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Michael Noonan Edge Trader Plus Michael Noonan is the driving force behind Edge Trader Plus. He has been in the futures business for 30 years, functioning primarily in an individual capacity. He was the research analyst for the largest investment banker in the South, at one time, and he... More
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  • Wheat - A Developing Trade Potential 0 comments
    Nov 17, 2013 10:54 PM

    [There may only be a handful of people on this site interested in
    wheat, but the point of posting the article is to show how charts
    capture the essence of supply and demand, the ultimate reasons
    why any market moves. Substitute a stock, or something else,
    instead of wheat, and you can see the importance of reading
    developing market activity, regardless of the underlying selection.]

    Trade potentials usually do not announce themselves. They have
    to be ferreted out. We have been tracking wheat for several weeks
    because of how developing market activity is responding at current
    low levels.

    Charts represent the language of the markets, depicting every level
    of market participant, from the market movers to fundamentalists,
    technicians, the highly informed, and even those who have no clue
    what they are doing. Once a decision is made to buy or sell, it is
    registered permanently in chart form, and everybody gets to see the
    developing activity at the same time. Nothing is hidden.

    There is a fine line between picking bottoms and finding low-risk trades near a bottom. The determining factor is the market itself in the
    "message" it sends for anyone who cares to see it. Whenever there is
    an unusual increase in volume, it typically comes from what we will call "Smart Money," those who are the most informed and have the ability
    to move a market directionally.

    There has been a notable pick-up in volume, of late, and we attribute
    it to the smart money movers. It is best seen on the charts to better
    relate to what it can portend. We always like to start with a weekly
    time frame to get an overall view of market development. It is the
    starting point for this analysis.

    The rally which began in June of 2012 took off like a rocket from a
    launching pad, but it did so after a period of basing, starting from June 2011. We boxed most of that activity and labeled as a support zone.
    If you compare the EUM, [Ease of Upward Movement], reaching the
    high in 2012, to the decline into August/September of 2013, price was
    much more labored going down. In part, it was a result of a liquidating market, and one which punished longs all the way down.

    Not drawn on the chart, but worth mentioning as a prelude to the low
    scenario we are advancing, is how the downward effort shortened
    considerably. From the breakdown out of the TR, starting in late
    November, 2012, to the low in April of this year, the decline was
    around $1.80.

    From April, price moved sideways until the end of June, when the down
    trend resumed, again. The distance from that breakdown to the
    recent low is only about $.75. Both time and price were shortened,
    and that alone can lead to a change in trend. Keep in mind, a change
    in trend can be the ending of the down trend to sideways, not
    necessarily a full reversal to up.

    With that in mind, note the location of the low, at 1, relative to the
    bottom channel line. Price stopped at about a half-way retracement
    within that channel and then proceeded to move sideways. A few
    weeks later, the upper channel, resistance, was broken as price
    rallied above, stopping at 2.

    At 1, volume increased sharply for two weeks. Compare the first high
    volume bar, a wider range down with a poor close, to the second high
    volume bar. The range was much smaller and the close was just under
    mid-range the bar. We know zero, about fundamentals, like crop size,
    weather, growing conditions, etc, but when it comes to reading a
    chart, that is our arena, for we know about charts, and those two
    weeks just gave us added information.

    The reason why the second bar was smaller was because buyers
    were supporting the market, taking the offerings from sellers, thus preventing the price range from extending lower. You can be sure
    buyers were just as active in the first high volume weekly bar, but
    a second week was needed to absorb the effort from sellers. We
    know this also from the location of the close, just slightly lower from
    the previous week, a victory for the buy side.

    Where did this battle take place? Right at the same level of
    established support to the left, the large box area. The little pieces
    of the developing activity are starting to reveal a story different from
    how most view the wheat market, at the time, and even currently.
    The rest of the developing story, at point 3, is taken up on the daily
    chart.

    W W 17 Nov 13

    The large box in the middle is area 1 from the weekly. The rally to
    7.20 in October is 2. A clustering of closes is explained on the chart,
    and formed at 3. It has developed right at support from the left.
    What is most notable is the sharp increase in volume and the total lack
    of downside follow-through from all that effort. This is why it makes
    the most sense to conclude the clustering will lead to change, rather
    than continuation.

    Think of that clustering as an Ali Rope-a-dope, where Mohammed
    Ali covered his face with his arms, pretending to be trapped on the
    ropes, and he let George Forman punch away. Ultimately, there was
    no harm to Ali, but it tired Forman, who had spent all his energy, and
    he was knocked out by Ali in the 8th round. [Rumble in the Jungle,
    1974].

    At area 3, it appears that sellers may have expended themselves and
    may now be trapped. For all the reasons cited, we recommended a
    long position, last Wednesday, at 657. The risk is a stop under recent
    lows. Our view is that the developing market activity is an attempt by
    smart money to disguise their hand. However, they cannot escape the footprints left behind, in the form of price and volume.

    Can we be wrong? Absolutely! It is a probability trade at what can be
    called a danger point, but it is also where the risk is generally lower.
    The reward potential is far greater than the risk. Time will tell.

    WH D 17 Nov 13

    Themes: Wheat, Grains
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