August 11, 2023

3:12 pm

SPX is caught in short gamma with heavy layers of puts at 4500, 4480 and 4465 trapping it and effectively keeping it from rallying.  At the same time there are more clusters of puts at 4450 and below that may exacerbate the decline, forcing dealers to sell on the way down and reinforcing the decline with even more selling.  Currently there appears to be a stalemate.  At some point a breakdown may occur, especially as the markets approach monthly options expiration next week.

ZeroHedge observes, “Under the hood change

Intraday volatility has surged, and along with short gamma, it could spark more serious moves as dealers need to adjust deltas dynamically. Most short gamma dealers hedge according to models, but when markets start exhibiting a “sudden” increase in intra day volatilities, those models tend to get overruled by “fear”…often resulting in dealers selling lows and chasing highs.

Source: Tier1Alpha

SPX – momentum levels to watch

Scott Rubner outlines:

4457 – short term CTA momentum turns negative…will unlock $5bn SPX supply over 5 sessions….but 4278, medium term is the big one to watch. 4427 is the 50 day moving average. Downside is the main risk with the 1 month big down scenario being absolutely massive: $267bn to sell (-$79bn to SELL in S&P).


9:17 am

BKX continues to lose ground toward the 50-day Moving Average at 84.85.  A decline beneath that level may produce a confirmed sell signal.  The Head & Shoulders formation is still active and may produce another waterfall event such as that seen in March.  The key is that third Waves are never the smallest in a series, suggesting that the Head & Shoulders target is reasonable.  Banks are losing deposits to money market funds at a staggering rate.

ZeroHedge reports, “US Money Market funds saw a fourth straight week of inflows ($14 billion this past week) to a new record high of $5.53 trillion…


7:45 am

Good Morning!

NDX futures are hovering at the lower part of its trading range, beneath the 50-day Moving Average at 15135.00.  This constitutes a confirmed sell signal.  The Cycles Model infers a rising volatility going into next week’s monthly options expiration.

Today’s op-ex shows Maximum investor pain at 15120.00.  Long gamma begins at 15150.00.  Put options gain ascendancy at 15120.00, while short gamma tales over below 15030.00.  Sentiment in options is turning bearish with growing put positions beneath 15000.00.

ZeroHedge observes, “Meaning of the day

Goldman’s Scott Rubner nails it: “Market moves are exacerbated, and no longer muted, this is new, and changed today”. This is very true, and very important going forward.

SPX – the only thing that matters

The “holy” trend channel since March lows. We are in the lower part of the channel, still slightly above the 50 day…

Source: Refinitiv

So rates matter after all?

Reality kicking in lately…although the gap between NASDAQ and the 10 year (inverted) remains extremely wide.”



SPX futures are trading flat this morning, bouncing between a new low of 4460.10 and a high of 4479.50.  SPX is deep in short gamma, which may take over at the open.  Conditions are such that the slightest tremble in the markets may set off a landslide.

Today’s op-ex shows Max Pain at 4485.00.  Long gamma starts at 4500.00 with some follow-through to 45550.00.  Short gamma begins at 4480.00 with a put wall of 11,036 contracts.  Large put positions occur at 4465.00 and 4450.00 with another substantial put wall at 4400.00.  Puts are well populated down to 4250.00.

ZeroHedge reports, “US futures are flat, with European and Asian stocks red, as concern about local government debt in China and hawkish language from a US central banker put traders in a risk-off mood. Meanwhile, in the latest diplomatic fiasco from Joe Biden, the US president blasted China’s economic problems as a “ticking time bomb” and referred to Communist Party leaders as “bad folks,” his latest barb against President Xi Jinping’s government even as his administration seeks to improve overall ties with Beijing. As of 7:45am ET, S&P futures were flat while Nasdaq 100 futs were down 0.1%. Treasurys yields are 1-4bps lower led by the front-end with 10Ys at 4.10%; the USD reversed an earlier gain and was last trading near session lows. Commodities are mixed with oil reversing earlier losses and following gold higher. Today, the macro focus will be PPI and U of Mich survey: the Street expects PPI to print 0.2% MoM vs. 0.1% prior, while U of Mich Consumer Sentiment is expected to drop to 71.3 consensus from 71.6 prior.”



VIX futures traded lower to 15.48 before recovering to the flat line.  The dhart structure implies a Cup with Handle formation with an average target at 23.55.  It is more likely that the VIX amy rise to the Cycle Top resistance at 25.15.

Wednesday’s op-ex shows Max Pain for options investors at 17.00.  Short gamma starts at 16.00 and remains well-populated to 13.00.  Long gamma starts at 18.00 and has strong positions to 60.00.


TNX has risen above the neckline of the Head & Shoulders formation at 41.00 this morning.  The Cycles Model shows growing trending strength, suggesting a new high may be pending.  Should that be so, the next resistance is the October high at 43.33.

ZeroHedge reports, “With much trepidation ahead of refunding week following some dire forecasts about a deluge Treasury supply in the coming quarter, moments ago the Treasury sold the last coupon auction of the week when it placed $23BN in 30Y paper in willing hands and while the sky did not fall, the auction was clearly the ugliest of the lot.

Stopping at a high yield of 4.189%, the 30Y auction priced at the highest yield since July 2011, and was well above last month’s 3.910%; it also tailed the When Issued 4.175% by 1.4bps, the highest tail since February.

The bid to cover was 2.42, the lowest since April and below the 6-auction average of 2.39.”


USD futures rose to 102.61,  exceeding the 50-day Moving Average at 102.14.  It is on a buy signal with rising trending strength to the end of August. Just above it are the mid-Cycle resistance at 102.97 and the 200-day Moving Average at 103.53.



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