Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Dollar, Euro, Gold, Oil, and Treasuries

The 'Helicopter Economics Investing Guide' is meant to help educate people on how to make profitable investing choices in the current economic environment. We have coined this term to describe the current monetary and fiscal policies of the U.S. government, which involve unprecedented money printing. This is the official blog of the New York Investing meetup.

Problems in Greece are still impacting the market with the seemingly never-ending on-again off-again possible bailout. Some resolution, even if temporary, is of course inevitable. Problems in the euro zone have set the tone for U.S. dollar and euro trading for almost four months now. These have in turn affected U.S. long-term treasuries, gold and oil. Long-term treasuries and oil have been trading in a sideways pattern since around May 2009. Gold sold down and has been in a sideways trading pattern since December. The U.S. dollar has temporarily broken a long-term downtrend and the euro a long-term uptrend because of the Greek crisis.

The U.S. trade-weighted dollar(DXY)traded down to its 50-day moving average recently and then bounced sharply off of it. The 50-day is above the 200-day, having made a bullish cross in mid-February. It seems that the trend indicators are trying to reconfirm the uptrend. On the flip side, the euro's(FXE)technical picture is the mirror image of the dollar. The 50-day moving average made a bearish cross of the 200-day in mid February. The price rose toward the 50-day recently - an expected move since the 50-day tends to act as a magnet on the downside as well as on the upside. The euro though didn't even reach the 50-day before a sharp drop. Trend indicators look like they are moving to reconfirm the downtrend

Gold (GLD, IAU, SGOL) is apparently trendless at the moment and trading around its 50-day moving average, which is above the 200-day moving average in a bullish configuration. The price pattern seems to be forming a triangle on the charts. A break out could take place either on the upside or downside. Seasonals for gold tend to be weak in late spring and early summer. As seasonals weaken for gold however, they strengthen for oil . Oil (DBO, USL, USO, OIL) is also trading in a sideways pattern and looking for a breakout. The bullish 50-day cross took place between late June and late July 2009 depending on which proxy is being considered. Oil has been stuck in a trading range since last May and needs to break out of that range, the top of which is around $83 a barrel for light sweet crude.

The 30-year Treasury interest rate ($TYX or ^TYX) has been in bullish pattern since May 2009 with the 50-day trading above the 200-day. It has gone nowhere fast during that time period, trading in a sideways pattern on the chart. Technically, it has extremely strong resistance from a 30-year downtrend line in interest rates. A rally in interest rates on the long-term treasuries (and sell off in the bond price) doesn't look imminent at the moment based on the technical picture. When it does, bullish trades on long-term treasury interest rates can be made through TBT and TMV.

Sideways trading (also known as basing) shouldn't surprise investors. It is the norm and not the exception. Most of the time markets are trendless and you need to be a short-term trader and willing to enter and exit your positions quickly to make money under those circumstances. Trends (either up or down) are where the real money is made. You can't make them happen however, you just have to watch and wait until they come along.

Disclosure: None

NEXT: U.S. Stock Market in the First Quarter of 2010

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer, New York Investing meetup

This posting is editorial opinion. Like all other postings for this blog, there is no intention to endorse the purchase or sale of any security.

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