Goldollar Index

One important indicator for gold is the Goldollar index.  The Goldollar index is formulated by taking the price of gold and multiply it by the US Dollar Index.  This has the effect of giving us the trend of the price of gold isolated from movements in the US Dollar.  As far as we know the Goldollar index was devised by the McClellans of McClellan Oscillator fame.  Just as the developers intended we use this index to help forecast and confirm what the price of gold is likely to do and what it is currently doing.  If the Goldollar index breaks out to the upside gold usually follows, and if it tanks then gold follow to the downside as well.  While it is not perfect it has definitely aided us in our trading.

So what is the Goldollar index showing us right now?  As you can see in the chart below the Goldollar index in the lower pane looks similar to the gold chart in the upper pane.  The main difference is that the Goldollar index has broken out from its consolidation and is right at its highs and gold is not.  While not the holy grail, and therefore sometimes wrong this would indicate to us that in the relatively near future gold will be moving higher. (Click on chart to enlarge)

Gold and Goldollar Index


Disclaimer-currently hold no position in gold but that is likely to change soon

Happy Trading,

Take a $1 trial of The Macro Trader to receive unbiased actionable research.

New Subscription Options For The Macro Trader

Since launching The Macro Trader in November of 2007 our subscribers were able to avoid the crash of 2008 and while we were not as short as we would have liked we were profitable, all this in a year wen the SP500 was down -38.5%.  Recently we publicly called the downturn in the Euro in our blog post entitled “Is It Finally Time To Short The Euro”  as well as calling the correction in the stock market with our post “It’s Time For A Pullback In Stocks.”  While we definitely do not get everything right we do strive to provide some of the best and most actionable research available.

If you have been a blog reader and enjoy what you read then take a $1 trial to our weekly newsletter The Macro Trader.  Simply click on subscribe, pick your subscription and you will be given the first month for $1 and then either be billed monthly, quarterly, or annually depending upon what you choose.

In our weekly newsletter we cover stocks, bonds, commodities, and currencies.  We run a model portfolio using ETF’s so that our research is accessible to both retail and institutional investors alike.  Every other week you will receive an extensive letter with tons of in depth research and on the other weeks you will receive a shorter version with summarized versions of our views and any new actionable trade ideas.  In addition to the weekly letter we also send out regular mid-week updates with trade ideas, research, commentary, etc.  If you want great research and actionable trade ideas spend the $1 for a one month trial, it is likely the lowest risk trade out there.

Happy Trading,

Is Risk Dead? Or Is This A Bear Market Junk Rally?

In our last post we discussed how we at The Macro Trader think that risk is vastly under-priced.  We looked at several different volatility indexes as well as Bill Luby and’s JunkDEX.  The JunkDEX shows how well stocks like AIG, FNM, C, CIT, and BAC are doing.  As you can see in our previous post “Volatility Indexes, Risk Appetite, Mispriced Risk, And Where We Think We Are Headed” the JunkDEX  has had a monster rally.  Usually this would signal at least a short term top as speculative fever burns out.   Obviously the rally was not done and we are up since then.

To more quantitatively show the huge run up in risky assets we went looking for some factor based indexes that would show the performance of “good” and “bad” companies.  In our search we came across some custom stock baskets from Goldman Sachs that use Edward Altman’s famous Z-score to separate stocks into strong and weak balance sheet indexes.

The Altman Z-score uses 5 financial ratios.  Altman took the 5 ratios and using statistical techniques was able to build the Z-score which predicts a companies probability of failure.  The higher the score the safer the business is and the lower the score the more danger there is of insolvency.

As was to be expected the performance between the weak and the strong balance sheet stocks has been drastic over the last 6-months.  As you can see in the chart below the low Z-score basket has vastly outperformed the high Z-score basket.  In fact the weak balance sheet basket has done almost twice as good as the strong balance sheet basket of stocks. (click on chart to enlarge)

Goldman Sachs SP500 Strong and Weak Balance Sheet Baskets 6-Months


While the result is not too surprising it is an example of bad investor behavior.  Academics as well as practitioners have found time and time again that safe low volatility stocks outperform risky volatile stocks over a full market cycle.  In fact if you look at the chart below you can see how the roles between the strong and the weak balance sheet baskets are totally reversed.  The strong balance sheet stocks are positive for the last five years while the weak balance sheet stocks are still very negative.  Another thing to notice is that the junk stocks went down a lot faster and more consistently then the quality stocks when the market tanked over the last two years. (click on chart to enlarge)

Goldman Sachs SP500 Strong and Weak Balance Sheet Baskets 5-Years


So what are we to take from all of this?  We think that the market is far too speculative given the current economic backdrop.  Earnings while “better then expected” are at record lows, unemployment is at highs not seen since the depression, we are experiencing deflation for the first time in several decades, the consumer is retrenching and not consuming, and really the only true “green shoot” was that it is not yet the end of the world.

Yes, we can go higher from here but the odds do not favor being heavily long right now.  Our basic forecast at The Macro Trader is that in the not too distant future we will have a correction if not worse and we will be able to buy stocks at a better price then where they are currently sitting.

Happy Trading,

Disclaimer-In The Macro Trader newsletter we are short some QQQQ-NASDAQ 100 ETF

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: Is Risk Dead? Or Is This A Bear Market Junk Rally?

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.



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,

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-Natural Gas Long Term Chart


Happy Trading,

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.