Today In Commodities: Fear Rears Its Ugly Head

by: Matthew Bradbard

Energy: Crude built on Friday's losses, giving up 4% today and closing under the 8 day MA for the first time in two weeks. I think we can see more downside, and I have a target in September of $85.50. The 100 day MA has acted as resistance in RBOB for the last three sessions, and finally prices rolled over, losing nearly 3%. I see the next support 7 cents lower, and should be challenged in the coming sessions. Heating oil dropped 3.5%, and lower ground looks likely as well. A 50% Fib retracement on the move over the last month puts September back at $2.74. Natural gas remains at a five month high, but a trade over $3 is not sustainable, in my opinion. Broken record -- but I feel $2.60 is in the cards in September.

Stock Indices: From my viewpoint, it appears that an interim top was put in last week in the indices, and we trade south from here. As for the S&P, prices have come off 30 points, but I see another 40 points until we find solid support. As for the Dow, 300 points down and 350 more to go. With the massive spike in the Vix today, it is clear that fear is back in the marketplace and on that, I believe selling of stocks seems likely.

Metals: Gold closed lower, but was able to pare losses, closing $15 off its lows. Further downside looks likely, and I'm bearish until prices retake $1600 in August. On a move lower, my target in futures is $1545. Silver continues to tread water, as prices have traded in a $1 range for three weeks. A break lower is my call, unless we retake $27.50 very soon. Copper futures have lost nearly 15 cents in the last two sessions, and have resumed a leg lower. That should drag prices to 2012 lows in the coming weeks…trade accordingly.

Softs: For the last three days, prices have been back and forth between the 50 and 100 day MAs. A close above 2255 or below 2210 should signify the direction moving forward. My bias is lower on a strengthening U.S. dollar. Sugar failed to follow through, but prices remain at four month highs just under 24 cents. I am looking for signs of an interim top, and I am eager to initiate short positions when I find that evidence. I think 21 cents is a more appropriate price level. Cotton lost 1%, but did find support at the 100 day MA just above 71 cents. OJ lost ground today, making it nine of the last 10 days with no low in sight…$1.00 could be challenged. Coffee is showing preliminary signs of exhaustion, but it will take a settlement under $1.78 for confirmation. Aggressive traders can initiate bearish option trades, but I would wait for confirmation for future.

Treasuries: New high in 30-year bonds, and as stocks and commodities come off, expect higher levels to be reached. I will be looking for a place to gain bearish exposure for clients and will not ride this trade higher. New highs in 10-year notes as well, with prices now 4% above their 2008 highs. Is this justified? I don't think so, but don't fight the trend.

Livestock: Live cattle have been able to hold at the 20 day MA, but I expect that level to give way in the coming sessions and have a target in October at $121.00. August feeder cattle were unable to retake the 9 day MA, and it appears that a move lower may be underway. I called an interim low last week, but I'd like to retract that statement. Until prices can close above their 9 day MA, I'm saying this is still a bearish market. October pigs also are headed lower until prices can settle above the 9 day MA in October; currently 79.50.

Grains: A bearish engulfing candle, as $8 trade was rejected in December corn today. Prices are now 20 cents off that level, and could be the beginning of the correction I've been forecasting. A first confirmation would be a trade under the 9 day MA, a level that has rejected sales for over one month. A 38.2% Fibonacci retracement puts December back at $6.90/bushel. As of this writing, soybeans are lower by 1.8%, and that is on top of the 3.8% loss in the day session. Prices are under their 9 day MA for the first time since mid-June. My first target in November is $15.20, followed by $14.70. Wheat is coming off one year highs, losing 3% today and looking to add 1.4% overnight as of this writing . My first target is $8.40 in December on a correction. I've said this numerous times, but watch for the action in oats to help navigate some of the more liquid grains. After a 40% appreciation in the last five weeks, oats may be due for a correction.

Currencies: The dollar probed 84.00, and if selling continues in other asset classes, expect the flight to dollar to aid in a further appreciation. The best risk/reward scenarios I see is sales in the commodity currencies. As commodity prices and equities back off, traders can be short the aussie, loonie or kiwi, in my opinion.

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.