Five Hundred Words 11/30/2018

Friday, November 30, 2018

Daily Writing

10:14 AM

Today is the final trading day of November.  Yesterday we exited our short US 10-year Treasury position as it is becoming clear that yields are struggling to keep their head over the 3.00% support level.  Although the historical volatility of the PST exchange-traded instrument was within a tolerable range of 7.00% to 9.00%, the underlying narrative was struggling to hold up after Jerome Powell’s announcement on Wednesday that interest rates are inching closer to a range considered to be “neutral”.

We are focusing on outperforming the SPX benchmark.  Our primary goal into the next year is focusing on exceeding this benchmark.  Our methodology will focus on large-cap, high dividend U.S. equities. We expect portfolio allocation of U.S. equities to fall within 50 – 75%.  At least 60% of portfolio allocation will consist of low beta assets, aiming for below average correlation to the S&P 500 benchmark.

Market Data

 

Resource Commodities

November 30, 2018

November 29, 2018

November 28, 2018

November 27, 2018

Gold Spot

1223.90

1220.70

1214.60

1221.60

Silver

14.285

14.285

14.120

14.190

Gold/silver

85.76

85.39

86.13

85.81

Platinum

818.00

822.00

831.00

842.00

Copper

2.824

2.7955

2.75

2.73

Crude(WTI)

50.52

51.07

51.23

51.58

 

Global Government Bond Yields

November 30, 2018

November 29, 2018

November 28, 2018

November 27, 2018

US 10 year

3.02%

3.02%

3.06%

3.07%

US 30 Year

3.38%

3.33%

3.33%

3.32%

UK

1.36%

1.34%

1.37%

1.39%

Germany

0.31%

0.32%

0.35%

0.35%

Brazil

9.89%

10.05%

10.08%

10.10%

Italy

3.21%

3.22%

3.26%

3.25%

Japan

0.08%

0.08%

0.09%

0.08%

 

Major U.S. Indexes

November 30, 2018

November 29, 2018

November 28, 2018

November 27, 2018

VIX

19.18

NA

18.87

19.41

DOW

253.39

NA

248.33

246.40

S&P 500

273.98

NA

269.61

265.76

NASDAQ

7296.39

NA

7120.56

7081.85

EM USD

1053.73

NA

1048.40

NA

 

Currency Cross Rates

November 30, 2018

November 29, 2018

November 28, 2018

November 27, 2018

USD/JPY

113.5300

NA

113.6300

113.6300

EUR/USD

1.1316

NA

1.1367

1.1326

AUD/USD

0.7306

NA

0.7304

0.7242

USD/MXN

20.226

NA

20.2442

20.623

USD/CNY

6.95557

NA

6.9538

6.9486

USD Index

97.20

NA

96.84

97.15

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Five Hundred Words 11/12/2018

Monday, November 12, 2018

Daily Writing

9:44 AM

According to my sources in China, the current economic situation is looking quite dire.  Unless the Chinese government enacts major policy changes by the beginning of next year, the economic situation could become far worse.

The US Dollar Index has started to move higher once again, now firmly planted above the 97.00 level where it currently sits at 97.33.

GBP/USD is down today on concerns that the timing of a Brexit deal had slipped; sterling fell as much as 1.2 percent against the dollar early on but then recovered to trade down 0.5 percent at $1.2910.[1]

CBOE put/call ratio elevated throughout the day.  Out of the gate p/c ratio of 1.42.  Fear gradually subsided in the market as the day wore on.

It doesn’t seem like a good sign when the entire market falls due to the performance of one stock (AAPL in this case).  What makes it worse is that the weak performance wasn’t necessarily due to any changes in the underlying fundamentals in Apple, but rather on news that Lumentum Holdings, a supplier of 3D sensors that power the facial recognition technology on Apple’s latest iPhones, unexpectedly cut its outlook for its fiscal second quarter.

[1] https://www.ft.com/content/19529d88-e67a-11e8-8a85-04b8afea6ea3

Market Data

Resource Commodities

 

 

November 12, 2018

November 9, 2018

November 8, 2018

November 7, 2018

November 6, 2018

Gold spot

1209.40

1223.50

1226.10

1226.50

1230.60

Silver

14.040

14.420

14.540

14.495

14.610

Platinum

852.00

861.00

871.00

867.00

864.00

Copper

2.69

2.78

2.72

2.81

2.8034

Crude(WTI)

60.74

60.19

61.60

62.61

63.23

 

Global government bond yields (10 year)

 

 

November 12, 2018

November 9, 2018

November 8, 2018

November 7, 2018

November 6, 2018

U.S. 10 year

3.18%

3.19%

3.22%

3.19%

3.20%

Germany

0.38%

0.40%

0.45%

0.45%

0.42%

Brazil

10.49%

10.37%

10.31%

10.26%

10.19%

Italy

3.43%

3.40%

3.41%

3.35%

3.40%

Japan

0.11%

0.11%

0.11%

0.11%

0.12%

 

 

Major U.S. Indexes

 

 

November 12, 2018

November 9, 2018

November 8, 2018

November 7, 2018

November 6, 2018

VIX

17.26

16.87

16.18

18.03

19.84

DOW

259.59

261.49

261.80

257.85

254.52

S&P 500

277.24

277.76

281.01

277.55

273.36

NASDAQ

7309.29

7406.90

7570.75

7442.00

7378.25

 

Currency Cross Rates

 

 

November 12, 2018

November 8, 2018

November 8, 2018

November 7, 2018

November 6, 2018

USD/JPY

113.800

113.7800

113.6800

113.2900

113.2900

EUR/USD

1.1268

1.1315

1.1426

1.1476

1.1407

AUD/USD

0.7209

0.7213

0.792

0.7285

0.7229

CHF/USD

0.996

1.00590

0.9971

1.0021

0.9964

USD/CNY

6.9631

6.9552

6.9366

6.9165

6.9166

USD index

97.33

96.90

96.23

95.87

96.29

Five Hundred Words 11/07/2018

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Daily Writing

9:21 AM

Crude oil has undergone steep declines over the past few weeks.  What is the reasoning behind this?  The U.S. Dollar index has started to show weakness over the past several weeks as well.  According to experts, the weakness in the U.S. dollar index was expected after mid-term elections reflecting skepticism that the stimulus bonanza, including further tax cuts, that had fueled the dollar’s rally in the first half of the year, would continue under a split congress.[1]

We are eagerly awaiting two new developments from the UK and Europe in the coming days and weeks.  Theresa May has ordered a push for a Brexit deal this week, ordering her attorney-general Geoffrey Cox to prepare a legal solution that would unlock an agreement between the UK and Brussels.  We are keeping an eye on the impact of this week’s development on the GBP and EUR.

The second major development in Europe is also set to play out over the coming days.  The Italian government has until November 13 deadline to submit a re-drafted budget proposal to the Eurogroup.[2]  We don’t really see an easy resolution here, as “Rome’s populist government is standing firm ahead of a November 13 deadline to rewrite plans or escalate its stand-off with Brussels.”[3]

Something new to consider: the price of Uranium hit a 2.5 year high on November 5.  Uranium has been one of the best-performing commodities of 2018, rising more than 40% from its April lows.

According to data recently released by the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) in October, the central bank’s foreign exchange reserves dropped by roughly $32bn on account of China’s push to strengthen the renminbi in the face of potentially disastrous devaluation.  The PBoC is also intent on maintaining foreign currency reserves above $3tn, as these reserves serve as China’s means of suppressing the value of the renminbi.  Official foreign exchange reserves fell to $3.05tn by the end of October from $3.087tn a month earlier.  China’s forex reserves peaked at just under $4tn in mid-2014, but in the following two-and-a-half years the PBoC burnt through nearly $1tn to prop up the renminbi amid a capital outflow surge.

[1] https://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-slides-following-midterm-election-results-2018-11-07

[2] The Eurogroup is the recognized collective term for informal meetings of the finance ministers of the eurozone—those member states of the European Union (EU) which have adopted the euro as their official currency. The group has 19 members.

[3] https://www.ft.com/content/197f4ad2-e10b-11e8-8e70-5e22a430c1ad

 

Market Data

Resource Commodities

 

 

November 7, 2018

November 6, 2018

November 5, 2018

November 2, 2018

November 1, 2018

Gold Spot

1226.50

1230.60

1232.20

1232.55

1218.30

Silver

14.495

14.610

14.715

14.77

14.38

Platinum

867.00

864.00

NA

NA

NA

Copper

2.81

2.8034

2.8099

2.8012

2.7501

Uranium

27.85

NA

NA

NA

NA

Crude (WTI)

62.61

63.23

63.49

63.34

65.16

 

Global government bond yields (10 year)

 

November 7, 2018

November 6, 2018

November 5, 2018

November 2, 2018

November 1, 2018

US 10 Year

3.19%

3.20%

3.19%

3.18%

3.16%

Germany

0.45%

0.42%

NA

NA

NA

Brazil

10.26%

10.19%

NA

NA

NA

Italy

3.35%

3.40%

NA

NA

NA

Japan

0.11%

0.12%

NA

NA

NA

 

 

Major U.S. Indexes

 

 

November 7, 2018

November 6, 2018

November 5, 2018

November 2, 2018

November 1, 2018

VIX

18.03

19.84

20.18

19.24

20.96

DOW

257.85

254.52

254.44

254.84

252.42

S&P 500

277.55

273.36

271.89

274.75

271.64

NASDAQ

7442.00

7378.25

7356.99

7407.46

7332.72

 

Currency Cross Rates

 

November 7, 2018

November 6, 2018

November 5, 2018

November 2, 2018

November 1, 2018

USD/JPY

113.2900

113.2900

113.1600

113.28

112.750

EUR/USD

1.1476

1.1407

1.387

1.1385

1.1405

AUD/USD

0.7285

0.7229

0.7204

0.7193

0.7192

CHF/USD

1.0021

0.9964

1.0044

0.9955

0.992

USD/CNY

6.9165

6.9166

6.9273

6.8893

6.9346

USD Index

95.87

96.29

96.45

96.53

96.41