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.

At the Junction of Risk ‘On’ and Risk ‘Off’

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[edit] As I do the actual work of plowing through NFTRH 472 I am noting some non-bond related indicators in line with the fading Junk/Quality ratios and easing Treasury yields noted in this post. If preliminary hints in these indicators intensify and long-term yield breakouts fail, we may get a market reaction of some kind and lurch to risk ‘off’ sooner rather than later. Most market charts remain straight up bullish. But charts are charts and indicators are a whole other animal.

This post serves as a public version (i.e. more wordiness than is usual in an NFTRH report) of NFTRH 472’s Bonds & Related Indicators segment. If you’re not following bonds closely, you’re not really following stock and asset markets. You’re throwing darts.

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The Big Macro Play Ahead

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At NFTRH, we are about major macro turning points above all else. Of course, it is often years between these turning points or points of significant change so we are also about the here and now, and managing the trends, Old Turkey style.*

Since we are all learning all the time, I have no problem admitting to you that while right and bullish on commodities and stocks in 2009, after becoming bullish on the precious metals in Q4 2008, I completely ignored Old Turkey due to my inner biases. The result has been that after taking excellent profits from the precious metals bull, personally, I have greatly under performed the stock market bull despite holding a bullish analytical view for the majority of the post-2012 period.

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“Great Rotation” Ahead: Inflationary or Deflationary?

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Update: This article ultimately leans toward the view that the reasons for a rising curve will be inflationary. But I woke up in the middle of the night and my thoughts drifted to the components of the article (yeah, that’s pretty sad, I know), and with further consideration I am leaning toward neutral or even a bit into the deflationary camp. The reasons will be the stuff of another article.

Think back to the blaring headlines about the Great Promotion  Rotation in the financial media in 2013. Perhaps the media circus started in January of that year when The Economist asked the question of whether the rise in bond yields signaled a “flight” out bonds and into equities. It was probably an earnest and right minded question asked by The Economist, but you know our friends in the greater financial media; get a good story and flog the hell out of it to harvest eyeballs. Reality be damned, man, it’s the eyeballs that matter!

As the mini hysteria grew that year we called it a “Great Promotion” (by the financial media) in expectation that the Continuum’s limiter (the red monthly EMA 100 on the 30 year bond yield chart below) would hold once again, just as it had during Bill Gross’s inflation hysterics that signaled a top in inflationary angst in early 2011. By the end of 2013, our ears were ringing with the media buzz and drone about the “Great Rotation”.

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US Dollar and the Bond Continuum ©

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The US currency is up this morning and surprise surprise, gold, among other things is down (gold bugs should not be in worry mode, they should be in general preparation mode… and I don’t mean canned goods and Uni bomber shacks).

Meanwhile, the USD would not be disruptive for US stocks unless/until it gets impulsive and attends a flight to the risk ‘off’ side of the boat. Short of that, a rise in the dollar puts stocks on notice, but doesn’t croak them in real time (as evidenced by the 2014 up phase). Meanwhile, logical rotation is the theme.

If USD goes on to do what I think it will do, the declining black line AKA the 200 day moving average, is the target. So far, so good as Unc is making good progress at turning the MA 50 into support. I am very long pro-USD vehicles. (more…)

Make Way for Uncle Buck

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It has been a contrarian trade that has not yet worked out; by that I mean my short position on the Euro and preparation for a firming US dollar. Yesterday the market cheered the supposedly dovish Fed, and USD got smeared again as the world’s counter party paper boosted assets far and wide… on nothing but perceptions and a hell of a lot of momentum and gaming on FOMC day.

USD opened weak again today but so far at least, is sporting a Hammer which, if it stays in play, would be a bullish reversal candle.

usd

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Bonds and Related Indicators

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The June 18 edition of Notes From the Rabbit Hole has a few less stock charts this week in order to ramp up the macro talk, which appeared periodically through the report; but especially in the Precious Metals and Bonds segments. Excerpted from NFTRH 452…

Bonds & Related Indicators (and more macro discussion)

The target for TLT continues to be around 129. Treasury bonds are in bull trends (remember back a few months ago to all the bond hatred in the media). How does an eventual decline in bonds square with what we just noted above regarding Q4 2008? [work done in the preceding Precious Metals segment] Treasury bonds were a wonderfully bullish asset during Armageddon ’08 and who’s to say that an upside blow off may not be coming sooner rather than later amid massively over bullish sentiment? I mean, there is certainly no stop sign at our 129 target. Sentiment, as we are all too aware, can take a long while to manifest in pricing.

bonds

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Currencies, and Some ‘Out There’ Thoughts on Inflation, Stocks, Gold and Miners

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NFTRH’s ‘Currencies’ segment (one among a report filled with critical insight across all major market segments and many of the stocks therein) went off its usual brief message and riffed into some macro discussion on inflation’s post-2011 path. Excerpted from the May 28th edition of Notes From the Rabbit Hole

Uncle Buck’s index is weak and the SMA 50 is crossing below the SMA 200. Before long we will be reading about it in the media. Now let’s consider a theme we’ve promoted for years; when the media trumpet a “DEATH CROSS!” * it is time to brace for the opposite implication to the media’s bearish promotion. Our view has after all, included a decline to the mid-90s for the index. Meanwhile, USD/JPY is decent right at the SMA 50, USD/EUR and USD/CHF are at lateral support and USD is at least neutral vs. the Commodity currencies. (more…)

A Look at the Silver/Gold Ratio, Inflation/Deflation and the Yield Curve

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An email from a reader (of the eLetter, I think) calling me out on trying to make too many correlations in a dysfunctional market (I think that was his bottom line point, and he’s got a good point) got me thinking about the Silver/Gold ratio and some pretty interesting post-2011 dysfunction (so it seems) in the markets.

Markets that made sense in certain ways prior to 2011 no longer make sense in the same ways. For instance, the S&P 500 used to be correlated to the Silver/Gold ratio, which itself was positively correlated to inflation and/or inflationary economic growth. Gold also liked for silver to be leading it, not the other way around.

silver/gold ratio

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He’ll Bring Them Inflation

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I used to make fun of the FOMC rate hike “decision” language in the mainstream media because under the Obama administration and its economic policies overseen by the Fed’s monetary policy, there really was no decision, was there?  It was ZIRP-eternity, interrupted by a lone and token rate hike in December 2015 (the Dec. 2016 hike does not count because the transition to a new administration and policy regime was already known; in effect, the Fed has already made its first hike under Trump).

According to the traders who make up the Fed Funds futures, there is no decision tomorrow, either.  From CME Group, we have virtually no one predicting two successive rate hikes.

cme fed funds futures

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It’s January 2013, With a Twist

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twisty the clownThe title was not meant as a play on words in reference to Operation Twist, but now that I think about it, maybe it should be.  The Post-Twist financial world is far different than it was before the genius that is Ben Bernanke’s ‘bigger than yours or mine’ brain concocted a maniacal plan that would “sanitize inflation” signals from the bond market and break the then highly elevated yield curve.*

So, why is today like early 2013 and why is there a twist to that view?  Because two indicators have come together to point to economic stability (at least) in the US, with the twist being that other indicators are pointing to a potential unchaining of inflation this time, unlike the 2013 time frame, which was in the grips of global deflation (and Goldilocks in the US).

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