US Dollar Chokes Gold, Silver and Oil Movement

Gold, silver and oil haven’t gone anywhere in 2018. Why?

The chart below plots gold, silver and crude oil against the US Dollar Index.

The US dollar has been in a tight trading range for most of 2018. Although asset correlations come and go, commodities are traded in US dollars, and the US dollar inactivity likely contributed to the lack of direction in the commodities market.

I assume a dollar breakout will awaken commodities.

The November 29 US dollar update featured the chart below, which projects a more significant low in early 2018.

The US dollar is right in the down side target range, but the process of carving out a low is taking longer than projected. We are still looking for a significant dollar bottom (perhaps after one more new low).

If the correlation between US dollar (strong dollar = weak commodities) persists, the US dollar should soon begin to put pressure on commodity prices.

The first chart highlights some basic support/resistance levels and patterns to watch:

Gold:

Potential triangle with resistance at 1,365 (Fibonacci resistance at 1,382). Support around 1,310.

Silver:

Two potential triangles. A break of the shorter-term triangle should lead to a test of the longer-term triangle boundaries.

Crude Oil:

The January high could be a significant top. The short-term triangle (if it breaks higher) could cause a re-test of the January top and an excellent opportunity to short crude oil via the United States Oil Fund (USO). A break below triangle support may have 55 (long-term trend channel support) as next target.

We will look at technicals, seasonality and sentiment to assess the direction and scope of the next move. Continuous updates will be available via the Profit Radar Report.

Simon Maierhofer is the founder of iSPYETF and the publisher of the Profit Radar Report. Barron’s rated iSPYETF as a “trader with a good track record” (click here for Barron’s profile of the Profit Radar Report). The Profit Radar Report presents complex market analysis (S&P 500, Dow Jones, gold, silver, euro and bonds) in an easy format. Technical analysis, sentiment indicators, seasonal patterns and common sense are all wrapped up into two or more easy-to-read weekly updates. All Profit Radar Report recommendations resulted in a 59.51% net gain in 2013, 17.59% in 2014, and 24.52% in 2015.

Follow Simon on Twitter @ iSPYETF or sign up for the FREE iSPYETF Newsletter to get actionable ETF trade ideas delivered for free.

 

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Dollar, Euro, Gold Update

Dollar Update

The January 2 Profit Radar Report published this chart and long-term US Dollar Index forecast:

The US Dollar Index could be at or near the end of a 5 ½ year rally. As per Elliott Wave Theory, it is possible to count 5 waves up from the May 2011 low. There are bearish divergences at the December highs, and investor sentiment is in favor of a lower dollar. We are alert for a potential multi-month US dollar decline.”

As it turns out, the US Dollar Index actually peaked on January 3, and spent the next 8 months falling lower.

In August/September we were expecting a bottom, but at the time we were not sure how big of a bounce to expect.

In November it became clear that the rally from the September 8 low to the October 27 high was only 3 waves, a first indication that the dollar bounce was over (a 5-wave move higher would have marked a trend change according to Elliott Wave Theory).

The chart below reflects the most likely Elliott Wave Theory count, which projects a more significant low in early 2018.

Smart money dollar hedgers are near record long the dollar, which could lead to a more sustainable rally even before the dollar reaches new lows (a solid close above 95 prior to a new low would suggest that the wave 5 low is already in).

However, hedgers are often early and may become even more bullish in the coming weeks. The lower the dollar falls, the better the buy signal.

Corresponding long dollar ETF: PowerShares DB US Dollar Bullish Fund (UUP)

EUR/USD (Euro)

The euro (EUR/USD) generally moves in the opposite direction of the dollar.

Since the above dollar analysis provides a multi-month forecast, we’ll use the EUR/USD for a short-term outlook.

On November 14, the EUR/USD broke above the black trend channel, and re-tested that channel on November 21 (blue circle).

The November 20 Profit Radar Report said that: “The EUR/USD is near support around 1.17. This could serve as springboard for new recovery highs.”

We now expect a rally above 1.21. The gray trend channel provides some short-term support/resistance levels. Trade should not drop below 1.17.

RSI appears unlikely to confirm new highs above 1.21, which would harmonize nicely with our expectation of a larger pullback.

Smart money euro hedgers, however, are nearly record short the euro, which will draw the euro down eventually. We’d love an opportunity to short the euro above 1.21 against a bearish RSI divergence.

Corresponding inverse euro ETF: ProShares UltraShort Euro (EUO)

Corresponding euro ETF: CurrencyShares Euro Trust (FXE)

Gold

This September 28 article included a detailed long-term outlook for gold.

The October 4 Profit Radar Report said all there was to know about gold for the weeks to come: “Support for gold is at 1,245 – 1,260. Resistance is at 1,298 – 1,304. For now, gold is likely to trade between support and resistance.”

Gold is pushing the upper boundary of the outlined trading range, but thus far there’s been no breakout. Silver failed to confirm gold’s push higher, which can be a warning signal. On balance volume has been increasing, which is a positive. Nevertheless, we would view a break above 1,307 with suspicion.

Corresponding gold ETFs:
SPDR Gold Trust (GLD)
iShares Gold Trust (IAU)

Corresponding inverse gold ETFs:
ProShares UltraShort Gold (GLL)

Continued forecasts for the US Dollar, EUR/USD, gold and silver are available via the Profit Radar Report.

Simon Maierhofer is the founder of iSPYETF and the publisher of the Profit Radar Report. Barron’s rated iSPYETF as a “trader with a good track record” (click here for Barron’s profile of the Profit Radar Report). The Profit Radar Report presents complex market analysis (S&P 500, Dow Jones, gold, silver, euro and bonds) in an easy format. Technical analysis, sentiment indicators, seasonal patterns and common sense are all wrapped up into two or more easy-to-read weekly updates. All Profit Radar Report recommendations resulted in a 59.51% net gain in 2013, 17.59% in 2014, and 24.52% in 2015.

Follow Simon on Twitter @ iSPYETF or sign up for the FREE iSPYETF Newsletter to get actionable ETF trade ideas delivered for free.

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The Biggest Trap of European QE

The cat is out of the bag. The ECB will buy up to euro60 billion a month from March 2015 to September 2016. Purchased assets will include government bonds, debt securities by European institutions and private-sector bonds.

Why? Eurozone inflation is negative. Deflation is bad news, and pumping money (QE) into financial markets is hoped to fight deflation and spark inflation.

Inflation, by definition, erodes the value of a currency. The obvious conclusion; eurozone QE should send the euro lower.

But if something is too obvious, it can obviously wrong.

Let’s take a look at what U.S. QE did for the U.S. dollar.

The chart below plots the U.S. Dollar Index against the various QE programs.

QE1 saw wild dollar swings, but no discernable down side bias. In fact, the dollar rallied when QE fist started.

QE2 didn’t sink the dollar either and the greenback actually rallied during QE3/4.

Headlines like ‘Why quantitative easing is likely to trigger a collapse of the U.S. Dollar’ proved incorrect.

The euro lost 18% since May 2014. This is one of the most pronounced declines in recent history.

In 2008 the euro lost 23.1% before bouncing back, in 2009/10 21.5%. Technical support for the euro is not far below current trade, so shorting the euro is akin to picking up pennies in front of a train.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, investors should put the CurrencyShares Euro ETF (NYSEArca: FXE) on their shopping list and start exiting the PowerShares DB US Dollar Bullish ETF (NYSEArca: UUP).

Simon Maierhofer is the publisher of the Profit Radar ReportThe Profit Radar Report presents complex market analysis (S&P 500, Dow Jones, gold, silver, euro and bonds) in an easy format. Technical analysis, sentiment indicators, seasonal patterns and common sense are all wrapped up into two or more easy-to-read weekly updates. All Profit Radar Report recommendations resulted in a 59.51% net gain in 2013.

Follow Simon on Twitter @ iSPYETF or sign up for the FREE iSPYETF Newsletter to get actionable ETF trade ideas delivered for free.

Smart Money is Buying Euro and Selling Dollar

The euro has been more or less in freefall mode since May 2014. Downside momentum increased even more this week.

Nevertheless, commercial traders, industry experts with deep pockets, have been buying the euro.

The chart below plots the euro against net long positions (as percentage of open interest) by commercial traders (data source: Commitment of Traders Report).

As the red lines illustrate, commercial traders are often early, but eventually proven correct. Sentiment is favorable to look for a euro bottom.

The EUR/USD chart shows the currency slicing through support levels like a knife through butter.

Despite the euro’s renewed freefall since the beginning of 2015, RSI has not confirmed the new lows.

There are a couple of support levels around 1.18, so based on sentiment and technicals it is possible that the euro will carve out a low and stage a significant multi-month retracement rally.

ETFs that benefit from a change of trend are the CurrencyShares Euro ETF (NYSEArca: FXE) or PowerShares DB US Dollar Bearish ETF (NYSEArca: UDN).

Leveraged ETFs are available, but are thinly traded.

A euro rally will obviously affect commodities like oil, gold and silver.

Continued updates will be provided via the Profit Radar Report.

Simon Maierhofer is the publisher of the Profit Radar Report. The Profit Radar Report presents complex market analysis (S&P 500, Dow Jones, gold, silver, euro and bonds) in an easy format. Technical analysis, sentiment indicators, seasonal patterns and common sense are all wrapped up into two or more easy-to-read weekly updates. All Profit Radar Report recommendations resulted in a 59.51% net gain in 2013.

Follow Simon on Twitter @ iSPYETF or sign up for the FREE iSPYETF Newsletter to get actionable ETF trade ideas delivered for free.

One Indicator Pegs U.S. Economy at Worst Level since 1959

Many economies predict 2014 to be the year of the economic recovery. Some economic indicators and surveys support this view, but this powerful common sense indicator shows the economy at its worst state since 1959.

Money velocity is the frequency at which one dollar changes hands and is used to buy goods and services within a given period of time.

To illustrate we’ll look at two simplified mock economies:

The Federal Reserve prints $100 to buy Treasuries from banks (NYSEArca: XLF). The bank invests the $100 in stocks.

A consumer withdraws $100 from his bank account to pay his mechanic. The mechanic takes his wife out for a nice dinner and the restaurant uses the money to pay its staff and buy new equipment. After receiving her pay check the waitress goes out and buys a new watch.

The original $100 in the second mock economy changed hands four times (high velocity) and helped support three additional individuals/businesses once  in circulation.

The conclusion is obvious: The higher the velocity, the healthier the economy.

Below is a chart of the U.S. money velocity. The St. Louis Fed money velocity data goes back as far as 1959. Current money velocity is at an all-time low.

This can’t be good for the economy and one would think that low money velocity couldn’t be good for the stock market either. Is that so?

Rather than assume, here are the facts.

The second chart plots the S&P 500 (SNP: ^GSPC) against the money velocity of M2 money stock.

The S&P 500 is charted on a log scale to enhance the major up and downs of the past 55 years.

Low money velocity preceded a bear market in 1973 and lower prices in 1977. Low money velocity was also seen about a year before the 1987 crash, which sent the S&P 500 and Dow Jones spiraling.

But there were other instances that had no effect, or no immediate effect, on the S&P 500 (NYSEArca: SPY) and Dow Jones (NYSEArca: DIA).

The current wave of velocity anemia is as unprecedented as the Fed’s liquidity machinations. Both events are likely connected (for every action there’s a reaction).

At very best, money velocity (and lack thereof) may serve as a very blunt warning signal.

Fortunately, there are better warning signals. One of them is discussed here. In fact, it is so effective, I call it insider trading. How Insider Trading Just Became Legal

Simon Maierhofer is the publisher of the Profit Radar ReportThe Profit Radar Report presents complex market analysis (stocks, gold, silver, euro and bonds) in an easy format. Technical analysis, sentiment indicators, seasonal patterns and common sense are all wrapped up into two or more easy-to-read weekly updates. All Profit Radar Report recommendations resulted in a 59.51% net gain in 2013.

Follow Simon on Twitter @ iSPYETF or sign up for the FREE iSPYETF Newsletter to get actionable ETF trade ideas delivered for free.

‘Lazy Money’ – The Biggest Bear Market You’re Not Hearing About

Money isn’t created equal, just as economic growth isn’t created equal. There’s real organic growth and there’s artificial growth. The same is true for money. Although the system is flush with money, it’s lazy money.

What is ‘lazy money?’

Lazy money doesn’t move. It keeps to itself and doesn’t spread the love. Lazy money is like a couch potato, it plops itself down and stays down.

Today’s U.S. money supply is lazy, it has no motility or (to use Wall Street jargon) velocity.

What is money velocity?

The velocity of money is the frequency at which one unit of currency is used to purchase domestically produced goods and services within a given time period.

In simple terms, money velocity measures how often one dollar is used to buy goods and services. Decreasing money velocity means that there are fewer transactions between individuals in an economy.

Lower money velocity means that each dollar is touching fewer lives. To illustrate:

A dollar earned by an employee, spent in a restaurant, paid in wages to a waiter, who uses it to buy an iPod does more for the economy than a bailout dollar given to banks (NYSEArca: KBE), where it’s kept as a stagnant number on the balance sheet or dumped into stocks (NYSEArca: VTI).

What’s the velocity of money right now or how lazy is the dollar?

The chart below plots the S&P 500 against velocity of M2 money stock. M2 velocity data goes back to 1959, so does the chart.

The S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY) is obviously at an all-time high, but M2 Money velocity has been in a bear market since 1998 and has never been lower.

Here’s my theory. The Federal Reserve prints money and gives it to select financial institutions (NYSEArca: XLF), which park it in stocks and reap fat returns. Banks no longer need to lend. The stock market is where money goes to grow and velocity goes to die.

The conclusion is one you’ve heard before: QE benefits stocks more than the real economy and Fed-printed money isn’t benefiting the economy as much as ‘organic’ money.

If you were to liken the different ‘types of money’ to food; QE money would be considered junk food. Wasn’t there a documentary (Super Size Me) that showed what a diet of junk food does to a human body?

Bernanke likes Wall Street Fat Cats and we won’t have to deal with artery-clogging side effects of the QE junk diet. This will be up to Janet Yellen, Bernanke’s successor to be.

Based on the market’s reaction, investors believe that Janet Yellen will continue Bernanke’s legacy of QE junk food (there are even rumors she’ll super size the banks’ portion).

President Obama went out of his way to praise his nominee’s financial acumen.

In fact, best case scenario the President spread his praise on too thick, worst case scenario he flat out lied about Yellen’s ability.

You can read the glaring conflict between fact and the President’s misleading praise right here: Did Obama Lie About Yellen?

Simon Maierhofer is the publisher of the Profit Radar Report.

Follow Simon on Twitter @ iSPYETF or sign up for the FREE Newsletter.

 

Europe’s ECB Warden Draghi is Alarmed … For the Wrong Reason

Like Bernanke, ECB President Draghi is famous for flooding the European financial system with cheap money. The European QE (LTRO) has brought forth some side effects that have Draghi worried, although for the wrong reasons.

This came in from Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper:

European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi is concerned about the European banking system and is ready to unleash more emergency loans.

His concern however is over the ‘wrong reason.’ What’s the wrong reason?

Excess liquidity in the European financial system has dropped from 800 billion euro to euro 225 billion.

This sounds like bad news, but it’s not.

Liquidity has dried up because European banks are paying back their 3-year LTRO loans sooner than necessary.

Here’s a brief refresher on LTRO, which stands for Long-term refinancing operations. LTRO is essentially the European counter part to QE.

There were two tranches, LTRO I and LTRO II.

  • Via LTRO I (December 21, 2011) the ECB provided euro 489 billion worth of 1%, 3-year loans to 523 banks.
  • Via LTRO II (February 29, 2012) the ECB provided euro 529.5 billion worth of 1%, 3-year loans to 800 banks.

Good News, Bad News – All Good News

This is a good news/bad news kind of scenario.

The good news is that banks are doing well enough to repay their loans sooner.

The bad news is that shrinking liquidity has resulted in higher interest rates for bank-to-bank lending.

This development threatens to choke the economic recovery in the euro zone.

“We will watch this development very carefully,” says Draghi.

No doubt they will. How dare a natural side effect of an artificial medicine challenge the EU spin doctor.

What it Means for Investors

In theory more euro loans would be bad for the euro (NYSEArca: FXE) and good for the dollar (NYSEArca: UUP). In reality, technical analysis is likely a better indicator if you are trying to figure out what’s next for the euro and dollar.

How will it affect European stocks? If European stocks (NYSEArca: VGK) respond to liquidity like US stocks (NYSEArca: SPY), we can assume that good news is good for European stocks (NYSEArca: FEZ) and that bad news is good for stocks, as long as the ECB keeps the money going.

To assure just that, Draghi confirmed that banks will have access to cheap money for years to come.

Below is a small selection of news featured in German newspapers (translated into English). You’ll find that German news sometimes brings out facets omitted domestically or simply offer a different take.

Simon Maierhofer is the publisher of the Profit Radar Report.

Follow Simon on Twitter @ iSPYETF or sign up for the FREE Newsletter.