Friday, June 18, 2010

Quadruple Witching Tops Off Weekly Trading

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.

Friday was a quarterly quadruple witching day with stock options, options on futures, single stock futures and index futures all expiring. While volatilty frequently takes place on expiration days, this one was uneventful. Expirations can move markets starting days before however, with prices tending to move in the opposite direction of their recent trends during the week of expiration.

The week of June 14th was bullish for U.S. stocks, the euro, oil and gold. The euro gained 2.7% on an oversold rebound. Gold hit a record high, with GLD closing up 2.5% on the week. There was little difference though between gold's performance and that of the major U.S. stock indices. The Dow rose 2.3% on the week, the S&P 500 2.4%, the tech heavy Nasdaq 3.0% and the small cap Russell 2000 3.2%. Oil was a much bigger winner than gold, gaining 5.2% from last Friday's close. The one notable loser was economically sensitive copper, which dropped 1.5% in the last five days.

The euro, stocks, gold, oil and copper have very different technical pictures. On the daily charts, the euro looks very bearish, with its simple 50-day moving average well below its 200-day. The euro is moving up because of 'regression toward the mean'. It went down too far in too short a period of time, so it is trying to return to a trendline. The trade-weighted U.S. dollar has a mirror image picture. It has gone up too far, too fast and is coming down for that reason. Many oil ETFs/ETNs, including OIL also have their 50-day trading below their 200-day, but it is not nearly as pronounced as is the case for the euro.

U.S. stock indices are still in a bullish pattern with their 50-days above their 200-days, but the 50-days have been fallen particularly for the Dow and the S&P 500. The Russell 2000 is in the best shape of the indices. All of the indices are trading above their 200-days, but below their 50-days. The Dow and S&P 500 spent 18 days in a row below their 200-days in the last month though. Stocks can be characterized as clinging to a bullish pattern. In contrast, Gold is unquestionably bullish, trading above both its 200-day and 50-day and its 50-day is well above its 200-day. Next week could be critical for whether or not gold's rally continues based on patterns forming in its technical indicators.

Copper is changing from a bullish to bearish trading pattern. It's 50-day is touching its 200-day and will fall below it on Monday. This is a classic bear signal. Since copper trades with the economy, its behavior is supporting the possibility of a global slowdown and a double-dip recession in the United. Investors should watch copper closely. If it continues its bearish trading pattern, assume a recession could show up as early as this fall.

 Disclosure: None

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.

1 comment:

Guava said...

I think all commodity is bullish.