Monday, January 13, 2014

Pre-Market Global Review - 1/13/14 - A Stellar Jobs Report?

Good Morning Traders,

As of this writing 6:05 AM EST, here’s what we see:
US Dollar – Down at 80.690, the US Dollar is down 64 ticks and is trading at 80.690.                             Energies – February Oil is down at 92.08       
Financials – The March 30 year bond is up 3 ticks and trading at 130.26.      
Indices – The March S&P 500 emini ES contract is down 17 ticks and trading at 1833.50. 
Gold – The February gold contract is trading down at 1245.50 and is down 17 ticks from its close.   
Initial Conclusion: This is not a correlated market.  The dollar is down- and oil is down- which is not normal but the 30 year bond is trading higher.  The Financials should always correlate with the US dollar such that if the dollar is lower then bonds should follow and vice-versa.  The indices are lower and the US dollar is trading down which is not correlated.  Gold is trading lower which is not correlated with the US dollar trading down.   I tend to believe that Gold has an inverse relationship with the US Dollar as when the US Dollar is down, Gold tends to rise in value and vice-versa. Think of it as a seesaw, when one is up the other should be down.   I point this out to you to make you aware that when we don't have a correlated market, it means something is wrong.  As traders you need to be aware of this and proceed with your eyes wide open. 
Asia traded mainly higher with the exception of Shanghai and Singapore which traded lower.  As of this writing all of Europe is trading higher.   
Possible challenges to traders today is the following:
1.  Federal Balance Budget is out at 2 PM EST.  This could impact afternoon trading.             
2.  Lack of major economic news.       
On Friday the Swiss Franc made it's move at around 9:15 AM EST after the Jobs Report was released.  Look at the charts below and you'll see a pattern for both assets.  The USD fell at around that time and the Swiss Franc rose.  This was a long opportunity on the Swiss Franc.  The key to capitalizing on these trades is to watch the USD movement.  The USD rise only lent confirmation to the move.  As a trader you could have netted 20-30 ticks on this trade.  
 Charts Courtesy of Trend Following Trades

Swiss Franc - 3/14 - 1/10/14

USD - 3/14 - 1/10/14

Friday being Jobs Friday, we maintain a neutral bias which is to say that the markets can be driven in any direction.  Well the Dow dropped by 8 points but the other indices rose.  Today we aren't dealing with a correlated market and our bias is to the downside.     Could this change?  Of Course.  Remember anything can happen in a volatile market.
With all the fanfare regarding the Non Farm Payrolls, it apparently did nothing for the markets.  A gain of 74,000 jobs is not much to speak of in an economy that needs a great deal more.  This past week one reporter from Marketwatch even suggested that cutting off unemployment benefits would have the effect of reducing the unemployment rate.  And this is from someone who is supposely an "expert" in this field.  Well guess what folks, if someone is no longer collecting UI that person is considered "employed" by the Department of Labor.  One would have thought that after a Great Recession, someone would have come up with a better criteria on how judge these matters.  Ironically it's been about two weeks now and those long term unemployed have seen their benefits reduced to zero.  And our Congress?  They're still debating how this is going to get paid and while they're debating, families are going to have to figure out how to put food on the table.  And this notion about "giving up looking for work" is ridiculous.  Want proof?  Go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and look at the U6 rate; this is the measure of long term unemployed.  It currently rests at 13 million, up 300,000 from November.  Compare that to a measly 74,000 jobs created.  And if you think that the Federal Reserve doesn't know this, think again.  They've already announced that they will keep interest rates low for a "prolonged period" because they know this economy is still not creating enough jobs...

Each day in this newsletter we provide viewers a snapshot of the Swiss Franc versus the US dollar as a way and means of capitalizing on the inverse relationship between these two assets.  Futures Magazine recognized this correlation as well.  So much so that they printed a story on it in their December issue.  That story can be viewed at:

Many of my readers have been asking me to spell out the rules of Market Correlation.  Recently Futures Magazine has elected to print a story on the subject matter and I must say I'm proud of the fact that they did  as I'm Author of that article.  I encourage all viewers to read that piece as it spells out the rules of market correlation and provides charts that show how it works in action. The article is entitled "How to Exploit and Profit from Market Correlation" and can be viewed at:

As a follow up to the first article on Market Correlation, I've produced a second segment on this subject matter and Futures Magazine has elected to publish it.  It can be viewed at:

As readers are probably aware I don't trade equities.   While we're on this discussion, let's define what is meant by a good earnings report.  A company must exceed their prior quarter's earnings per share and must provide excellent forward guidance.  Any falloff between earning per share or forward guidance will not bode well for the company's shares.  This is one of the reasons I don't trade equities but prefer futures.  There is no earnings reports with futures and we don't have to be concerned about lawsuits, scandals, malfeasance, etc.
Anytime the market isn't correlated it's giving you a clue that something isn't right and you should proceed with caution. Today our bias is to the downside.  Could this change?  Of course.  In a volatile market anything can happen.  We'll have to monitor and see.

As I write this the crude markets are trading higher and the US Dollar is declining.  This is normal.  Think of it this way.  If the stock market is trading lower, it's safe to assume that the crude market will follow suit and vice-versa.  Crude trades with the expectation that business activity is expanding.  The barometer of which is the equities or stock market.  If you view both the crude and index futures side by side you will notice this. On Friday February crude dropped to a low of 92.00 a barrel and held.  We'll have to monitor and see if crude either goes lower or holds at the present level.   It would appear at the present time that crude has support at $91.54 a barrel and resistance at $93.11, so there doesn't seem to be any race to $100 a barrel.  This could change.  All we need do is look at what happened last fall when crude was trading over $100.00 a barrel.  We'll have to monitor and see.  Remember that crude is the only commodity that is reflected immediately at the gas pump. 

Future Challenges:
- Budget Battle - Senate passes budget deal, now it's up to Obama to sign.  I was wondering why Obama is reluctant to sign the budget deal until it was revealed that this budget doesn't include any extension of Unemployment Benefits.  This surprises me as how could Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington State allow this?  It also tells me that our elected morons don't read the bills that they vote on.  Obama seeks to augment this by pushing thru a bill that will extend UI benefits and that bill should be voted on today or tomorrow.  As an update to this, the Senate has postponed the vote on this bill until this week.  Now this same bill has to be voted on in the House of Representatives.

Crude oil is trading higher and the US Dollar is declining.  This is normal.  Crude typically makes 3 major moves (long or short) during the course of any trading day: around 9 AM EST, 11 AM EST and 2 PM EST when the crude market closes.  If crude makes major moves around those time frames, then this would suggest normal trending, if not it would suggest that something is not quite right.  If you feel compelled to trade consider doing so after 10 AM when the markets give us better direction.  As always watch and monitor your order flow as anything can happen in this market.  This is why monitoring order flow in today's market is crucial.  We as traders are faced with numerous challenges that we didn't have a few short years ago.  High Frequency Trading is one of them.   I'm not an advocate of scalping however in a market as volatile as this scalping is an alternative to trend trading.

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Remember that without knowledge of order flow we as traders are risking our hard earned capital and the Smart Money will have no issue taking it from us.  Regardless of whatever platform you use for trading purposes you need to make sure it's monitoring order flow.  Sceeto does an excellent job at this.  To fully capitalize on this newsletter it is important that the reader understand how the various market correlate.  More on this in subsequent editions.

Nick Mastrandrea is the author of Market Tea Leaves. Market Tea Leaves is a free, daily newsletter that discuses and teaches market correlation. Market Tea Leaves is published daily, pre-market in the United States and can be viewed at  Interested in Market Correlation?  Want to learn more?  Signup and receive Market Tea Leaves each day prior to market open.  As a subscriber, you’ll also receive our daily Market Bias video that is only available to subscribers.