"When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe." … Frederic Bastiat

Evil talks about tolerance only when it’s weak. When it gains the upper hand, its vanity always requires the destruction of the good and the innocent, because the example of good and innocent lives is an ongoing witness against it. So it always has been. So it always will be. And America has no special immunity to becoming an enemy of its own founding beliefs about human freedom, human dignity, the limited power of the state, and the sovereignty of God. – Archbishop Chaput


Friday, August 1, 2014

Another Day, Another Sharp Fall in Commodity Prices

The Goldman Sachs Commodity Index is currently down 2.4% on the year. Grain and energy prices are continuing their descent. Meat prices are following. As written many times here over the past couple of months, meat prices will be coming down by the time we reach the 4th quarter. They are already breaking down at the wholesale level.

Seriously, I would like any OBJECTIVE reader to take one look at this chart and then tell me, with a straight face, that inflationary pressures are on the rise as it relates to the cost of tangibles.

If that is not enough, here is a chart of the Unleaded Gasoline.

It has retraced exactly 61.8% of the price move made since late November of this year to the peak near $3.15. You'll notice that it managed to spend about a week consolidating at the half-way or 50% retracement level before it puked lower. If it does not hold here, it should see a further leg lower towards $2.66.

 As a consumer at the gasoline pump, I am delighted to see this chart. It means I have more disposable income with which to buy ridiculously high-priced beef for throwing on my pit smoker the rest of this summer. I am however looking for some good bar-b-q methods for caviar since there seems to be little difference in price between fancy fish eggs and brisket.

Quite frankly, if gold is going to get some help for its upside, it had best not be looking at its fellow commodity markets as they are acting as a weight on it. Gold must function as a monetary metal at this point if it is to trek higher and that means it is going to require geopolitical events or currency distress somewhere to get speculators in a mood to chase it. Today's decent but lower than expected payrolls number, took some of the sense of urgency out of this week's talk that the Fed was going to move on the interest rate front sooner rather than later. That was shelved by the jobs number today and in conjunction with the breaking of the ridiculous cease-fire in Gaza, along with some further tensions tied to Ukraine, there were some safe haven flows back into gold, and into bonds, I might add, in today's session.

The Dollar ran into some selling today when the payrolls number came out for the reasons listed above. The weaker than expected reading took some of the "hike in interest rates" premium out of the greenback. It especially allowed the safe haven bid that showed up today to be seen in the Japanese Yen which once again refuses to move in the same direction for any time frame longer than a couple of weeks.

Equities are currently weaker as I type these comments but are off their worst levels of the session. The Russell 2000 is moving back down to the bottom of its recent range trade between 1210 on the top and 1100-1090 on the bottom. The RSI is at a level commensurate with previous recoveries in price. Only if this index does not bounce off of the bottom of the range can we say that a more substantial break in price is underway. Some are already talking bear market but the index would need to fall below 1090-1080 to have experienced a drop of more than 10% off its best level and provide confirmation for that sort of talk. In other words, it is premature to say that a significant correction is underway. Further price and chart action is required for confirmation. Until then, the odds favor a continuation of the existing trend or price action and that has been either higher or range bound.

There are still plenty of equity bulls around who want to buy dips at this point. Price action will have to prove them wrong. So far, they have been right.

I will go over some of the COT stuff later on today. I am especially interested in seeing whether or not the hedge funds are still net long in the corn market, even after the $1.70 decline since May. I find the fact that they were still on the net long side of this market last Friday almost too much to believe. Talk about blowing a call on market direction!

Wheat prices have steadied as harvest pressures subside somewhat with KC wheat leading Chicago. Beans are seeing more pressure as the benign weather and forecasts calling for more of the same, continues. The market is still being supported only by tight old crop supplies but once harvest kicks in and moves north, basis levels are going to fall apart in my view.

More later....


  1. CPI with Food and fuel should be low. Good for us consumers.

    Job growth fair
    Employment participation and unemployment both up.
    Wage growth really low.
    Under employed and part time up.

    While it's better than the recession it's not Victory Lap time. Nearly qualifies as stagnation.

    Think I will BBQ a brisket this weekend.

  2. TPTB and their cronies at Monsanto have been genetically manipulating the soft commodities markets by cynically "capping" the price of Corn in particular; granaries across the MidWest are now empty, and there will soon be a delivery default on all these "paper promises" now that everything has been shipped off to a Nestle factory in Switzerland for conversion into Kilogramme packets of breakfast cereal for the Asian market

    Is it any wonder that the biggest bank in the World is Agricultural Bank of China?

    1. Zhang, are you kidding me? Grainaries empty? Come on, where are you getting your facts?

    2. Zhang Lan,
      It's always best to add '\sarc'
      to comments when that is the case.
      Far too many people can't tell when sarcasm is the poster's intent.
      It often leads to excessive replies that wind up completely off the subject.

  3. As for stocks, as I mentioned on the previous thread, it don't mean nuthin to me until I see the 200 day on the S&P.

    Anyone who has been monitoring places like Marketwatch or Yahoo Finance has noticed that pretty much every day there is some kind of top-calling, crash-calling article as a headline. What are the odds that if mass market financial media is shouting "Top! Top! Top!" that they'll get it right? It just doesn't work like that. Tops don't come when everybody and their brother are all falling all over each other trying to be the one that calls it.

    1. On the other hand, in this day and age if you keep your eye out you can find 100 bull articles, and 100 bear articles, every day, so it just kind of depends on what catches your eye. It's not like the old days when all you had was WSJ, Barron's, and watching the cover of Time to go contra. What is really contrary anymore, when anything and everything is out there all over the place all the time? You can trick yourself. You think you are contra, but maybe you are contra contra. Confirmation bias is huge. We all cherry pick our news.

      That's why I just "don't fight the tape", no matter what. I don't trust my own judgement, but the numbers don't lie.

  4. Is it not possible to have an increase in dollars into the market (pick one) and the price decrease? Or is that impossible?

  5. H'mm...
    "The CFTC Order specifically finds that since at least 2012, the CFTC was notifying JPMS about errors in its large trader reports, which increased in frequency throughout the year. CFTC Regulations require FCMs to submit information on a daily basis for certain large traders, such as the number of open futures or options positions; the number of delivery notices issued or stopped; and the number of Exchange For Related Positions (EFRPs). In December 2012, the CFTC notified JPMS that the on-going problems were unacceptable. JPMS, relying on its third-party vendor that generated the reports for JPMS, assured CFTC staff that the problems would be resolved on or before the end of January 2013. However, JPMS continued to submit large trader reports that contained hundreds of errors throughout the period from February 1, 2013 to February 2014."

    So I guess all the shills out there who were blowing their "JPM is long gold" horn all last year based on COT report reliability (or the partial misleading fabrication of it) were blowing their horn for ABSOLUTELY no reason at all....except to keep newbs on board who didn't know any better.

    I suppose the JPM/long gold trumpeters will merely say..."See! I knew and I told you so!" while what never gets said is...."almost every misleading or cheerleading positive price comments I've droned on about for almost a year was irrelevant B.S."

    Nope, you'll never hear that part of it mentioned.
    I suppose the same excuse making will inevitably occur when..."the vaults are empty" assertion doesn't pan out.

    Something never asked of the..."the vaults are empty" crowd...is how the heck is China or others importing 100's of tonnes of gold on a monthly basis if the western vaults are empty?
    Macguire and the rest of the cult over at KWN and other sites continue with the same vault empty meme while also espousing for years (even this year recently) that the massive flow of gold still continues unabated.

    You can't have it both ways all the time....unless you have a service to sell that makes it imperative that it APPEARS you're right all the time.

    1. Dark Purple;

      JP Morgan is long gold; gold forward lease rates are negative; gold is in backwardation; the Comex gold inventories have been depleted; hedge funds are short gold so expect a huge short covering rally any day now; flash crashes are proof of the 'desperation' of the evil gold cartel... sigh! We could pick any one of these headlines that have been regaling us for years now - all of them which have proven to meant NOTHING.

      The problem with the gold perma bulls is the same with anyone who continues to lose money because of poor investment decisions. When the market sentiment changed, they did not change with it but kept right on singing from the same song book.

      One has two choices when faced with a bad investment decision - dump it, eat the loss, and then put what is left of your money into assets that are in favor and attempt to make up some of those losses or continue to sit in the losing investment comforting yourself with fantasies about how you were right all along even as your investment goes nowhere.

      Too many choose the latter and thus have now become married to gold permanently.

      As I have said many times here, and any successful investor or trader will echo, gold is an asset class like any other asset class. Sometimes it comes into favor; sometimes it falls out of favor. Treat it like that. Hold some physical for insurance and hope that you never need it. Too many in that crowd are OBSESSED with it. The entirety of their life seems to be spent in finding reasons for it to go higher. That which one gives their life to becomes their god which is why I refer to it as their yellow metal god. Pretty sad to have your life revolve around a block of metal.

  6. Andrew Huszar, now there is a name I never heard before but the kwn boys are playing him up as something special. Let me tell you, the '08 collapse should have happened and the tbtf cancerous banks should have died, once and for all. There was not a Goddamn thing wrong with Main Street banks and the world would now be a much better, cleaner place. Hank Paulson, bite your dirty, filthy tongue, sociopath that you are.

  7. Interesting observation yesterday with Silver showing a lot of weakness and decoupled significantly from Gold.

    The GSR is creeping back upwards.

    1. Yes Marvin- the silver gold ratio is starting to rollover this week. If this ratio is an indicator of inflationary pressure, looks like it is confirming the lower commodity prices across the board.

  8. I really wish you guys would wise up before posting Comments, but I suppose it's not really your fault: what Dan desperately needs is "one of the savviest individuals in the business" (1) to lead the debate. Now, I don't know how you become "one of the savviest individuals in the business", or who appoints you as such, but it sure as heck helps simplify things - and let's face it, when you are bullshooting 24/7, you might as well KISS

    So, "one of the savviest people in the business" have to tell us? Well, you don't become "savvy" by firing from the hip, so he's fairly cagey - "There was a story that went out two days ago that said Russia was massing more troops on the Ukrainian border. I will find out later today when I talk to my people in Washington."

    His "people in Washington". Wow! How savvy is THAT! This guy really is some kind of latter-day Messiah: you don't need to question why, just believe, and as the Great Man himself so eloquently puts it: "Anybody who has been reading my stuff should have been prepared for this" - so if you're not, it's your own fault for being dumb, right. (If it doesn't happen, that's your fault for being dumb too, by the way).

    But yet, I still sense that something is missing here? As in every great cake, if you don't have all the right ingredients, it falls flat, and what you really need is an overdose of the spicy stuff to perk it up a bot; how about an article which uses the word "Ponzi" 4 times in 10 short paragraphs? (2) Is that enough Cherries in your pie?

    No, that's way too easy - what we need is some firm principles, or better still Laws to adhere to; that way we can appeal to "Justice" - and, failing that, damn the lot of you, and let's all leap into chaos and oblivion. Or, to put it more succinctly - "we will grit our collective teeth on [Gold levitation] and await either 'asset price justice' or the 'end times,' whichever comes first." (3)

    So there you have it - somewhere, in some sacred temple, is a stone tablet with The Law inscribed into it by who-knows-what divine hand, and one of those Laws states that "Gold Shall Levitate". This, surely takes "Faith Based Investing" to a wholly new level, and to defy this law results is to defy "asset price justice" and will presumably result in eternal damnation, fire & brimstone, that kind of thing

    And thus concludes my Sermon Amongst the Goldbugs; yea, "for it has been written" and or "a [Wise](4) "Savvy Man saith" that "his people" in Washing-ton have tolde unto himme, that Gold is gonna "skyrocket" (2 references to this event in article (2) below) and that anyone who disagrees with him is on a one-way ticket to the Eternal Bonfire. Verily, Thou hath been warned!

    (1) http://kingworldnews.com/kingworldnews/KWN_DailyWeb/Entries/2014/8/1_Jeffrey_Saut_-_Stock_Market_Plunge,_Gold,_Crisis_%26_Contagion.html

    (2) http://kingworldnews.com/kingworldnews/KWN_DailyWeb/Entries/2014/7/31_Celente_-_Terrifying_Crash_%26_Death_Of_The_Global_Ponzi_Scheme.html

    (3) http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-31/elliotts-paul-singer-gold-inflation-and-global-monetary-delusion

    (4) Dan, the editing features of this Comments section are truly lousy - can't use anything like underline or strikethrough, cant edit, and the captcha's are getting seriously unusable. Is there really no other solution (e.g. Disqus?)

    1. For something like this I would compose off line then cut and paste.

      You must be getting different captchas than I am.

    2. Zhang;

      Thanks for a great post!

      I wish we did have a better text editing system but this is the only one that these google blogs provide. Since I am not that proficient with website technology and options, I guess we are stuck with it.

      I think Mike has a good idea.

      About your post - wonderful display of obliterating the blind ineptness behind the sentiment in that article. Apparently this guy is smarter ( more savvy - more well connected, ) than the entirety of the market. In other words, if the rest of the market were just as intelligent as he was, they would recognize that gold is too cheap and thus they would immediately pile in driving it substantially higher in price.

      I cannot think of a more damning indictment of someone's ignorance when it comes to actually being successful in trading/investing. Here is an individual essentially arguing AGAINST the market because it is NOT DOING what he thinks it should be doing.

      I have a very simple description of this - It is called a losing trade or a losing investment.

      What is so tragic is that there are people out there who actually will act on this sort of crap and put real money at risk only to lose it.

      The problem with these "savvy experts" is that they are too stuffed full of arrogance, pride, and hubris to recognize how pathetic they are as traders/investors.

      My own dog has a better chance of making money in the markets than such a person as that. The reason I say this is because he used to snap at the honeybees that were coming and going into my beehives. After getting stung in the face once too often, he finally gave it up. Now he watches them but leaves them alone.

      Thus, he learned from painful experience to leave certain things alone and to alter his behavior when it brought about his own hurt. That is more than charlatans like the one you quoted apparently understand.

      Lesson learned - trust my dog to make better trading/investment decisions than some people on the internet.

    3. Dan,
      Can I borrow your dog for awhile.
      I'm apparently not smart enough to outsmart
      these damn yellow jackets we have up here.
      Got stung right on the chin the other day.
      Damn bug almost went in my mouth.
      Two summers ago I got attacked so bad
      I had to call an ambulance and go to Kootenai Emergency.
      Man, those suckers are bad if you get multiple stings.
      And they don't lose their stingers like bees do.
      And they call their buddies for assistance.
      They sting and bite and keep on doing it until you can run
      far enough away. If they ever develop into 'Africanized' type
      yellow jackets, we are in BIG TROUBLE.
      They build their nests everywhere up here.
      They get even more vicious as fall approaches because they
      know they are about to die before the queen gets her nest
      built for the winter.
      Had some build nests in an unused truck I have, so everytime
      I reached in the door to get something, I would get stung on
      my forehead. I finally found 'em and sprayed them.
      I carry a can of spray everywhere now, like in my car and at home.
      Hope your bees are doing well.
      With bees dying and drought, it will be a wonder if there is any produce we can afford in coming years.
      Good thing we have water up here in North Idaho and we
      know how to garden.
      Anyone that isn't gardening now and storing heritage seeds is going to be sorry soon. These GMO crops are crap.
      I gave up eating wheat and have lost 25 pounds without doing anything. See WHEAT BELLY on the internet.
      Hope you're enjoying our heat spell...I'm melting.

    4. Goldtrader;

      Did you try hanging out some of those yellow jacket traps this year? I start with mine in May to catch the queens. That will make a huge difference. Eliminate the queens early and no colony for that year!

      You can still hang them out as they are going to get active this time of year. That will only catch the workers however at this point since the queens will not be coming out until the new ones leave to winter over for next year.

      I love the heat right now... it seems to make the nectar flow more intense for the bees.

  9. A few remarks about T.A (as I'm using this blog to share and try to demonstrate to newcomers that T.A is a very useful tool for timing trading decisions).

    Over the years, I built a system by borrowing a few indicators, tactics, systems, money management here and there, which seemed to work with me. To summarize, I'd say the most important for me is :

    - watch indicators (macd, sto, rsi, EtMacd...), not only the price chart and its other patterns (Fibo ratios, bollinger bands, Andrew's pitchforks, rising wedges, ma, ema and whatever you'll draw there)
    - don't always watch the same indicators : their use depend on the price situation in the market (market in a range? a squeeze? a trend?...)
    - watch the price on 3 different time units, your decision of trading being based on the middle one. I find it very effective to make contrarian trades with a minimum of risk, for example.
    - use some tactics and strategy (such as the one regarding SP500 I'm following now)
    - use a sound money management : protect your capital before thinking about winning money. Learn to put your stop losses depending on the recent volatility of the market and the supports / resistances you identified.
    - undeerstand that the best indicators and experience will always be about probabilities and improve your odds to be right. Failures to read the market in some situations and being stopped out relatively often (but with minimal losses!) should make you remain humble.

    I'm happy with my current "system", from an Amateur point of view : I manage to make a little money, spending relatively little time on T.A, having another job, despite using CFDs (where commissions are higher relative to your contract's size than Futures, but which allow any beginner to train with a small capital and to bet small amounts of money for each trade).
    Those indicators which I doubt sometimes made me see 1950-2000 as a likely stall area for SP500, more especially warned me a lot during the 48 hours before it indeed happened.

    Still, it's an amateur trading system. I think the main difference with real traders is that they regularly change their indicators because a good indicator is not always good : the more people use it, the less effective, until it goes close to 50% success rate...which pushes pros to constantly adapt and find new and better indicators if they want to make a great performance.

    I'll keep sharing the tactics I'm using, not to pretend they are the best, which is ridiculous, but just because they are better than nothing for the newbie who wants to learn about T.A.

    One of those tactics is being used within a strong uptrend such as SP500 in the 2 week timescale. It can be used when the ma20 is linear, just as it has been now for many many candles. You can then try to find a channel parallel to the ma20 linking the tops together for resistance, and bottoms together for support. Bingo, it's exactly the case here. Usually, this support gives you a good probability for next bounces. It is now in the 1900 area, and I'll stick with it, not waiting nor caring about where the ma200 is in this particular situation, as long as this expected support zone holds.

    Have a nice weekend,

    1. Thanks Hubert. Words of wisdom from an "amateur" trader. Your many contributions to this blog are appreciated.

  10. Eur Usd.

    Well, the blue channel traced as a potential support confirmed its role and the slope of teh bearish trend, which allwed me to make a 1/3 profit on my short order at 1.3375, near the lows.
    But the trend is still there, with a plunging ma20, and ema15.
    Within strong bearish trends at their beginning, I often target the ema15 as the top of the corrective bounce.
    Therefore I'll be watching 1.3470 area for an opportunity to short heavily one more time on the eur usd if we reach this area on monday.


  11. Armstrong is expecting (sorry, not Armstrong, but Socrates likely :)) a historical low on gold below 1000 $ starting from jan/feb 2015. The trigger would be the break of 1240 then of the upwards long term channel for gold.
    Point noted.

    I'm not even mentioning Bo Polny anymore, I think we have now a long enough track record to confirm that this guy is a 100% fraud and doesn't do a better job than my cow in terms of market forecasts. Simply let nervous gold bugs remember this name so that it rings a warning bell when they face one of his numerous ads in the web : 100% pure useless BS.
    Nothing personal here, simply track records of his 2 years previous forecasts on gold, USD index, etc...which anyone can find partially on jsmineset as weell, btw.

    1. Polny is a charlatan. Armstrong was villified gor being bearisg in 2011 2012 2013 and 2014. But hes a strange character. Sinclair pushed his sheeple in front of a bus in 2008 by jnsisting "this leg is no over yet" the day gold topped at 1033 dollar. Ill never forget dan warning people gold can also go down on mineset at the time. Jim did it again in 2013 insisting people the bottom was in right before a horrifying crasg commenced. When it became obvious gold was in crash mode to jim he adviced people his reaction was "to do nothing". That was after he sold 3.5 million shares in trx. I suppose jim bought treasuries for the 15 million dollar he must have made because he always seems to do the oppozite of what he recommends to others.

      Rogers and armstrong have consistently been right during this bear phase and both strongly suggest but do not guarantee gold will see below 1000 dollar.

      Sinclair and polny are in the business of confidently selling snake oil to financially speaking figuratively termina─║ly ill people.

    2. Yes, that's why due diligence and track record of their suggesions / forecasts is so important to identify the good, the bad, and the ugly :)

    3. How do you figure Sinclair is selling snake oil? He will probably be proven right over the long haul....but should stay away from timing lows and highs just like everyone else.

    4. Yes im sure gold will see 50.000 dollar someday soon.

      Jim sold his snakeoil shares by the millions while encouraging others to not trade and take certificates.

      Maybe in another 5 to 10 year these pensioners will break even before they turn 80 year.

      kjm do some due diligence into jims endless list of failed predictions and his absolute failure to speak truth about whats going on in his company.

      To me and many others hes just another liar with a hole in the ground.

  12. SP500.

    It is quite possible that we made a historical top just under 2000.
    Possible, means that the long term time unit (2 months here) shows that it would be a nice spot to do so : just meeting the mlh sup of the green pitchfork, along with a report of range which seems sensible.


    But IF it is the case, it must be confirmed in the faster time unit, i.e the 2 weeks time unit. So on this long term time scale, once more, I'm waiting for a break of 1900 first of all, to consider that the current uptrend is about to stop. It has not occured yet. On this time scale, a one day bearish marubozu is not enough to question such an uptrend.

  13. Yen traders must recognize its likely only a a matter of time before some stimulus triggers panic selling.


    Steve, a little more patience :)

  14. The reasons we are on the verge of a 1999-style "Rip Your Face Off Rally" are as follows:

    - Emerging Markets showing relative strength vs. U.S. markets

    - Complete and total collapse of commodity prices, especially energy

    - Interest rates still near 40-year lows and ZERO chance of tightening with the CRB Index freefalling

    - With the housing market weakening, ZERO chance of tightening also.

    - U.S Dollar is soaring, reflecting the immense amount of confidence in the U.S. economy

    - Economic data of every stripe is improving, albeit slowly. Perfect "Goldilocks"

    - CNN Fear/Greed Index now THE LOWEST EVER RECORDED with a reading of 5

    - And virtually EVERYONE in the financial community is now prepared and bracing for a fall crash, only 5 days after the U.S. Indexes broke to new, world record, lifetime highs. Picking tops within days is nearly impossible.

    Oh by the way, General Jim is no longer telling everyone to "Stay in the System", nor is he mentioning anything about "bail-ins".

    Perhaps he has regained some sanity???

    But of course. the KWN "eggspurts" are still at it again, ever more confident that a "Mega Crash" and "Terrifying Collapse" will happen and they will become rich while everyone else becomes poor.


    1. Mark- I hear what you are saying with regard to an "imminent' interest rate move in 2015. As much as the FED talks about doing it, not sure it will be a slam dunk (its "data dependent'). One has to wonder if the end of QE3 will put a damper on the stock market party for awhile (as it did near the end of QE1 and QE2). And if the market does correct further, if the talk of a rate hike will be any more than a fed speak.

    2. General jim did away with all pretentions on his website. Its pasting news articles only now.

      I think it finally dawned on him his ego problem is a problem for even general jim and he is making an ass out of himself.

      Although i suspect if one travels to a q&a one will learn he us speaking the same nonsense.

  15. More Kudos for Dan for picking the EXACT TOP in energy prices, allowing me to unload huge energy positions in XLE and UGA.

    WTIC has now collapsed by $10 in short order, down 7 consecutive days in bloodbath and rout.

    Note how the XLY and XRT have been showing relative strength in the SPY Sectors lately, as the consumer is going to become even more emboldened to spend with unemployment improving, gasoline and heating oil cratering, and consumer credit availability now cheaper than ever.

    1. 9.5% decline is bloodbath and rout???

    2. If your highly levered and use no stops the margin calls will be great fun.

  16. Stick to the grains Dan

    The metals are too emotional for you

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.


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