WSW – Monday, August 23, 2110

If you are expecting global warming stuff, it’s here:

Canonical in reverse date order:

Intro page with favorites:

Input Data Issues:

This posting is about the other thing I do, looking at investment markets. Prior postings in this series are available here:

Posts with some relevance to trades, but not in the format of a full WSW analysis, are available under this category:

The charts in this posting are live charts, so my comments will describe how it is now, but in a week it will be showing new data and a new week. Since I think it is more important to be in touch with what the market is doing NOW than to preserve the historical chart, this is, IMHO, a reasonable choice. Just don’t be surprised if the chart I describe is not the one you see a few weeks from now! If you would like to see the historical chart, you may enter custom date ranges on the charting tool at

Daily Notes

None yet.

Wall Street Week – Monday, August 23, 2010

So what made money last week? Some of the same things that lost money 2 weeks ago. We’ve got ‘range trading’ going on. Buy on down days, sell on up days, don’t carry the trade over a weekend. Hedge funds issued their required reports showing a rising stake in gold, so the ‘late to the party’ hedge funds are buying gold miners to play catch-up (IMHO). The ‘software’ is likely from Intel (INTC) buying McAfee; a news driven ‘one off’.

	10 Best Performing Industries
  Industry Name	Percent Change 

  DJ US Mortgage Finance Index	4.24%  
  DJ US Home Improvement Retailers In...	3.99%  
  DJ US Gold Mining Index	3.08%  
  DJ US Consumer Electronics Index	2.63%  
  DJ US Software Index	2.52%  
  DJ U.S. Iron & Steel Index	2.46%  
  DJ US Telecommunications Equipment...	2.39%  
  DJ US Platinum & Precious Metals In...	2.28%  
  DJ US Real Estate Services Index	2.25%  
  DJ US Restaurants & Bars Index	2.10%  

Some bets were major losers. Here’s the worst places to have been:

10 Worst Performing Industries
  Industry Name	Percent Change 

  DJ US Airlines Index	-4.54%  
  DJ US Life Insurance Index	-4.11%  
  DJ US Food Retailers & Wholesalers...	-4.00%  
  DJ US Internet Index	-3.39%  
  DJ US Full Line Insurance Index	-3.38%  
  DJ US Automobiles Index	-2.91%  
  DJ US Oil Equipment & Services Inde...	-2.71%  
  DJ US Oil Equipment, Services & Dis...	-2.69%  
  DJ US Banks Index	-2.51%  
  DJ US Biotechnology Index	-2.51%  

Quite a mixed bag, and not a lot of ‘theme’. The ‘end of summer vacation travel’ mixed with a bit of ‘recession cutting demand for oil’. (FWIW, we are entering “Hurricane Season” when oil can spike on volatile weather news. While BP is off the radar as a Gulf threat, the hurricanes are just starting up. Weather driven oil trading begins in earnest now).

The Long Term Context

This is a very long duration chart (5 years) of NYSE and one of the S&P 500 (SPY). They will not change much from week to week (just one tick mark) so guides longer term attitude.

Notice that we’ve slowly rounded over into a flat trend line. The moving averages are pointing sideways. We’re going nowhere, but with increased risk of a fall. The indicators are weakening.

We’ve got the Slow Stochastic near 80, but with a crossover to the downside. The MACD indicator is sideways and below the zero line to the negative , so the investment trend is to the downside. DMI is ‘Red On Top’ too, so the major bias stays negative. We’re in a longer term flat to falling market. Our long term context is significantly risky.

This argues for a multi-week downward trend to the markets. Figure September for a loser of a month, and perhaps October too. Bias to be ‘out or short’. Cash, bonds, and perhaps gold as ‘safe haven’ plays.

5 Years, NYSE

5 years, NYSE

For the SPYDERS, it’s much the same.

We continue to have ‘bear market be out or short’ indications. RSI is still ‘stair steps down’ from an approach to near 80. Williams %R and Rate Of Change had a brief trade in, but it’s just not worth it, and is headed back toward a mid-line crossing where you trade out. Rate Of Change has gone flat. All the risk, little to no reward.

SPY 5 year weekly tick, RSI, Williams %R, ROC

SPY 5 year weekly tick, RSI, Williams %R, ROC

What Is Our Context

Let’s look at the S&P 500 largest stocks in America compared with some other kinds of assets; a 20 year+ maturity bond fund, oil, gold, Yen.

Asset Class Races

Asset Class Recent Race

SPY       The S&P 500 ETF
GLD       Gold ETF
USO       Oil ETF
FXY       Japanese Yen currency fund
TLT       20 Year U.S. Treasury Bond fund
FXE       Euro currency ETF
SLV       Silver fund
BZF       Brazilian currency ETF
EWA       Austria ETF
WOOD      A wood and paper products fund

Long term bonds took a jump, but faded at the end. Yen is still rising, but the Japanese minsters are trying to find a way to stop it. Still messy.

What about Brazil? A Closer Look.

The interesting thing here is the “EPI” line for an India fund. News flow on India has been good lately with at least one of the Financial Shows talking it up.

Brazil the EWZ ETF vs the BZF currency ETF

Brazil ETF vs Currency Race

EWZ  - Brazil
BZF  - Brazilian Real currency
FXI  - China
EWA  - Australia
EPI  - India - WIsdom Tree fund
EWC  - Canada
EWW  - Mexico
GUR  - Middle East Fund

So we’re out, and waiting for a reentry indication.

OOTUS – Out Of The U.S.

See the racing stocks tab for currencies and for foreign emerging stock markets for the latest moves.

Currencies race

Currencies race

Not much of interest. Short Euro long yen?

Gold 1 year daily chart

Gold 1 year daily chart

A load of “talking heads” were saying to buy gold this week, last week it was Goldman Sachs. But I’m not so sure. It looks more flat to me. If you want to play ‘catch up’ with Gold, I would be more likely to use silver or copper.

Some Selected Emerging Markets

Indonesia Fund 1 Year Chart

Indonesia Fund 1 Year Chart

This chart compares FXI – China 25 big stocks, EWZ – Brazil, EWO – Austria, EPI – Wisdom Tree India fund, and the Indonesia fund.

IDX  Indonesia Fund
FXI  China
EWZ  Brazil
EWO  Austria ('emerging Europe proxy)
EPI  India with dividends and growth fund

Indonesia is making a run at the top, if it does make a new high, that would be a good indication of strength. For now it’s just risk of a ‘failure to advance’ given all the context.

VIX the Volatility Index

Last week I said:

“We’re still getting the peaks characteristic of a falling market, but with lower strength over time. We did have a blip up, so as volatility picks up, things will get rocky and we drop some.”

Looks the same to me now. Not a lot of joy here.

Volatility Index and Related

Volatility Index and Related

VIX  - Volatility Index (not a ticker, you can't trade it)
VXX  - Short term VIX futures ETN (a ticker you can trade)
VXZ  - Medium term VIX futures ETN (a ticker you can trade)
FXY  - Japanese Yen
SH   - "Short" sell of SPY
SPY  - S&P 500 benchmark
IYT  - Transports, a leading sector
XHB  - Homebuilders, a leading sector and "canary" 
XRT  - Retail

The Dollar

This is a ‘US Dollar UP” trade chart of UUP. The down bet is UDN.

Dollar Trade -UP

Dollar Trade -UP

That RSI near 20 was a great ‘buy dollars’ entry indication. Looks like the Euro is being whacked again.

Ideas of the Week

Cash, watch the news flow, and make a shopping list for shorts.

What does the 10 day hourly chart say is happening now?

Here’s a 10 day houly chart of the Dow 30 Industrials (DIA), the S&P 500 (SPY), the Nasdaq tech companies (QQQQ), the Russel 2000 (RUT), and both a Brazil fund (EWZ) and an Australia fund (EWA). It also has a ‘short fund’ (SH) on the chart so you can see what being short this market is doing right now. We also have EWO, an emerging Europe Austria fund, EWW for Mexico and IIF for India.

Slowly dropping with ‘wiggles’. Easiest thing to do is be out or be short.

10 Day Hourly Interval Broad Market

10 Day Hourly Interval Broad Market

Other Asset Classes

The 6 month asset class race:

Asset Class Race

Asset Class Race

SPY  S & P 500 US stocks
GLD  Gold
EEM  Emerging Markets
FXY  Japanese Yen
JJC  Copper
TLT  Long term bonds 20 year+
USO  U.S. Oil
DBA  Agricultural basket
SLV  Silver
WOOD  Wood / Timber

The China slowdown theme continues to keep copper a bit weak. Silver is flat too. Makes gold look a bit lonely… Oil is dropping on the ‘slowdown’ theme along with the seasonal slack time between vacation driving and winter heating. Look for a good oil entry a few weeks / months from now. Stocks are clearly underperforming commodities right now, but cash and bonds are beating both.

So what happened in the Tech Market relative to world markets?

Tech vs Other Markets

Tech vs Other Markets

QQQQ  Nasdaq 100 mostly Tech companies
DIA  Dow Jones 30 Industrials
SPY  S & P 500 largest companies in the U.S.A.
MDY  Midcap  (Middle sized in terms of market capitalization)
RUT  Russel 2000 - a collection of 2000 companies from small to large.
EWZ  Brazil fund
EWA  Australia fund
EWO  Austria fund
EWW  Mexico fund

One of the better dogs in the dog show…

Were Bonds a good idea?

OK, lets take a peak at the Bonds Race but with TBT (the “long term bonds” short sell ETN – that is, the thing that “shorts bonds”) as the main ticker symbol:

Bonds - TBT to Short Them

Bonds - TBT to Short Them

Last posting I’d said:

Bonds are still doing fine. Bernanke signaled no rise of interest rates any time soon (when that happens, bonds drop) so the bond trade ‘has legs’ until the next Fed meeting. He also added that they will buy $TRILLION of bonds as their real estate portfolio ‘runs off’ (gets repaid), so there is a bid under bonds for a while.

Hard to argue with a $One Trillion Dollar Bid$ …

What About Oils?

XOM  Exxon Mobil - Largest, U.S. / Global
COP  Conoco Philips - U.S.  with Russian exposure
CVX  Chevron Texaco - U.S.
PBR  Petrobras - Brazil
BP   British Petroleum
STO  Norway
E    Eni Italy
TOT  Total - France
RDSA  Royal Dutch Shell
IMO  Imperial Oil - Canada Oil and Oil Sands
SU   Suncor - Canadian Oil Sands
SSL  Sasol - South African Synthetic Oil Company

Same basic story as last time:

Oils get spanked in economic slowdowns, so the ‘double dip’ talk has folks stepping out of oils. I’m still holding large dividend oil and gas trusts. Not much reason to own US oils until we know what the government is going to do to them.

But with the addition that it’s now hurricane season, so things can be very volatile in a weather driven way. Watch for hurricanes threatening the major oil refineries on the Gulf Coast and “The LOOP” where supertankers unload. BP is off the radar as a Gulf risk, but hurricanes are now on.

Some Near Oil and Oil Related Comparisions

CZZ has moved up nicely but took a dip. It’s back at the Simple Moving Average stack, so it’s a ‘reentry’ point. But the context is a bit of a worry. Still, sugar as a commodity is likely a decent play.

SEE the SEA!

No real change here from last time either:

“Looks like crude oil tankers are in demand. VLCCF is also the abbreviation for Very Large Crude Carrying er Fellow… or Fleet, or something… ”

Shipping Comparison

Shipping Comparison

When a slowdown is expected, shipping sinks 8-)

The REITS race – Real Estate Investment Trusts

Largely rolled over to dead money at best. Watch ’em and wait. May be forming a bottom, but it’s a bit early.



PEI  Pennsylvania Real Estate - Mall REIT
VTR  Ventas - sr. care, nursing homes, hospitals
PSA  Public Storage - junk storage units
BXP  Boston Properties - office REIT on BosWash corridor  
HCN  Health Care REIT -  extended care, senior care, medical offices
HCP  Health Care Properties - ex. care, senior living, Dr. offices
PCL  Plum Creek Timber - lumber and trees REIT
SPY  S & P 500 broad stock market benchmark
RPT  Ramco Mall REIT
PLD  Prologis - logistics 

Conclusions and Likely Actions

Mostly just sitting on the sidelines now. Playing a bit with shorts and collecting oil and gas trust dividends. The “Summer cooling demand’ trade on natural gas is over (used to make electricity in peak demand turbines) and the winter demand is not in place yet. Watch for natural gas to drop and plan a re-entry just before winter gets rolling.

Automated Stock Screens

So far nobody has said a thing about the automated stock screens, so I’m leaving them out for a while. If no body looked at them, there is no reason for me to do the work of making this part of the posting.

I’ve moved the automated tool screens here. They are large listings of stock tickers that are not all that visually interesting, so I’m putting them at the bottom. Holler if you don’t like it here. (There have been no comments one way or the other so I’m gong to leave them out for now. Well see. If you want them, holler…)

Running Stocks and ETFs

(On Hold unless someone says they want this.)

I have a tool that searches chart patterns and finds those that I describe to it as “interesting”. For this section, “interesting” is those that have price over the 50 day Simple Moving Average. Basically, those that are in a steady up run.

This is most likely to continue, but will at some point each ticker will hit a “dip” and fall off this search, only to return at the next rise. So a high number is good, until it fails, and a low number can mean time for a second bite at the apple. Being ON the list can be as important as rank on the list. Races tell you how to rank them. Realize that these have not been filtered significantly for the quality of the fund, nor for the volume traded, nor for what they hold. I have filtered for “over a buck” price. Each ticker must be looked at for those qualities before buying anything. This is just a way to find “things of interest” to explore.

Let me know if this is of any use to folks, or just takes up way too much room for not much of interest.

Stock Indicators – what and how

If all this talk of indicators is leaving you wondering what the heck I’m talking about, hit the link in the heading of this paragraph and there is a bit of an explanation.

Click for Disclaimers, Disclosures, and Where To Get Charts

Remember that on any stock or ticker I say I’m looking at, you don’t just go buy it. You wait for a stock entry indication to get the best possible entry into the position.

About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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13 Responses to WSW – Monday, August 23, 2110

  1. Gnomish says:

    I think intel totally missed the boat buying mcaffee.
    in 5 years every os will be on an encrypted read-only stick and the computer will be nothing but cpus and acres of ram like a toaster.
    Then, finally, we can get back to an unbloated one-man os, because there’s no need to share a system ever. It’s stupid.
    Once your os is on a stick, it’s bulletproof. No virus, no hacking. Exploits will require theft or mugging – and you always have a shoebox full of duplicates.
    Besides that, mcaffee is highly disrespected for good reasons.
    Their AV has consistently scored among the worst.

  2. Gnomish says:

    I have a couple bootable sticks with ghost(tm) images of the system drive. For any reason at all I can wipe my C drive and restore its virginity in an hour. I did it a few days ago because it’s really no more work than defragging.
    I have UBUNTU on a bootable stick with KDE.

    There’s a cheaper, better way and the AV industry market is headed for extinction very shortly. Crosspoint memristors might be the ultimate killer, but already you can get 256G nand flash at a price.

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    Hmm… Hadn’t done an OS on A Stick before. Did put my home directory on one once. Discovered that it was kind of slow. And the early ones were not real good at 10,000 cycles kind of usage. So things like swap would just kill them. Have they gotten good enough for that now?

    The classic hack proof system used to be the bootable CD. Loved my Knoppix ones. But even they are not COMPLETELY virus proof.

    You can have and propagate a virus even if it is only memory resident. Yes, it cuts the field way down. But it is possible. IIRC, the “internet worm” of circa ’86? was just such a beast. Moved from Vax to Vax but without necessarily molesting the disk image.

    We used to “golden master” our systems after each upgrade. If things got too messy, we just slapped the master copy back up and overwrote the whole thing, then cleaned and remounted the user disks. Tape is fine for that. I miss tape.

    But I think there will always be a need for Anti-Virus software as long as there are folks running Microsoft code…

    I’ve got an 8 GB compact flash laying around here somewhere, maybe I’ll try it and see how fast it is ( or isn’t..)

  4. Gnomish says:

    I think swap files are a separate matter.
    Yes, they still have lifetime with limited cycles – but if I get 6 years out of a hard drive I’m happy. As nonvolatile ic memory gets cheaper it gets more economical in comparison. The day approaches swiftly with economies of scale and amortization of equipment.
    Memristors may conquer on all dimensions. They are extremely simple to construct, write and read.
    A few good habits and construction practices will make the cost of exploits exceed the benefits for anything but special purposes and render them unable to propagate.
    A box with no non-volatile memory can’t keep a tsr when you turn it off. It’s clean at power up.
    A stick with a write disable switch is immune. Copy it all to virtual drive in ram and run it there. Save only what you want specifically. Delete it all on power down.
    It’s really too easy and when it’s that easy and convenient and is cheap enough, nobody will subscribe to an AV because it will be useless – and the first to leave the scene will be the virus coders ]because nobody will bother writing malware that can’t get them anything. The ecosystem will vanish.

    There exists a really cool document by a fellow named Cicatrix who made a mission of meeting the principals and documenting the exploits of the virus scene. I don’ t know if it’s available anywhere any more, but it’s interesting anthropology and a good record of that segment of the internet culture. It’s called V-dat. He let me have the full collections too.

  5. Gnomish says:

    & they just haven’t figured out the advantages, but when they do windows will be sold on a stick (or card) soon enough.

  6. KevinM says:

    What a beautiful morning.

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    @Gnomish: The “bold” is done with angle brackets and a ‘b’. I fixed yours. so < to open it, then the same thing but with "/b" inside the angle brackets then > to end it.

    FWIW, in the supercomputer business (before I left it) there was a movement toward Solid State Disks just for speed advantages. Actual disks could be used as a backing store for powerdown, though.

    Frankly, if it were so wonderful to have a non-writable OS I'd have expected bootable CD or DVD to dominate already. All the hardware is in place as is the existence proof of Bootable Business Cards (that I love…). I've also made some Unix OS installs where the binary files were on Read Only file systems and only the swap, temp, etc. directories were writable. Nobody cared. Some folks felt it was a pain to unmount / remount as readable to work on the OS. So I stopped.

    So while I agree with where you see the technology going, we already have that ability and folks just don't care. So I think there is a 'human factors' part that is not being considered.

    The inconvenience of the virus guys is less than the inconvenience of preventing them. So we don't.

    I still have my Knoppix CD somewhere. Great for doing a logon to a random PC and leaving no footprints… There is even a cluster computer version (Mosix) that lets you make a Beowulf cluster from bootable CD and turn a gaggle of machines into a supercomputer of sorts, all with no writable OS disk. (Optional writable swap on mag disk).

    So, you see, we already have that ability. And it is used by some hacker sorts and some admins (like me). But the general population just doesn't care. And until you get them to care, changing from CD to stick just doesn't mean much.

  8. Gnomish says:

    You are so right – we’ve had that ability since 1998, at least, when ghost was sold as floppies with serial in magic marker. People I have worked for don’t know or care until they understand it means they won’t have to pay me $200 to reinstall their os and apps next time they crash or get infected.
    Once they have watched the greenies slip from their moist little fists into my bottomless pocket, they do. Last week it was a little old lady who runs a computer just for email of clients of her B&B. She got a slew of bank phishing trojans and had to change all her credit and debit cards. She gets it now.
    Standard routine is to leave them a ghost dvd or stick now. It’s just part of the job.
    Industry doesn’t do ‘installs’, of course – and nobody at home should ever do more than one per os per box. It takes at least 8 hours for me to install os and settings and minimal apps on my computer – if everything goes right. Whosoever squanders the days of his life in unnecessary reruns of this has a darwinian disadvantage we can put a number to.
    So I’m confident the necessary motivation exists – overall, probably a billion dollars worth in the usa alone.
    The luxury of stupid (exposing a system to disaster with no backup is considered no less than stupid) has a hefty tax beyond the treatment fee, too. Losing irreplaceable data or screwing up a whole project’s schedule weed out the insufficiently wise with no mercy.
    So as you’ve noted, Kuhn missed the mark. Feynman overshot a bit – a good idea next to a bad one won’t clinch the deal but the old guard doesn’t have to die to change their ways – they do have to hurt enough to want to.

  9. Gnomish says:

    oh- it’s pretty standard on lappies these days that the mfgr partitions the drive and puts a variant of ghost + image on that partition for recovery.
    The only thing wrong with that is the image needs to be portable and off the drive that’s gonna crash…lol.

  10. Gnomish says:

    All the gold in the world = 145302.43902439024390243902439024 metric tonne = 4,671,582,000 troy oz; at $1250/oz = $5,839,477,500,000

    Didn’t the current administration spend about 25% of that so far this year?

    When is that cyclone of zeroes going to sweep across the dustbowl? Is it up to some group of economists in China?

  11. E.M.Smith says:

    US 2009 expenditures for the Feds was $3.5 Trillion. Add a $ Trillion for The Fed bailout slush fund you’ve got $4.5 T. So we’re getting close. (If you add in State and Local we’re way past it. PER YEAR.)

    Latest news is that China is not buying a lot of Treasuries and looks to be letting them ‘run off’ at expiration. (So they’ve likely done what I suggested they would do of move ot shorter maturities…)

    At this point it is up to The Fed who are buying the Treasuries (as their real estate loan portfolio runs off). They can have an infinite balance sheet. Though with political and inflationary impacts….

  12. Mark Young says:

    E.M. Smith,

    Nice blog. I’ve read your posts from time to time over on WUWT, and particularly liked your comparison of temperature trend data to stock trends.

    I would have taken this private, but couldn’t happen upon an email, so I’m stuck with a public invite. I think you might find our crew over at of interest. I’m confident that they would find your work interesting (and it’s a goodly audience at 1MM page views per month). Feel free to stop by, or drop me a line if you want me to register you (all registrations need approval and our site is a moderated site).

    Mark Young

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    @Mark Young:

    Thanks for the ‘invite’, public or private. The email is ‘encoded’ into the “about box” up top, but it would seem that the verbal encoding not only defeats SPAM programs but many humans as well. It is “pub”, the numeral ‘4’, then “all”, the AT sign and aol dot com.

    I visited your site and tried to sign up, but it seems that AOL does not meet your requirement of “no free email accounts”. Since all I use are free email accounts, that’s going to be a bit of an issue.

    I do have a ‘paid for’ email account via Earthlink (who provide my landline dial-up access) but there are two issues with it: First, I simply never use it. (Not real sure what the password is these days either). Second, as hotels have added wi-fi my use of dial up as dropped to near zero so my Earthlink account is most likely on the chopping block Real Soon Now.

    Why do I use AOL instead of Earthlink? SPAM filters are better on AOL. I found I was spending way too much of my time each day trying to fix SPAM. (At one time I even had my own dedicated Linux email server picking up the email and running a variety of spam filtering software on it. Turned out that doing the filter maintenance alone was a time sink of several hours a week). So I get a free email service that keeps the SPAM down (yet does let me choose to let in various marketing newsletters as I select).

    So unless you can ‘sign me up’ outside of your rejection filters, I’m sorry, but I can’t get past your barriers to entry. I’m sure if I gave you a valid “commercial but unused email account” something down the line would expect an email to get through or to be read and responded, and after a few weeks of inactivity Earthlink turns the account into a non-responding email rejector. So I’d have to activate it again, then wait and respond, and then in a couple of weeks it would just be bouncing the email again.

    Per Stock and Temperatures:

    I noticed when looking at graphs of the temperature series they looked remarkably like graphs of stock market prices. Both have a highly stochastic nature, random shocks, apparent cyclicality but with longer term fractal nature, and issues of individual “sites” entering and leaving the averages over time. It just soaked into my head that these things were very very similar in terms of the math needed to derive trend data from them.

    I’m still of the opinion that doing a nice ‘stock type’ graph with MACD, SMA stack, DMI, and RSI on the temperature data would be a fascinating thing to do… the only problem I see is that temperatures have no volume data, so indicators that depend on volume would fail. (Temperature does have Min / Max but does not have ‘open and close’ so things like ‘Candlestick’ graphs would be a pain… unless you could get the daily data ‘hourly’ and pick an open and close times ;-)


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