S&P is down about 8% from the highs of Jan 4 — why are we seeing a fall that sharp? Are we nearing the bear market? Why is the Fed standing by and what are they going to do for this coming week? Is a 50 basis point hike realistic in March? Where is the crude heading for the next week and why have natural gas calmed down? And why are gold and copper slightly up this week?
This is the third episode of The Week Ahead for January 24, 2022, in collaboration of Complete Intelligence with Intelligence Quarterly, where experts talk about the week that just happened and what will most likely happen in the coming week.
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TN: Hi, everyone, and welcome to The Week Ahead. I’m Tony Nash. And I’m joined today by Albert Marko, Nick Glinsman, and Tracy Shuchart. Before we get started, I’d like to ask you to subscribe to our YouTube YouTube channel. It helps us get exposure and it helps you get reminded when a new episode is out. So please go ahead and do that.
Tracy, Nick, Albert, I hope you survived the week. Well, I hope everything went well on your side. I know we’ve all been talking about market activity, and it seems like you guys survived pretty well. So if we look at last week’s show, it kind of played out exactly as we said. We talked about a stock dump, thanks to Albert. We talked about a bonds dump, at least for most of the week, thanks to Nick. And we talked about crude’s nude highs, thanks to Tracy. So well done. And Congratulations, guys.
TS: Thank you.
TN: So let’s talk about what it means for the Week Ahead. So, Albert, let’s look at equities first. It looks like the S&P is down about 8% from the highs from the peak on Jan 4. In general, what’s moving the market right now? Why are we seeing a fall that sharp?
AM: Well, the better question is what’s not moving? And that’s pretty much the Fed pump list. I mean, there’s nine to twelve names that they generally use to pump the market, and they’ve just been absent. And you’ve seen that with Netflix.
The last 18 months, whenever one of these tech names missed earnings or showed some kind of weakness, they still rallied. But this is the first week that you’ve actually seen these names just with no bid. Zero, whatsoever. And the market absolutely just cratered. And I’ve got some statistics out here that are quite interesting. Like only 24 stocks in the United States above a $3 billion cap are up 100% year over year. Right.
Only 114 up immediately 50% out of 1400 are up year over year. The last time we even tested the 200 day moving average was June of 2020.
AM: So what you’re seeing is just this super massive bubble in equity that is just deflating at the moment. And it’s because the Fed doesn’t have a bid up.
TN: I look at a company like Peloton, right. It’s about a $9 billion valuation. So it seems to me like this thing has a ways to go. Is that fair to say?
AM: Oh, yeah. I think honestly, I really think we should be at 4100 or even 3900 to 3950, to be quite honest with you. Do they let it go down that low? I don’t know. Because at that point, things can get crazy and get out of control. And the last thing they see, some kind of complete market collapse.
TN: So 3950 would be about 17% fall or something like that?
AM: 17% fall? Yeah, that’s about right.
TN: Okay, so that would be considered a real bear market.
TN: Well, I know, but I think it’s close enough. I know technically bear market is 20%, but I think people would be panicking if we crossed. Yeah.
AM: This is a perception game. Nick is right. 20% would be a bear market thing. But in this market, in the perception of this market, anything under 4300 would be Armageddon for these people.
I mean, can you imagine how many bag holders there are and tech names and meme names.
NG: Trap longs. There’s huge both professional retail there are trap longs. And you can see that today 61 minutes was the difference between the Bloomberg headline that said down 2%, Nasdaq recouped all the losses. 61 minutes recoup the losses straight packed out. That tells you there’s a lot of trap long.
TS: I think what also happens is because everything was so tech weighted, right, and that the puke basically in tech is causing margin calls, which in effect makes you forcibly makes you have to get rid of other positions. Right. So what you have to so because that sector was so overweighted and fees were so ridiculously high and everybody was piled into that sector. That brings down the rest of everything, basically.
TN: It’s interesting, Tracy, you said the PE were so ridiculously high.
TS: Well, they still are.
TN: Kind of. Right.
TS: They still are. I don’t mean to say that. We haven’t had that big of a correction. Yeah.
NG: I think the margin point was very important. Came out with a chart. And the margin that we have in the market is still massively, exceeding what we saw in the peaks in 2008 and even in the peak that crossed over the year 2000. So that means again, I go back to the point that’s clearly suggestive of trap longs and Tracy’s right. People will sell what they can as a profit first to get their margin calls. What we haven’t seen, and that’s where you get a capitulation.
I think we’re far away from capitulation. It will be much longer and deeper is where people are then forced to sell those equities where they have the margin calls being hit.
TN: Right. But with the degree of margin that we have right now, if a capitulation were to come, could actually come pretty quickly. Right.
NG: Bear markets are always that much quicker than the Bull market.
TN: Yeah. That’s not a prediction. It’s just a what if. Right?
NG: Yeah, absolutely.
TN: Okay. So where are we looking at next week? Do you think we’re continuing to. Do people want to hold equities over the weekend? Obviously, we don’t think many wanted to because today was a sell off. But do you think people come into Monday and Tuesday feeling like, okay, we’re ready to play again and we want to get long again?
AM: I think it’s a chop day for the first two days of the week, honestly. Seeing what the market’s done, I don’t think the Fed can be really too hawkish at this point, which would probably make the market rip another 100 points up. But there’s really nothing to rally about in this market until some fundamentals get sorted out.
TN: From your perspective, Albert the Fed seems to be standing by right now. Is that fair to say?
AM: Yeah, they have to stand by. They’ve threw out all their Arsenal of pumping the market for the last 18 months that at this point, what possibly more can they do without just causing systemic risks on the line?
From their perspective, why would you keep this show going without some kind of, especially when you’re looking at a fiscal cliff coming in March or February, March.
TN: I don’t want to talk bonds yet, Nick. Do you see a scenario where the Fed does come in, say, next week to save the day, or do you think they’re just going to sit passively and kind of wait and see? And Tracy, do you guys see the Fed coming back in to say, oh, you know, 10% from the high, we’re good for now. We just want to pause it and we’re going to intervene a little bit to make sure things are okay. What do you think they’ll continue to stand by?
NG: I’m sitting here, I wrote today, Equating JPOW to the captain of Titanic flying through all these icebergs and not really worried about navigating through.
They’ve got a lot of problems here. So they’ve got Joe Biden, “please get rid of inflation.” You’ve got the chat that runs fiscal now, Joe, Manchin, I’m not talking about anything until this inflation is sorted out. So they’ve got the political backing to actually start to do something.
The bond market today’s price action was partly in reflection of the stock market. But actually with what’s going on for the last couple of days in the stock market, the bond market should have done a lot better. So the bond market is sort of on hold, and they’re waiting to see one of three scenarios.
One is the Fed tells you they’re going to rate hike rates in March, and that’s when QE will finish. The alternative is they’re going to change policy guidance to indicate the mileage rate hike at and end QE immediately because remember, they’re still doing QAE. Third is to raise rates next week.
TN: I’m going to stop you right there, and I’m going to say we got a viewer question from @FedChairmanB, and he says, what’s the Fed’s end game, push interest rates back and live with inflation or hike rates, crash the markets and let the economy enter recession. And what happens to the high yield and bond issuance market?
So you’ve kind of already spoken to those first two in your scenarios. So what happens to the bond issuance market in the scenarios that you’re talking about?
NG: Well, we’ve seen enormous amount of bond issues right at the beginning of this year. And towards the end of last year. That tells me that corporate treasurers were actually getting nervous that the Fed was going to start to take notice of the inflation and react accordingly.
High yield will underperform as I think will emerging market dollar credit for a variety of reasons.
TN: Underperform, you said.
NG: Well underperformed in terms of the emerging market dollar credit, that’s also dollar point. I’ll stick by my comments of last week and I keep reiterating them and everything I write.
I’m not convinced yet of this Fed’s fighting credentials. I haven’t seen the inner Volcker in JPOW so on that basis action more than words and those words come in the guise of Ford guidance until we I’m really fast. Wednesday is a real crapshoot, okay? We just don’t kno.
TN: When you say real crapshoot. What do you mean?
NG: We don’t know what the fed is going to do. They could do it. I think the most likely thing is they’re going to indicate guys that they’re going to hike rates in March and nqe then which is not really anything new despite all the whole Orkish talk from some of the other boards members.
TN: You say end QE. Do you mean stop purchases or slow purchases?
NG: Stop purchases. They’ve already started slow anyway. So stop purchases. There’s no reason for QE. From all the data that they give us and all the guidelines that they’ve given us for inflation, unemployment, they don’t need to do QE.
AM: Well, I disagree with that because if they don’t get fiscal, they’re going to have to continue with QE. I’ll tell you that right now.
They don’t get fiscal in March. They’ll just unleash more QE.
TN: Okay. That’s a Q two issue, right? That’s not a Q two necessarily. So let me ask you this. Over the past week or so, I’ve seen people talking about a 50 basis point hike in March. Is that realistic?
AM, NG: No.
TN: I don’t think it is. That would bear the anti inflation teeth of an aggressive inflation fighting Fed.
TS: You know, it would be really interesting if they watched what BOC meets on the 26th as well and has a rate decision.
So if I were the Fed, I would be watching what Doc does. And how does that affect the economy? And then we’ll wait until March to make a decision.
TN: So first, Tracy, are you saying something nice about Canada?
TS: No. Let them be the guinea pig. Right. So let them raise rates first. Let’s see how bad goes, because really what the to do administration has done is let this go. Amok.
TS: So if I were the Fed, I would say, let’s see what POC does. Let’s see them raise rates. Let’s see how that happens to the environment. That’s what I would be thinking. And then make your decision in March.
TN: Is there any chance I think it’s close to zero, but is there any chance that the Fed could do something like a ten basis point hike instead of 25? Because that’s what Voe did, right?
AM: It’s a waste of time, but at least it shows that they’re doing something in their minds anyways.
TS: Look, we did something, but we didn’t really do anything.
NG: Yeah. The bond market would not be impressed.
TN: Good. Okay, good. So the bound of 50 basis points or ten basis points, like neither of those extremes is going to happen?
AM: I don’t know. I would say it’s more likely they do ten basis points and 50 by a long shot. I can see them doing ten basis points just to say that they did something. That’s what this Fed does is show that they do something but not really do anything.
TN: Yes, it is. So that’s perfect. Okay. Staying with inflation, I guess. Let’s talk about energy markets and commodities markets. Tracy, you called a new high and crude this week. We saw it. We’ve seen those prices come off a little bit. Kind of. Why are we seeing things come off a little bit now?
TS: Well, I think in general, the broader markets are coming off. Right. So sell what you have to. In addition, I mean, this market was way overbought. Right.
So personally, being an oil bowl, that I am, I welcome kind of this pullback. And I think that this is healthy for the market. Right. And so I wouldn’t be surprised, especially because we’re not even in high demand season.
So I would like to see this market kind of go sideways for a bit because I think we got a little bit overextended it falls through in that $80 to $87 range for a little bit, at least until we reach the new seasonal tendency higher.
TN: So that’s later in Q one.
TS: It starts late February.
TS: That starts that demand season. That’s when usually seasonally, you tend to go long oil.
TN: Okay, very good. So you think we’re sideways or on a pause at least for the next, say, four weeks or something?
TS: Yeah, I would like to see that from a technical standpoint, I would like to see some of that bullishness kind of being worked out of the market a bit.
TN: Okay. Very good. I like that. I think that’s solid. Now, what about Nat gas? Because a few weeks ago we were talking about nat gas surging, and we’ve seen things really calm down despite some cold fronts in North America and Europe. So what’s happening there?
TS: Right. So we had two major things happen in the market. Where is the 46 vessels carrying that gas are starting to arrive in Europe, and that’s alleviating pressure on that particular market. And then we also had China Sinopec flood the market with cargo for 2022. They put out 46 cargoes for sale. So that alleviated pressure for 2022. So that alleviated pressure for JKM or the Asian market.
So in general, we’re seeing supply hit those markets. So we’ve seen a pullback in those two markets. As far as the US is concerned, it’s still a range bound market. We are up a little bit today because we have very cold weather in the northeast into Canada, and they share partial grids. And here Texas is going to have some sleep. But that’s pretty much why that market really hasn’t gone anywhere and why we’ve seen some pull back in the Asian and European markets.
TN: Okay. But we’ve seen some action in coal last couple of days, right?
TS: Yes. Coal is surging once again. So we’re at $300 coal in the Asian markets. We’re at about 270 in the Australian markets. We’re at about 165 in the spot market in the US.
So that is surging because it’s being used as an energy alternative rate, which is incredibly crazy.
TN: Yeah. Okay, interesting. Okay, let’s talk about metals for a minute. We’ve seen some chatter about gold this week, and gold is ending up slightly this week. Some industrial metals. Copper is also ending up slightly this week. So what’s happening there as well? Is that just a slight rotation away from equities or is there a real demand there?
TS: I mean, if we’re talking about precious metals, obviously that is a completely different trade than if we’re talking about base metals or industrial metals such as copper.
What I would like to see is like for gold, for example, I would like to see a solid close over 1835 to really put this into a Bull market, even though I’m bullish minors in general because of lack of capex, et cetera, et cetera. But really that market has not flipped bullish yet.
TS: And then if we’re looking at something like copper is still sideways too, although long term, I’m very much a copper Bull because of reasons that I’ve stated another right before.
TN: Very good. Okay, guys, so aside from Wednesday with the Fed, what are we looking for for the week ahead uncertainty with equities? Is that a downside bias or an upside bias? With that uncertainty.
TS: I think what will be really interesting if we had $3.3 trillion worth of options notional expiring today. So I think next week will be to tell really what direction this market is going. Do we bounce next week? I’m not giving a day. Specifically, was it an options thing or are people going to buy the dip because that’s the second largest options X ray ever in history, options X Ray.
I think we need to be looking next week to really see where we stand as far as the markets are concerned.
TN: Okay, very good.
NG: Options expiry was long Delta. The market makers were all having to sell their Delta positions rapidly. Which is why you saw. I think, yesterday late in the session. It really accelerated on the downside, having been up during the day, and then today it just couldn’t get a bid, which I think combined with, I think the thing that holds this market down is possibly the trap logs. They’ll be nervous this weekend.
AM: Yeah. I’d like to see what happens Sunday night in Apex. Still Sunday night going into Monday morning. But like I said, I think that we chop Monday, Tuesday, and then probably rise up with the Fed being a little bit more dovished than people think they’re going to be.
TN: I think so. Okay.
TS: Yeah, I agree.
TN: Yeah, they may have to.
NG: It’s consistent with what I think until I’ve seen.
AM: The anti inflation teeth have been a little bit dulled down, especially with yelling today saying that we’re going to be living with inflation for at least until 2023.
TN: That was notable.
AM: She didn’t no indication that they’re going to take it on head on.
TN: Yes, that’s right. Okay, guys, hey, we’re out of time. Thank you so much. Have a great week ahead, and we’ll speak next week. Thank you.
AM: All right, thanks.
NG: Bye. Okay. Do I look okay? Am I evenly lighted everything else?
AM, NG: Yeah.
TN: Really? All right, thanks.
TS: Oh, my God. You guys are seriously worse than I am.
TN: Of course, we’re middle aged men.
AM: We’re like obviously, it’s all we got.
TS: I took 2 hours to take a shower and get ready. Don’t tell me about that.
TN: Okay. All right. Are you guys ready?