything, Tether still has cash equivalents in reserves and crypto traders favor its liquidity and convenience over its lack of legitimacy. For those who are concerned about Tether’s solvency, they can now purchase credit default swaps for downside protection15. On the other hand, USDC, the more compliant contender, takes a distant second spot with total coin circulation of $1.8 billion, versus USDT at $14.5 billion (at the time of publication). It is still too early to tell who is the ultimate leader in the stablecoin arena, as more and more stablecoins are launching to offer various functions and supporting mechanisms. There are three main categories of stablecoin: fiat-backed, crypto-collateralized, and non-collateralized algorithm based stablecoins. Most of these are still at an experimental phase, and readers can learn more about them here. With the continuous innovation of stablecoin development, the utility stablecoins provide in the overall crypto market will become more apparent.
Institutional DevelopmentsIn addition to trade settlement, stablecoins can be applied in many other areas. Cross-border payments and remittances is an inefficient market that desperately needs innovation. In 2020, the average cost of sending money across the world is around 7%16, and it takes days to settle. The World Bank aims to reduce remittance fees to 3% by 2030. With the implementation of blockchain technology, this cost could be further reduced close to zero.
J.P. Morgan, the largest bank in the U.S., has created an Interbank Information Network (IIN) with 416 global Institutions to transform the speed of payment flows through its own JPM Coin, another type of crypto dollar17. Although people argue that JPM Coin is not considered a cryptocurrency as it cannot trade openly on a public blockchain, it is by far the largest scale experiment with all the institutional participants trading within the “permissioned” blockchain. It might be more accurate to refer to it as the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) instead of “blockchain” in this context. Nevertheless, we should keep in mind that as J.P. Morgan currently moves $6 trillion U.S. dollars per day18, the scale of this experiment would create a considerable impact in the international payment and remittance market if it were successful. Potentially the day will come when regulated crypto exchanges become participants of IIN, and the link between public and private crypto assets can be instantly connected, unlocking greater possibilities in blockchain applications.
Many central banks are also in talks about developing their own central bank digital currency (CBDC). Although this idea was not new, the discussion was brought to the forefront due to Facebook’s aggressive Libra project announcement in June 2019 and the public attention that followed. As of July 2020, at least 36 central banks have published some sort of CBDC framework. While each nation has a slightly different motivation behind its currency digitization initiative, ranging from payment safety, transaction efficiency, easy monetary implementation, or financial inclusion, these central banks are committed to deploying a new digital payment infrastructure. When it comes to the technical architectures, research from BIS indicates that most of the current proofs-of-concept tend to be based upon distributed ledger technology (permissioned blockchain)19.
These institutional experiments are laying an essential foundation for an improved global payment infrastructure, where instant and frictionless cross-border settlements can take place with minimal costs. Of course, the interoperability of private DLT tokens and public blockchain stablecoins has yet to be explored, but the innovation with both public and private blockchain efforts could eventually merge. This was highlighted recently by the Governor of the Bank of England who stated that “stablecoins and CBDC could sit alongside each other20”. One thing for certain is that crypto dollars (or other fiat-linked digital currencies) are going to play a significant role in our future economy.
Future OpportunitiesThere is never a dull moment in the crypto sector. The industry narratives constantly shift as innovation continues to evolve. Twelve years since its inception, Bitcoin has evolved from an abstract subject to a familiar concept. Its role as a secured, scarce, decentralized digital store of value has continued to gain acceptance, and it is well on its way to becoming an investable asset class as a portfolio hedge against asset price inflation and fiat currency depreciation. Stablecoins have proven to be useful as proxy dollars in the crypto world, similar to how dollars are essential in the traditional world. It is only a matter of time before stablecoins or private digital tokens dominate the cross-border payments and global remittances industry.
There are no shortages of hypes and experiments that draw new participants into the crypto space, such as smart contracts, new blockchains, ICOs, tokenization of things, or the most recent trends on DeFi tokens. These projects highlight the possibilities for a much more robust digital future, but the market also needs time to test and adopt. A reliable digital payment infrastructure must be built first in order to allow these experiments to flourish.
In this paper we examined the historical background and economic reasons for the U.S. dollar’s dominance in the world, and the probable conclusion is that the demand for U.S. dollars will likely continue, especially in the middle of a global pandemic, accompanied by a worldwide economic slowdown. The current monetary system is far from perfect, but there are no better alternatives for replacement at least in the near term. Incremental improvements are being made in both the public and private sectors, and stablecoins have a definite role to play in both the traditional and the new crypto world.
 How the US dollar became the world’s reserve currency, Investopedia
 The dollar is in high demand, prone to dangerous appreciation, The Economist
 Dollar dominance in trade and finance, Gita Gopinath
 Global trades dependence on dollars, The Economist & IMF working papers
 Total credit to non-bank borrowers by currency of denomination, BIS
 Biggest stock exchanges in the world, Business Insider
 McKinsey Global Private Market Review 2020, McKinsey & Company
 Central banks current interest rates, Global Rates
 Venezuela hyperinflation hits 10 million percent, CNBC
 Lebanon inflation crisis, Reuters
 Venezuela cryptocurrency market, Chainalysis
 The most used cryptocurrency isn’t Bitcoin, Bloomberg
 Trading volume of all crypto assets, coinmarketcap.com
 Tether US dollar peg is no longer credible, Forbes
 New crypto derivatives let you bet on (or against) Tether’s solvency, Coindesk
 Remittance Price Worldwide, The World Bank
 Interbank Information Network, J.P. Morgan
 Jamie Dimon interview, CBS News
 Rise of the central bank digital currency, BIS
 Speech by Andrew Bailey, 3 September 2020, Bank of England
﷽submitted by aibnsamin1 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]
The Federal Reserve and the United States government are pumping extreme amounts of money into the economy, already totaling over $484 billion. They are doing so because it already had a goal to inflate the United States Dollar (USD) so that the market can continue to all-time highs. It has always had this goal. They do not care how much inflation goes up by now as we are going into a depression with the potential to totally crash the US economy forever. They believe the only way to save the market from going to zero or negative values is to inflate it so much that it cannot possibly crash that low. Even if the market does not dip that low, inflation serves the interest of powerful people.
The impending crash of the stock market has ramifications for Bitcoin, as, though there is no direct ongoing-correlation between the two, major movements in traditional markets will necessarily affect Bitcoin. According to the Blockchain Center’s Cryptocurrency Correlation Tool, Bitcoin is not correlated with the stock market. However, when major market movements occur, they send ripples throughout the financial ecosystem which necessary affect even ordinarily uncorrelated assets.
Therefore, Bitcoin will reach X price on X date after crashing to a price of X by X date.
Stock Market CrashThe Federal Reserve has caused some serious consternation with their release of ridiculous amounts of money in an attempt to buoy the economy. At face value, it does not seem to have any rationale or logic behind it other than keeping the economy afloat long enough for individuals to profit financially and politically. However, there is an underlying basis to what is going on which is important to understand in order to profit financially.
All markets are functionally price probing systems. They constantly undergo a price-discovery process. In a fiat system, money is an illusory and a fundamentally synthetic instrument with no intrinsic value – similar to Bitcoin. The primary difference between Bitcoin is the underlying technology which provides a slew of benefits that fiat does not. Fiat, however, has an advantage in being able to have the support of powerful nation-states which can use their might to insure the currency’s prosperity.
Traditional stock markets are composed of indices (pl. of index). Indices are non-trading market instruments which are essentially summaries of business values which comprise them. They are continuously recalculated throughout a trading day, and sometimes reflected through tradable instruments such as Exchange Traded Funds or Futures. Indices are weighted by market capitalizations of various businesses.
Price theory essentially states that when a market fails to take out a new low in a given range, it will have an objective to take out the high. When a market fails to take out a new high, it has an objective to make a new low. This is why price-time charts go up and down, as it does this on a second-by-second, minute-by-minute, day-by-day, and even century-by-century basis. Therefore, market indices will always return to some type of bull market as, once a true low is formed, the market will have a price objective to take out a new high outside of its’ given range – which is an all-time high. Instruments can only functionally fall to zero, whereas they can grow infinitely.
So, why inflate the economy so much?
Deflation is disastrous for central banks and markets as it raises the possibility of producing an overall price objective of zero or negative values. Therefore, under a fractional reserve system with a fiat currency managed by a central bank – the goal of the central bank is to depreciate the currency. The dollar is manipulated constantly with the intention of depreciating its’ value.
Central banks have a goal of continued inflated fiat values. They tend to ordinarily contain it at less than ten percent (10%) per annum in order for the psyche of the general populace to slowly adjust price increases. As such, the markets are divorced from any other logic. Economic policy is the maintenance of human egos, not catering to fundamental analysis. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is well-known not to be a measure of actual growth or output. It is a measure of increase in dollars processed. Banks seek to produce raising numbers which make society feel like it is growing economically, making people optimistic. To do so, the currency is inflated, though inflation itself does not actually increase growth. When society is optimistic, it spends and engages in business – resulting in actual growth. It also encourages people to take on credit and debts, creating more fictional fiat.
Inflation is necessary for markets to continue to reach new heights, generating positive emotional responses from the populace, encouraging spending, encouraging debt intake, further inflating the currency, and increasing the sale of government bonds. The fiat system only survives by generating more imaginary money on a regular basis.
Bitcoin investors may profit from this by realizing that stock investors as a whole always stand to profit from the market so long as it is managed by a central bank and does not collapse entirely. If those elements are filled, it has an unending price objective to raise to new heights. It also allows us to realize that this response indicates that the higher-ups believe that the economy could crash in entirety, and it may be wise for investors to have multiple well-thought-out exit strategies.
Economic Analysis of BitcoinThe reason why the Fed is so aggressively inflating the economy is due to fears that it will collapse forever or never rebound. As such, coupled with a global depression, a huge demand will appear for a reserve currency which is fundamentally different than the previous system. Bitcoin, though a currency or asset, is also a market. It also undergoes a constant price-probing process. Unlike traditional markets, Bitcoin has the exact opposite goal. Bitcoin seeks to appreciate in value and not depreciate. This has a quite different affect in that Bitcoin could potentially become worthless and have a price objective of zero.
Bitcoin was created in 2008 by a now famous mysterious figure known as Satoshi Nakamoto and its’ open source code was released in 2009. It was the first decentralized cryptocurrency to utilize a novel protocol known as the blockchain. Up to one megabyte of data may be sent with each transaction. It is decentralized, anonymous, transparent, easy to set-up, and provides myriad other benefits. Bitcoin is not backed up by anything other than its’ own technology.
Bitcoin is can never be expected to collapse as a framework, even were it to become worthless. The stock market has the potential to collapse in entirety, whereas, as long as the internet exists, Bitcoin will be a functional system with a self-authenticating framework. That capacity to persist regardless of the actual price of Bitcoin and the deflationary nature of Bitcoin means that it has something which fiat does not – inherent value.
Bitcoin is based on a distributed database known as the “blockchain.” Blockchains are essentially decentralized virtual ledger books, replete with pages known as “blocks.” Each page in a ledger is composed of paragraph entries, which are the actual transactions in the block.
Blockchains store information in the form of numerical transactions, which are just numbers. We can consider these numbers digital assets, such as Bitcoin. The data in a blockchain is immutable and recorded only by consensus-based algorithms. Bitcoin is cryptographic and all transactions are direct, without intermediary, peer-to-peer.
Bitcoin does not require trust in a central bank. It requires trust on the technology behind it, which is open-source and may be evaluated by anyone at any time. Furthermore, it is impossible to manipulate as doing so would require all of the nodes in the network to be hacked at once – unlike the stock market which is manipulated by the government and “Market Makers”. Bitcoin is also private in that, though the ledge is openly distributed, it is encrypted. Bitcoin’s blockchain has one of the greatest redundancy and information disaster recovery systems ever developed.
Bitcoin has a distributed governance model in that it is controlled by its’ users. There is no need to trust a payment processor or bank, or even to pay fees to such entities. There are also no third-party fees for transaction processing. As the ledge is immutable and transparent it is never possible to change it – the data on the blockchain is permanent. The system is not easily susceptible to attacks as it is widely distributed. Furthermore, as users of Bitcoin have their private keys assigned to their transactions, they are virtually impossible to fake. No lengthy verification, reconciliation, nor clearing process exists with Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is based on a proof-of-work algorithm. Every transaction on the network has an associated mathetical “puzzle”. Computers known as miners compete to solve the complex cryptographic hash algorithm that comprises that puzzle. The solution is proof that the miner engaged in sufficient work. The puzzle is known as a nonce, a number used only once. There is only one major nonce at a time and it issues 12.5 Bitcoin. Once it is solved, the fact that the nonce has been solved is made public.
A block is mined on average of once every ten minutes. However, the blockchain checks every 2,016,000 minutes (approximately four years) if 201,600 blocks were mined. If it was faster, it increases difficulty by half, thereby deflating Bitcoin. If it was slower, it decreases, thereby inflating Bitcoin. It will continue to do this until zero Bitcoin are issued, projected at the year 2140. On the twelfth of May, 2020, the blockchain will halve the amount of Bitcoin issued when each nonce is guessed. When Bitcoin was first created, fifty were issued per block as a reward to miners. 6.25 BTC will be issued from that point on once each nonce is solved.
Unlike fiat, Bitcoin is a deflationary currency. As BTC becomes scarcer, demand for it will increase, also raising the price. In this, BTC is similar to gold. It is predictable in its’ output, unlike the USD, as it is based on a programmed supply. We can predict BTC’s deflation and inflation almost exactly, if not exactly. Only 21 million BTC will ever be produced, unless the entire network concedes to change the protocol – which is highly unlikely.
Some of the drawbacks to BTC include congestion. At peak congestion, it may take an entire day to process a Bitcoin transaction as only three to five transactions may be processed per second. Receiving priority on a payment may cost up to the equivalent of twenty dollars ($20). Bitcoin mining consumes enough energy in one day to power a single-family home for an entire week.
Trading or Investing?The fundamental divide in trading revolves around the question of market structure. Many feel that the market operates totally randomly and its’ behavior cannot be predicted. For the purposes of this article, we will assume that the market has a structure, but that that structure is not perfect. That market structure naturally generates chart patterns as the market records prices in time. In order to determine when the stock market will crash, causing a major decline in BTC price, we will analyze an instrument, an exchange traded fund, which represents an index, as opposed to a particular stock. The price patterns of the various stocks in an index are effectively smoothed out. In doing so, a more technical picture arises. Perhaps the most popular of these is the SPDR S&P Standard and Poor 500 Exchange Traded Fund ($SPY).
In trading, little to no concern is given about value of underlying asset. We are concerned primarily about liquidity and trading ranges, which are the amount of value fluctuating on a short-term basis, as measured by volatility-implied trading ranges. Fundamental analysis plays a role, however markets often do not react to real-world factors in a logical fashion. Therefore, fundamental analysis is more appropriate for long-term investing.
The fundamental derivatives of a chart are time (x-axis) and price (y-axis). The primary technical indicator is price, as everything else is lagging in the past. Price represents current asking price and incorrectly implementing positions based on price is one of the biggest trading errors.
Markets and currencies ordinarily have noise, their tendency to back-and-fill, which must be filtered out for true pattern recognition. That noise does have a utility, however, in allowing traders second chances to enter favorable positions at slightly less favorable entry points. When you have any market with enough liquidity for historical data to record a pattern, then a structure can be divined. The market probes prices as part of an ongoing price-discovery process. Market technicians must sometimes look outside of the technical realm and use visual inspection to ascertain the relevance of certain patterns, using a qualitative eye that recognizes the underlying quantitative nature
Markets and instruments rise slower than they correct, however they rise much more than they fall. In the same vein, instruments can only fall to having no worth, whereas they could theoretically grow infinitely and have continued to grow over time. Money in a fiat system is illusory. It is a fundamentally synthetic instrument which has no intrinsic value. Hence, the recent seemingly illogical fluctuations in the market.
According to trade theory, the unending purpose of a market or instrument is to create and break price ranges according to the laws of supply and demand. We must determine when to trade based on each market inflection point as defined in price and in time as opposed to abandoning the trend (as the contrarian trading in this sub often does). Time and Price symmetry must be used to be in accordance with the trend. When coupled with a favorable risk to reward ratio, the ability to stay in the market for most of the defined time period, and adherence to risk management rules; the trader has a solid methodology for achieving considerable gains.
We will engage in a longer term market-oriented analysis to avoid any time-focused pressure. The Bitcoin market is open twenty-four-hours a day, so trading may be done when the individual is ready, without any pressing need to be constantly alert. Let alone, we can safely project months in advance with relatively high accuracy. Bitcoin is an asset which an individual can both trade and invest, however this article will be focused on trading due to the wide volatility in BTC prices over the short-term.
Technical Indicator Analysis of BitcoinTechnical indicators are often considered self-fulfilling prophecies due to mass-market psychology gravitating towards certain common numbers yielded from them. They are also often discounted when it comes to BTC. That means a trader must be especially aware of these numbers as they can prognosticate market movements. Often, they are meaningless in the larger picture of things.
Trend Definition Analysis of BitcoinTrend definition is highly powerful, cannot be understated. Knowledge of trend logic is enough to be a profitable trader, yet defining a trend is an arduous process. Multiple trends coexist across multiple time frames and across multiple market sectors. Like time structure, it makes the underlying price of the instrument irrelevant. Trend definitions cannot determine the validity of newly formed discretes. Trend becomes apparent when trades based in counter-trend inflection points continue to fail.
Downtrends are defined as an instrument making lower lows and lower highs that are recurrent, additive, qualified swing setups. Downtrends for all instruments are similar, except forex. They are fast and complete much quicker than uptrends. An average downtrend is 18 months, something which we will return to. An uptrend inception occurs when an instrument reaches a point where it fails to make a new low, then that low will be tested. After that, the instrument will either have a deep range retracement or it may take out the low slightly, resulting in a double-bottom. A swing must eventually form.
A simple way to roughly determine trend is to attempt to draw a line from three tops going upwards (uptrend) or a line from three bottoms going downwards (downtrend). It is not possible to correctly draw a downtrend line on the BTC chart, but it is possible to correctly draw an uptrend – indicating that the overall trend is downwards. The only mitigating factor is the impending stock market crash.
Time Symmetry Analysis of BitcoinTime is the movement from the past through the present into the future. It is a measurement in quantified intervals. In many ways, our perception of it is a human construct. It is more powerful than price as time may be utilized for a trade regardless of the market inflection point’s price. Were it possible to perfectly understand time, price would be totally irrelevant due to the predictive certainty time affords. Time structure is easier to learn than price, but much more difficult to apply with any accuracy. It is the hardest aspect of trading to learn, but also the most rewarding.
Humans do not have the ability to recognize every time window, however the ability to define market inflection points in terms of time is the single most powerful trading edge. Regardless, price should not be abandoned for time alone. Time structure analysis It is inherently flawed, as such the markets have a fail-safe, which is Price Structure. Even though Time is much more powerful, Price Structure should never be completely ignored. Time is the qualifier for Price and vice versa. Time can fail by tricking traders into counter-trend trading.
Time is a predestined trade quantifier, a filter to slow trades down, as it allows a trader to specifically focus on specific time windows and rest at others. It allows for quantitative measurements to reach deterministic values and is the primary qualifier for trends. Time structure should be utilized before price structure, and it is the primary trade criterion which requires support from price. We can see price structure on a chart, as areas of mathematical support or resistance, but we cannot see time structure.
Time may be used to tell us an exact point in the future where the market will inflect, after Price Theory has been fulfilled. In the present, price objectives based on price theory added to possible future times for market inflection points give us the exact time of market inflection points and price.
Time Structure is repetitions of time or inherent cycles of time, occurring in a methodical way to provide time windows which may be utilized for inflection points. They are not easily recognized and not easily defined by a price chart as measuring and observing time is very exact. Time structure is not a science, yet it does require precise measurements. Nothing is certain or definite. The critical question must be if a particular approach to time structure is currently lucrative or not.
We will measure it in intervals of 180 bars. Our goal is to determine time windows, when the market will react and when we should pay the most attention. By using time repetitions, the fact that market inflection points occurred at some point in the past and should, therefore, reoccur at some point in the future, we should obtain confidence as to when SPY will reach a market inflection point. Time repetitions are essentially the market’s memory. However, simply measuring the time between two points then trying to extrapolate into the future does not work. Measuring time is not the same as defining time repetitions. We will evaluate past sessions for market inflection points, whether discretes, qualified swings, or intra-range. Then records the times that the market has made highs or lows in a comparable time period to the future one seeks to trade in.
What follows is a time Histogram – A grouping of times which appear close together, then segregated based on that closeness. Time is aligned into combined histogram of repetitions and cycles, however cycles are irrelevant on a daily basis. If trading on an hourly basis, do not use hours.
Evaluating the yearly lows, we see that BTC tends to have its lows primarily at the beginning of every year, with a possibility of it being at the end of the year. Following the same methodology, we get the middle of the month as the likeliest day. However, evaluating the monthly lows for the past year, the beginning and end of the month are more likely for lows.
Therefore, we have two primary dates from our histogram.
1/1/21, 1/15/21, and 1/29/21
2:00am, 8:00am, 12:00pm, or 10:00pm
In fact, the high for this year was February the 14th, only thirty days off from our histogram calculations.
The 8.6-Year Armstrong-Princeton Global Economic Confidence model states that 2.15 year intervals occur between corrections, relevant highs and lows. 2.15 years from the all-time peak discrete is February 9, 2020 – a reasonably accurate depiction of the low for this year (which was on 3/12/20). (Taking only the Armstrong model into account, the next high should be Saturday, April 23, 2022). Therefore, the Armstrong model indicates that we have actually bottomed out for the year!
Bear markets cannot exist in perpetuity whereas bull markets can. Bear markets will eventually have price objectives of zero, whereas bull markets can increase to infinity. It can occur for individual market instruments, but not markets as a whole. Since bull markets are defined by low volatility, they also last longer. Once a bull market is indicated, the trader can remain in a long position until a new high is reached, then switch to shorts. The average bear market is eighteen months long, giving us a date of August 19th, 2021 for the end of this bear market – roughly speaking. They cannot be shorter than fifteen months for a central-bank controlled market, which does not apply to Bitcoin. (Otherwise, it would continue until Sunday, September 12, 2021.) However, we should expect Bitcoin to experience its’ exponential growth after the stock market re-enters a bull market.
Terry Laundy’s T-Theory implemented by measuring the time of an indicator from peak to trough, then using that to define a future time window. It is similar to an head-and-shoulders pattern in that it is the process of forming the right side from a synthetic technical indicator. If the indicator is making continued lows, then time is recalculated for defining the right side of the T. The date of the market inflection point may be a price or indicator inflection date, so it is not always exactly useful. It is better to make us aware of possible market inflection points, clustered with other data. It gives us an RSI low of May, 9th 2020.
The Bradley Cycle is coupled with volatility allows start dates for campaigns or put options as insurance in portfolios for stocks. However, it is also useful for predicting market moves instead of terminal dates for discretes. Using dates which correspond to discretes, we can see how those dates correspond with changes in VIX.
Therefore, our timeline looks like:
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CoreWeave, the largest U.S. miner on the Ethereum blockchain, is redirecting the processing power of 6,000 specialized computer chips toward research to find a therapy for the coronavirus.
These graphics processing units (GPUs) will be pointed toward Stanford University's [email protected], a long-standing research effort that unveiled a project on Feb. 27 specifically to boost coronavirus research by way of a unique approach to developing pharmaceutical drugs: connecting thousands of computers from around the world to form a distributed supercomputer for disease research.
CoreWeave co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Brian Venturo said the project has at least a shot at finding a drug for the virus. As such, CoreWeave has responded by doubling the power of the entire network with its GPUs, which are designed to handle repetitive calculations.
See also: Bitcoiners Are Biohacking a DIY Coronavirus Vaccine
According to Venturo, those 6,000 GPUs made up about 0.2 percent of Ethereum's total hashrate, earning roughly 28 ETH per day, worth about $3,600 at press time.
There is no cure for the coronavirus just yet (though various groups are working on vaccines and research to combat the disease, including IBM's supercomputer). Venturo noted that [email protected] has been used to contribute to breakthroughs in the creation of other important drugs.
"Their research had profound impacts on the development of front-line HIV defense drugs, and we are hoping our [computing power] will aid in the fight against coronavirus," Venturo said.
The coronavirus is taking a toll across the world. Italy and Spain are on lockdown. Conferences, stores and restaurants are closing to stem the spread of the disease; by stoking fears, it's slamming the financial markets in the process.
Sluggish economic and earnings growth will be a theme in markets in the week ahead, as investors await a Fed interest rate cut at the end of the month.
More than a quarter of the S&P 500 companies report earnings in the coming week, the second big week of the second quarter reporting season. FAANG names, like Alphabet and Amazon, and blue chips from McDonald’s to Boeingand United Technologies are among the more than 130 companies reporting.
There is also some key economic data, including Friday’s second quarter GDP, which should show a slowing to 1.8% from the first quarter’s 3.1% pace, according to Refinitiv. On Thursday, durable goods are reported and will include an update on businesses investment. There are also existing home sales Tuesday, new home sales Wednesday and advance economic indicators Thursday.
But there will be no Fed speakers, after a parade of central bank officials in the past week, including Fed Chair Jerome Powell. The most impactful comments, however, came Thursday from New York Fed President John Williams, who set off a debate about how much the Fed could cut rates at its July 30-31 meeting — 25 or 50 basis points.
Even as the New York Fed later said Williams comments were not about current policy, market pros took heed of his words about how central bankers should “act quickly.”
Fed dominates Fed officials do not speak publicly in the days ahead of policy meetings, but market pros will find plenty to debate. Fed funds futures were predicting a 43% chance of a 50 basis point cut in July, after shooting as high as 70% Thursday afternoon.
“For sure, the Fed is going to dominate for next week. I think we’ll get at least a 25 basis point cut. I’m thinking we’re not going to get 50 basis point cut...The Fed has been burned when it’s been bold,” said Tony Roth, chief investment officer at Wilmington Trust.
Roth said he believes the market is already pricing in a quarter-point cut, and he does not see the Fed’s rate cut as much of a longer-term catalyst for stocks. If it trims by a half percentage point, he expects just a short-term pop.
Economists believe the Fed will cut interest rates even though recent data has improved. That’s in part because Powell has stressed the Fed is focused on the global economic slowdown, trade wars and low inflation, and that it will do what it takes to keep the economy expanding.
“The only real catalyst that would really help the market would be if there was a trade deal with China,” Roth said. “I think the likelihood of that is less than > 10%. We’re very pessimistic on the possibility of a real deal with China prior to the [2020 presidential] election.”
So, in the void ahead of the Fed’s meeting, the market will be watching earnings. As earnings rolled out this past week, stocks took a rest from their record-setting streak, as some companies lowered forecasts and most beat earnings and revenue estimates.
As of Friday morning, 77% of the roughly 80 companies reporting had beaten earnings estimates, and 65% topped revenue forecasts, according to Refinitiv. Based on actual reports and forecasts, earnings per share for the S&P companies are expected to be up 1% in the second quarter. That is up from expectations that the profit growth would be slightly negative this quarter.
“If you look at the numbers, we’re above the averages for top and bottom line beats, but at the same time when you look at revisions, every day we’re getting revisions for third and fourth quarter, and they’re coming down.There’s a real worry of an earnings recession, when you get out into the third and fourth quarter and out to next year,” Roth said.
Roth said he’s currently neutral on risk assets, and he sees a slowdown brewing in the smallest U.S. companies that could spread up the food chain.
“We do see those fundamental cracks in the economy in small business and the small business labor market, and on top of that you have these big macro risks out there,” such as trade and the upcoming election, Roth said.
Slower economy As earnings growth was muted in the second quarter, so was the pace of economic gains. If growth comes in as expected, it would be the first quarter where growth was under 2% since the first quarter of 2017. Economists are watching to see how consumer spending fared in the quarter, after a recent pickup and also whether business inventories are declining.
“The data we need is not Q2. What’s at risk is the growth and magnitude of the Fed rate cut. I don’t think Q2 is going to have much impact on the Fed’s thinking,” said Marc Chandler, chief market strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex. “It’s really how Q3 is progressing. It seems to me the economy softened in April and May and picked up in June with jobs data, retail sales and manufacturing sector.”
Chandler said investors will also be focused on the European Central Bank, which some economists believe could cut its overnight deposit rate to negative 0.5% from negative 0.4% currently when it meets Thursday. Chandler said odds are about 50% for the rate cut, which many also expect in September.
“While we’re waiting for the Fed to figure out whether it’s 25 or 50 basis points, and we’re waiting for the ECB to get all its forms sorted out ... the emerging markets are pushing ahead,” said Chandler, noting Russia and Turkey could cut rates in the next several days, after similar moves in the past week by South Africa, South Korea and Indonesia.
“It just makes the story more global. You’re seeing the trade numbers from China, Japan, Singapore and South Korea weaken. You’re seeing exports form China suffer. Exports from all of Asia are suffering,” he said. “The big surprise for China and Japan has also been on the import side. The declines in their imports is really someone else’s [drop in] exports.”
Rate cuts and currency wars Dollar strength has been a consequence of the trade war, and Fed action could help turn it around.
“If the Fed fails to move, you’re going to end up with an increasingly stronger dollar,” which impacts corporate earnings, Roth said.
“The dollar is quite strong and is increasingly going to be a headwind for U.S. companies. It hasn’t appreciated that much in 12 months, but if we see a divergence in monetary policy between the U.S. and the rest of the world, you would see a carry trade develop where people would want to buy assets in the U.S.,” he said.
The dollar index was slightly higher on the week, but Wall Street has been focused on President Donald Trump’s negative comments on the currency’s strength. As Trump has criticized the Fed, he also complains that other central banks manipulate their currencies to give them an edge in trade. Trump has said the Fed should already be cutting rates, something it hasn’t done since December 2008.
A number of Wall Street strategists have said they now believe it is possible that the U.S. government could intervene to weaken the dollar, but that would be unlikely.
Small-caps measured by the performance of the Russell 2000 have been lagging since mid-March with the gap in performance widening in June and continuing into July. At yesterday’s close the Russell 2000 was up 15.35% year-to-date compared to a gain of 19.87% for the Russell 1000. Based upon historical trends this is not unusual for this time of the year nor during times when U.S. economic data is mixed.
In the following chart the one-year seasonal pattern of the Russell 2000/Russell 1000 has been plotted (solid black line with grey fill) along with 2019 year-to-date (blue line). This chart is similar to the chart found on page 110 of the 2019 Stock Trader’s Almanac. When the lines are rising small-caps are outperforming, when the lines are falling small-caps are lagging. Small-caps exhibited typical seasonal strength during the first quarter but have been fading ever since. In some years, small-cap strength can last until mid-June however, that is not the case this year. Going forward, small-cap underperformance is likely to persist until early in the fourth quarter with possible a hint of strength at the end of August.
It’s usually about this time of the year, when trading volumes begin to slump and markets meander that we begin to hear talk of the infamous “Summer Rally” featured on page 74 of the Stock Trader’s Almanac 2019. The “Summer Rally” is usually the weakest seasonal rally of them all.
We looked at the current Summer Rally and found it to be above average already, up 10.2% from the Spring low on May 31, and that does portend well for the Summer and Fall Corrections. We lined up the Summer Rallies ranked from weakest to strongest since 1964. Over the past 55 years prior to this year DJIA has rallied and average of 9.1% from its May/June low until its Q3 high. The Fall Rally averages 10.9% and the Summer and Fall Corrections average a loss of just under 9% for a net average gain of a few percentage points over the summer and fall.
As shown in the table below, when the Summer Rally is greater than or equal to the 55-year 9.1% average, the summer and fall correction tend to be bit milder, -6.2% and -8.2%, respectively. Summer Rally gains beyond 12.5% historically had the smallest summer and fall corrections. One prominent exception being 1987.
Once again today, DJIA, S&P 500 and NASDAQ closed at new all-time highs. With today’s modest gains, DJIA is up 17.3% year-to-date. S&P 500 is even better at 20.2% while NASDAQ is still best at 24.5%. Compared to historical average performance in pre-election years at this time of the year, DJIA and S&P 500 are comfortably above average. NASDAQ’s impressive 24.5% gain is just average (since 1971). NASDAQ’s Midyear Rally delivered again, but officially ended last Friday. The seasonal pattern charts, above and below, along with July’s typical performance over the last 21 years suggest further gains during the balance of July and the third quarter could be limited. For the market to make meaningful gains in the near-term earnings will need to decent and forward guidance will also need to be firm.
Yesterday was another one of those days that makes you scratch your head. In a relatively busy day for economic data, Initial Jobless Claims came in within 25K of a 50-year low, and the Philly Fed Manufacturing report saw its largest m/m increase in a decade. That follows other data last week where Retail Sales were very strong and CPI and PPI both came in ahead of consensus forecasts. The trend of better than expected data since the June employment report on July 5th is reflected in recent moves of the Citi Economic Surprise Index which has rallied from -68.3 up to -41.5. Granted, it’s still negative, but what was looking like a real dismal backdrop for the economy just three weeks ago seems to be showing signs of improvement.
In their respective interviews, both Williams and Clarida not only didn’t tone down expectations, but they added fuel to the fire. Williams noted that “it pays to act quickly to lower rates" and "vaccinate” the economy "against further ills." Clarida was even more direct when he said that “Research shows you act preemptively when you can.” In other words, the data-dependent Fed is casting the data aside and ready to move anyway. In his interview on Fox Business, Clarida almost got a chuckle when asked whether there was any chance the Fed wouldn’t cut rates in July.
The dovish turn from the Fed was immediately reflected in market expectations for rate policy at the July meeting. Back in June, market expectations for a 50 basis points (bps) cut at the next meeting peaked out at under 50%. Then, in the days following the June employment report, expectations dropped all the way down to 3%. In the last ten days, though, the trend has completely reversed, and as of yesterday’s close topped out at 71% versus just a 29% chance for a 25 bps cut. Probabilities for a 50 bps cut came in a bit overnight but are still at about 50/50. Yesterday alone, though, expectations for a 25 bps cut and a 50 bps cut more than completely reversed from the prior day, and remember, that’s after what was a good day of economic data! Can you imagine what expectations would be like if the data was actually bad?
The Bloomberg World index is a cap-weighted index made up of nearly 5,000 stocks from around the world (including US stocks). While the S&P 500 has been hitting new all-time highs over the last week, the Bloomberg World index remains 7% below highs that it last made back in January 2018.
The S&P 500 is up over 20% YTD, but over the last 12 months, it is up just under 10% on a total return basis. And within the S&P 1500, there are only 44 stocks that are up more than 50% on a total return basis over the last 12 months. These 44 stocks are listed below.
Innovative Industrials (IIPR) -- a cannabis REIT -- has been the best performing stock in the S&P 1500 over the last year with a total return of 302%. In second place is eHealth (EHTH) with a gain of 269%, followed by Avon Products (AVP) at +174.8% and Coca-Cola Bottling (COKE) at +128.58%. Coca-Cola Bottling is probably one of the last names you would have guessed as a top five performer over the last year! Other notables on the list of biggest winners include Advanced Micro (AMD), LendingTree (TREE), Starbucks (SBUX), AutoZone (AZO), Chipotle (CMG), Hershey (HSY), and Procter & Gamble (PG).
Some names that aren't on the list that you may have expected to see? AMZN, NFLX, MSFT? Nope. None of the mega-cap Tech companies are on the list of biggest winners due to serious weakness from this group in Q4 2018.
Although the last two trading days have seen exceptionally narrow daily ranges, today we wanted to take a quick look at the S&P 500's frequency of 2% daily moves (either up or down) in the post-WWII period. The chart below breaks out the frequency of 2% days by year, and years with more than 25 one-day moves of 2% are notated accordingly.
Overall, there have been an average of 11 daily 2% moves in a given year. After five straight years from 2007 to 2011 where we saw an above-average number of 2% days, the last seven years have only seen one year with an above-average number of occurrences (2018, 21). Remember, in 2017 there wasn't one single trading day that saw the S&P move up or down 2%!
So far this year, there have only been four 2% days, but with the most volatile part of the year on tap, we are likely to see that number increase in the months ahead. Don't expect the relative calm that we have seen in the last few trading days to last forever. Volatility is unpredictable and usually comes up and surprises you when you least expect it!
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Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:00 PM ET on Thursday, July 25, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $5.29 per share on revenue of $62.51 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $5.70 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 78% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 4.34% with revenue increasing by 18.20%. Short interest has increased by 14.0% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 1.8% from its open following the earnings release to be 13.0% above its 200 day moving average of $1,737.93. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, July 11, 2019 there was some notable buying of 3,494 contracts of the $2,000.00 call expiring on Friday, August 16, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 4.4% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 4.0% move in recent quarters.
Facebook Inc. (FB) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.90 per share on revenue of $16.45 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.01 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 82% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 9.20% with revenue increasing by 24.33%. Short interest has increased by 21.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 0.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 20.8% above its 200 day moving average of $164.17. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Wednesday, July 17, 2019 there was some notable buying of 16,697 contracts of the $290.00 call expiring on Friday, September 20, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 6.5% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.6% move in recent quarters.
Tesla, Inc. (TSLA) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 5:15 PM ET on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.52 per share on revenue of $6.38 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.44) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 33% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 84.80% with revenue increasing by 59.41%. Short interest has increased by 26.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 1.2% from its open following the earnings release to be 8.1% below its 200 day moving average of $280.96. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Tuesday, July 16, 2019 there was some notable buying of 30,445 contracts of the $50.00 put expiring on Friday, August 16, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 7.8% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 7.4% move in recent quarters.
Boeing Co. (BA) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:30 AM ET on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.89 per share on revenue of $20.27 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.91 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 17% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 43.24% with revenue decreasing by 16.44%. Short interest has increased by 11.2% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 0.1% from its open following the earnings release to be 4.0% above its 200 day moving average of $362.82. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Monday, July 8, 2019 there was some notable buying of 6,176 contracts of the $325.00 put expiring on Friday, August 16, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 3.8% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 3.0% move in recent quarters.
AT&T Corp. (T) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:50 AM ET on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.89 per share on revenue of $45.02 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.90 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 66% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 2.20% with revenue increasing by 15.48%. Short interest has increased by 16.4% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 5.5% from its open following the earnings release to be 4.5% above its 200 day moving average of $31.37. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Monday, July 8, 2019 there was some notable buying of 144,398 contracts of the $28.00 call expiring on Friday, January 17, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 4.1% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 4.5% move in recent quarters.
Snap Inc. (SNAP) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:10 PM ET on Tuesday, July 23, 2019. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.10 per share on revenue of $358.48 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.08) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 61% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for revenue of $335.00 million to $360.00 million. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 9.09% with revenue increasing by 36.69%. Short interest has decreased by 3.8% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 13.5% from its open following the earnings release to be 36.9% above its 200 day moving average of $10.24. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, July 5, 2019 there was some notable buying of 7,449 contracts of the $19.00 call expiring on Friday, July 26, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 13.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 19.1% move in recent quarters.
ShiftPixy, Inc. (PIXY) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:00 AM ET on Monday, July 22, 2019. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.08 per share on revenue of $14.39 million. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 44% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 33.33% with revenue increasing by 53.48%. Short interest has decreased by 8.2% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 50.9% from its open following the earnings release to be 63.8% below its 200 day moving average of $1.74. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. The stock has averaged a 16.9% move on earnings in recent quarters.
Halliburton Company (HAL) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:45 AM ET on Monday, July 22, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.30 per share on revenue of $5.97 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.29 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 60% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 48.28% with revenue decreasing by 2.88%. Short interest has increased by 39.2% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 31.6% from its open following the earnings release to be 25.7% below its 200 day moving average of $29.27. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Tuesday, July 16, 2019 there was some notable buying of 9,264 contracts of the $20.00 put expiring on Friday, August 16, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 5.3% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 3.5% move in recent quarters.
Twitter, Inc. (TWTR) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:00 AM ET on Friday, July 26, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.19 per share on revenue of $828.49 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.24 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 75% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for revenue of $770.00 million to $830.00 million. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 0.00% with revenue increasing by 16.60%. Short interest has increased by 9.0% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 0.4% from its open following the earnings release to be 10.1% above its 200 day moving average of $33.39. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Monday, July 15, 2019 there was some notable buying of 7,151 contracts of the $60.00 call expiring on Friday, January 15, 2021. Option traders are pricing in a 10.4% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 12.7% move in recent quarters.
Visa Inc (V) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Tuesday, July 23, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.33 per share on revenue of $5.70 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.37 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 79% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 10.83% with revenue increasing by 8.78%. Short interest has decreased by 6.9% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 11.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 19.5% above its 200 day moving average of $150.03. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Tuesday, July 16, 2019 there was some notable buying of 4,839 contracts of the $165.00 put expiring on Friday, August 16, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 3.1% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 2.6% move in recent quarters.
The coming week could be one of the most pivotal for the Trump White House and the markets, depending on how President Donald Trump chooses to proceed with China trade tariffs.
U.S.-China trade talks apparently have been making progress, and in a positive sign, sources said a possible meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping is being discussed for late March. Strategists expect some eventual deal to be reached, but first and foremost, the March 2 deadline on new tariffs looms at the end of the week. For now, it looks like the deadline could be extended.
Trump, in fact, Friday reiterated that he could extend the deadline if progress is being made. He also said there was a very good chance a deal could be reached with China, and that he and Xi would make the big decisions.
The week is packed with major events that could be market moving, including two days of economic testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. He appears before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, and then a House committee Wednesday for the semiannual testimony.
Trump also heads to Vietnam for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday and Thursday, and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May faces another Brexit vote in parliament.
The markets are also closely watching U.S. economic data after a string of misses on manufacturing and consumer data rattled stocks in the past couple of weeks. The lack of government data during the 35-day government shutdown has made it more difficult than usual to get a handle on the economy, and some economists now see fourth-quarter and first-quarter growth running at just 2 percent or below. Fourth-quarter GDP, delayed because of the shutdown, is finally released on Thursday.
EarningsThough earnings season is winding down, quite a few earnings releases are expected, including from retailers Home Depot, Macy'sand Nordstrom.
"To me, the biggest story next week for markets is China. Do they announce an agreement or do they at least extend the deadline? That's the one that has the most immediate market impact. The markets are pricing in good news on China next week," said Tom Block, Washington policy strategist at Fundstrat.
There were some news reports that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on the Trump campaign and Russia would be provided to the attorney general next week, but a Justice Department official Friday afternoon said that was not true.Whether the Trump campaign was involved with Russia or not matters much less than whether the president himself was involved.
"This is of course great for American political drama but as for the $4.3 trillion foreign exchange market or what does this mean for the value of corporate America, it's not a big deal unless there's a smoking gun, and people think Trump is going to get impeached," said Marc Chandler, chief market strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex. "Why this is important is it might paralyze other policy. … The only way it is a really big factor is if it's used as fodder to pursue further investigations that paralyze the administration like Watergate did."
Chandler said while the geopolitical events in the coming week could add to tension, they could all remain unresolved.
"We want some closure. Next week is not going to bring some closure. We're going to get extensions," said Chandler.
The uncertainty around China trade has been impacting the economic data, and business leaders have called on the White House to end the tariffs on China. The farm belt has been hurt as China retaliated against U.S. products.
Cowen analysts said the talks are nearing a "term sheet" between Chinese and U.S. trade negotiators. The memorandums are expected to touch on a half-dozen key areas, including forced technology transfers and cybertheft; intellectual property rights; opening up of Chinese financial services to U.S. companies; currency; agriculture, and nontariff barriers to trade. Those barriers include industrial subsidies, licensing procedures and other regulations.
The talks are also expected to focus on a list of 10 goods and commodities that China will buy to help narrow the trade balance. That could include an additional $30 billion per year of U.S. farm products including soybeans, corn, and wheat, the Cowen analysts said.
Fundstrat's Block said the president understands the political impact of continuing tariffs or raising them to 25 percent by March 2, as he has threatened.
Trade deadline, North Korea, BrexitTrump has said the deadline could be extended. "The road to 270 electoral votes for Trump goes through the farm states of the Midwest. There's no road map for Trump to get 270 electoral votes if he doesn't carry all those Midwestern farm states," Block said. "China is very big for lots of reasons. …Trump's people have to figure out, at a minimum, how to extend the truce. … The biggest threat to those states is continued trade war with China focused on agricultural products exported from the U.S."
Besides China and trade and the Mueller report, Trump plans to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam in the week ahead, and Trump has said it is not to be his last meeting with Kim. The U.S. and North Korea are expected to seek a common understanding of what is expected in denuclearization, and Trump is expected to push Kim to give up his nuclear ambitions.
Block said it's unclear what will come of those talks. "Trump overstates what he does, but the world is a little safer with us talking with North Korea rather than saber rattling with North Korea. That seems to be Trump's approach. Regardless of what his thought process is, the net result is better than not doing it," said Block.
Investors are also looking to Europe where the U.K. Parliament votes on a no-deal Brexit, which critics say would disrupt trade and commerce .
Prime Minister Theresa May continues to push for Britain's exit from the European Union on March 29. On Wednesday, there will be a vote on an amendment that would give the House of Commons the power to block a no-exit deal if May has not secured the approval by Parliament for a revised Brexit deal by the middle of March.
"They're trying to force her to give up the no deal exit. The EU is expecting a request for a 60-day extension," said Chandler.
Economic dataAs for U.S. data, reports on personal income and spending are coming on Friday and fourth-quarter GDP on Thursday. December's disappointing durable goods data showed slower business spending, so analysts are watching closely to see whether there was any improvement in consumer spending.
"The U.S. growth slowdown is seen intensifying in the first quarter too. We forecast U.S. GDP growth at a modest 1.5% annual rate in Q1. Slowing global manufacturing activity, tighter financial conditions, sluggish business equipment spending, and lackluster federal government spending (due in part to the government shutdown in January) are all contributing to the weakest quarter for U.S. growth in two years," wrote Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West.
Anderson expects fourth-quarter growth at 2.2 percent. He also said if uncertainties in the U.S. around China trade talks and the Brexit negotiations go away, there is a good chance U.S. economic growth will bounce back in the second quarter.
"I should note this is our base case forecast, as none of the parties involved in the negotiations want to see the worst case outcomes realized. If for some reason either of the negotiations go seriously off-track, however, the 2019 U.S. and global economic outlook will become considerably bleaker," he wrote.
Turbulent March markets tend to drive prices up early in the month and batter stocks at month end. Julius Caesar failed to heed the famous warning to “beware the Ides of March” but investors have been served well when they have. Stock prices have a propensity to decline, sometimes rather precipitously, during the latter days of the month. In March 2001, DJIA plunged 1469 points (-11.8%) from March 9 to the 22.
Normally a decent performing market month, March performs even better in pre-election years (see Vital Statistics table below). In pre-election years March ranks: 4th best for DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ and Russell 1000 (January, April and December are better). Pre-election year March rank #3 for Russell 2000. Pre-election year March has been up 13 out of the last 14 for DJIA. In fact, since inception in 1979, the Russell 2000 has a perfect, 10-for-10 winning record.
What more can we say about the amazing rebound of the stock market since December 24? For the first time since 1997, the S&P 500 Index is up more than 10% for the year through this point in February. Of course, it was the worst December for stocks since the Great Depression—making a larger bounce possible—but the rebound over the past two months has been historic.
That begs the question: What does it mean when stocks are overbought on many short-term levels? “Yes, stocks are quite extended near -term,” explained LPL Senior Market Strategist Ryan Detrick, “but historically, extended markets have tended to deliver continued outperformance over the next several months.”
We can see this by looking at the number of stocks in the S&P 500 that are above their 50-day moving average and the subsequent performance of the index. That number recently cleared 90%, which was one of the highest readings ever. And after 90% of stocks in the S&P 500 go above their 50-day moving average, their 1-, 3-, and 6-month returns actually have shown continued strength. In fact, as the LPL Chart of the Day shows, three months after hitting that 90% mark, the S&P 500 has been higher 12 of the previous 13 times going back to 1990.
As this week’s Weekly Market Commentary suggested, over the near term equities appear quite stretched, but overall we continue to think the bull market has plenty of life left. Today, we’ll take a look at market breadth—one of our favorite technical indicators—to explore whether it may be pointing to better times ahead for equities.
Market breadth measures how many stocks are participating in the movement of broader indexes. One of the easiest ways to measure this is via advance/decline (A/D) lines on various exchanges. An A/D line is a ratio of how many stocks go up versus down each day. The thinking is, if gains are caused by increases in many stocks, then there are plenty of buyers and the upward trend should likely continue, all else equal. On the other hand, if an upward move in a broad market gauge is driven by relatively few stocks, this can be a warning sign of cracks in the bull’s armor.
Today’s LPL Chart of the Day shows that the NYSE Common Stock Only A/D line has broken out to a new all-time high. “This is another clue to market participants that things are actually quite healthy under the surface. When advance/decline lines are breaking out to new highs, history tells us that stocks usually aren’t too far behind,” explained LPL Senior Market Strategist Ryan Detrick.
One aspect of the rally in stocks this year that we can’t stress enough is how strong breadth has been. Besides the fact that the equal-weighted S&P 500 is outperforming the market cap weighted index by close to three percentage points YTD, the vast majority of S&P 500 Industry Groups are also either right at or very close to YTD highs. The table below lists S&P 500 Industry Groups that, along with the S&P 500, hit YTD highs so far today. Of the 60 Industry Groups, 26 hit YTD highs today and five of them are already up 20% YTD!
Monday 2.25.19 Before Market Open:
Monday 2.25.19 After Market Close:
Tuesday 2.26.19 Before Market Open:
Tuesday 2.26.19 After Market Close:
Wednesday 2.27.19 Before Market Open:
Wednesday 2.27.19 After Market Close:
Thursday 2.28.19 Before Market Open:
Thursday 2.28.19 After Market Close:
Friday 3.1.19 Before Market Open:
Friday 3.1.19 After Market Close:
Square, Inc. (SQ) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.13 per share on revenue of $908.21 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.16 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 80% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for earnings of $0.12 to $0.13 per share on revenue of $895.00 million to $905.00 million. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 62.50% with revenue increasing by 47.43%. Short interest has increased by 8.9% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 4.2% from its open following the earnings release to be 8.3% above its 200 day moving average of $70.25. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Wednesday, February 13, 2019 there was some notable buying of 5,812 contracts of the $75.00 put and 5,392 contracts of the $75.00 call expiring on Thursday, April 18, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 8.4% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 4.5% move in recent quarters.
Home Depot, Inc. (HD) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:00 AM ET on Tuesday, February 26, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.16 per share on revenue of $26.56 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.21 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 76% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 27.81% with revenue increasing by 11.21%. Short interest has decreased by 13.1% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 8.5% from its open following the earnings release to be 2.2% above its 200 day moving average of $188.29. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Tuesday, February 12, 2019 there was some notable buying of 11,051 contracts of the $165.00 put expiring on Friday, March 15, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 3.6% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 1.1% move in recent quarters.
Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:00 AM ET on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.17 per share on revenue of $1.04 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.20 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 71% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 43.33% with revenue decreasing by 58.71%. Short interest has increased by 117.9% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 22.2% from its open following the earnings release to be 33.4% below its 200 day moving average of $3.91. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, January 11, 2019 there was some notable buying of 5,346 contracts of the $7.00 call expiring on Friday, January 15, 2021. Option traders are pricing in a 14.4% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.6% move in recent quarters.
Etsy, Inc. (ETSY) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Monday, February 25, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.26 per share on revenue of $194.88 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.28 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 75% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 73.33% with revenue increasing by 43.01%. Short interest has increased by 2.6% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 22.6% from its open following the earnings release to be 25.1% above its 200 day moving average of $45.29. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Tuesday, February 5, 2019 there was some notable buying of 2,590 contracts of the $55.00 put expiring on Friday, March 15, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 11.6% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 10.9% move in recent quarters.
JD.com, Inc. (JD) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 5:25 AM ET on Thursday, February 28, 2019. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.04 per share on revenue of $19.15 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.02) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 60% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estiamtes are for year-over-year revenue growth of 13.10%. Short interest has increased by 25.4% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 15.6% from its open following the earnings release to be 9.9% below its 200 day moving average of $28.80. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, February 15, 2019 there was some notable buying of 17,853 contracts of the $30.00 call expiring on Thursday, April 18, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 7.9% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 4.4% move in recent quarters.
Macy's, Inc. (M) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:00 AM ET on Tuesday, February 26, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.65 per share on revenue of $8.46 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.60 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 28% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 6.03% with revenue decreasing by 2.38%. Short interest has decreased by 12.4% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 31.6% from its open following the earnings release to be 28.4% below its 200 day moving average of $33.59. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, February 22, 2019 there was some notable buying of 3,804 contracts of the $24.50 call expiring on Friday, March 1, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 10.0% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 9.8% move in recent quarters.
McDermott International Inc. (MDR) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:30 AM ET on Monday, February 25, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.21 per share on revenue of $2.70 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.18 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 62% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 110.00% with revenue increasing by 275.99%. Short interest has increased by 9.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 15.0% from its open following the earnings release to be 48.2% below its 200 day moving average of $14.94. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Wednesday, February 20, 2019 there was some notable buying of 22,689 contracts of the $8.00 call expiring on Friday, May 17, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 17.4% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 25.9% move in recent quarters.
PG&E Corp. (PCG) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:45 AM ET on Thursday, February 28, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.62 per share on revenue of $4.29 billion. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 18% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 1.59% with revenue increasing by 4.63%. Short interest has increased by 122.1% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 60.9% from its open following the earnings release to be 47.6% below its 200 day moving average of $35.85. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, January 24, 2019 there was some notable buying of 10,702 contracts of the $20.00 call expiring on Friday, January 17, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 11.5% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 2.1% move in recent quarters.
Fitbit, Inc. (FIT) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.07 per share on revenue of $567.68 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.08 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 80% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for earnings of at least $0.07 per share on revenue of at least $560.00 million. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 200.00% with revenue decreasing by 0.54%. Short interest has decreased by 27.1% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 22.3% from its open following the earnings release to be 9.2% above its 200 day moving average of $6.13. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Tuesday, February 5, 2019 there was some notable buying of 6,274 contracts of the $6.50 call expiring on Friday, March 1, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 14.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 13.0% move in recent quarters.
Amarin Corporation plc (AMRN) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 5:00 AM ET on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.08 per share on revenue of $74.45 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.08) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 71% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 0.00% with revenue increasing by 38.21%. Short interest has increased by 15.4% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 4.8% from its open following the earnings release to be 89.6% above its 200 day moving average of $10.48. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, February 22, 2019 there was some notable buying of 35,406 contracts of the $20.00 call expiring on Thursday, April 18, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 17.3% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 4.6% move in recent quarters.
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