February 3, 2023

2:57 pm

SPX has slipped beneath the 2-hour Cycle Top support, allowing an aggressive sell signal.

ZeroHedge remarks, “Financial Conditions are loosening faster than a teenage boy’s pants in a whorehouse – even after today’s early dump and pump on ‘good’ payrolls news…

… as stocks have been “crashing-up on a force-in” with all-time record Call volumes seen yesterday in US Equities Options…

However, all this exuberant BTFD-ing has Nomura’s Charlie McElligott on edge as he notes actual pockets of Dealer “Short Convexity / Short Vol” re-entering the picture as Skew turns, which could be nightmare fuel into a sell-off, and the ascendant “spot up, vol up” market dynamic (as calls are panic-bid), as funds try desperately to actually increase Net Exposure and, brutally, feed into their own “Doom Loop”.


7:50 am

Good Morning!

SPX futures dipped to 4140.60 this morning, as traders await the January release of the Employment Situation Survey.  Today is day 259 of the Master Cycle and the 12.9-month Cycle is overdue by 4 days.  A decline beneath the weekly mid-Cycle support (not shown) at 4167.00 may produce an aggressive sell signal.  Confirmation of the sell signal lies at the trendline at 4000.00.

Today’s options chain shows Maximum Pain at 4155.00.  Long gamma begins at 4160.00 while short gamma starts at 4150.00.  Today’s op-ex is hotly contested with massive puts and calls at either tail.

ZeroHedge Notes, “A torrid, exhausting rollercoaster of a frenzied week full of central bank pauses and pre-pivots, a deluge of economic data and a third of the S&P500 reporting earnings including the world’s largest companies, comes to a merciful close with Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report.”

9:20 am  ZeroHedge reports, “Thursday’s powerful rally reverse and Nasdaq futures slipped on Friday after the “Triple-A” tech giants Apple, Amazon and Alphabet poured cold water on sentiment after their reported earnings that largely missed expectations and showed an economic slowdown is choking demand for their businesses. APPL missed its 4Q revenue despite holiday season, stock -3.1%; AMZN’s Q1 guidance missed expectation, stock -5.4%; GOOGL signaled declines in searching demand, stock -4.0%. As a result, Nasdaq 100 futures fell 1% as of 7:45am ET after underlying benchmark soared 3.6% on Thursday, taking weekly gains to 5.2%. This would be the index’s fifth week of gains, marking the longest such winning streak since November 2021. S&P 500 futures also dropped, sliding 0.5% and off session lows. The risk off mood helped rates drop with the 10-year yield falling to about 3.38%; the dollar was flat, reversing earlier gains, while oil traded modestly in the red.”

9:25 am  ZeroHedge observes, “Extremely hawkish,” says Dennis DeBusschere, founder of 22V Research.

‘Good’ news on the labor market (lowest unemployment rate since 1969… after 450bps of rate-hikes?!) is a disaster for the ‘soft landing’ narrative and sent rate-hike expectations soaring above pre-Powell levels…”


VIX futures are consolidating inside yesterday’s trading range.  Calls are mounting up in the options market.  VIX has already given a buy signal after making a Key Reversal yesterday.

Next Wednesday’s op-ex shows Maximum Pain at 18.00, which explains the “sticky” movements of this morning’s VIX.  Short gamma begins at 17.00, while long gamma begins at 19.00.  However, the February 15 monthly options chain shows Max Pain at 22.00.  There are over 665,000 put contracts between 16.00 and 21.00.  However, there are over 960,000 call contracts between 23.00 and 30.00.

ZeroHedge notes,

A little more and something is about to blow up

ZeroHedge observes, “Shortly after 2pm, when spoos briefly rose above 4200, hitting the highest level since August, and just after bitcoin briefly spiked above $24,000 – a level which the shorts are valiantly defending – the market hit an air pocket with futures diving some 60 points before recovering their poise ahead of today’s disappointing earnings triple-header which saw AMZN, GOOGL and AAPL all miss and drop, dragging futures down with them.

What was behind this unexpected move? According to Goldman’s vol team, this as the huge trade that may have spooked the market for a bit:

Dealer (who is short) likely bought daily puts into the close: a massive VIX print goes up (see chart below) which saw the dealer spend $34mm in premium. According to Goldman traders, this was “one of the larger “risk off” trades we have seen during this stop-in.” It consisted of two legs:

  • Mar 24 C 129,248 Bot 1.30
  • Mar 26 C 164,999 Bot 1.03

Or as Goldman’s John Flood put it, “300,000 VIX calls outright in a print … this is about equal to a full day’s VIX call trading volume.”


TNX soared after the BLS report this morning.  As mentioned yesterday, the Cycles Model shows trending strength today in the new Master Cycle.


USD futures ripped higher to 102.48 as the BLS gives us “good news” in the Monthly Employment Survey.  The Cycles Model indicates further strength over the weekend.  A continuation of the rally is indicated through the end of February.

Investing.com reports, “NEW YORK (Reuters) – The dollar jumped on Friday after data showed that employers added significantly more jobs in January than economists expected, potentially giving the Federal Reserve more leeway to keep hiking interest rates.

The Labor Department’s closely watched employment report showed that nonfarm payrolls surged by 517,000 jobs last month. Data for December was revised higher to show 260,000 jobs added instead of the previously reported 223,000.”


Gold futures fell beneath the Cycle Top support at 1933.81, creating an aggressive sell signal this morning.  The prior Master Cycle peaked on day 262, leaving the new Master Cycle to decline through the end of March.  While gold is quite extended to the upside, the consequences of a decline beneath the Lip of the Cup with Handle at 1675 would be far greater.

Investing.com reports, ” Gold prices inched higher on Friday after pulling back sharply from nine-month highs in the prior session as the dollar rebounded in anticipation of key nonfarm payrolls data, while other economic readings showed some strength in the labor market.

While the Federal Reserve recently noted that inflation was easing, markets feared that resilience in the jobs market could keep price pressures stubbornly higher for longer. Jobless claims unexpectedly fell in the prior week, while other data showed U.S. automobile sales grew in January.”

Crude oil futures are testing Intermediate-term resistance at 77.90 this morning.  A clos beneath that level confirms the sell signal.  The Cycles Model indicate the decline may continue through the end of February.

OilPrice.com reports, “U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures dipped on Thursday, putting the March futures contract in a position to finish lower for the week. Weaker-than-expected economic data and a rebound in the U.S. Dollar are being blamed for the daily weakness.

The market has been under pressure all week with the selling starting late last week on Jan. 27 when indications of strong Russian oil supply offset better-than-expected U.S. economic data, strong middle distillate refining margins, and hopes of a rapid recovery in Chinese.”

This entry was posted in Published. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *