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IB Traders' Insight

Global market commentary from IBG traders and market participants.

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2015-04-01 15:09:42

Posted by
Barron's

Contributor

Options

Goldman Says to Bet Chinese Rally Continues

Thanks to low volatility, investors can buy cheap options that will pay off big if stocks keep it up.

 

Get long China.

So says Goldman Sachs, which is advising clients to do so with options on the iShares China Large-Cap ETF (ticker: FXI). The exchange-traded fund jumped 4% yesterday as investors bet on continued stimulus from the Chinese government. Thanks to low volatility, options are a cheap way to bet that the rally has legs.

“Our economists now expect a shift in monetary policy in an effort to combat weakening growth and inflation and suggest that fiscal easing will be needed to support the economy,” Krag Gregory, one of Goldman Sachs’ most senior derivatives strategists, advised clients in a Monday trading note.

On Sunday, Zhou Xiaochuan, the head of the People’s Bank of China, suggested the central bank could lower rates or use policy tools to stimulate the economy. In response, the Shanghai Composite rallied the most in two months, and investors all around the world were suddenly discussing China as an intriguing place to speculate on an advance. This marked a shift in sentiment. In recent months, many investors had fretted that Chinese authorities would report growth of 7%, down from historically higher growth rates.

China’s central bank has lowered interest rates twice since November. The latest guidance from the bank has ignited hopes among investors that another central bank will so cheapen the cost of money that it will be possible to invest for almost nothing in yet another economy struggling to grow.

With investors ebullient about China’s stocks, FXI options market dynamics offer an intriguing side door through which to harness the market.

On a percentile basis, the Chinese market’s implied volatility is among the least expensive in the world. This makes options trading attractive, especially for investors who want to use bullish calls to wager on continued upside. Bearish puts are more expensive, reflecting the usual investor concerns of a decline.

Since March 20, one-month equity implied volatility has declined 11%. Measured against data since 2007, the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index equity implied volatility is near historically low levels, according to Goldman Sachs’ volatility database. By comparison, Russia, Germany, Brazil, and Canada have the world’s most expensive one-month equity volatility, reflecting the perceived risks of investing in those markets.

To position for further upside, Gregory advised his investors to consider buying FXI at-the-money calls that expire in three months, and selling FXI calls with strike prices that are 7.5% higher but have the same expiration.

The call trades can be structured in the private over-the-counter market that banks operate for their best clients. Everyone else must implement similar trades in the listed markets, and try to approximate recommended strikes.

The call spread – that is buying a call and selling another with a higher strike price but similar expiration – positions investors to profit if FXI advances over the next three months.

With FXI at $44.23, the June $44 call was offered at $1.85 and the June $48 call was bid at 64 cents. The trade wagers $1.21 – that’s $1.85 less 64 cents – in anticipation FXI remains above $44 by June expiration. Should that happen, the maximum profit is $2.79.



Another recommended trade is selling an FXI put that expires in three months and that is 5% below FXI’s market price, and buying an FXI call that is 2% above FXI’s price. This is an example of a risk reversal, a strategy used to take advantage of high put prices.

When the FXI was trading at $44.23, the June $42 put was bid at 77 cents, and the June $44.50 call was offered at $1.60. The trade has investors wagering 83 cents that FXI remains above $44.50 by June. At $50, for example, the call would be worth $6.50.

Investors who own FXI, and want to hedge the position, can buy inexpensive FXI puts. Gregory advised clients to buy FXI puts that expire in three-months and that have strike prices 5% below FXI’s market price.

When FXI was trading at $44.23, the June $42 put was offered at 77 cents. If FXI is at $40 at expiration, the put would be worth $2.

 

Get investing analysis that moves stocks and markets—Subscribe to Barron’s for just $1 a week.

This article is from Barron’s and is being posted with Barron’s permission. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and/or Barron’s and IB is not endorsing or recommending any investment or trading discussed in the article. This material is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any security. To the extent that this material discusses general market activity, industry or sector trends or other broad based economic or political conditions, it should not be construed as research or investment advice. To the extent that it includes references to specific securities, commodities, currencies, or other instruments, those references do not constitute a recommendation to buy, sell or hold such security. This material does not and is not intended to take into account the particular financial conditions, investment objectives or requirements of individual customers. Before acting on this material, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, as necessary, seek professional advice.

2015-04-01 14:30:48

Posted by
Singapore Exchange

Contributor

Futures

Indonesia Index flows up on economic outlook & Fed reprieve

  • Possible delay in US interest rate hike gives Indonesia breathing space to prepare for possible outflow of foreign funds.
  • World Bank expects Indonesian economy to expand at improved rate in 2015 on the back of investments but less than President Joko’s target.
  • More than 89% of Singapore Exchange (SGX) Indonesian February Futures contracts were rolled into the March contracts.

Falling Commodities Prices Cuts Indonesia’s Revenue

Indonesia, a net commodity exporter, emerged as one of the casualties of falling commodity prices, which could affect the country’s growth rate.

Earlier, fuel subsidy reform paved the way for the revised 2015 Budget, allowing allocations of vital resources towards development priorities, especially capital expenditures, which are forecasted to double compared with 2014’s.

Revenue is forecasted at almost 15% higher in the 2015 budget, and capital expenditure is earmarked at double 2014 spending. However, President Joko’s target expenditures may fall short – in the latest quarterly report, the World Bank projected oil and gas revenues to fall by 57% from a year earlier which will hamper revenue collection.

Falling commodities prices will constrain Indonesia’s ability to splurge on much-needed infrastructure development, according to the World Bank’s Indonesia Economic Quarterly, March 2015: High Expectations report.

Due to its strong dependency on commodities, Indonesia’s economy continues to face headwinds from lower global commodity demand, notably from China, which resulted in a moderation in GDP growth to 5.0% last year.

The World Bank expects GDP to accelerate modestly, at an average of 5.5% through 2016, led by a pick-up in fixed investment growth and helped by rising infrastructure spending (albeit short of targeted levels). Exports are expected to stage a slow recovery but with investment also pushing up imports, net exports are not expected in the base case to be a major growth driver.

The Worst is Over for Rupiah?

On 18 March,  the Fed Chair Janet Yellen announced the US central bank will refrain from raising the US interest rate as the country’s inflation figure is still tame with US economic growth somewhat moderated and that an interest rate hike is unlikely to occur at the next FOMC meeting in April.

The move gave emerging markets currencies a much needed breather. On the same day, the Indonesian rupiah appreciated 0.55% against the US dollar, data from Bloomberg showed.

Performance of Indonesian Rupiah

Source: Bloomberg

Bank Indonesia (BI)’s decision to maintain its key interest rate at 7.50% (after having made surprise 25 basis points cut in the previous month) earlier helped to provide a measure of support for the Rupiah.  It also signalled that BI does now want the currency to depreciate too much and this provided near-term support for the rupiah.

“The level of the rate is consistent with its efforts to contain inflation and the current account deficit,” said BI. BI believes that rupiah weakness is driven more by the US dollar strength, and it will continue to beef up measures to keep the rupiah stable.

Indonesia Trade Balance

Source: Bloomberg

Meanwhile, the Indonesian government is aiming to implement several reforms that will support the economy and the currency. Specifically, it is targeting to boost exports while limiting imports in a move to improve the current account balance. In February, the country’s trade balance swung to a surplus of US$738.3 million aided by non-oil exports.

Measures that have been mooted included waiving value-added tax for shipbuilders as well as other strategic industries, imposing temporary anti-dumping taxes, increasing the mandatory biofuel content in diesel to 15%, providing tax allowances to export-oriented companies, expanding visa-free short-term visits to citizens of 30 new countries, and requiring all commodity exporters to accept letters of credit (L/C) only in selling their goods.

Counter-Rally

The single most important global macro variable that has been impacting EM negatively is the US dollar, due to translation and leverage impacts on earnings, said Morgan Stanley in the report, “Dovish Fed – Expect counter-trend rally in EM equities and brief pause in Japan's bull run.”

Now that the upward surge of the US dollar is stalling, emerging market equities – particularly the laggards this year, such as ASEAN can attract a counter-trend rally for a while, added the investment bank.

Performance of MSCI Indonesia Index

Source: Bloomberg

The MSCI Indonesia IndexSM since August 2014 had, in conjunction with other Asian equities, edged higher. However, the surge in returns was much reduced if we take into account the falling rupiah.

SGX MSCI Indonesia IndexSM Futures

The most recent roll of the SGX MSCI Indonesia Index Futures from the March 2015 contract to the April 2015 contract reflects investors’ long-term view of the Indonesia market, with the vast majority of March positions re-establishing in the April 2015 contract. As of the last trading day (30 March 2015), 89.2% of March 2015 contracts rolled into April 2015 contracts (versus the one year historical average of 77.5%).

Active market makers provide on-screen liquidity throughout the day at 2-3 ticks (≈20-30bps) and are able to respond to quotes (RFQ) to providing block liquidity. Refer below for the contact details of market makers available to provide block quotes.

 

This article is from Singapore Exchange and is being posted with Singapore Exchange’s permission. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and/or Singapore Exchange and IB is not endorsing or recommending any investment or trading discussed in the article. This material is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any security. To the extent that this material discusses general market activity, industry or sector trends or other broad based economic or political conditions, it should not be construed as research or investment advice. To the extent that it includes references to specific securities, commodities, currencies, or other instruments, those references do not constitute a recommendation to buy, sell or hold such security. This material does not and is not intended to take into account the particular financial conditions, investment objectives or requirements of individual customers. Before acting on this material, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, as necessary, seek professional advice.

2015-04-01 12:12:10

Posted by
Neil Azous
Founder & Managing Member
Rareview Macro LLC
Contributor

Macro

No V-Shaped Economic Data Recovery in Sight...Investors Not Prepared for Surprise Against Consensus

As we start the second quarter, one question is at the forefront of our mind and the circle of large risk takers we speak to daily: what if the rebound in economic activity in the second quarter for the United States is not as robust as the consensus now expects? Put another way, what if US growth does not mean-revert back up to 2.5% over the medium-term?

The most frequently cited explanation for the slowdown in the first quarter is poor weather, along with other transitory factors, such as a port shutdown, a longshoremen strike, and the collateral effects of the decline in energy prices. Much like last year, paid forecasters are sticking with the view there will be some degree of a V-shaped recovery in the spring, as the weather improves and the aftershocks from the transitory catalysts normalize.

In contrast to last year when the key forward looking economic indicators bounced back, our model is telling us that economic activity has continued to decelerate even further in the United States in the month of March. You do not need to be an expert economist to see that, from a directional basis, activity has not rebounded yet. In fact, it has worsened.

Below is a chart of our aggregate forward looking economic indicators compared to quarterly GDP in the US. Very simply, new orders and order backlogs are a leading indicator of future economic activity, as are higher levels of inventories. When inventories are rising and orders are falling, this is a cause for concern. Additionally, the directional correlation between new orders and quarterly GDP is very telling.

 

Sight Beyond Sight® is a global macro trading newsletter written daily by Neil Azous. With close to two decades of institutional experience across asset classes, Neil interprets the day-to-day economic, policy and strategy developments and provides actionable trading ideas for investors. We invite clients of Interactive Brokers to sign up for a free trial in Account Management. If you are not a client of IB, you can sign up for a free trial by visiting our website.

 

This article is from Rareview Macro and is being posted with Rareview Macro’s permission. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and/or Rareview Macro and IB is not endorsing or recommending any investment or trading discussed in the article. This material is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any security. To the extent that this material discusses general market activity, industry or sector trends or other broad based economic or political conditions, it should not be construed as research or investment advice. To the extent that it includes references to specific securities, commodities, currencies, or other instruments, those references do not constitute a recommendation to buy, sell or hold such security. This material does not and is not intended to take into account the particular financial conditions, investment objectives or requirements of individual customers. Before acting on this material, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, as necessary, seek professional advice.

2015-04-01 11:31:13

Posted by
Andrew Wilkinson
Chief Market Analyst
Interactive Brokers
Contributor

Options

Implied volatility jumps to two-month high on automakers

Ford (Ticker: F) and General Motors (Ticker: GM) offer an excellent pulse on investors’ perceptions of the economy, especially with the stock market in quick-retreat over growing concerns over the health of the economy. Broad market volatility continues to nudge higher with the CBOE Vix index adding 2.75% to stand at 15.86 following weaker-than-expected ADP and ISM reports. And who can blame investors ahead of the Easter break with exchanges closed over the release of the official government employment report on Friday. Bond yields are lower and the dollar has stopped its rebound as investors try to assess whether a likely slowdown in first-quarter growth will fare its typical rebound as in the past several years. Adding to the weight of the question-mark overhead is an unexpected dip in auto sales last month. As a result, share prices at Ford and GM are weaker by at least two-times the pace of the broad market decline midweek. And while option market activity reveals few footprints as to what levels investors may be thinking about for those stocks, the quick conclusion is evident in a jump in implied volatility readings in the options market. GM volatility at 25.3% and Ford volatility at 21.5% represent the highest levels in at least two months.

Chart – Implied volatility on these automakers at highest in two months

2015-04-01 11:14:03

Posted by
John Carter
President
Simpler Stocks
Contributor

Stocks

Simpler Stocks: Tuesday Movers

Call it the anti-rally. Fresh on the heels of a big push, stocks slumped Tuesday, with moderate growth in the US economy spooking investors at least for the moment. Low oil prices also sparked selling on Wall Street, with the last day of the quarter showing a 2% drop in the price of crude.

J.M. Smucker Co. (Ticker: SJM)

Positive story this weekend in Barron’s., as the magazine noted that the company has made a push into the pet niche, buying Big Heart Pet Brands. The move makes the company less dependent on commodity offerings, says Barron’s, and also means that the company could sport a higher multiple on EBITDA. Additionally, the company has been growing its coffee and beverage lines. The stock yields roughly 2%.

SunEdison Inc. (Ticker: SUNE)

SUNE sells 168 megawatts of power to TerraForm, as the latter company continues its focus on distributed generation. SUNE’s net loss should continue to decline, according to analysts, and the sales growth will resume into 2016. Those projections complement a strong net cash position. The shares trade for 2.6x sales, which is reasonable given the growth profile. 

Cal-Maine Foods Inc. (Ticker: CALM)

Though CALM’s bottom line missed expectations, as a reported $1.05 a share missed the $1.18 a share expected, sales were above consensus. Cal-Maine posted 11% year-over-year growth on the top line, at $437 million, better than the $430 million logged by consensus. High demand for specialty eggs helped boost sales. The stock is trading at 13x forward PE, which takes the PEG ratio to 0.8x, and yield is decent at more than 2%.

FARO Technologies, Inc. (Ticker: FARO)

FARO saw a 4% pop intraday on Tuesday, against the backdrop of a down session overall, when Oppenheimer included the name in its pantheon of favorite stocks. The analysts see strong growth opportunities ahead as laser scanners take hold, and multiple expansion should benefit the stock. The sales growth has been steady in the mid-teens, with 24x forward multiple dropping to 20x on a cash adjusted basis and below the estimated growth rate of 21%.

Freshpet, Inc. (Ticker: FRPT)

Freshpet posted results after the bell on Tuesday, with net sales up more than 38% year-over-year, and at nearly $25 million was better than consensus at just under $24 million. Adjusted EBITDA was quite a bit improved from last year at $4 million vs $2.3 million. Guidance may prove conservative for the current year at $112 million to $114.5 million vs. the Street at $115 million. But the stock may find support on the 50-day moving average, which sits a little below $18.00.

The Macerich Co. (Ticker: MAC)

Determined to go it alone, MAC now has shaken out investors looking for quick profit, and at $84.00 a share, the stock yields 3%, and now likely trades at implied cap rates that may interest growth/income investors. Even after rebuffing SPG’s bid, the company still has a high quality portfolio of malls.

 

About the author: John Carter has been a full time trader for 15 years, serving over 100,000 subscribers in over 100 countries.  For more analysis on high growth stocks visit www.SimplerStocks.com.

 

This article is from Simpler Stocks and is being posted with Simpler Stocks’ permission. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and/or Simpler Stocks and IB is not endorsing or recommending any investment or trading discussed in the article. This material is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any security. To the extent that this material discusses general market activity, industry or sector trends or other broad based economic or political conditions, it should not be construed as research or investment advice. To the extent that it includes references to specific securities, commodities, currencies, or other instruments, those references do not constitute a recommendation to buy, sell or hold such security. This material does not and is not intended to take into account the particular financial conditions, investment objectives or requirements of individual customers. Before acting on this material, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, as necessary, seek professional advice.

2015-04-01 10:29:09

Posted by
Andrew Wilkinson
Chief Market Analyst
Interactive Brokers
Contributor

Macro

Does ISM manufacturing report point to recession?

Manufacturing activity weakened further in March continuing a string of consecutive softening that followed the October 2014 report. Back then, the manufacturing index hit 57.9 and has fallen in each month since, to reach 51.5 in the latest round. As such, the index is now 3.5-points below its six-month average and is barely above the standstill level of 50.0 dividing expansion from contraction. A couple of notable points: Once again the survey of forecasters measured by Bloomberg news was overly optimistic in looking for a rebound. The employment gauge points to a standstill in the labor market – at least as it relates to the one-in-eight manufacturing jobs across the overall economy. The reading of 50.0 is the weakest since May 2013 and supports the inactivity reflected in the earlier ADP employment report that showed a lack of job creation in the goods sector. The marginal increase in the production gauge by 0.1 to 53.8 is again low relative to its six-month average level of 57.9, but still speaks to a modest level of GDP output.

Onlookers have questioned whether the lull in employment and output is accounted for by weather and the dollar. It is of course hard to distinguish the two, at least until the weather ameliorates, while the further drop in new export order index to 47.5 from 48.5 most certainly points to demand destruction overseas at a time when global reports point to a pick-up in the pace of activity. Finally, the US remains recession free – for now at least – according to the so-called recession indicator. However, time may prove short-sightedness on that point, especially if the poor climate for dollar alternatives fails to ameliorate. The net reading of new orders minus inventories failed to turn negative in the March ISM report. While the new orders index eased to 51.8 from 52.5, the level of inventories fell by a point to 51.5. While in February the two were identical, the widening of the spread in favor of new orders maintains a positive reading for the indicator. When rising inventories surpass the level of new orders, investors start to fear recession. Investors will have to sweat it out for another month based on an ambivalent ISM report.

Chart – Recession indicator – shaken, but not stirred

2015-04-01 10:22:02

Posted by
Waverly Advisors, LLC
Technical/Quantitative Market Research
Contributor

Technical Analysis

Waverly Advisors Summary Stats

%Chg: percent change from the previous day’s close

SigmaSpike: the day’s change expressed as a standard deviation of the last 20 trading days. Values inside +/- 1.0σ are generally insignificant, +/- 2.5σ are large (for the volatility of the particularly instrument), and +/-4.0σ are very large.

C/DayRng: the current price as the pipe “|” within the day’s range. Can easily see at a glance if trading near high or low of the day. The day’s open is “:”. You can read more about this indicator in my book.

For sectors: analysis is done using the State Street Sector SPDRs (XLE, XLF, etc.) %Chg is the day’s change for the SPDR, and Excess is the Excess Return for the day (the SPDR’s return – the S&P 500 return).

 

For more information about Waverly Advisors please click here.

2015-04-01 10:19:46

Posted by
Waverly Advisors, LLC
Technical/Quantitative Market Research
Contributor

Technical Analysis

Waverly Advisors Update: Largest Advances / Declines

The individual stock tables are simply ticker lists showing the largest values for the following criteria:

SigmaSpike: Largest volatility-adjusted moves. (Note that this measure, though we might call it a “standard deviation spike”, does not assume that anything is normally distributed. You’ll see a handful of +/-4.0σ moves on many days, and +/- 10σ do happen.)

GapOpen: The stock’s opening gap, expressed as a SigmaSpike.

FromOpen: Stocks often reveal stronger trending character by their relationship to their opening print, rather than to the previous day’s close. This screen evaluates the move off the open as a SigmaSpike.
 

For more information about Waverly Advisors please click here.

2015-04-01 10:16:21

Posted by
Waverly Advisors, LLC
Technical/Quantitative Market Research
Contributor

Technical Analysis

Waverly Advisors Morning Update

Largest Rel Volume: Stocks with the largest multiple of their 20 day average volume. Note that the “average” value for this number will change as the trading day progresses, but the relative position of a stock within this list should show some persistence. These are likely stocks in the news, or stocks experiencing a sharp flow of new information.

Largest Rel Ranges: First, we express each stock’s daily range as a % of the 20 day average range, and then choose the 10 with the largest values of that measure. These are the stocks with the largest daily ranges, relative to their own typical daily ranges.

Gap Analysis shows stocks with open gaps (today’s high < yesterday’s low or today’s low > yesterday’s high) remaining.

Stocks with Open Gaps (for the Day): AAL, ADSK, AKAM, AMGN, APA, ASHR, BBD, BIG, BMY, BRFS, BX, CA, CCJ, CHK, CLX, CVS, DAL, DHR, DKS, DRI, DYN, EXC, FLR, FNV, GD, GES, GM, GRMN, HLX, HSY, INFY, ITC, JAH, JNJ, JPM, KIM, KMB, KORS, LMT, MAC, MCD, MMM, MON, MRK, MWV, MYL, NKE, NOC, OIS, ORCL, OXY, PAYX, PBR, PBR.A, PEG, PEP, PIR, RDC, RDS.B, RHT, RKT, ROST, RTN, SAVE, SBUX, SEE, SNE, SNY, STO, SYMC, SYY, TGT, TIF, UAL, UPS, VRTX, WFM

 

For more information about Waverly Advisors please click here.

2015-04-01 09:37:15

Posted by
Andrew Wilkinson
Chief Market Analyst
Interactive Brokers
Contributor

Macro

Lightweight ADP report likely to unsettle investors ahead of Friday

Private sector jobs creation ran at its slowest pace in 14 month during March, with the ADP payroll reading missing forecasts and showing only 189,000 new positions were added. Economists polled by Bloomberg prior to the event had projected a reading of 225,000 positions, to mark an expected increase of around 10,000 over February numbers. This is the first sub-200,000 reading from ADP since January 2014. The shortfall appears to stem from the creation of fewer goods-producing jobs, which last month accounted for just 4,500 new positions. To put that shortfall in perspective, during the last six months the average gain reported by manufacturers, construction companies and mining concerns ran at 45,000 jobs. During the three months ending February that average pace of job gains was 38,600. The sudden drop-off is likely related to weather, but possibly a strong dollar given empirical evidence from the nation’s manufacturers. Whether the loss of momentum will be long-lasting is too early to tell, but based upon the healthy showing for the service sector, which is less exposed to issues buffeting international factors, there is little to be concerned by. The service sector added 184,000 jobs in March and only 6,000 fewer than in February and 16,000 less than the six-month average pace of gains. Hardly a showstopper, but certainly enough to keep jittery investors on the edge of their seats, especially in light of the fact that markets are closed on Good Friday when the government’s nonfarm payroll reading is released.  

Chart – Goods producing employment creation ran at one-tenth pace in March

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