Posts

Did China Buy Too Much Copper?

There is some interesting news out of China that they may in fact re-export some of their copper stockpiles. Here is the link to the Bloomberg story “China May Re-Export Copper on Stockpiles.” While not a rally killer by itself this is pretty damning evidence that a major part of the rally in commodities came from Chinese stimulus buying. This was more bargain buying than an actual demand driven rally. This could lead to a good sized move down as demand has not picked up inline with supply and now China is not only done buying but may even start to sell.

As you an see in the chart below copper has been in a steady uptrend since the end of 2008 and the move preceded the rally in other risk assets that started in March 2009. The trend has been very consistent and is up about 130% in that time. On the chart below you can also see that as China has presumably stopped their buying we have seen a momentum divergence as the copper rally has slowed down. (click on chart twice to enlarge)

Copper

copper-comex1

We would be wary of any move higher in copper and are currently looking at some possible shorts in the copper related ETF/ETN products JJC-Copper ETN and DBB-Base Metals ETF on a break of the trend line. If China which appeared to be the only buyer earlier this year, and is such a huge part of the emerging growth story, has too much then who is left to buy?

Happy Trading,

Dave@TheMacroTrader.com

Disclaimer-We are not currently long or short any industrial metals but that could change at any time.

If you’re getting value out of our posts, you can do us a favor by linking to us and mentioning The Macro Trader to friends and co-workers. Here’s the link information for this article:
Title: Did China Buy Too Much Copper
URL: http://www.themacrotrader.com/2009/11/10/china-copper-commodities/

Where Did All The Contango Go?

For the first few months of the year West Texas Crude Oil was in an extreme contango situation.  In fact it got as high as 20% just four months out.  Looking at the 4-month contango/backwardization  in West Texas Crude Oil we can see that in just the past seven weeks it has dropped from over 15% to just 3.2%.

West Texas Crude 4-Month Contango/Backwardization

oil-contango

Most of the narrowing has happened in the near month futures, since over the past seven weeks the near month has rallied  27% and the 4th month only 14%.

Obviously the big question should be is demand really picking up? If so Oil should rise fairly quickly as we continue to see declining production as well as a decline in the ability to produce via the drop in rig counts over the last eight months.

Or is this a short term rise based on the notion that the economy is improving and this is just an extension of the risk trade?  If so then oil is to be shorted as are many other commodities as the reflation trade is put on hold.

We try not to fight the market and right now it is obviously in bull mode as it has moved up 75% from its lows.  That being said we tend to listen to the signals from economic indicators like capacity utilization, unemployment, and Fed minutes that show anything but an economic recovery.

West Texas Crude Oil

oil-bull

For now the trend is up and we are modestly bullish (that means we are flat) bulls.   However over the next few months we would not be surprised at all to be changing our view to the bear side and going short as the lack of demand likely overtakes these sorry excuses for green shoots and the economy, and therefore demand, roll over.

Happy Trading,

Dave@TheMacroTrader.com

Site Updates- Yesterday we installed Disqus to better  interact with our blog readers.  We welcome your views on energy, the economy, and any other financial topic.

GLD Gold ETF and SLV Silver ETF

We were long precious metals coming into 2009 as gold, silver, and even platinum were climbing higher.  Eventually we got stopped out as the group consolidated for the next three months.  The last two weeks gold and silver have been able to breakout of the consolidation and is once again in an uptrend.  We went long in out model portfolio last week and are currently looking to add to our position if the trend continues.

GLD Gold ETF

gld-gold-etf

SLV Silver ETF

slv-silver-etf

In order to catch our trades in precious metals as well as other asset classes like stocks, bonds, currencies, and other commodities then sign up for a quarterly or annual subscription to The Macro Trader weekly newsletter with frequent intra-week updates.

Happy Trading,

Dave@TheMacroTrader.com

UNG Natural Gas ETF

In our newsletter this week we went long some UNG-Natural Gas and it is working out well. The long term supply and demand characteristics were very favorable around the recent lows and we had a good technical picture as well. As you can see in the chart below UNG has exploded to the upside on extremely high volume. To put where natural gas is in perspective we also included a longer term chart showing the past 14 months.


UNG-Natural Gas ETF

ung

UNG-Natural Gas Long Term Chart

ung-lt

Happy Trading,

Dave@TheMacroTrader.com

P.S. If you don’t want to miss out on more trades then subscribe to our weekly newsletter where we provide research on Domestic Equities, Foreign Equities, Fixed Income, Commodities, and Currencies along with a model portfolio. If you are interested in going beyond US stocks to generate returns in any market, we at The Macro Trader can help.

A Simple SP500 Timing Model

We track hundreds of different economic, fundamental, technical, sentiment, and cycle indicators. Some are stand alone and only help us discern particular situations while others are full blown timing models that we use to get in and out of the market. Some are very complex with ten and even twenty inputs ranging from jobless claims, to put call ratios, to nickel, to the advance decline line. Essentially anything that we test that helps to give us an edge we use to some degree or other. As global macro traders we of course have several models for every market that we trade, as well as models that only point us to markets showing abnormal movement.

As of a few days ago we had one of our longer term SP500 timing models trigger a buy signal. This timing model is very simple and only uses the NYSE Advance Decline line and the SP500 closing price. This models esge is not huge but it is solid and historically you are risking about 1:1 meaning that the historical return is almost the same as the worst historical drawdown.

In our newsletter and in our own trading we rarely use a model as an automatic buy or sell signal but we do use them to tell us which dorection to trade. Right now this extremely simple model is showing that the advance delcine line has finally been able to have a sustained run and break above its long term trend, in this case the 150-day moving average. Again we don’t, and don’t recommend, trading directly off of these signals as almost every model we track can be improved upon by selecting better entry and exit points but they do helo us tremendously in our trading.

SP500-NYSE Advance Decline Line

sp500-advance-decline-model-4

As you can guess we are becoming increasingly bullish after being bearish for the better part of two years. Who knows if this rally will continue as there are a ton, and maybe a trillion tons, of harsh economic realities and hardships, but for now the trend is up and we are starting to lean to the long side.

Happy Trading,

Dave@TheMacroTrader.com

P.S. If you are getting value out of our posts, you can do us a favor by linking to us with your site or blog and mentioning The Macro Trader to any of your friends that trade.