Sunday, October 18, 2020

Random notes from our research thread...

Being surrounded by what I feel blessed to say is an amazing support team allows me to spend most of my time deep in the weeds of markets and of macro conditions.

As you've noticed I think it's important that I keep clients abreast herein of the major themes and trends that we discover, explore and interpret.

Internally, we have what amounts to a research chatroom where each of us can pop in, comment on a data point, share a headline, a quote, a chart, etc.. Much of what goes on in the chatroom is highly technical in nature and doesn't often make it to the blog.

Scrolling through recent entries this afternoon I'm thinking there are a few items that would be worthwhile to highlight herein. 

So the following is just that, I'll add commentary where I deem necessary for clarity:

Somebody -- via puts on SPY (the SP500 Index tracking ETF) --is making a very large bet on a market meltdown between now and next spring. I.e., presumably (nothing I can verify) it's too big to simply be a hedge.


Google search trends (per Bespoke Investment Group) for the iPhone 12 are very low relative to past releases:


Interesting regarding the future of payments, and currency (a national digital currency is in our future!): My underline is not to suggest that it's as nefarious as it may sound, but it'll get a lot of people's attention (already has I suspect). This is from a speech by Fed Governor Loretta Mester, here's the link: file:///C:/Users/Marty/Downloads/sp%2020200923%20pdf.pdf


A big flip in net speculator exposure to Nasdaq 100 futures contracts; net long for the first time in 6 weeks (i.e., traders have gone from notably bearish to somewhat bullish on tech stocks):  
Now net long SP500 and Russell 2000 as well... I.e., no big upside short-covering support currently (i.e., at least in the futures pit there's no longer the net short interest [borrowing contracts and betting on a fall] that often adds oomph to rallies when the shorts buy back those borrowed contracts in a panic):
To top it off, highest net-short interest in VIX since the top (traders betting that volatility will decline, and stocks will rise)... The bulls are back! That adds to the risk setup right here!
Interesting! Net short dollar position gone (barely), that's actually bearish sentiment (which is contrary to signal from equities and vix positioning):
This is big weekly flow into QQQ (although Friday saw 579 mill net outflow)... Jibes with the futures positioning report (i.e., last week a bunch of money poured into the ETF that tracks the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 Index):
Our financial stress index just went from +12.5 to -12.5.... suggesting heightened risk being discounted in primarily the credit markets:
Our fear/greed barometer declined week over week, suggesting that sentiment is beginning to lean dangerously bullish (i.e., folks are migrating to one side of the boat, can get ugly if they all rush to the other side at the same time):
Thanks for reading!

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