Market Participants – How Can’t You See This?

Please Read: I’ve highlighted the significant bits.

kong and rickards

Jim Rickards – Markets Are Experiencing Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance is a psychological term to describe a situation where perception and reality are out of sync.

It’s similar to what most people refer to as “denial.” The patient sees things one way, but the reality is different. Of course, it’s just a matter of time before reality prevails and the patient is jolted back to reality. This process can be fast or slow, easy or painful, but the important thing to bear in mind is reality always wins.

Something like cognitive dissonance is going on in markets right now. Markets have been temporarily euphoric over Trump’s tax, regulatory and spending policies. Those policies are important to business and credit cycles and economic growth.

The perception is that happy days are here again. The new Trump administration is expected to pour trillions of dollars of stimulus spending and tax cuts into the economy. Immediately after the Nov. 8 election, investors took a quick look at Trump’s policies and decided they liked what they saw.

Trump wants lower taxes, less regulation and higher infrastructure spending. Corporate profits and consumer spending benefit from lower taxes. Banks and pharmaceutical companies benefit from less regulation. Construction firms and defense contractors benefit from infrastructure spending. There seemed to be something for everyone, and the stock market took off like a Roman candle.

And indeed, the major stock indexes hit one record closing after another. The Dow topped 20,000 this week before pulling back. The dollar has been trading near a 14-year high, although it’s slipped in recent days. Gold was moving mostly sideways until it broke out again over the past few days.

Bank stocks went vertical in expectations of wider net interest margins (from Fed rate hikes) and less regulation (from Dodd-Frank reform). Happy days, indeed.

Reality is another matter. I’ve been warning my readers lately that the Trump trade is levitating in thin air and is ready for a fall. Now that reality could be beginning to sink in.

It’s far from clear how much of the Trump economic agenda will see the light of day. Congress wants to offset tax cuts in one area with tax increases in another so they are “revenue neutral.” That takes away the stimulus. Less regulation for banks won’t help the economy if bankers lead us into another financial meltdown like 2008.

Infrastructure spending will increase the debt-to-GDP ratio past the already high level of 105%, putting the U.S. closer to a sovereign debt crisis like Greece. As I wrote Tuesday, many believe a 60% debt-to-GDP ratio retards growth. That’s the standard the ECB uses for members of the Eurozone. Scholars Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart put the figure at 90%.

Again, the U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio is currently at 105%, as stated, and heading higher. Under any standard, the U.S. is at the point where more debt produces less growth rather than more. This is one more reason why the Trump infrastructure spending plan will not produce the hoped for growth. And if infrastructure is funded privately, you’ll need tools and user fees to pay the bondholders, which is just another form of tax increase.

There’s almost no way Trump’s policies can supply the stimulus the market is pricing in. The Dow Jones index peaked on Jan. 26, 2017, one day after cracking the mythical 20,000 mark. It’s now trading around 19,900. The downhill trend may continue and get steeper soon.

Productivity has stalled out in recent months. Economists are not sure why. It could be due to lack of investment by business, or that workers are not being trained in useful skills, or that everyone is spending too much time on social media. Whatever the cause, productivity is flat.

Fourth-quarter GDP came in at 1.9%, below expectations — the final chapter on the worst year of U.S. growth since 2011 when the economy was still healing from the global financial crisis. The strong dollar is a major headwind to growth, along with flat labor force participation and weak productivity growth.

Growth in a major economy is simply the sum of increases in the labor force plus increases in productivity. Think about it. How many people are working and what is the output per worker? That’s it; that’s all there is. The reality is that the workforce is not growing.

Labor force participation is near 40-year lows and is expected to decline further for demographic reasons. Birthrates have never been this low since the Great Depression. The U.S. used to get a labor force lift from immigration, but that might dry up because of Trump’s policies. We’ll have to wait and see.

A flat labor force plus flat productivity equals a flat economy, or almost zero nominal growth. That’s reality.

kong and rickards

                                                        How will this situation be resolved?

Either growth will rebound based on “animal spirits” and the Trump stimulus working better than expected or markets will collapse once they realize the growth is not coming. By “collapse,” I mean a violent stock market correction, a falling dollar and major rallies in bonds and gold. We expect the latter.

Financial crises are not mainly about the business cycle. They’re about investor psychology, sudden shocks and the instability of the financial system. Right now investors are skittish, numerous shocks are waiting to happen and the system is highly unstable due to overleverage and nontransparency.

Despite Trump’s best efforts and positive policies, a collapse could happen any day unless radical steps are taken to prevent it — such as breaking up big banks and banning derivatives. I’ve been warning about this for a while, but now mainstream economists see the danger too. Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller, for example, sees a stock market crash coming that could be worse than 1929 or 2000. I hope he’s wrong.

The problem with a financial panic is that panicked investors don’t care if the president is a Democrat or a Republican; they just want their money back. The same dynamic applies to natural disasters like tsunamis and earthquakes.

Once the disaster starts, the dynamics have a life of their own and don’t care if the victims are liberals or conservatives. Everyone gets hurt just the same. I’m not hoping for it, but this is a lesson Trump may learn the hard way.

Above I said collapse means a violent stock market correction, a falling dollar and major rallies in bonds and gold. I expect the latter. The long-term trends favor gold if U.S. growth continues disappoint.

The strong dollar story can’t last, so it won’t. The Trump administration has clearly signaled that the day of the strong dollar is over. When you see a coordinated attack on the dollar from the White House, the Treasury and the Fed, you can bet the dollar will weaken. That means a higher dollar price for gold.

The dollar may get one last boost from a Fed rate hike in March, but after that, even the Fed will acknowledge that they got it wrong again and start another easing cycle with happy talk and forward guidance.

For now, investors should not stand in front of a moving train. Keep cash ready and be prepared to move into gold, bonds and the euro. In fact, it’s not too soon to leg into those positions now.

Instead of watching the tape or short-term trends, my advice is to stay focused on the long-term trends. That’s how you’ll make the most money and preserve wealth in adversity.

kong and rickards

 
                                             – Source, James Rickards via the Daily Reckoning
                                                                            Who is James Rickards?

Don’t Panic – There Is Time To Prepare

These things take time so…let’s just take a minute and re group.

The entire blog / financial community at large is pretty much sitting at a stand still, with a couple of “ridiculous” factors and circumstances in play. Get a load of this….March 15th is not only the DAY the debt ceiling “freeze” does exactly that – but ALSO the day the Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates?? Can you wrap your head around that? Can you?

The dichotomy here is unprecedented. I see the debt ceiling biz being completely and totally “blacked out” in the main stream media, as it could very likely lead to government shutdown, as well as some pretty “snappy headlines out there” when the world at large is again reminded….The United States is again 100% flat broke.

I would assume “the powers that be” will keep things lofty moving into the 15th, then regardless of an interest rate hike or not….you’d have to expect our “long-awaited sell off / correction” to start, which will likely take us well past May ( as I also feel that SELL IN MAY will be in effect this year ).

In a broad sense I’d be looking to put some protection in place…start raising cash for a much better time and place to “jump back in”.

There is very likely one more  push higher later this year ( and it could very well be a whopper ) so maybe July/Aug would be a great time to grab that cash…..and put it back to use moving into the fall.

EUR longs looking good. NUGT pissing me off.

Forex_Kong

              Forex_Kong

Buy EUR/USD – Before Tuesday Afternoon

You’re going to want to buy EUR before Tuesday.

This trade fits into the exact same framework we have been working with…with respect to The U.S Dollar taking a very large nose dive –  very, very soon. You can see in the chart below that EUR/USD has now put in an absolutely “classic swing low” right at the 50 day moving average…after completing only the first daily cycle of this new “intermediate cycle”. This suggests that we’ve got several more daily cycles to go ( lasting somewhere between 30-35 days each) before this upswing completes.

I would imagine the 200 day moving average ( marked in red ) should be the next target. That’s some 350 – 400 pips!

Buy EUR Before Tues Afternoon

These correlations with The Euro, USD and Gold are batting near 100% right now….as you can’t have The Euro rise without USD moving decidedly lower. The same thing goes for Gold, and if you really want to nail this…feel free to get long The Japanese Yen ( JPY ) as well. Yen chart looks exactly the same as EURO.

So…only one more asset class to consider here right? U.S Equities.

I can’t stand the stock market right now, as it’s continued rise goes against just about every fundamental principle I can drum up. There are too many indicators and factors to list – all suggesting this thing tops out  soon…or at the very least – makes a serious correction. The stock market is cyclical and there is not a single thing “any acting president” can do to change that.

Trump has certainly “empowered the common man” with the talk of bringing jobs back, and I can certainly appreciate that but…..it won’t last. Unfortunately for stock buyers – foreign exchange leads the way and the message is painfully clear.

This thing needs a complete and total reset before some incredible turn around in the U.S economy will be realized.

Wash rinse repeat people. You know this. Has it ever been any different?

USD Update – Failed Daily Cycle

The U.S Dollar has now breached the low from the previous daily cycle….confirming that this “next cycle” will also manifest as a “left translated cycle” and take the dollar decidedly lower.

But first we bounce.

We bounce higher in a confirmed downtrend so…you don’t go buying this dip in USD bonehead. You wait 4-6 days ( 6 at most I imagine ) and “sell the rip” as we are in a downtrend. Patience is everything when trading, as you’ve got to fight that “urge” to get in there…and be involved every minute of the day.

I can honestly say that these days ( having long since been through the emotional torment experienced when learning ) I spent more like 85% of my time plotting / scheming / observing markets than I do “actually trading”.

Magically…..the less I trade – the more money I make…but don’t confuse this with “investing”. Yes I believe that gold and silver have bottomed, the Euro will rise and USD will fall…JPY will surge and U.S equities will soon take a substantial hit so….

Investing is 100% totally / absolutely / without question OUT!  I trade…..and I trade assets I believe to be in longer term trends. I don’t consider it investing.

Most of the standard correlations are looking pretty good right now ie…USD down has The Euro and commodities ( priced in USD ) moving higher…and The Japanese Yen flying cuz money borrowed some years ago is now repatriating to the place of its origin. Yen up = U.S equities down.

The fact that this thing has traded sideways for this long must have many of you looking at your portfolios and wondering – why haven’t I done so well this past year?

How much “higher” can you really expect anything to climb in the face of a dramatically waning “appetite for risk”.

The planet is completely freaked out about Trump. Good or bad….I have no opinion, but I can tell you this….markets hate uncertainty, and the future looks “more than uncertain” to say the least.

Wouldn’t you agree?

Kong Sells Miners – Buying Again Soon

Over the past 2 days. I’ve sold GPL, IMG and NUGT for a 28% return on the trades.

I’m still holding short USD/JPY as well long EUR/USD.

I expect this to be a “shallow dip” with respect to the gold and silver related stocks, so I will be scaling back in to these and more here shortly. On this next entry I am going to do my best to actually “buy and hold” something for at least a couple of weeks / if not months but then again…….we’ll see how that goes.

The larger macro turn in both USD as well commodities is slowly making its way…so there is still plenty of time to start building positions.

 

 

Forex_Kong_Japanese_Color

Forex_Kong_Taking_Profits

 

 

 

 

 

Winning Trades Update – USD, Gold and Silver

Obviously the short USD trades are now in the money as The U.S Dollar continues to weaken. The mining trades have been on fire with GPL, IMG and now NUGT ( purchased yesterday ).

It may at first appear boring to just sit around and watch a single asset  / asset class ( currencies and USD ) but one has to consider “just how much revolves around the value of USD” – as U.S equities and global commodities trade in this currency.

Correlations can always be found with respect to the “value of USD” and the price of “things” on planet Earth. Thus far we’ve really only seen the beginning of a much larger and expected fall in USD.

Perhaps this is where some of you stock traders can find a solid reason to follow currency markets closely. Also with consideration that JPY ( the Japanese Yen ) trades “in tandem with risk”. When JPY value moves lower – stocks move higher. JPY moving higher ( on repatriation of currency flooding back to Japan ) – stocks move lower.

That’s just how it is!

You can easily check currency pairs at www.stockcharts.com by typing the symbols like this: $usdjpy, $audusd, $cadjpy etc… just dont forget to add the “$”.

I will now focus on JPY as a turn in “global appetite for risk” will soon see JPY on the rise against nearly every other currency on the planet. That means “shorting” currency pairs such as AUD/JPY ( meaning….I a shorting the value of Aussie Dollar “vs” the value of JPY) where in AUD will fall and JPY will rise.

Hope it helps everyone!

Forex Kong Winning Trades

 

 

 

 

Stocks And Currencies – Major Shake In 2017

It clearly looks like this will stretch into the new year…….before we see a major turn in both currency and equities markets. Money is pouring into silver and gold with the gold miners ( and gold complex in general ) finally showing us not only the daily cycle low….but quite possibly the “yearly” cycle low as well.

 

Gold_Miners_Bottomed

Gold_Miners_Bottomed

This makes for some pretty solid trades as……The EUR will bottom along side gold and silver, the U.S Dollar slowly rolls over for extended losses and equities make a solid correction.

Sound about right? This is EXACTLY how I am positioned with short trades in USD/JPY, long silver and gold miners ( GPL bought at 1.27 ) as well limping into further “long JPY” ideas / shorting the commods ( AUD,NZD and CAD ) with marijuana companies holding tough.

End of the year selling, and who knows what other “market shenanigans” playing out these last days of 2016. I see a large-scale correction first half of January 2017.

USD/JPY – Risk Off – Trade Accordingly

The currency pair USD/JPY ( U.S Dollar vs Japanese Yen ) is a bellwether for “risk appetite” in markets. Simply put, when  the currency pair rises…..risk is ON. When the currency pair falls – RISK OFF.

Risk ON meaning……the general investing community is in “buy mode”. Risk OFF meaning – “sell mode”.

USD/JPY – Weekly Chart.

usd_jpy_topped_out

usd_jpy_topped_out

I’ll let you be the judge….as “per always” – you can lead a horse to water – but you can’t make’em drink.

This chart looks terrible. After months of consolidation( June, July, August, September ) and now with the recent run up into “and after” the U.S election, USD/JPY finds itself at an interesting junction. You don’t see this in equity/stock markets as they only give you a tiny glint into the real world economy ( if any insight at all, considering the money printing and Wall St. corruption ) but…..currencies don’t lie.

USD/JPY will very soon turn. Global stock markets soon to follow so I challenge you to consider….

Are your assets currently protected? Stop losses? Mental stop losses? Greed got you by the balls? Any notion “what so ever” that…..tides may turn?

I’ve softened over these past years as….the Central Banks have made it impossible for the average “at home investor” to even consider things moving lower. I’ve “sung to the choir” at least a handful of times over the past years…encouraging my followers to exercise caution. I’ve been right at times….and horribly wrong at times.

This is another one of those times.

Caution warranted. Nothing more.

 

 

USD Topping Out? – Place Orders Underneath

The U.S Dollar has now reached “another” serious area of resistance here around 100.00 / 99.85

 

usd_topping_out

usd_topping_out

Inversely gold and silver mining stocks ( and likely the entire metals complex ) look to be putting in a serious low here ( as suggested in my previous post ).

As I’ve suggested time and time again….the absolute best way to play these “potential turns” is to place your orders some 50 – 100 pips “below” current price action….or in the case of “getting long EUR/USD” some 50 – 100 pips “above”. This way…..you don’t get picked up if price moves against you ( nothing ventured nothing gained right? ) OR you do get picked up on momentum moving in your direction.

Another way to do this is to place your order “above or below” the previous days high/low ( as seen by the bottom or top of the candle of the previous day ) – keeping yourself out-of-the-way of intra day fluctuations, but still leaving you tonnes of room for profit – should price action  move in your direction. The key is to get into the trade “on momentum” and not get caught in the daily volatility.

You can’t pick an exact price. You never can. No blog, no investment consultant, no snake oil salesman can call it that close – it’s impossible when you consider we are talking about moves in a currency as small as 1/100 of a cent!

As well…..if you are looking for further confirmation / theory that perhaps things are ready to turn lower….take a look at Apple ( AAPL )

If the entire planet is so “hell-bent on buying U.S Equities” – How come industry leaders like Apple look like shit?

EUR/USD – USD And Gold – Alien Knowledge

A simple correlation – the price of commodities and the U.S Dollar.

Gold being priced in USD obviously.

As the “value” of The U.S dollar rises – Gold price goes down. When the value of USD falls….one would expect the inverse in gold. Gold moves higher as USD falls. All good?

So you should find it interesting then, that over the past few days ( since giving the green light to buy gold ) The U.S Dollar has remained strong. Suggesting to myself at least…..that “even with a relatively strong dollar” the price of gold and silver related stocks have not only remained buoyant, but have made some pretty sold gains over the past few days.

I bought IMG at 4.68 a couple days ago –  Now sitting at 5.29 – All the while USD has continued to move higher.

So what gives Kong? How can the value of the U.S Dollar keep rising AS WELL as Gold and related names?

Answer: An intermediate bottom in Gold.

I’m not talking about a nice little dip to buy, or a quick little stock tip to make you a couple extra bucks for beer….I’m talking about a large scale “fundamental shift in money flow” where the big boys are already well in position. Fully prepared for the U.S Dollar to fall – just that couple of steps ahead of you as…….you still see relative strength in USD even while the big money keeps scooping up Gold.

These large-scale “intermediate turns” don’t play out in a single day.

This will be short-lived, and here is why:

The Euro only further confirms the move currently in play as……it’s now very VERY close to bottoming as well.

Currencies don’t lie. You can’t have EUR and USD going up at the same time!

eur_bottoming_at_1-09

eur_bottoming_at_1-09

So the trade at hand is as follows. Long Gold / Silver and the miners NOW…….and short USD ( long EUR ) here in coming days…once this turn shows itself to the masses.

These “big turns” take weeks and even months for the big boys to build positions, so you don’t always see typical correlations playing out “minute to minute”. It’s my firm belief that the entire year of 2016 has essentially had the big money distributing stock to retail investors….while they quietly and patiently unload USD and scoop up Gold.

Make no mistake. It’s “Dollar Short Time” again here soon, with large gains planned in EUR longs, and a solid investment in Gold.

You think it’s backwards. You don’t think it makes sense but…….haven’t you been reading / lurking here long enough to know better by now? Once you throw currencies into your watch lists, and basket of tools to draw from…you can see things much clearer.

Big moves coming post election.