Today In Commodities: Crude Creeps Lower

by: Matthew Bradbard

Energy: After five positive sessions, crude oil finished in the red today, but it was not a one way trade, as the trading range was nearly $2. I started advising clients today to work into bearish trade, thinking we see prices $3-5 lower in the coming weeks. The heating oil/RBOB spread mentioned in previous weeks worked like a charm today as May heating oil is only at a 2 cent discount to RBOB after being 10 cents wide just last week. Do not rule out heating oil trading at a premium very soon. The 8 day MA held in natural gas today with prices fighting to close in the green. Bearish probes are okay in my eyes, as long as we do make fresh highs… I'm searching for a 25-35 cent correction.

Stock Indices: The S&P and Dow are exhibiting signs of exhaustion, but until we break the 9 day MAs, I am grasping at straws to pick a market top. Those levels come in at 1550 and 14400, respectively. My advice continues to be large stock holders lighten up or establish partial hedges.

Metals: Back to back inside days in gold as prices remain around $1600/ounce. June futures have support about $10 below current trade and resistance $10 overhead. Play the breakout, but with a faltering dollar, I think we see upside around the bend. My first upside objective is the 50 day MA in this contract, currently at $1625. May silver futures gave up 1.20% to settle under $28/ounce… the lowest close in eight months. Do not rule out a spike lower, but those levels will not last, in my eyes. I've suggested scaling into bullish trade, but start small and be willing to stay the course even if futures falter $1/ounce... if not, stand aside. Platinum can be bought with tight stops under the recent lows. Copper is approaching eight month lows and has yet to find solid support. Further weakness should not be ignored, as it could be an indication of what's to come elsewhere.

Softs: Cocoa is having trouble getting above 2200, but I think once it does, 2300 should come in quick order. Sugar is cheap, but that alone is not reason to buy, as I would like to see a reason to buy… sentiment remains bearish. Cotton gave up 1.2% today to close under its 20 day MA once again. It was today's featured chart… a breach up the up sloping trend line remains my call. OJ had lost ground the last four sessions as the 20 day MA was probed in today's trade. $1.25 is my objective in May futures. On the advance today, coffee probed the down sloping trend line mentioned last week that has capped upside the last three months. Expect further upside to follow that will allow bullish trade an exit window from higher levels.

Treasuries: 30-year bonds and 10-year notes were slightly bid, but nothing too exciting. I would still prefer higher trade to re-establish bearish positions for clients. I prefer trading the short end of the curve, and would be more apt to have bearish trade in long dated Eurodollars vs. bonds or notes.

Livestock: Live cattle took a breath today after the big jump to end last week. As long as the 20 day MA supports just under $123 in June, stay the course in bullish trade. The standout in the livestock complex today was feeder cattle, gapping higher and closing up 1.70%. A 50% Fibonacci retracement lifts May futures an additional 1.4%. 92 has served as resistance in June lean hogs and capped upside once again today… from here, I see limited upside.

Grains: Old crop corn got hit again today, losing 7.62% and dragging prices to nine month lows. On the lows, a 61.8% Fibonacci retracement was completed. We could see further pressure, but I do not expect it to be at this pace. I would prefer to trade new crop corn (December 13'), which was lower by less than 0.60%. A trade near $5.25 can be bought on this contract, in my eyes. Soybeans closed under $14/bushel for the first time since mid-January and lower trade looks likely… do not rule out additional 30-40 depreciation. July soybean meal remains on my buy list… for long futures trades, I've suggested selling out of the money calls 1:1. Wheat gave up 3.45% today to drag prices to fresh ten month lows. I did advise any bearish trade in old crop to book profits today. My suggestion is to buy new crop... I like December contracts under $7/bushel.

Currencies: The 20 day MA held in the dollar but if June breaks 82.85, I think selling could intensify. My objective for bearish trade is 81.50; the 50 day MA. The euro and swiss can be bought with tight stops. If the pound gets above its 34 EMA, which capped upside today and last week, look for an upside leg to recommence. Stand aside on any fresh entries in the commodity currencies. Those long the loonie should tighten up stops, but stay the course. The yen was higher by 0.78% to close at one month highs. Long calls are the only play here, in my opinion, but a spike could still lift June futures to $1.1000.

Risk Disclaimer: The opinions contained herein are for general information only and not tailored to any specific investor's needs or investment goals. Any opinions expressed in this article are as of the date indicated. Trading futures, options, and Forex involves substantial risk of loss and is not suitable for all investors. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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