Slope of Hope Blog Posts

This is the heart and soul of the web site. Here we have literally tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. You can also click on any category icon to see posts tagged with that particular category.

Gold’s Kill Zone

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There is nothing bullish happening on the gold and silver charts. Nothing bullish on the miner Index/ETF charts. Nothing bullish on the HUI/Gold ratio. In other words, when it comes to a segment as volatile and sentiment-dependent as the precious metals, we are in the kill zone.

That can be read a couple of different ways. First, the inflationist gold bugs are getting exterminated as the US dollar first rose and since has stubbornly refused to take a pullback.

But the time to buy the gold sector is pretty reliably when the bugs are dead or at least hiding deep in the woodwork; so deep that you’d not even know they are still there. Just as you should have caution when gold bugs are trumpeting loudly, you should be brave when they are in full retreat… or worse, dead. (more…)

How Low Can Gold Go?

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The downward plunge never ends when you think it will. There’s always a lower level. That way gold bug spirits get crushed before those left standing can become “joyous”.

Some thoughts from NFTRH 510:

Both gold and silver look like they could be in little daily chart bear flags. Oh no! More bearishness on the way! I am getting bullisher by the week.

Again, that is how it is with the precious metals. Sure, if you go too quickly you get some cuts, scrapes and if too eager, even amputations of fingers by falling knives. But this generally is the type of environment where you stand up and take notice. The gold obsessives – i.e. gold newsletter writers, gold stock experts, “gold analysts” (ha ha ha) and others who want their herds to remain enthralled as if there is no other sector in the markets – are in damage control mode.

Because gold and silver are technically bearish, the gold stock ETFs are on the verge of breakdowns and the world is still risk ‘on’ right now, the amalgam known as the gold “community” may find a need to give the troops the straight scoop, which is that it’s bearish out there. With every fiber of its being the “community” wants not to be saying that, but they have to in order to maintain credibility.

This is when you buy the sector. Period. Now, what does “buy” mean? Well I personally screwed up trades in NEM and AEM. So I am by no means saying that [it] is easy. You have to manage risk while at the same time keeping an eye on the ball, which is a general buying opportunity for anything from a potential strong bounce to a bull phase.

As to that second thing, a turn in the risk ‘on’ world to bearish and/or risk ‘off’ would be the right context. What is happening now is that the inflationists are getting dismissed and the people who buy liquidations within disinflationary backdrops are at the ready. While I am bullish on all counts but the macro fundamentals – which continue to be mixed to bearish – I’d continue to respect the possibility of a final flush before the rally gets going.

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Checking in on the Slow Boiling Bullfrogs (Market Sentiment)

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No frogs were harmed in the making of this video! At the time of a boil it’s a rubber stunt frog, which gave me a sense of relief as I watched.

As part of the S&P 500 top-test scenario we have favored since February a key component to a failed test would be that the frightened Bullfrogs that jumped out of the pot in February and March would return, settle in and get nice and comfy. Maybe not with the bounce in their hop that they had in January but well, comfy. (more…)

S&P 500 vs. Gold (AKA Amigo #1); a Closer Look at Risk

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Not much has changed since the last 3 Amigos macro update. Amigo #2 (long-term yields) has long-since reached the Continuum’s ™ limiter (the 100 month exponential moving average on the 30 year Treasury yield) and Amigos #1 (SPX/Gold) and #3 (the 10-2 yield curve) are still on their respective trends (up for SPX/Gold and flattening for the yield curve), indicating a positive and risk ‘on’ macro backdrop.

Of the 3 wacky riders, with Steve Martin now having gotten home and Martin Short a duller indicator (and lesser light), let’s focus on the Chevy Chase Amigo. There he is on the left, a look of triumphant joy on his face riding one-handed with his arm up in the air. Not a care in the world (as Steve Martin braces for the impact of Continuum’s limiter). (more…)

You Buy the Fear in Gold

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This article does not speak to gold’s proper fundamentals, which are not yet very healthy (although some positive signs are finally gathering). For the proper counter-cyclical atmosphere to engage gold bulls would need have risk ‘on’ markets and assets crack. Yet, gold’s (and silver’s) price may well bottom before readily obvious fundamental improvement is apparent to a majority (as was the case in Q1 2016). 

Far too much analysis is put out there linking gold with inflation. It is true that gold often acts as an effective inflation hedge, but it all too often fails in that capacity.

Far too much analysis is put out there linking gold with war, terror, pestilence and other conditions of human suffering. The surest way to spot a gold promoter, if he is not pumping inflation, is his pitch for gold as a disaster hedge. Yes okay, and I have a little Unibomber shack in Montana to sell you too. (more…)

Gold/Silver Ratio: Rising for a Month Now

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Well, look who is sporting a bullish looking pattern on its daily chart. It’s probably NFTRH‘s most watched indicator outside of the T Bond Continuum.

As you can see, a rising Gold/Silver ratio (GSR) attended the market stock market disturbances in February and March and a declining GSR has attended the relief, i.e. the expected ‘top-test’ by the S&P 500 that has ground on since roughly the same time that GSR topped in late March.

The GSR has spent a lot of the post-financial crisis era in dysfunction mode, but so far in 2018 it is working as we’d normally expect; it rises with market liquidity contraction and declines with risk ‘on’ and an absence of liquidity events.

So, is that indeed a bull pattern? Can we assign such TA to a ratio as opposed to a stock or an index? Valid questions, but all things being equal stock and/or commodity bulls would probably rather not see a pattern like that. What can’t be argued is that gold’s ratio to silver has been increasing for a month now. (more…)

A Macro (Amigos) Update for Mid-Summer

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You have better things to do than read droning macro analysis or long, drawn out investment theses. It is a weekend in the dead of summer and for that reason we go easy this week; real easy.

The 3 Amigos are here to simply say that things are as they have been, with Amigo #2 (long-term yields) getting home and pulling back on cue, and the other two (SPX/Gold ratio & Yield Curve) still in process and indicating risk ‘on’ and ‘boom on’, respectively.

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3 Amigos (SPX/Gold, Long-term Yields & Yield Curve) Updated

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It has been a while since we’ve had a 3 Amigos update because a) Italy and global tariffs noise aside, nothing much has changed with the macro and b) I felt my ‘image-based metaphorical content to straight content’ ratio was getting a little excessive. So I gave it a rest.

Now it is time again for an update of these important macro riders in order to touch base with their signals. As always, I’ll remind you that there is much more to the macro market backdrop that NFTRH manages on an ongoing basis, but these three are important.

The quick answer is that only Amigo #2 (long-term yields on a rise to our preset limits) has reached destination. I marked up the graphic as he was approaching our targets.

Note: The monthly charts driving the view that current trends remain intact can be considered big, dumb (i.e. not overly sensitive) indicators. Shorter-term views of these and other indicators can be used to gauge signs of oncoming changes. As one example, if daily SPX/Gold were to take a hard plunge on any given day or week (as was the case in February and March) we’d pay close attention as we did then before the larger trends ultimately took over again.

Amigo #1: Gold vs. the S&P 500 (or stock markets in general)

The theme for this Amigo is that the stock market (cyclical, risk ‘on’) has been trending up vs. gold (counter-cyclical, risk ‘off’) since 2011 in order to close out the negative cycle that completed that year. (more…)