Five Hundred Words 12/05/2018

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Daily Writing

Market Overview

Markets are closed today for a National Day of Mourning in honor of late President George HW Bush.  Markets will reopen on Thursday.

Investors are still reeling from the sudden 3.00% drop in U.S. equities on Tuesday.  There are indications that China is actively looking to cooperate more with the United States, but there is no telling what that means for the markets when we resume trading at 9:30 AM on Thursday.

Little questions I’d like to answer eventually

  • What does an inverted yield curve mean for the broader economy?
  • The price of palladium has exceeded the price of gold for the first time in 16 years. What does this mean?  Why is this important?  Who does this impact most?  What is the use case for palladium?

China and Trump and America and trade wars, etc.

Following President Donald Trump’s open questioning of China’s commitment to reduce tariffs on US imports, China’s ministry of commerce stated publicly that it is committed to a 90-day timeline to address specific items.

Global markets cheered the weekend accord on Monday, only to reverse course Tuesday as doubts emerged over precisely what the world’s two largest economies had agreed on.

There is no good indication of how markets will respond to news that China’s ministry of commerce confirmed their 90-day commitment to purchase US imports and move to reduce or entirely remove tariffs within 90 days of December 1.

Government Bonds (German ones specifically)

The yield on the German 10-year government bond (also known as “the Bund” has fallen to 0.27%.

Why is this important?

When it comes to bonds, price and yield move inversely.  When the price of a bond moves higher, the yield moves lower.  Declining bond yields in the German Bund (or other comparably safe assets such as U.S. Treasuries) indicate that global investors are seeking safer assets to park their money.  For example, if European investors are starting to feel uncertain about European equities, they may choose to rotate their assets into bonds where they know they can find a guaranteed “risk-free” rate of return.

Here’s what we’re thinking: a 0.27% yield in nominal terms is negative in real terms.  Negative real yield means that once the bond matures, the investor will end of losing money.

If global investors can’t buy their domestic bonds and they can’t buy German bunds, then where do they go?

The clear answer is US Treasury Bonds.  At the time of writing, the yield on the US 10-year Treasury Note is 2.91%.  An important thing to note is that the real yield of U.S. Treasuries after taking long-term inflation into account is just 0.97%.  Compared to the negative-yielding German or Japanese Government Bonds (or even gold) a 2.91% yield is pretty darn attractive.

Miscellaneous items

Brexit

There’s still no Brexit deal.   I’m not entirely in tune with the happenings of Brexit (which from what I understand is likely for the better), but it feels like the indecision surrounding Brexit negotiations between the May government and the EU is fueling more anxiety and fear in the market than a hard Brexit would.  I understand that the issue is far more complicated than that, but that’s just how it feels to me.

We will consider a deeper dive into the Brexit narrative at some point, but for now, we’ll leave it here.

Personal Thoughts

Overall this blog is intended to be an exploration of my thinking and analysis of the world over time.  I hope whatever I write here can be informative for others as well.  My approach is to continually ask questions about things I don’t understand clearly, because of this my writing contains unanswered questions.  I hope moving forward I can develop a community of people who possess a learner’s mindset.  Ideally, those who follow my blog are skilled in areas where I am weak so that I can learn as well.  My sincere wish is to contribute to the thinking of others.

Market Data

Resource Commodities

 

December 5, 2018

December 4, 2018

December 3, 2018

November 30, 2018

Gold Spot

1238.00

1230.30

1228.28

1223.90

Silver

14.505

14.355

14.385

14.285

Gold/silver

85.47

84.84

85.29

85.76

Platinum

802.00

806.00

806.00

818.00

Copper

2.7555

2.8075

2.8571

2.824

Crude(WTI)

52.12

53.25

52.97

50.52

Global Government Bond Yields

 

December 5, 2018

December 4, 2018

December 3, 2018

November 30, 2018

US 10 year

2.91%

2.95%

3.02%

3.02%

US 30 Year

3.17%

3.38%

3.38

3.38%

UK

1.31%

1.31%

1.33%

1.36%

Germany

0.27%

0.28%

0.31%

0.31%

Brazil

10.09%

9.95%

9.82%

9.89%

Italy

3.05%

3.15%

3.12%

3.21%

Japan

0.06%

0.06%

0.07%

0.08%

Major U.S. Indexes

 

December 5, 2018

December 4, 2018

December 3, 2018

November 30, 2018

VIX

CLOSED

16.84

16.04

19.18

DOW

CLOSED

257.53

257.80

253.39

S&P 500

CLOSED

278.34

280.38

273.98

NASDAQ

CLOSED

7158.43

7421.77

7296.39

EM USD

CLOSED

1059.93

1054.71

1053.73

Currency Cross Rates

 

December 5, 2018

December 4, 2018

December 3, 2018

November 30, 2018

USD/JPY

113.2100

112.8100

113.590

113.5300

EUR/USD

1.1344

1.1339

1.1334

1.1316

AUD/USD

0.7268

0.7338

0.7369

0.7306

USD/MXN

20.5130

20.356

20.0611

20.226

USD/CNY

6.8545

6.8342

6.8893

6.95557

USD Index

97.08

96.97

97.02

97.20

Tellier Holdings Apprentice Fund

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Equities

 

Close

P&L (%)

Shares

Average price

Entry date

BRK B

closed

closed

30

209.505

11/30/2018

KO

closed

closed

83

49.65

11/30/2018

MCD

closed

closed

19

187.43

11/30/2018

SNY

closed

closed

60

45.15

11/30/2018

SBUX

closed

closed

38

66.61

11/30/2018

LMT

closed

closed

6

302.45

11/30/2018

MSFT

closed

closed

15

110.28

11/30/2018

TCEHY

closed

closed

23

39.87

11/30/2018

ETFs

 

Close

P&L (%)

Shares

Average price

Entry date

Franklin FTSE China

FLCH

Closed

Closed

50

22.14

11/30/2018

SPDR S&P 500 ETF

SPY

Closed

Closed

15

274.38

11/30/2018

Cash

 

Close

P&L (%)

Position

Average Price

Entry date

EUR/GBP

EUR/GBP

(-0.04%)

10000

0.89177

11/30/2018

 

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Five Hundred Words 11/29/2018

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Daily Writing

9:01 AM

Earlier this morning the price of oil dropped below $50 per barrel.  Where is the bottom?  What impact will this have on the US shale industry?

The headquarters of Deutsche Bank was raided by police today as part of a money laundering probe.[1]

The yield of the US 10-year Treasury Note dropped by three basis points since yesterday following Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s announcement that interest rates appear to be nearing “neutral.”[2]  This development reignited bullish sentiment in equities markets as the SPY closed 2.20% higher.  The yield on the US 10-year is down to 3.02%, however the yield on the longer term 30-year hasn’t budged.  Why are shorter term interest rates more impacted?

I didn’t quite realize the impact Powell’s words would have on short-term rates.  I still don’t quite understand why Fed intervention has greater impact on the yields of shorter-term Treasuries (7-10 years).

We are working on building our portfolio around several positive carry trades.  Notably, equities which pay a sizeable dividend are quite attractive.  We will focus on compounding capital, that is the key here.  We’d like to avoid assets with high expense ratios, such as leveraged ETFs.

Citations

https://www.golddealer.com/gold-to-silver-ratio/

https://www.fastmarkets.com/commodities/base-metals/news/1

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-29/deutsche-bank-headquarters-searched-in-money-laundering-probe?srnd=premium

https://www.ft.com/content/221b509e-f32d-11e8-ae55-df4bf40f9d0d

 

 

Market Data

Resource Commodities

 

November 29, 2018

November 28, 2018

November 27, 2018

November 26, 2018

November 20, 2018

Gold Spot

1220.70

1214.60

1221.60

1222.80

1224.55

Silver

14.285

14.120

14.190

14.250

14.405

Gold/silver

85.39

86.13

85.81

85.86

NA

Platinum

822.00

831.00

842.00

841.00

847.00

Copper

2.7955

2.75

2.73

2.72

2.80

Crude(WTI)

51.07

51.23

51.58

51.91

56.23

 

Global Government Bond Yields

 

November 29, 2018

November 28, 2018

November 27, 2018

November 26, 2018

November 19, 2018

US 10 year

3.02%

3.06%

3.07%

3.07%

3.04%

US 30 Year

3.33%

3.33%

3.32%

3.38%

3.29%

UK

1.34%

1.37%

1.39%

1.41%

1.39%

Germany

0.32%

0.35%

0.35%

0.36%

0.35%

Brazil

10.05%

10.08%

10.10%

9.97%

10.10%

Italy

3.22%

3.26%

3.25%

3.25%

3.60%

Japan

0.08%

0.09%

0.08%

0.08%

0.09%

[1] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-29/deutsche-bank-headquarters-searched-in-money-laundering-probe?srnd=premium

[2] https://www.ft.com/content/221b509e-f32d-11e8-ae55-df4bf40f9d0d

 

Five Hundred Words 11/26/2018

Monday, November 26, 2018

Daily Writing

8:37 AM

We are placing greater emphasis on risk management and portfolio construction.  Personally, I perform portfolio evaluations each day to address weaknesses.  I intend to use this blog as a means of keeping track of my work.  Additionally, I can use the blog to publicize my work, progress, and development strategy.

There are many things to learn each day.  I am working to geographically regionalize my framework because I learn best when I can visualize the system I am analyzing.  The world is a complex system which I am hoping to investigate.

This blog is intended to be daily, but I do take time off for holidays and travel days.  I spend my days reading and monitoring data.

I learn by asking questions and seeking the answer.  Sometimes I do not find the solution immediately or at all, but sometimes the question in itself or the process of seeking can be more critical.  This blog contains many questions that remain unanswered.

What is the importance of the gold/silver ratio?  What does it mean when the gold/silver ratio moves higher or lower?

The price of oil continues to fall considerably.  WTI Crude (Jan ’19) has dropped more than 30.00% since its high on October 3, 2018.  What is the cause of falling oil prices?  Despite the decline in price in recent weeks, WTI Crude is up close to 2.82% on the day at the time of writing.

Brazilian 10-year government bond yields have dipped below 10.00% for the first time since May 2018.

We’ve introduced the Mexican 10-year bond yield to our global government bond yield watchlist because we would like to keep a closer eye on the political developments of incoming Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO).  We have also introduced the USD/MXN currency cross pair to serve the same function.  AMLO is a socialist who heads the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA). [1]

We continue to emphasize the importance of building out a framework for understanding the flow of capital in the world.

At the end of the week, President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet in Buenos Aires as part of the Group of 20 meetings and look for ways to ease tensions.[2]

A scientist in China claims to have created the world’s first genetically edited babies, in a potentially ground-breaking and controversial medical first.[3]  In what other scientific areas is China equally or as advanced?yield_curve_11_26_2018

What are the effects of a flattening yield curve vis-à-vis a steepening yield curve?  Which result is most desirable for the Federal Reserve?

The CBOE volatility index dropped considerably today, finishing at 18.90 after opening at 20.78, a 12.17% decline.

Market Data

Resource Commodities

 

November 26, 2018

November 20, 2018

November 19, 2018

November 16, 2018

November 15, 2018

Gold Spot

1222.80

1224.55

1222.70

1214.50

1203.25

Silver

14.250

14.405

14.340

14.270

14.130

AU/AG Ratio

85.86

NA

NA

NA

NA

Platinum

841.00

847.00

841.00

840.00

833.00

Copper

2.72

2.80

2.80

2.75

2.78

Crude(WTI)

51.91

56.23

55.66

57.82

56.53

Global Government Bond Yields

 

November 26, 2018

November 19, 2018

November 16, 2018

November 15, 2018

November 14, 2018

US 10 year

3.07%

3.04%

3.08%

3.09%

3.15%

US 30 Year

3.38%

3.29%

NA

NA

NA

UK

1.41%

1.39%

1.42%

NA

NA

Germany

0.36%

0.35%

0.36%

0.36%

0.40%

Brazil

9.97%

10.10%

10.15%

10.39%

10.44%

Italy

3.25%

3.60%

3.49%

3.51%

3.48%

Japan

0.08%

0.09%

0.09%

0.10%

0.10%

Major U.S. Indexes

 

November 26, 2018

November 20, 2018

November 19, 2018

November 16, 2018

November 15, 2018

VIX

20.78

20.76

18.78

20.04

20.41

DOW

243.64

250.17

254.13

252.42

250.61

S&P 500

265.80

269.10

273.73

271.74

268.76

NASDAQ

7051.86

NA

7247.87

7247.87

7129.04

Currency Cross Rates

 

November 26, 2018

November 20, 2018

November 19, 2018

November 16, 2018

November 15, 2018

USD/JPY

113.5700

NA

112.8600

112.8300

113.2200

EUR/USD

1.1340

NA

1.1427

1.1415

1.1303

AUD/USD

0.7233

NA

0.7289

0.7332

0.7272

USD/MXN

20.399

NA

NA

NA

NA

CHF/USD

1.0012

NA

1.0033

0.9996

0.9949

USD/CNY

6.9396

NA

6.9427

6.936

6.938

USD Index

96.98

NA

96.39

96.43

97.22

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Regeneration_Movement

[2] https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-china-trade-fight-risks-fragmenting-global-market-says-beijings-ambassador-to-the-u-s-1543228321

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/nov/26/worlds-first-gene-edited-babies-created-in-china-claims-scientist

Image: National Geographic

Five Hundred Words 11/13/2018

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Daily Writing

9:44 AM

The yield on the 10-year Japanese government bond currently sits at 0.10%.  Who buys Japanese bonds?  How is it possible for yields to move lower or even be negative?

Oil is down more than 7.00% today.  What is the cause of this?

4:59 PM

There isn’t really anything in my trading that has left me frustrated the past few days, despite the markets continuing to move lower.  I am working on managing my psychology.  I feel scattered much of the time, like there are a million things to do but not enough time to do or even think about everything.  What can I do to continue moving forward?  It takes a lot for me to reveal what I’m thinking inside.  I’m not great at sharing.  Something I learned from reading the analects of Confucius is that no matter what your state of mind, the most basic thing you can share with the world is a positive mindset and attitude.  Smile more.

The markets were flat today overall.  News came out that the UK and EU reached an agreement on principal to move Brexit forward.  Now the UK must bring their proposal to UK parliament for approval.  The whole thing seems like a mess to me.

Market Data

Resource Commodities

 

November 13, 2018

November 12, 2018

November 9, 2018

November 8, 2018

November 7, 2018

Gold spot

1199.98

1209.40

1223.50

1226.10

1226.50

Silver

13.990

14.040

14.420

14.540

14.495

Platinum

838.00

852.00

861.00

871.00

867.00

Copper

2.72

2.69

2.78

2.72

2.81

Crude(WTI)

57.13

60.74

60.19

61.60

62.61

 

Global government bond yields (10 year)

 

November 13, 2018

November 12, 2018

November 9, 2018

November 8, 2018

November 7, 2018

U.S. 10 year

3.15%

3.18%

3.19%

3.22%

3.19%

Germany

0.39%

0.38%

0.40%

0.45%

0.45%

Brazil

10.54%

10.49%

10.37%

10.31%

10.26%

Italy

3.44%

3.43%

3.40%

3.41%

3.35%

Japan

0.10%

0.11%

0.11%

0.11%

0.11%

 

Major U.S. Indexes

 

November 13, 2018

November 12, 2018

November 9, 2018

November 8, 2018

November 7, 2018

VIX

19.45

17.26

16.87

16.18

18.03

DOW

253.21

259.59

261.49

261.80

257.85

S&P 500

273.06

277.24

277.76

281.01

277.55

NASDAQ

7259.66

7309.29

7406.90

7570.75

7442.00

 

Currency Cross Rates

 

November 13, 2018

November 12, 2018

November 8, 2018

November 8, 2018

November 7, 2018

USD/JPY

113.8200

113.800

113.7800

113.6800

113.2900

EUR/USD

1.1292

1.1268

1.1315

1.1426

1.1476

AUD/USD

0.7219

0.7209

0.7213

0.792

0.7285

CHF/USD

0.9929

0.996

1.00590

0.9971

1.0021

USD/CNY

6.9545

6.9631

6.9552

6.9366

6.9165

USD Index

97.16

97.33

96.90

96.23

95.87