Slope of Hope Blog Posts
Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.
Below is a chart of the S&P 500 on a minute-by-minute basis for the past six months. Beneath the chart I'd like to break down what I consider the "theme" of each tinted chunk of time (as always, you can click on any chart to see a big pop-up version of it).
- A – "Hey, a nice inverted head and shoulders pattern has formed. It's time for this market to push up to 1050!"
- B – "Wait a second. This breakout failed. Why can't this market get its act together? We've got a new President coming. Oh, well. At least things are stable."
- C – "Ahhhhhhhhh! Oh my GOD! This bear market is never going to end!" (The climax on March 6th was touched to the day by Time magazine, which had its Hanging On For Dear Life cover story).
- D – "Things are incredibly cheap. Brand-name outfits are trading for 50 cents a share. Buy, buy, buy!!!!!!!!!!!" As you all know, the one portfolio of mine which benefited from this was my 401-K, in which I bought all kinds of goofy, junky stocks. I made low triple-digit gains in some cases, and many, many 50%-70% gains. But overall this was a really rotten time for me!
- E – "OK, cool. We've got a nice inverted H&S setup again, and we've broken out above 880! Yes! Time to head to 1050 now!"
- F – "Ummm. So where's the big surge to 1050? What's going on? This market is just stuck in neutral again!"
- G – "Yes! We're at a new high for the year! But – – ummm, again – – why are we stuck here?"
So this market's psychosis has tricked a lot of folks, bulls and bears alike. But no matter what you consider yourself to be (and don't give me that "I just trade the market" nonsense; you know you lean one way or the other) – everyone has been getting excited (or wringing their hands) over this inverted H&S pattern since the time of the cavemen. Take a good hard look at "G". If there was an explosive rally based upon the pattern from January through May, where is it?
At this point, I have one word for this market: feeble. It's not soaring higher, as bulls would expect it to do based on the pattern (which I think we can dub a head and shoulder and shoulder and shoulder and shoulder pattern, based on its freakish design), and its attempts to drop lower are usurped by these end-of-day erasures.
I think all we can assume is that the next stage, "H", will stand for "what the Hell???", which is one the disappointed side is going to exclaim.
One last closing item for the day – – yes, my watch lists are coming back, but for those who just can't wait for it on the sidebar, here's a sneaky link so you can see it now.
I'll make a market commentary later, but I wanted to say something about this silly end-of-the-day insanity that happens day after day after day after day.
It's important to me to be able to "walk away" from the markets when I need to do so. I cannot be a hostage to my screen from 6:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for 260 days out of the year. I just can't. There are other aspects of my life, and a well-managed portfolio should not require the level of micromanagement that a day trader has to assert.
Take this summer, for example. I'm going to spend a week up at Stanford Sierra Camp. Do I really want to spend that week, where people are enjoying water skiing, archery, and volleyball, holed-up in some dark little computer room hunched over my laptop? No thank you.
So I've made it a practice to try to get away from my screen during chunks of the day just to show myself I can do it. My stops are in place, and they're fresh, so there's no reason I shouldn't be able to leave well enough alone.
It can be unnerving, however. About an hour before today's close, my overall portfolio was up about $28,000. I decided to go to the store to get a few items. I even brought a couple of glass bottles there to get my $3 bottle deposit back. I come back thirty minutes later, and I'm flat for the day. (Only a last-minute dip in the market, which was just as fast and unexpected, put me up $8k for the close).
I mean, that's ridiculous. I refuse to bail in and out of dozens of positions based on these little spurts. I will continue to completely avoid trading e-minis (which is I market in which I used to very actively participate!) until it's clear there's some sanity left. But what you see below is not sanity. It is manipulation gone wild, and I'm simply going to focus on my individual positions and let the stops take care of themselves. I will continue to avoid the /ES and /NQ, because this market absolutely cannot be trusted as normal.
When I do a post about precious metals – particularly shorting them – I get the feeling it would be safer to discuss politics and religion. Folks get very riled up about this topic.
I'm really torn about precious metals. On the bullish hand, one figures the trillions of dollars of "money" being created by the US are going to come back and haunt us. Many folks I respect, including Gary Savage and Jim Rogers, are calling for gold to possibly get to the $5,000/ounce level.
On the bearish side, I wonder if gold – – like other assets – – is going to tumble hard in the coming weeks. And although my opinion of Elliott Wave isn't quite as wild-eyed ecstatic as before, I still give some credence to the EWI STU folks that gold is heading back to under $700 before it makes a next move higher.
I've got a pretty good-sized GDX long position right now, and I covered my GLD shorts earlier today. So I guess the bullish arguments are winning me over, although I'm still not sure what's next. The real question is whether GLD is going to cut through that ascending trendline or if it's going to make a surge and complete the very impressive inverted H&S formation that has been in the works for the past sixteen months.
I thought I'd never touch the likes of SDP again, but compared to the toxicity of SRS and FAZ, it seems dramatically more benign. How jaded we've become!
In any case, in one account I have a very large short position in XLU (by far my largest position), and in another account (my 401-k, in which I've taken profits on all my lottery picks) I purchased a large SDP position on Friday. I am obviously bearish on utilities in general, and although I'm not crazy about SDP's thin trading and wide spreads, it's the best way I know to take advantage in my long-only 401-k of this disposition.
I have good news for fellow Slopers. Allow me to introduce the Cetin Hekimoglu Elimination Squad:
These highly-trained mercenaries have one purpose and one purpose only: to root out and summarily execute any postings on Slope that they see from Ned "Cetin the Cretin", who pollutes blogs all around this great land of ours.
I have empowered enough Slopers (whom I've already privately emailed) with the ability to nuke this creep's posts that the lifespan of such posts has been reduced to the length of time you would want a tongue-kiss from AJC.
Ned, your already pointless existence here has been reduced to utter meaninglessness. Go find somewhere else to pollute. You are going to find your efforts profoundly frustrated from here on.
In another sign of bullish optimism indicating a downturn is near (or here), I saw the following in my Facebook feed this morning:
I remember back in March, there were all kinds of warnings any time Cramer appeared on TV saying "this show is about education, not specific advice!" It seems that any such pretense is gone.
And………B of A? Good luck with that.