Thursday, October 22, 2009

Market Observations - Not Pretty - Warning Shots

Apparently, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs need to sell some of the assets that they acquired using those hundreds of billions of dollars of crony capitalism supplied dollars they obtained through the manipulative tactics of their friends at the Fed and Treasury. Not satisfied that that money was enough, they leveraged up even further - so they could invest even more in risky assets and further the confidence game. Duping american investors and public out of more of they're money is a favorite past time for these guys.

Are assets really risky if you and your friends own most of them? Certainly JPM and Goldman prove the axiom that if you own the market, which these participants alone most likely owned, at the very least. a significant percentage can squeeze prices up and then you can tear them apart when you are good an ready. Mind you I am not here to spout conspiracy theories...these guys are so flagrant do they even count as conspiracies? So, back to the mundane, while Goldman MAY actually survive the upcoming catastrophe, JPM will most likely not. Regardless, remnants of most of the financial firms will certainly exist, but the firms will be shells of their former selves and the economy will likely be significantly damaged by their demise and misdeeds.

Fittingly, financials topped in ironic fashion earlier in October...with an island top. Financials are indeed in need of an island, Rikers Island would be appropriate for the gamesmanship they have demonstrated this year. All the earnings reports from the largest banks inspire distrust and are absent integrity...we will have to see how that flies. In any case, I am happy to report that JPM has more than enough money to lend to the FDIC to bail itself and most of the other banks that will fail out.

Back to the markets, today may not be classified as a confirmed failure for the transports...but a break of 3890 will do so. the SPX closed beneath a recent sell level at would not be surprising to see some sort of a test slightly above those areas...but I certainly am under the impression that the buy side is extremely dangerous at this point. My diatribe above was important in understanding the motivations of the sellers at this point. The sellers are the largest banks. They MUST sell...given the profits they have made selling will not be ruled by trying to eek out little profits...they already have big ones...they do not have to be choosey about prices. When you are liquidating trillions of dollars of leverages purchases, it takes time and the average prices are more important than any single price. Though there may be attempts to retain prices supports to allow higher priced distribution, there is a dramatic need for these institutions, who misused the benefits of America's money, to get out stage left. The specter of this dynamic means that we have to on guard for waves of downside pressure - probably much more persistent than in last years bear market moves.

Another interesting leading indicator for the markets is the Canadian Dollar which has failed its breakout...something to keep a close eye on.

There is unfinished business - potentailly a remaining pop to the upside for commodities. Gold needs to reach its target of 1080 to 1085, Oil should still make an upside push to the 85 to 87 area, Silver looks primed for a little up move. The dollar looks complete, but also looks like it needs to get that emotional drop below 75 convincingly. As seen today, a dramatic drop in the dollar is no longer fuel for rising equity prices.

So, what I am looking out for are small upside tests for equity markets followed by larger downside swings. There could be some unfinished business with regard to the per my usual comments - the dollar rules this game. I suggest having extremely disciplined rules for selling resistance and only buying support when its absolutely clear. It is important to recognize, that this type of market has the possibility to not let you in. Everyone is waiting for perfect backtests, retracements and kisses as in the LQD chart above. There is no guarantee that equity market need to give that courtesy. LQD has been breaking down for a month now, unconfirmed by equities. It may be time for some acceleration. Perhaps, some convenient excuses will come out this week - like MSFT earnings on friday.

Personally, I will be extensively using trade automation to trade the upcoming turbulence. Today, in fact, I released a price quantization system with extensive risk controls that absolutely killed it on the CL contract - up $3000 on a single contract today alone.  I think mechanical templates can be a tremendous support for managing emotions during extreme and persistent repricing episodes...especially if you are lucky enough to be able to build some good ones...or get your had on some.
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