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DIRECTIONS AND ROUTES
Crude oil took a 58.9% beating in 7 months falling from $107 in June 2014 to $44 by January 2015.
With that fall, Big Oil also took a beating with the NYSE ARCA Oil & Gas Index ($XOI) losing 29% between June 23 and Dec 15, 2014.
This could be the sector to watch for huge investment gains in the future when oil slowly but surely regains its usual lofty heights. It could take a while but there’s money to be made if you are patient … very patient.
Get your copy of the January/February 2015 Monthly Sector Report – Big Oil.
What a great start to the year – two new training centres!
This one in KL in Solaris Mont Kiara and …
… this one in Cuppage Centre in Singapore.
On Friday 16 January, we had our first Gathering at our new place and it was a full house.
Then on Saturday 17 January, I was a keynote speaker at the SIM Investing & Networking Club’s Third Youth Financial Symposium. This was my second appreance since their first one in 2013.
And on the last day of January, I became the biggest crowd puller at ShareInvestor’s Investor Carnival at Singapore Expo.
Not a bad way to start the new year. Can’t say the same for the market though …
January 2015 was a wild ride. Crude oil took a further beating in January, falling to $44 for a 7 month rout totalling -58.9% from $107 in June 2014. Copper continued its 4-year slide to 2.47. Like the year before, the first month of the year ended in the red, prompting the belief that the year is likely to finish to the downside as suggested by the January Barometer.
Let’s recap some of those foreboding prophecies we mentioned last month … no sell-off in May 2014, terrible Black Friday numbers and now, no Santa Claus Rally … the updates from January are that the first day was down, the second day was also down (which is extremely rare), the first five days didn’t give us a gain and the January Barometer is bearish – all signs that 2015 is likely to be more bearish than bullish. The last time we had these prophecies all lined up perfectly was in January of 2006 and January of 2007.
Other signs that the economy has waned and that the market could well capitulate are in the VIX and Bond Yields.
Yields have fallen to multi-year lows. The 30yr yield is only 25bps above 2% when it is normally above 4%. The spread between the 5yr and 10yr is only 50bps – won’t take much to inverted that pair from here. From this range, it won’t take very much to invert any part of the yield curve.
Remember that almost every major market collapse was preceded by an inverted yield curve.
The VIX closed out the month of January at 20.97, above all its major moving averages. Keep a close eye on this for hints that the big boys may be hedging ahead of a major downturn.
There and good reasons for this happening. With all the apparent weaknesses in Europe, the Swiss surprise, Japan’s on-going woes, slowing growth in China, multi-year lows on oil and copper, everything seems to obviously point at a global recession in the making. We haven’t even considered that earnings in the U.S. have been far from stellar and we are not even halfway through earnings season.
On Friday 30 January, the U.S. announced that its growth has slowed considerably from 5.0% recorded in the July-September period to 2.6% in the fourth quarter of 2014. This could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Whether this is just earning season’s irrational cycle or truly global weakness that will send us into the next crash, what is obvious is that we should be cautious over the next few months and watch for the warning signs.
February 2015 is the shortest trading month of the year with only 19 trading sessions and a public holiday. February usually opens well but finishes poorly.
February is the worst of the three months in quarter one and tends to be flat-to-bearish in most years past. The month is also known as “the weakest link” in the best six month on the DOW and S&P between November and April.
- The first day in February has been up on the DOW, NASDAQ and S&P for 10 out of the last 12 years
- The first week starts well but ends poorly
- The second week start poorly but ends well
- The week before Expiration Friday has been down on the NASDAQ 9 out of the last 14 but 2010, 2011 and 2014 were up 2.0%, 1.5% and 2.9% respectively
- The third week tends to be slightly bearish
- Friday February 13 is the day before President’s Day (Feb 16) and has been down on the S&P 17 out of the last 23
- Monday 16 February is President’s Day – Market are closed
- The day after President’s Day has been down on the NASDAQ 14 of the last 20
- The first trading day of February Expiration week has been down on the DOW 7 of the last 10
- The day before Expiration Friday tends to be bearish
- Expiration Friday in February has been down on the NASDAQ 12 of the last 15
- The week after Expiration Friday has been down on the DOW for 10 of the last 16
- February ends poorly
- Oil bottoms in February and starts its seasonal bull run into April
- Natural Gas stays strong
- Gold and Silver turns downward in February till mid-March
- Copper strengthens in February if Gold and Silver turn down
- Soya and Corn advance till May
- Wheat weakens in February
- Cocoa consolidates
- Coffee makes modest gains
- Sugar tops out in February
Things are going from rough to tough and I am expecting it to worsen considerably. There are just too many hawkish things to ignore and hardly any reason to be bullish. So be safe and don’t take unnecessary risks if you don’t have to.
The Pattern Trader Tools Team would like to wish all our readers and subscribers a very Happy Lunar New Year & a Profitable Year Of The Goat in 2015.
Trade Safe & Happy Hunting Always!
Happy New Year!
Okay, its five days late but according to the 12 Days of Christmas, this is the last day of those 12 days so I insist that my new year’s greeting is still not too late! (That’s what I call selective statistical manipulation)
2014 was a tough year not just for me, as I understand it, but for most. My friend, Numerologist Gracy Yap did say at the start of 2014 that she expected the year to be tough and the market should see some gains by year-end. She was spot on. I was of a similar opinion but was more bearish than her about the second half of the year – wasn’t far off on my call – until October rallied for no real reason.
The Tutorial was very busy as I finished up the financial year. WATMY28 wrapped up their Tutorial on December 14.
This is the very last batch at our old training centre at TTDI. We’ve been there since 2007. I believe that I had the very first session there and I probably had the very last session there seven years later. We leave a lot of great memories behind as we move to our new premises at Solaris, Mont Kiara. We made a lot of friendships there that have lasted all these years including meeting my good buddy and steady friend in trading, G.M. Teoh.
I am very proud to say that we outlasted most of the other tenants who were there with us since day one. Many went bust during the Sub-Prime and others simply couldn’t hold out as greedy landlords raised the rentals through the bullish years of 2011 and 2013. Of the many tenants there today, only three (including ourselves) remain since day 1. Now we leave that record behind. *sigh*.
So we start the new year with new beginnings here in Singapore and in K.L. with spanking new facilities and new chapters to write and new friendships to be forged. Here’s a sneak peek at our Singapore facilities at 51 Cuppage Road, #06-16 Starhub Centre, Singapore 229469.
In the last weeks of December, I rewarded myself with a holiday to Italy. In so doing, I set a new record for myself by (technically) visiting four countries in three days – Dubai, UAE to Nice, France to Monte Carlo, Monaco to Genoa, Italy. Three days later, we made it five countries by going to Vatican City. We ended our trip in Pompeii and Rome to make it one of my most historical holidays ever. I have always been a student of history especially in ancient Greek and Roman history and this was such a treat.
I will be going back for a second round – a more leisurely second round – to cover everything else I missed during this tour.
Amongst the things I will be looking to improve this year is the way I reach out to more people by means of social media and new media avenues. Conventional advertising just doesn’t work the way it used to and I can’t stay stubborn if I want to grow this year. I will be looking to work with Owl City, a business development company that specialises in online advertising, marketing through various methods like social networking, email and web-browsing. You can visit them at www.facebook.com/owlcitysg if you’re looking at new avenues of marketing. You can also give me feedback via this posting in the comments.
MY GOALS FOR 2015
I wrote in Facebook that I don’t make resolutions. But I did set myself up for one heck of a series of quantum achievements …
I relish the opportunities that lie before me as I embark on my 10th year of teaching and my ninth year at AKLTG.
Not the best start to the year with DOW barely squeezing out a gain while the S&P500 (-0.04%) and NASDAQ (-0.19%) both registered losses on the first day of trading.
Let’s not forget that we’ve started 2015 on the back of some foreboding prophecies … no sell-off in May 2014, terrible Black Friday numbers and now, no Santa Claus Rally … all signs that 2015 is going to be a rough and tough year. The last time we had these prophecies all lined up perfectly was in January of 2006 and January of 2007. I reckon you’ll know the significance of those years.
The yield curve has also been showing us foreboding signs by falling in a flattening fashion. This signifies a massive run on monies into safety – yields fall as bond prices get bought up – in spite of the many dovish reports emerging from news networks that this rally still has legs.
Volumes across the board have weakened throughout the year in spite of the rally. In fact, the higher the equity markets rose, the lower volumes became – not a sign of a greedy market at all.
(For NYSE volume references, go to:
Although the VIX came down a bit before Christmas, it is still relatively high at 17.79 after Friday’s close.
This is going to be a tricky 2015 starting with a tricky January. Unlike last year, I suspect the first half of the year will be rocky and extremely volatile but the second half from September onward should see the market return to normalcy.
January 2015 has 20 trading sessions and two holidays. January is usually a bullish month and is famous for its January Barometer prophecy – “As goes January, so goes the year”. This implies that is January closes with a gain, so will the rest of the year. But if January closes with a loss, we’re in for a tough year.
Also watch for the “First Five Days” indicator which is as reliable as the January Barometer – if the first five sessions of the year finishes with a gain, the year is often bullish. If they lose, the year will likely be bearish.
January is the last month in the “Best Three Consecutive Months” in a trading year – November, December and January – that has seen the DOW make gains 15 of the last 20 years.
- January 1st is New Year’s Day – Markets are closed
- The first trading day of the year is usually bearish. However, since 2009, the first trading day has been one of the most bullish days in January. (Last year was bearish)
- The second trading day has seen the DOW go up 15 of the last 21
- Santa Claus Rally officially ends on 6th January
- The second week of the month is quite bullish
- Expiration week in January is quite bearish with the DOW down 9 of the last 16 (last year was bullish)
- The Monday of January Expiration Week has been down on the DOW 16 of the last 22 (last year was bearish)
- January Expiration Friday has been down on the DOW 10 of the last 16 with big losses
- Monday, January 19 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day – Markets are closed
- The day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day is usually bearish
- The last week of January is mildly bullish
- January ends very bullishly
- Oil should see some strength return
- Nat Gas continues its weakness with a bottom in February if it doesn’t get too cold in January
- Gold and Silver tend to peak in December and weakens by mid-January. Go short in February
- Copper strengthens
- Soya tops out in late January
- Wheat continues its weakness
- Corn consolidates
- Cocoa continues its strength from December
- Coffee consolidates at the top
- Sugar shows mild strength
I will be a feature in this year’s SIM Youth Financial Symposium 2015. The Youth Financial Symposium is a full day event with a series of financial seminars and networking lunch with professionals in the industry.
Date: 17th January 2015
Time: 10.00am to 5.00pm
Venue: SIM HQ – Performing Arts Theatre
Use this link to register if you intend to attend: SIM Youth Financial Symposium 2015
As always, stay defensive and hedged. There are more reasons to be careful now than aggressive.
Trade Safe & Happy Hunting Always!
In a recent report, the Chinese economy is reported to have overtaken the American economy as the biggest economy in the world in terms of output and manufacturing.
You can read the full report here: China economy has staked claim to global No. 1 status
So this month’s Monthly Sector Report from the Patter Trader looks at some of the biggest names in Chinese stocks.
Get your report today! Go to http://www.patterntrader.com/product/sector-report-1411-chinese-stocks/
What a month!
November 2014 was the month of birthdays for my daughter, my mother and myself. It was also the month Lucy and I reached 22 years of marriage to each other. But it was also a damn busy month that left us no time for big celebrations. I celebrated my half-century of life with a quiet dinner with the wife and kids. I have never been one for big birthday parties anyway. In fact, I never used to celebrate my birthdays at all. I did wake up early that morning and had my morning swim then spent the afternoon trading oil in a very successful session … that was the high point of my birthday.
On the teaching front, November was memorable for completing my 75th Pattern Trader Tutorial in Singapore. As we were temporarily “homeless”, the Tutorial was conducted at Lifelong Learning Institute at Paya Lebar while waiting to move into our new home in January at Starhub Centre (behind Counterpoint).
On 29th November, we had our quarterly Candlestick & BreakoutPatterns Workshop (also at LLI). Pity we didn’t get any pictures but I did have one of my best performances of any SC/BO Workshops that I can remember.
Thanks Mike and Tony for those kind words. And thanks to all who came for the workshop and made it such a memorable session … in spite of the torrential downpour!
And just like that, the short and quick month of November came to an end. But not without a few last minute economic surprises.
The highlight for November 2014 has to be the fall in oil prices to 5 year lows to $65.99p/b on the last day of trading.
This was the result of a highly politicised move by OPEC to squeeze the other oil producing nations (bar U.S.A.) into a corner to price them out of the market.
In the meantime, the equity space continues to expand its bubble. 401 of the 500 companies (80.2%) in the S&P500 have PE Ratios above 15 as of the end of November 2014. 263 (52.6%) the S&P500 have PEs above 20. The DOW has 22 (73.3%) of its 30 components’ PEs above 15 while 85 (85%) of the NASDAQ100 companies have PEs above 15.
This is now threatening to become the second biggest stock market bubble in history, second only to the 1929 Bubble.
After coming off the Double-Dip Threat of 2011, the US markets have been on a tear gaining 88% on the S&P500 and 67% on the DOW between October 2011 and now. The DOW is now stuck right at my PHIb XXOP of 261.8% and has been unable to break above it in the last five sessions. It closed Friday’s session in an Inverted Crucifix Doji. On weekly candles, the DOW also closed out the week in a similarly bearish candle, the Inverted Dragonfly Doji. The S&P had a negative close on Friday (-5.27, -0.25%) to close in a Dark Cloud Cover. On weekly candles, the S&P closed in a Gravestone Doji.
The MACD (12, 26, 9) is already showing signs of divergence while the faster setting (8, 17, 9) is already divergent and implying a major correction in the making. Volumes have been miserable all year and November’s volumes were along the average lows for the year, with only August having lower volumes.
There are currently too many indications that tell me to be extremely cautious about being bullish going into the year-end. I am still quietly aware that we started the year with one of the most bearish January Barometers in the last 10 years. I am also wary that we haven’t had a decent correction of more than 20% since the Sub-Prime and given the economic climate over the last couple of years, that correction is way overdue.
So with oil beaten down and confused, gold on tenterhooks and equities overbought and still rising, I reckon I am going to close my books for the year and finish off 2014 by sitting out of the game in December.
December 2014 has 21 full trading sessions, one half-day session (24th) and one trading holiday (25th). December is the second of the market’s three best consecutive months between November and January and is the last trading month of quarter four and the year.
December is famous for its Santa Claus Rally that traditionally begins three to five days before Christmas and ends three days after the New Year. However, when we don’t get a Santa Claus Rally, it usually means that the following year is going to be weak or extremely volatile.
- The first trading day of December is usually bullish (last year was down)
- NASDAQ has been up 19 of the last 27 on the first day of December (last year was down)
- The first week of December tends to be unpredictable and volatile
- The second week of December is mildly bullish and uneventful
- Volumes traditionally begin to drop to year-lows in the second week
- Monday of December Expiration Week has been up on the S&P 10 of the last 14
- December Expiration Week has been up on the S&P 24 of the last 30
- December Expiration Friday has been up 23 of the last 32
- The week after Expiration Friday or Christmas Week is usually very bullish
- The day before Christmas has been up on the DOW for the last 6 out of 7 years (2012 was down)
- December ends poorly with the NASDAQ going down 12 of the last 14 (2013 was down)
- Oil bottoms in mid-December and reverses for a long into the following quarter
- Nat Gas is weak if the demand stays low especially if it doesn’t get too cold in December
- Gold and Silver tops out for a while in December and declines till mid-January
- Copper picks up around mid-December for a run into February
- Soya and Corn pick up after mid-December and makes a high by January
- Wheat weakens
- Cocoa tops out in the last week of December
- Coffee stays strong as winter consumption increases
- Sugar declines
One more batch to go in KL then I am on my year-end break! Its one of the few times of the year I really look forward to because it means quality family time together doing what we love to do best together – Travel & Shop!
It can’t happen fast enough but I have to stay focused on the job at hand next week and the week after before I can think of enjoying myself. Much to do with many expectations to be met.
This is one of the best ways to describe the various capitalistic ways economies are run. Scroll down below to see my take on Singapore’s version …
You have two cows. You were taxed on both cows when you bought them, also paid a certificate of entitlement that allows you to own the cows for 10 years, taxed every time you move the cows to another location, charged for the space the cows occupy when they graze, taxed for the land you bought on a 99 year lease to accommodate the cows, taxed 7% for the milk you sold and pay tax on the profits from the sale of the milk.
Once a year, you have to send the cows for inspection and pay to have them inspected. If they are found to be faulty or not within regulation specifications, you are fined and will have to pay more to have the fault rectified to specification. You also have to have valid insurance coverage for each cow. The insurance premiums you pay on the cows are astronomical and the policies are tied to an investment plan that doesn’t work. You also can’t use the coverage when you need it because the paperwork and red tape is so long that your entitlement certificate will expire or you cow will die before you get your claim.
When you buy a third cow, the stamp fee for that cow is higher and you have to pay a higher deposit fee for the third loan. The good news is that the bank will let you borrow as much as you want without having to qualify for the loan. Taking a loan for your cows in Singapore is very cheap only because the savings rate is shittier and the rate of inflation is higher than any other rate in the country.
You are limited to the type of cows you buy as there are strict stipulations as to the gender, colour and breed of cows allowed in any single constituency. Within a three year period of buying your cows, you will not be allowed to sell them without heavy penalties and fines. Eventually when you are allowed to sell them, you can’t sell the cows for a profit because you can’t afford to top up the interest you incurred during the time you owned the cows. You also can’t afford the penalty fee for breaking the loan contract and the cows are starting to depreciate as the certificate of entitlement wears down.
Maybe you should have bought sheep. But you can’t because the government doesn’t know how to tax you on sheep. So if you buy sheep, Govt bans them, making them illegal to own and you’re stuck to only buying and rearing cows.
It has been a very testing month for me on the personal and teaching fronts while the market has been very challenging, as Octobers usually are. AKLTG went through a restructuring exercise and gave up the training centre. This means, for the rest of the year, Pattern Traders have no “home” and will be using public learning centres for the interim. That is going to be a pain in the butt at a time when I really don’t need more pain.
At the start of 2014, my Fengshui masters warned me that the end of the year will be chaotic and very rough for me – it has been. And its only getting started if you consider that Chinese New Year is still three months away.
OCTOBER 2014 IN REVIEW
After an almost three month hiatus from teaching, The Pattern Trader Tutorial returned with a burst of fresh energy with Batch 74. And what a great time we had! Amazing amounts of energy and participation. And the Coaches went one step further in their support roles and really got into the heat of things by constantly being on hand to help the newbies and really get close to them. Well done, Team!
On Friday 17, we had the last Gathering at the Alexandra Road training centre. 190 graduates attended this last session.
October 2014 turned out to be a wild one – losing 8% in the first half and recovering it all in the second half of the month. It has been said that if October doesn’t crash the market, then it is the month of the Bear Killer. As it now stands, October 2014 is a Bear Killer.
After breaking below their critical 200DSMAs, early in the month, the three benchmarks bounced back up into bullish territory after what seemed like dovish Fed minutes and a report that said the U.S. economy grew QonQ.
Upon closer reading, the Fed minutes carried more hawkish news than dovish and the so-called growth was weaker than the previous quarter.
PMIs out of China and other major manufacturing economies also contracted though most stayed above the critical level of 50. Employment around the world continues to be a drag and investor confidence is general at multi-year lows.
So the million-dollar question is; How is the market going to go higher now that the printing presses have stopped, growth has stagnated and inflation on the street continues to soar?
Personally, I really don’t know anymore. The central banks of the world will continue to surprise us with their never-ending array of tricks to keep the markets and economy pumped up. All that will continue to happen with such policies is that the street will suffer more while the Big Money players drown in more wealth.
With talk of QE Infinity on the horizon, we are facing the prospect of fighting for our money on two fronts – against inflation (increasing prices as a result of more cheap money) and a shrinking currency value (as more cash liquidity floods the markets, the value of currency decreases).
Inflation today is a double-edged sword with a handle made of broken glass.
November begins well, flattens in the middle of the month but ends very well. November is the first of the best three consecutive months of the trading calendar between November and January. It is also the start of the “best six months” on the DOW and the S&P and the start of the “best eight months” on NASDAQ.
This year, November has 18 full trading sessions and one half-day session on 28 November and one trading holiday on 27 November in observance of Thanksgiving and Chanukah.
- The first day has seen the DOW go down 5 of the last 9
- Sunday 2 November – Daylight Saving Time Ends
- Monday 3 November US Equity Markets will open at 22:30 hours (SG, MY)
- The first two weeks of November tends to be bullish
- Tuesday 11 November is Veteran’s Day – Bond Market will be closed
- The Monday of Expiration Week has been down on the DOW 9 of the last 15
- November Expiration Friday has been up on the DOW 10 of the last 12
- The week before Thanksgiving has seen the DOW go up 16 of the last 21
- The last week of the months is typically bullish
- Thursday, November 27 is Thanksgiving Day – Markets are closed
- Friday, November 28 is a shortened trading day. Markets will close at noon.
- The last trading day of November is usually bearish. However, the S&P has been up 6 of the last 8 (2013 down)
- Oil continues its weakness
- Nat Gas depends on climate changes to determine its direction in November
- Gold turns upward in mid month (but tends to come down sharply early in December)
- Silver starts its annual run up the charts around the same time as Gold (This long trade is good till February)
- Copper continues its weakness
- Soya tops out in mid month
- Wheat tops out in the first week
- Corn starts strengthening
- Cocoa bottoms early in the month and reverses upward after the first week (This long trade is good till Christmas)
- Coffee demand picks up in November but prices don’t make a significant rally yet
- Sugar tops out and consolidates at the top
Ahead lies the “best six months” on the DOW and S&P and the “best eight months” on NASDAQ starting with the best three consecutive months of the trading year, November, December and January.
However, with two months of 2014 remaining, it would be prudent to note that the year began with a bearish January Barometer that followed the worst Black Friday/Cyber Monday numbers since 2008. With the DOW barely 4.6% above the year’s open and the S&P500 only 8.8% higher for the year, it won’t take much to bring the market down again to make the January Barometer successful yet again.
I am going to be safe and lightly leveraged going into the year-end. It’s much too late in the year to make mistakes after it’s been so difficult to make money this year. No sense throwing away a lot of hard work just so that I can make a bit more.
After all, even if the market looks bullish, the world’s leading economies are not showing any growth that we can crow about.
Trade Safe & Happy Hunting Always!