The Last Bear Standing Is A Bull

The annoying thing about late stage bull markets and in particular the formation of long term tops is that they take forever to play out. Navigating increasingly volatile swings accompanying the final throws of a dying bull cycle takes considerable amounts of patience, discipline, as well as skill. Like Bob The Horse reminded us the other day: Bear markets go out in a bang and bull markets go out in a whimper.

Now the dirty little secret about early stage bear markets is that the last bear standing is usually a bull. Yes, you read that right. Traditionally it’s not weak handed bears who take down a bull market, it’s simply a lack of buyers. Guess what – all those snarling bears who were printing some mighty coin in 2008 are long gone, wiped out during their persistent attempts to call a top when there was nothing but green candles ahead. I myself have seen their (virtual) faces disappear right here – one by one they simply vanished. The few who survived the ravages of one of the most significant bull markets in history relented and changed their approach just in time before their accounts had melted away like late winter snow in the glows of a spring sun.

Arguably this has been one of the most hated stock market advances in history, rife with controversy, bail outs, and market manipulations. But let me assure you that in retrospect – many years from now – you all will miss it. Because it was just too sweet and too easy while it lasted. Your children and grandchildren will look at those monthly charts and ask you how in the world you managed to fail banking a fortune in five years of such bull market extravaganza.

And I’m not talking about fairness – you all know how I feel about QE and Fed/ECB interventions. But from a trading perspective – boy – it was pure manna from heaven and it won’t ever come back – not in our lifetime at least. What awaits ahead won’t be as directional and it won’t be as easy. If you thought trading was difficult in the past five years then you ain’t seen nothing yet.

2015-01-29_spoos_briefing

Now as you may recall I managed to squeeze in an ES short at 2040 yesterday morning and I consider myself extremely lucky as it went straight down from there. Now we’re basically hanging by a thread here and I’m not going to claim that we won’t see yet another FU rip higher, killing a boat load of shorts in the process. But that’s part of our existence as traders – not knowing. You don’t have a crystal ball and you basically just have to pick your battles as they present themselves. The war never ends and the goal is to simply keep winning more than you are losing. Choosing to be a trader is a bit like being born into European royalty in the medieval ages – there’s always a war on and participation is mandatory. And if you win enough you get to pillage ;-)

Anyway, if you take out shorts here then put your stop above ES 2040. Yes, it’s a huge range but that doesn’t matter – if this thing really breaks you’ll need that range anyway not to get shaken out. And if it bounces here and breaches 2040 then the bears are dead in the water (again) and we are painting new highs. Alea iacta est.

2015-01-29_EURUSD_briefign

EURUSD – I’m long here and I hate it. Stop below 1.1251, very much hope it’ll get touched but as you know I’m a lowly expat who earns in Dollars.

2015-01-29_DX_briefing

The Dollar index however is looking pretty solid here and I’m long with a  stop below 94.6.

More short term goodies below the fold…


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You have been briefed – now have fun but keep it frosty. See you guys later this afternoon.

Cheers,

There Be No Butter In Hell

The pendulum of market sentiment continues to swing from one side to the other, inflicting maximum pain on market participants. Not getting chopped to pieces in between is most likely beyond the capabilities of the average retail trader. So if you are participating here and are not getting killed then you are either very good or you are following Evil Speculator. Just kidding, but hey – I’ve had my moments in the sun lately.

2015-01-27_woodshed

So as usual let me break it down for you guys. In a nutshell we are still stuck in the woodshed which spans between ES 2000 and 2060. Any gyrations between only feed prop desks and HFTs bent on squeezing the every last penny out of all this juicy volatility, indiscriminately burning shorts and longs on both sides of the spectrum.

2015-01-27_spoos_volatility

You remember this chart which I posted a day or two ago: Clearly volatility is swinging wildly on both ends but what’s missing are the in-between signals which would allow either bears or bulls to dig in and paint more than a few candles in one direction. You get a fierce spike up or down and then everyone walks away for a day or two. Judging by what we’ve seen on the Zero indicator most of the participation actually happens near the extremes of the current range and during sideways sessions, suggesting accumulation and distribution and thus boat loads of monkey business looming ahead.

Even when we get three or four successive candles in a row they show large ranges and high levels of intra-day volatility (i.e. long wicks) which also serve to run stops and again shake out weak hands. In essence it’s one big nasty woodshed and only the paranoid survive. So join the club!

2015-01-27_spoos_update

I cut my short positions this morning a little after the lower BB was being touched and not retested. But I suspect we are probably going to climb a bit more before the session is over. I’m still long the NQ – miraculously this Thor campaign survived by just a few ticks. So the ES short this morning helped sooth the pain quite effectively.

But in the end always remember - there be no butter in hell!

Bottom Line: Expect volatility – that’s pretty much all you can rely on right now. I suggest you get positioned inversely near either the ES 2k mark or near 2060 (or play the NQ if you like which is almost identical). Nothing really bearish happens until the 2k mark gives way and nothing bullish happens until 2060 is breached. In between it’s anyone’s guess. Oh, and don’t follow your own bias or emotions – this is not the type of tape that favors human reasoning.

2015-01-27_GBPJPY_update

GBP/JPY update – it’s one of today’s morning setup that played out very well. I’m holding on to this one in anticipation of a push higher – perhaps we can turn it into a daily campaign. FYI – this is a very risky move as this formation could easily turn into a last kiss goodbye (LKGB) and fall off the plate. So it’s permissible here to take partial profits and walk away – the upside resistance is pretty considerable.

2015-01-27_natgas_update

Natgas – very rarely do we catch such a smooth entry on this beast – Mrs. Market must be giving us a break today. Same game here – it’s really at a daily inflection point and if it can make it above the 3.0 mark then it’ll burn the shorts medieval style. Odds are pretty low this will happen – but the payoff would be oh so great ;-)

The future is now – so don’t bring a knife to a raygun fight. If you are interested in becoming a Zero subscriber then don’t waste time and sign up here. A Zero subscription comes with full access to all Gold posts, so you actually get double the bang for your buck.

Cheers,

 

Setup Tuesday!

We’ve been through some nasty tape over the past week but I have an inkling that’s about to change. Things are slowly coming into focus and it’s probably not accidental that we’ve got setups crawling out of the woodwork this morning. So it’s going to be a busy morning – grab a cup of coffee or your favorite tea, roll up your sleeves, and be ready to pull that trigger!

2015-01-27_spoos_briefing

Quick update on the spoos – up/down/up/down – I think I’m getting sea sick. Whether or not this is yet another berar trap is beyond me but what I do know is that 2062 remains unchallenged thus far. I know I’ve been sounding like a broken record over the past week or two but this market is NOT healthy. Be on your guard!

I’m going to be short here below 2040 – long above the NLBL at 2047.75 – in between it’s a coin toss.

2015-01-27_GBPJPY_briefing

Okay, setups setups – we got aplenty. GBP/JPY – long here with a stop below 177.8.

2015-01-27_AUDCAD_briefing

AUD/CAD – long here with a stop below 0.9882.

2015-01-27_cotton_briefing

Let’s not skimp on the futures either – I’m long cotton with a stop below 58.

But we’re just getting warmed up – please join me in the lair:


More charts and commentary below for anyone donning a secret decoder ring. If you are interested in becoming a Gold member then don't waste time and sign up here. And if you are a Zero subscriber you get free access to all Gold posts, which gives you double the bang for your buck!

Please login or subscribe here to see the remainder of this post.

You have been briefed – now have fun but keep it frosty. See you guys later this afternoon.

Cheers,




    Zero Indicator


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    1. Alea Iacta Est
    2. Early Warning
    3. The Last Bear Standing Is A Bull
    4. Wednesday Morning Briefing
    5. There Be No Butter In Hell
    6. Setup Tuesday!
    7. Late Monday Quickie
    8. Held Together By Duct Tape
    9. No Juice
    10. My New Best Friend