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Brett Owens
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Brett earned his first contrarian investing profits in 2004 when he purchased an obscure investment (at the time): sugar futures. His friends on Wall Street stopped laughing soon enough when sugar rocketed to multi decade highs, illustrating that it indeed pays to be contrary. Brett quickly... More
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  • With All Markets Trading in Tandem, Why a Reversal Might Be on Tap 4 comments
    Sep 29, 2010 10:26 PM | about stocks: SDS, UUP, EUO, GLD, SLV

     Happy Groundhog Day!  And don't try telling me otherwise - at least as far as the markets are concerned.  Everyday the S&P 500 creeps higher - as does gold, silver, and what the hell, even the Euro!  Is Punxsutawney Phil nearby?

    Let's start with the S&P, which has bounced several times off the 1040 mark, and has been climbing a staircase to heaven for the entire (traditionally bearish) month of September:

    S&P 500 Price Chart September 2010


    Correlation of stocks is at a multi-decade high, while volume remains non-existent (Labor Day did happen...right?) - but us bears have thus far been foiled on any potential short trades.

    Meanwhile, the price action in gold and silver has been even more bullish - there's no mistaking these moves:

    silver price chart september 2010

    gold price chart september 2010Source:

    Sure the explanation for these moves seems perfectly valid and logical - that soverign debts will be monetized as countries engage in a game of competitive devaluation.  Which will, of course, reward "real money" like gold and silver.

    And perhaps it will.  But I'm with our hero Hugh Hendry, who thinks we've got a few chapters to be played out before the logical conclusion of this story comes to fruition.

    Signaling that the "reflation trade" is back on, even the Euro has been joining the "anything but the dollar" party!

    euro price chart september 2010

    I'm unsure on what exactly has improved in the Euro's fundamentals since the June lows.  Credit spreads are breaking out once again on Greek sovereign debt.  And more importantly, as our astute reader and correspondent Dr. Evil wrote to me a few weeks ago, the real linchpin is Italy.  As the good doctor reported, it's not a matter of IF Italy will need to restructure, but WHEN - and that will be the huge domino to topple for Europe.

    Over the last few months, sentiment on the Euro has swung from VERY bearish, to VERY bullish.

    Meanwhile the bastard stepchild not invited to this roaring campfire of a good time is the US Dollar.  The buck, a favorite of deflationists around the world (all 12 of us?), has been getting taken to the woodshed as these rallies have been occurring:

     us dollar forex price chart september 2010


    Since we've got extreme bullish sentiment on everything except the dollar, and extreme bearish sentiment on the dollar, I'm going to say we're due for at least a short term return to the Deflation trade.  Even if gold and silver are heading to the moon, markets don't trade in a straight line, and extreme bullish sentiment usually results in at least a short term pullback/correction.

    If the dollar does manage to stage a rally, it'd likely coincide with some carnage in all other asset classes.  The extent and length of this carnage remains to be seen - as does the government's reaction to this overdue sell-off.

    Get your popcorn ready - things have been calm for awhile.  We've got some setups indicating things are about to get a little more interesting!

    Disclosure: Short the S&P 500
    Stocks: SDS, UUP, EUO, GLD, SLV
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Comments (4)
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  • Bron
    , contributor
    Comments (247) | Send Message
    Yea, Brett, I'm ready. Have been building another short position since cashing in on our last wild ride. Just bought UUP today as I, too, think we're in for at least a bounce (as do others). Otherwise it's SDS, FAZ, TZA, BGZ, VXX and the other usual suspects.


    I'm always too early, but I guess that's better than being too late.


    This market is a tough one to figure, though. A lot of what is going on just doesn't make sense to me. I enjoy the insight I find in a very few places, such as here. Most of what is out there is just bunk.


    My biggest concern is that there is so much "funny stuff" going on, it's very hard to know if the data we're using is accurate or not. So I try to keep it simple and trust my gut.


    Good luck and thanks!
    29 Sep 2010, 11:02 PM Reply Like
  • Brett Owens
    , contributor
    Comments (184) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Hey Bron, best of luck to you as well, and I agree on the "funny stuff" - case in point, today! I woke up to find the S&P up another ten points, and thought "of course" - looks like we've done a little "reverse skate" on the action, so we'll see if we're starting the breakdown we're anticipating.


    Like you said, it's tough to go "all in" when the powers that be want to see the market continue to levitate in the worst way!
    30 Sep 2010, 12:08 PM Reply Like
  • alexmi
    , contributor
    Comments (18) | Send Message
    Pump the market and then let it crash just before elections. It kind of sounds familiar. It sure sounds like QE2 is coming... It is easiest to pass QE before elections...
    30 Sep 2010, 04:15 PM Reply Like
  • Bron
    , contributor
    Comments (247) | Send Message
    Yea, I think this market is skating on thin ice. We'll see!
    2 Oct 2010, 03:20 PM Reply Like
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