A ‘deke’ is short for decoy

Across capital markets, I’m reading the tape whether certain prices can make a ‘higher high’.

If not, exhaustion is setting in.

I’m also watching for bearish outside reversal weeks across various securities.

Inversely, I’m not being paid enough to initiate any new long positions in anything making ‘lower lows’.

Markets are full of dekes.

Similar to when a catcher’s throw to 2nd base looks like its about to sail into centre field, way above the covering baseman……but it doesn’t.

Instead, the leaping shortstop catches the ball.

Upon landing, he looks into the outfield to make out that the ball was thrown too high for him to catch it.

He’s enticing the baserunner to step off 2nd base and ponder heading to 3rd base.

Alas, the shortstop tags him out, with the ‘supposed’ overthown baseball inside his glove.

Try to not get deked out.

November 28, 2022

by Rob Zdravevski


Auto Loans inversely correlated with interest rates

I think that interest rates moderate in the coming months back to a ‘normalised’ level from which to work from, into the next cycle.

To position for this thesis, I could buy bonds, a bond ETF, treasury futures……

I’m thinking of expressing this (investment) view by looking at companies who provide automobile loans.

Perhaps those who are focused on sub or near prime credit risks?

Auto loans become more expensive as rates rise. Cars (new and used) are more expensive. Vehicle ownership is still desired.

But getting exposure to this idea through bank and credit unions is lost amongst their other business lines.

I’ll dig through a company such as Open Lending (LPRO.US). They help lenders in assessing risk to car loan applicants.

My interest was piqued when I overlaid the price chart of LPRO against the U.S. 2 year bond yield. High interest rates is bad for Open Lending’s business. What if the opposite occurred?

November 22, 2022

by Rob Zdravevski


Extracting ideas from this week’s Macro Extremes

From the edition for the week ending November 18, 2022, these investment ideas could make their way into my portfolio, or at least become worthy of ponder.

Copper – tactically sell copper from a trading perspective. Inversely, this means don’t buy or chase it at these levels.

This also goes for copper related equities.

Strategically, don’r sell your copper assets and corporate buyers of asset should wait a little longer.

Sugar – farmers should consider locking in selling prices. Equally, higher sugar prices will (slightly) crimp profit margin for the like of Nestle, Lindt, Barry Callebaut and Coca Cola. I say slightly for Cocoa prices (where relevant) are flat to benign over past few years.

Platinum – touched a 2.5 standard deviation overbought level While I expect it to decline a further 7% from its current price of $973, Platinum often precedes a move lower on its less precious cousin, Gold.

Note, this is a trading view and thus tactical.

Silver also produced the same reading and it too, on a daily basis is expected to pullback a little, although both metals are in bullish trends but their strength is waning. This is something to watch.

I bet on lower prices in the interim.

Cattle – it’s opportune for farmers to accept this high price. Not so good for beer processors such as JBS nor buyers of product such as McDonald’s (the single largest beef purchaser in the United States).

This could make plant based alternatives more attractive. I’m yet to do any work on that angle.

Coffee – the price of Arabica beans are cheap. Oversold, at least. This is good for coffee bean importers and roasters to lock in their prices of their ‘green’ beans. Perhaps beneficial for Starbucks and Olam.

Steel – U.S. Midwest Hot Rolled Coil Steel is in the doldrums. Such a trough in prices is commensurate with the out-of-favour behaviour of equity prices in various steel companies.

November 21, 2022

by Rob Zdravevski


Small Caps queue up behind the Copper/Gold Ratio

The Copper/Gold Ratio also correlates well with the S&P SmallCap 600 Index.

Currently, the small caps are trading within and through a range. While the setup for higher prices looks good (for traders), queueing off the Copper/Gold Ratio’s path may be helpful.

The more notable longer term buy signal in the small caps occurred in June 2022.

The S&P Small Cap 600 will need to trade 7% from Friday’s close to make a new ‘higher high’.

Bargain hunters awaiting a repeat or re-visit of that moment, will be tested with any extension of this rally.

It’s a rally to rent, rather than own.

November 21, 2022

by Rob Zdravevski


hmmm….Small Caps….

S&P Small Cap P/E’s not historically challenging.

Large Caps still up there due to high multiples in mega-caps.

If we believed the forward earnings “E” estimates in years gone by, then why does it seem ‘we’ don’t trust it today?

Small Caps were the first to peak, then the first to drop, possibly the first to trough. I don’t paint shapes of “V’s” or anything expecting a bounce,

hence, troughing is fine enough.

November 21, 2022

by Rob Zdravevski


Macro Extremes (week ending November 18, 2022)

The following assets (on a weekly timeframe) registered an Overbought or Oversold reading and/or have traded more than 2.5 standard deviations above or below its rolling mean.

Extremes “above” the Mean (at least 2.5 standard deviations)





Silver in USD

Italy’s MIB Index

Overbought (RSI > 70)


U.S. 2 year government bond yields

German 2 year government bond yields

The Overbought Quinella – Both Overbought and Traded at > 2.5 standard deviations above the weekly mean)


Extremes “below” the Mean (at least 2.5 standard deviations)

Chilean 10 year government bond yield

Oversold (RSI < 30)

Hot Rolled Coil Steel (HRC)


The Oversold Quinella – Both Overbought and Traded at > 2.5 standard deviations above the weekly mean)

U.S. 5 year yield minus U.S. 3 month bill yield spread

Notes & Ideas:

It was a wonderfully quiet and sensible week for capital markets, particularly in equities.

Amongst equity markets, I could generally call it consolidation or digestion. We saw some small declines (the ASX 200 fell 0.1% for the week) although many indices (positively) made higher highs and no outside bearish reversal weeks were registered.

While I’m watching the DAX closing in on the Overbought region.

Copper isn’t overbought following this weeks 7% decline. 

Although, a signal for the equity market to note the decline seen in the Copper/Gold Ratio and respect its correlation to the Small Cap Index. The latter played the function of leading, being the first to decline and the first trough.

Also worth keeping an eye on is the larger declines seen this week in the U.S. Banking and Transports Index.

Tin moved out of oversold territory with a stellar 20% rise for the week.

It was a benign week for the softs, although Cotton is corkscrewing towards making new lows while Coffee is now Oversold.

And the energy complex resumed the decline that I have been calling and aligned to.

Bond yields continue to fall, meaning bonds are being bid higher. In many cases, that moment to buy bonds at the extremes has passed and we are now in between the range.

For example, I have a medium term call that Australian 2 year bond yields come down to the 2.40% range. In the past 4 weeks, they have already firmed in from 3.72% to their current 3.17%. The Australian 10’s have moved from 4.30% to 3.64% in the same timeframe.

Months ago, I wrote about Chile (along with commodity sensitive Mexico and Brazil) leading the global ‘interest rate pack’ in addressing rising inflation. 

Chile aggressively raised interest rates and now its 10 year bond yield is mean reverting.

The yield has fallen from 7.10% to 5.54% over the last 6 weeks.

The larger advancers over the past week comprised of;

Rotterdam Coal 9%, Cattle 1%, Tin 19.4%, Natural Gas 7.2%, Nickel 9%, Sugar 2.1%, Dutch TTF Gas 18%, Oats 2.4%, HSCEI 3.8%, Hang Seng 3.8% and Taiwan’s TAIEX rose 3.6%.

The group of decliners included;

Australian Coking Coal (5.6%), Aluminium (2%), Baltic Dry Index (12.3%), Cocoa (2.5%), WTI Crude Oil (10%), Gasoil (4.2%), Copper (7.2%), Copper/Gold Ratio (6.4%), JKM LNG (3.1%), Coffee (7.7%), Palladium (4.3%), Platinum (5.2%), Gasoline (7.2%), Silver (3.1%), CRB Index (3.3%), Cotton (5%), Brent Crude Oil (8.4%), Silver in AUD (3.5%), S&P GSCI (4.3%) KBW Banking Index (3.7%), DJ Transports (2.1%), Russell 2000 (1.8%), KOSPI (1.6%), Nasdaq Small Cap 700 (2.2%) and Brazil’s BOVESPA fell 3%.

November 19, 2022

by Rob Zdravevski


Taiwan Semiconductor has the Buffett Put

I’ve been writing about the omni-importance of Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) since February 2022.

Then, in May 2022 along with other moments, I highlighted when TSM was trading at oversold levels.

A month ago, I pondered that ‘no one is going to blow up Taiwan Semiconductor’

But when the media announced that Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway had bought an approx $5 billion worth of stock equating to 1% of the company, somewhere during the proceeding quarter being between July 1st and Sept 30th, 2022……..

on Tuesday November 15, 2022, TSM stock (a $400 billion market cap company at that) opened 13% higher than its previous day’s close….

I’m puzzled why did people pay 30% more for a stock which they could have acquired below $62 during any 10 consecutive days only a week earlier?

The chart below shows the period which covered the 3rd fiscal quarter.

Maybe they did so because they either figured they’d be getting into the stock at some sort of similar average price that Berkshire Hathaway may have paid or more plausibly, they don’t need to bother doing any research or work behind the investment themselves because Mr Buffett’s team already did that work for them.

Perhaps the market assumes and concurs that now this company (and country) won’t be attacked or ‘muscled’ for the United States has another economic interest to protect.

Is this now called the Buffett or Berkshire Put?

November 17, 2022

by Rob Zdravevski


Pffft….it’s only $275 million

When a sovereign wealth fund or something that resembles a similar description loses (writes down) $275 million in crypto related (FTX) investment, why doesn’t the investment team involved in that decision, CIO and perhaps all lose their jobs?

Maybe they should pay as much of it back from their personal funds?

Of course that wouldn’t happen, for no one will work for any investment fund along with a bunch of other sensible reasons and arguments, including they wouldn’t take any future risk at all.

But I want to ask why do we then laud them as extraordinary investors or exemplary stewards (irrespective if it’s public or government) money?

Partly, because their returns tend to be quite good and sheer size affords them better terms than the rest, which is an advantage that any of us would gladly accept.

Is it because they can hide behind the idea that it only accounts for 0.05% of their total assets under management?

Is it because of one’s size that allows you to produce better returns than many because a (potential asymmetric) bet of $275 million is only 2 days worth of return which is recoverable over one year.

And it’s only equal to 1 day worth of your average annual return spread it out over 2 years.

Can you imagine championing an investment which loses $275 million?

It just doesn’t seem to matter…..

it doesn’t matter if a Swiss wealth management firm posts a $4 billion loss yet people entrust them to manage their money, when they can’t manage their own company…..

nor does it matter when a investment bank blows $744 million backing a hedge fund called Archegos…..

or when an Australian bank is ordered to pay $1.3 billion in fines and the other is penalised $600 million over breaching anti-money laundering rules.

We just all accept this as OK……because none of the people involved own the business nor is it their money.

November 17, 2022

by Rob Zdravevski


Reading The Tape

This chart of U.S. listed, Ciena Corporation is representative of many stocks that I watch.

Rather than ‘paint shapes’ about whether prices bounce or soar, I think a bunch of stock prices have a lot of digestion and consolidating ahead of them.

You can call them waves, perhaps draw some support or resistance lines or throw in some other technical indicators but for now, I’ll refer to it as ‘reading the tape’.

Broadly, prices continue to act unusually and much of the price action can be best described as scalping in between the prevailing range.

November 17, 2022

by Rob Zdravevski


Coffee’s decline been brewing a while

On February 2, 2022, I wrote that I expect the price of coffee to halve and I made reference of it ‘kissing’ its 200 week moving average.

Today. it is nearly there.

To be particular, its only 6% away.

Keep in mind that this is close enough and if/when it does touch its weekly oversold reading, it doesn’t stay there for too long.

p.s. show this chart to your local coffee shop and ask them why you’re paying 20% more for a cup than last year?

In the original note, I wrote, “By the way, just like the price of beer, I’ve never seen the price of coffee decline at the retail and premium level.

So, in other words, the price of coffee beans may halve but the price of your coffee beverage will firm.”

In all seriousness, your local coffee shop has plenty of other costs to provide reason behind higher prices.

For coffee buyers, importers and roasters….buying time is about now.

November 16, 2022

by Rob Zdravevski


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