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There is Something “Skewy” Going on Here

There is Something “Skewy” Going on Here

I have recently focused on the optionsskew  index as a tool to help me define overbought/oversold markets.  It is not the most conventional or even cleanest tool, since we’re talking about outlier trades.  By definition, the options-skew index measures the tail risk of the SPX 500 basically over 30 days.  Traders who add to the skew are looking for outlier moves of 2-3 standard deviations, which happen 5% or less of the time.  These are cheap bets, but, if they come through, they pay off...

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ESH5: S&P Mini Futures Bust Support, Crash, And Burn

ESH5: S&P Mini Futures Bust Support, Crash, And Burn

Early Wednesday morning, we were leaning long on the S&P500 mini futures (ESH5), hitching our wagon to modestly hopeful technical indicators. The futures didn't fall out of bed in the overnight trading, and the ESH5 clawed back up to the 20/40-day moving average line from the previous day's decline. No real strength, but enough to dull the fear and encourage the greed. By the end of the day session Wednesday, the market had broken all of the support levels and closed near the low of...

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Soy Bean Counting Toward A Reversal To The Upside

Soy Bean Counting Toward A Reversal To The Upside

Since the release of the January 12th crop report, soy beans have dropped over .85 cents.  The key question is, how much more down side risk is there left?  There is a series of underlining fundamentals that could have both a bullish and bearish effect on the market.  On the bearish side, the trade believes that the late March planting intentions report will show 5% more soybeans will be planted this year.  This 5% increase comes at the expense of corn, due to soybean’s higher price.  On...

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Learn To Navigate Your Assets In Times Of Big Change

Learn To Navigate Your Assets In Times Of Big Change

One Risk Aspect Often Overlooked When Assessing Risk There are many aspects to trading risk. The risk to capital exposure due to excessive position size relative to one’s stops is obvious. Co-relation of your positions in today’s highly co-related markets is another aspect that must be considered, and, of course, you know about the risk of not diversifying your assets. But have you ever considered the risk you are assuming from your brokerage account? I am talking about your brokers’...

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SPX: Nice Ride, But A Little Wild

SPX: Nice Ride, But A Little Wild

On Monday (Jan. 26), we warned that US equity markets were nervous, and vulnerable to bad news. Tuesday we saw just how vulnerable. What will happen on Wednesday? More of the same is our guess. Lots of volatility, especially around the Fed Open Market Committee minutes, which will be released at 2:00 pm. Despite the selling panic at the start of the day, we remain cautiously bullish. Tuesday started off looking like the bloodbath the Bears have been longing for. The Globex futures on the...

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Will the “Floor” Hold?

Will the “Floor” Hold?

The 2061 “Ceiling” level was not tested on Tuesday due to the gap down in the markets, ostensibly from a shortfall in earnings and durable goods orders. If a “Ceiling” is rejected, you can bet the “Floor” will be tested, and that’s exactly what happened on Tuesday. It was briefly undercut, but an important downtrend line held (Trendline #2) and provided a platform for a bounce. In post market action, Apple did not disappoint and index futures are up. The key support levels for Wednesday...

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Three Questions With The Power To Transform Your Trading

Three Questions With The Power To Transform Your Trading

There are three simple but powerful questions which can transform our trading when we ask them of ourselves consistently over time.  They are powerful because they form the basis of mental flexibility and mental agility.  Wouldn’t you like to be mentally more resilient and deft? The three questions can be asked anytime you are preparing for trading, executing, and managing trades, or reviewing your trading results — in other words, anytime you are engaged in a trading-related activity. ...

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Look To Platinum And The PGM in 2015

Look To Platinum And The PGM in 2015

Given a growing global demand for platinum, palladium, and rhodium, three of the six metals in the platinum metals group (PGM), and the increasing cost to mine platinum, we are focusing our efforts to accumulate platinum over the course of the year. PGM, specifically platinum, is an excellent store of value and it performs well as an inflation hedge.  One could argue that platinum – and the other meals in the PGM - are a better long term hedge than gold, as there are a number of industrial...

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Taking A Peek Inside (the) Box

Taking A Peek Inside (the) Box

The volatility roiling the broader markets has, at least thus far, kept a lid on the IPO market in 2015. To date, just two companies have braved the elements with County Bancorp (ICBK) and Patriot National (PN) going public on January 16. This week, however, the IPO market will once again find itself in the spotlight as a well-known tech company makes its long-awaited debut in the public markets. Specifically, on January 22, Box, Inc. (BOX) – a provider of cloud-based storage and file...

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Expect Economic Boom In 2015

Expect Economic Boom In 2015

You should expect a US economic boom in 2015. All the signs are pointing to it. The economic trends are up, led by a positive outlook and forward momentum for US labor. All together, these things add up to an economy that, by many economist accounts, is growing at a pace faster than anticipated. There has been a recent slump in activity, but this is nothing more than a seasonally expected lull occurring in tandem with the end of the year and the post-holiday period. New data is already...

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Looking For a Trend Change in FSLR

Looking For a Trend Change in FSLR

The market has not been kind to the solar space. Considering the success of the companies is loosely tied to coal, and commodities have not done well recently, it makes sense that weakness has come into that space. But there are some signs that sellers are running out of energy here. While FSLR is making new marginal lows, the RSI is making new higher lows. This indicates that momentum is slowing down, and if the stock has enough time, sellers run out and the stock will rise in price until...

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Who Said Anything About Normal?

Who Said Anything About Normal?

Just when I thought the market was headed back to a bit of normalcy … I know, I know, when is the market ever normal? In fact, if I, or anyone for that matter, ever thinks the market is behaving, well, ”normal,” I would ask that the term be explained, relative to the market. I can’t do it, so why would I think such a thing? The simple answer is I want the market to stop going crazy with wild swings from here to there and back again. That makes me crazy. So, today’s market is swinging...

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